Tiegenhagen (Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland)

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Tiegenhagen (now Żelichowo, Poland).
Source: Wikipedia Commons
Detailed map of Tiegenhagen, 1925.
Source: Archiwum Map Zachodniej Polski
Tiegenhagen Mennonite Church, built in 1892.
Source: Catalogue of Monuments of Dutch Colonization in Poland website
Arcaded house in Cyganek, Poland.
Photo by Tomasz Przechlewski.
Source: Wikipedia Commons

Tiegenhagen (also known as Thuenhain; now known as Tujce Cyganek, Tujec, and Żelichowo-Cyganek; coordinates: 54.241506, 19.141788 [54° 14′ 29″ N, 19° 08′ 30″ E]), is located on the left bank of the river Tuga (Tiege) across from Żelichowo (Petershagen), located approximately 3 kilometers (2 miles) north-east of Nowy Dwór Gdański (Tiegenhof), 18 km (11 miles) north-west of Elbląg (Elbing), and 24 km (15 miles) north-east of Malbork (Marienburg). It is a village in the northern part of the lowlands of the Vistula Delta, below sea level, protected from the sea by dikes. 

Tiegenhagen was most likely founded in the 1330s and was granted the Chełmno Rights (Kulm Law, a legal constitution for a municipal form of government) on 12 August 1352 by Winrich von Kniprode, Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights. The village had a total of 60 włókas (1,077,3 hectares [ha]). The church parish was established at the same time. A section of the St. Nicolas Church was probably erected as early as the 14th century. When the rule of the Teutonic Knights decayed, the village was overtaken by marsh and alders. Not until 1550 were attempts made to resettle the area. Over the years, the inhabitants of Tiegenhagen gradually raised the elevation of many areas and permanently reclaimed land that was once prone to annual flooding. 

Until 1772 Tiegenhagen was part of the Kingdom of Poland. The First Partition of Poland in 1772 resulted in the creation of a new province in 1773, called West Prussia, in which Tiegenhagen was located. Tiegenhagen was situated in the district (Kreis) of Marienburg 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.

By 1640 Tiegenhagen was the Mennonite center of the Tiegenhof Lowlands, where the Mennonites owned over 200 hides of land. Tiegenhagen was also the seat of the Mennonite mutual fire insurance, which was founded in 1623 and covered all the farms and other buildings owned by Mennonites in the Grosswerder. About 1620 Claass Kreker possessed the three "Freihufen" of the village, which his descendants still held in 1750.

The Tiegenhagen Mennonite church belonged to the Flemish branch; until 1639 it was served by the elder of Danzig, but then chose Hans Siemens as its elder and thus became an independent congregation. As this Grosswerder congregation continued to grow, it was decided in 1735 to establish four quarters: Elbing Quarter (Rosenort congregation), Tiegenhagen Quarter, Orloff Quarter (Ladekopp congregation), and Bärwalde Quarter (Fürstenwerder congregation). All four quarters were to have a single elder, but each was to have its own preachers. Gradually the daughter congregations of the Grosswerder congregation became independent and in the first half of the 19th century chose their own elders, Fürstenwerder being the first to do so in 1809. In 1814 Abraham Wiebe of Tiegenhagen was chosen as elder of the other three quarters. When Wiebe died in 1833, the Tiegenhagen congregation became independent and chose Peter Regier of Tiegenhagen as its elder. The Ladekopp congregation thereupon chose Jacob Wiebe in the same year, while Rosenort continued to be served by the elder of Tiegenhagen. Finally in 1857 Rosenort chose Nicolaus Fast as its elder.

A special grant by the Bishop of Culm permitted the Mennonites of Tiegenhagen to build a frame church "40 ells long, 22 ells wide, 7 ells high along the walls, with ordinary doors and windows, thatch roof, a chimney extending above the church and an apartment for residence in it" (Driedger). Until 1892 this frame church was in use. In that year the old church was torn down and a new brick church erected on the same site on the bank of the Tiege. The congregation was incorporated in 1882. Between the two World Wars a monthly meeting was held in the northern part of the congregational area in Steegen in the home of Jacob Hamm. The congregation was served by an elder, five preachers, and two deacons. The membership remained rather constant throughout the last century. In 1852 the congregation numbered 591 baptized members. In 1858 there were 754 Mennonites including children, who owned 168 hides of land. In 1887 the baptized membership was 433, with 229 children. In 1940 there were some 800 Mennonites who belonged to the Tiegenhagen congregation and lived in the north of the Grosswerder area and in the Danzig Lowlands.

