Alt Schottland (Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland)

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Alt Schottland (now Stare Szkoty, Gdańsk, Poland)
Source: Wikipedia Commons
Detailed map of Alt Schottland, 1918
Source: Archiwum Map Zachodniej Polski

Alt Schottland (also known as Altschottland, Alt-Schottland, and Danzig-Altschottland; now known as Stare Szkoty; coordinates: 54.333667, 18.631954 [54° 20′ 1″ N, 18° 37′ 55″ E]; population in 1905, 250) is an historic area of Gdańsk (Danzig), located on the slopes of the hills of Chełm (Stolzenberg).

By the late 14th century, strong trade links had been established between the Danzig region and Scotland. The immigration of Scottish settlers to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth began at this time and increased beginning in the last decades of the 16th century and continuing until the late 18th century. Many lived in what became known as Alt Schottland (Old Scotland), founded by Scottish settlers in ca. 1380. 

In 1520 Alt Schottland, a property of the Bishop of Cujawien, was totally destroyed during the siege of Danzig by the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, Albrecht von Hohenzollern. The Bishop strove to restore the former prosperity of the area, located outside the Danzig city walls, and accepted Dutch Anabaptists fleeing from the Netherlands and prohibited from settling in the city of Danzig onto his land holdings. Jews were also permitted to settle in Alt Schottland. Throughout the following years, the bishop defended the Mennonite tradesmen from attacks by the Danzig guilds, who complained that the Mennonites were competing with them without having memberships in the guilds.

For the West Prussian Mennonites a special edition of the Biestkens Bible was published in Schottland, a suburb of Danzig, in 1598, called the Schottland Bible. 

Until 1772 Alt Schottland was located in what was known as Royal Prussia (also known as Polish Prussia) in the Kingdom of Poland. The First Partition of Poland in 1772 resulted in the creation of a new province on 31 January 1773, called West Prussia, in which the village was located. Alt Schottland was situated in the district (Kreis) of Stadtkreis Danzig until the establishment of the Free City of Danzig in 1920. The village came under the control of Nazi Germany during World War II until February 1945, when it was occupied by Soviet forces and returned to Poland.

The 1776 Prussian census lists 43 Mennonite families in Alt Schottland with the following surnames: Bachdach, Bestvader, Buhler, Conwentz, Dunckel, Dyrcksen, Egrath, Ekker, Faking/Fokking, Feith, Friderichs, Hawernehr, Heppner, Jantzen, Kauenhawen, Kroecker, Mahl, Pankert, Rose, Ratz, Reinck, Reinke, Schroeder, Siemons, Thiesen, Utesch, Van Kampen, Von Dyck, and Zimmermann.

In 1816, Alt Schottland had 36 Mennonite families living in the village. By 1820, all had moved, with most settling in the Altstadt (old city) of Danzig. This was due to the granting of citizenship in Danzig to Mennonites in 1800.


Bajer, Peter Paul. Scots in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, 16th-18th Centuries: The Formation and Disappearance of an Ethnic Group. The Northern World, v. 57. Leiden: Brill, 2012.

inyourpocket Essential City Guides. "Scottish Gdańsk." Web. 20 March 2013.

Penner, Horst. Die ost- und westpreussischen Mennoniten in ihrem religiösen und sozialen Leben in ihren kulturellen und wirtschaftlichen Leistungen, 2 vols. Weierhof, Germany: Mennonitischer Geschichtsverein, 1978-1987: v. 1, 52; v. 2, 44.

Wikipedia. "Stare Szkoty." Web. 20 March 2013.

Wolf, Hans-Jürgen. "Familienforschung in Westpreußen." Web. 20 March 2013.


Map:Stare Szkoty, Gdańsk, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland

Author(s) Richard D Thiessen
Date Published March 2013

Cite This Article

MLA style

Thiessen, Richard D. "Alt Schottland (Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2013. Web. 20 Sep 2020.,_Poland)&oldid=164867.

APA style

Thiessen, Richard D. (March 2013). Alt Schottland (Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 September 2020, from,_Poland)&oldid=164867.

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