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A little bit of history

In Puńsk region first inhabitants’s signs were dated from 10000 BC. There lived the Yotvingians in the firsts part of the Middle Ages. A castle hill in Jegliniec (9 km from Puńsk to the north) is their inharitance.

The Yotvingians had lived there till the 13th century, when finally they were invaded by the Order of Teutonic Knights. For long time the land was overgrown with forests which were started to colonise by Lithuanians, Poles and Russians in the 15th century. Only Lithuanians and Polish people stayed there till these days.

In the historical documents Puńsk is mentioned in 1559. The forester Stanisław Zaliwski established there a village. In 1606 Puńsk is called a town. Thet period is very important in Punsk history because it was developing very quickly. There were a school and hospital. Unfortunatelly, the plague killed lots of the inhabitants and later after the division of Poland, the town belonged to Prussia, and later to Russia. The economy got worse and that was the reason that in the 18th century civic rights were lost.

Later there were opened a school, various associations, a small bookshop. A lot of Jews lived there. Nowadays you can see their old buildings and cementary. German Evangelics also lived here. Their cementaries remained in Puńsk and Poluńce village.

Although nowadays Puńsk doesn’t have the civic rights it is called a ‘little town’ by its inhabitants.

Sejwy is mantioned in the same year as Puńsk in 1559. In Sejwy a mansion established by the village’s headman. Next the mansion there is a lake called “Seivis”. According to the storiesof old people, on the island of the lake there used to be a castle. On the lake’s ground (from Vitakiemis-country side) there is a big stone (about 2 metres height) which top is seen on the shore. Nearby Sejwy there is a lake called “Bokąis”.

Smolany belongs to Puńsk community. It is mentioned in 1642 as a small mansion, from the 18th century as a village. The name of the village comes from “smaliokai” which means the producers of  tar (pitch). Habermanas was a lord of this land, he bought it and wanted to enlarge it to the town. He tried to stablish the cloth manufactury. He built a church and monestary. But the civic righs weren’t got.

Other Puńsk countries were establishing in the 16th and 17th centuries. It is worth to mention such countries: Jegliniec (“Eglinė”) and its Yotvingian castle hill; Krejwiany where is the monument of illegal books distributor P. Matuklevičius; Trakiszki where the old train station was built by tzar; Giełujsze in which forest there is a badger’s hill. On its top there was a chapel. It is thought that in the old times there were the pagan places where the sacred fire was burning and the gods were honoured.

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