The Prussian census of 1776 lists 64 Mennonite families in Tiegenhagen with the following surnames: Allert, Baldt, Bargmann, Bark, Bru(h)n, Claas(s)en, Dick, Dirksen, Ens, Epp, Fast, Fresch, Friese, Friesen, Froese, Gerbrand, Gossen, Isaac, Kettler, Kroecker, Laemmert, Loewen, Mantler, Mecklenburger, Neufeldt, Nickel, Pauls, Penck, Penner, Quiring, Reimer, Rempel, Siemens, Suckau, Toews, Vogt, Waelck, Warkentin, and Wieb. In 1820 there were 549 inhabitants in Tiegenhagen/Pisskrug with 256 Mennonites. In 1885, the area of the village equaled 1074 ha; the village had 78 houses, 671 Catholics and Lutherans, and 198 Mennonites.

The Flemish Mennonites of Tiegenhagen were members of the Tiegenhagen Mennonite Church while the minority Frisian Mennonites were members of the Orlofferfelde Mennonite Church.


Driedger, Abraham. "Aus der Geschichte der Mennonitengemeinde Heubuden." Mennonitische Blätter (1939): 42.

"Geschichte der Kirche." St. Nikolaus Pfarrei aus Cyganek. Web. 5 November 2012. http://www.cyganek.ndg.pl/indexDE.php.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. IV, 329.

Penner, Horst. Ansiedlung menn. Niederländer im Weichselmündungsgebiet von der Mitte des 16. Jh. bis zum Beginn der preussischen Zeit. Weierhof, 1940.

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: 250.

Regehr, Ernst. "Zur 300-Jahrfeier der Gemeinde Rosenort." Mennonitische Blätter (1939): 61 ff.

Reimer, Gustav. "Ein aufgefundenes Kirchenbuch." Mennonitische Blätter (1939): 22 ff.

Stowarzyszenie Konserwatorów Zabytków. "Cyganek (Tujce Cyganek, Tujec, Żelichowo - Cyganek)." Catalogue of Monuments of Dutch Colonization in Poland. 2005. Web. 13 September 2014. http://holland.org.pl/art.php?kat=obiekt&id=306.

Additional Information

Elders of the Grosses Werder Mennonite Church

Elder Years of Service
Hans Siemens (d. 1644) 22 Sep 1639-Feb 1644
Peter Claassen 31 Oct 1645–8 Oct 1679
Harm Neufeld (d. 1695) 1676-1695
Dirk Siemens (d. 1729), Tiegenhagen 6 Sep 1695–24 Nov 1729
Abraham Buhler, Co-Elder Until 1726
Simon von Riesen (d. 1736), Klein Mausdorf 18 Sep 1729–fall 1736
Cornelius Andres (1680-1741), Tiegerweide 7 Jun 1736–11 Jun 1741
Hans Buhler, Klein Mausddorferfeld 10 Sep 1741–29 Sep 1754
Abraham Penner (d. 1766), Rueckenauerfeld 2 Feb 1755–28 Nov 1766
Dirk Thiessen (1727-1806), Petershagen 1 Feb 1767–11 Jun 1806
Cornelius Warkentin (1740-1809), Rosenort 13 Sep 1795–10 Jan 1809
Peter Regier (1776-1814), Siebenhuben 12 Jul 1808–26 Feb 1814
Abraham Wiebe (1764-1833), Tiegenhagen 4 May 1814–12 Feb 1833
Peter Regier (1798-1856), Tiegenhagen 14 Feb 1835–9 Mar 1856

Elders of the Tiegenhagen Mennonite Church

Elder Years of Service
Abraham Esau (1799-1885) 19 Oct 1856–12 Apr 1885
Abraham Regier (1831-1908) 1885–14 Oct 1908
Abraham Wieler (1857-1916) 8 Aug 1909–27 Jul 1916
Franz Regehr (1871-1945) 1919-1945


Map:Tujce, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland

Author(s) Horst Penner
Richard D. Thiessen
Date Published April 2013

Cite This Article

MLA style

Penner, Horst and Richard D. Thiessen. "Tiegenhagen (Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2013. Web. 29 Sep 2023. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Tiegenhagen_(Pomeranian_Voivodeship,_Poland)&oldid=174064.

APA style

Penner, Horst and Richard D. Thiessen. (April 2013). Tiegenhagen (Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 September 2023, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Tiegenhagen_(Pomeranian_Voivodeship,_Poland)&oldid=174064.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 721-722. All rights reserved.

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