The town of Iława lies in the Masuria region, in the so-called “Verdant Lungs of Poland,” an area which is known for its clean air and lush vegetation. Iława and its environs constitute one of the most interesting terrains in Poland from a nature perspective. There are several national reserve parks. Lake Jeziorak itself has 16 islands. From Iława, you can reach the Baltic Sea by sailing over Lake Jeziorak and out via the vintage Elbląg Canal with its system of ramps. Before World War II the town was called the “Pearl of the Oberland.”
The rich culinary offer will take you on a journey to the far reaches of the world. There is also always much to be found for those curious about the traditional tastes of the region.
The town is heralded as the summer capital of jazz thanks to the oldest traditional jazz festival in Europe – the Old Jazz Meeting “Złota Tarka.”
The History of Iława
Iława, known as the “Pearl of the Oberland,” has a long and colourful history. It was established in 1305 by a Teutonic commander from Dzierzgonia named Sieghond von Schwarzburg. It experienced a period of robust development towards the end of the 19th Century, when it gained a waterway to Elbląg and Ostróda, as well as train lines to Malbork and Gdansk, a regional court and a customs office.
The Old Town of Iława was filled with well-stocked colonial shops and exquisite restaurants serving the choicest regional delicacies, the most famous of which was The Blue Eel. The town boasted a booming industry, a lumberyard and a fantastic brewery. It had its own newspaper. The crowning point in the development of Iława was the construction of a Town Hall, initiated by the mayor at the time – K.F. Giese. The investment cost 290 thousands marks – the fact that the city was rich enough to afford such a cost is a testament to its good standing.
Before World War II Iława was a melting pot of cultures, nationalities and religions.
Germans, Poles, Jews, Scots and Dutchmen lived in Iława side by side.
World War II changed the face of Iława forever – the town was almost completely razed to the ground. After the war the town was slowly rebuilt and returned to its former glory, a process which is still ongoing today.