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Town centre


Coat of arms
Żagań is located in Poland
Coordinates: 51°37′N 15°19′E / 51.617°N 15.317°E / 51.617; 15.317
Country  Poland
Voivodeship Lubusz
County Żagań County
Gmina Żagań (urban gmina)
Established Twelfth century
Town rights 1280
 - Mayor Sławomir Jan Kowal
 - Total 39.92 km2 (15.4 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 - Total 26,509
 - Density 664.1/km2 (1,719.9/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 68-100 to 68-103
Area code(s) +48 68
Car plates FZG

Żagań [ˈʐagaɲ] (French and German: Sagan) is a town on the Bóbr river in western Poland, with 26,665 inhabitants (2004). Historically the seat of the Silesian Dukes of Sagan, the town is the capital of Żagań County.

Previously in the Zielona Gora Voivodeship (1975-1998), Żagań has been situated in the Lubusz Voivodeship since 1999.



Żagań, first mentioned in a 1202 deed, then belonged the Duchy of Lower Silesia at Wrocław under the rule of the Piast duke Henry I the Bearded. In 1251 it was part of the newly created Duchy of Głogów under Henry's grandson Konrad I. After Konrad's death in 1274 heirs again divided the duchy and the castle of Żagań became the residence of his youngest son Przemko of Ścinawa, Duke of Żagań from 1278, who established a monastery of the Augustinian Canons here. Thus the Duchy of Żagań came into the existence. In 1284 he swapped his estates for the Duchy of Ścinawa and was succeeded by his elder brother Konrad II the Hunchback. When Konrad II died in 1304 all former Głogów estates were re-unified under his surviving brother Henry III.

In 1309 Henry III of Głogów was followed by his eldest son Henry IV the Faithful, who in 1321 again had to divide the duchy among him and his younger brothers. He ceded Głogów to Przemko II and retired to Żagań, which again became the capital of a duchy in his own right. In 1329 all sons of Henry III of Głogów became vassals of John of Luxembourg, the King of Bohemia - with the exception of Przemko II who died suddenly two years later. When in 1393 Henry VI the Older, grandson of Henry IV died without issue, the estates were again re-unified with Głogów until in 1412 Jan I, the eldest son of Duke Henry VIII the Sparrow became the sole rule of the Żagań duchy. After a fierce battle for the inheritance his son Jan II the Mad finally sold it to Duke Albert III of Saxony from the House of Wettin, thus ending the centuries-long Piast rule.

Żagań Palace

In 1549 Elector Maurice of Saxony ceded Żagań to the Bohemian king Ferdinand I of Habsburg. Emperor Ferdinand II of Habsburg allotted the fief to Albrecht von Wallenstein, his generalissimo in the Thirty Years' War in 1627. It then passed to the illustrious Bohemian family of Lobkowicz, who had the Baroque Żagań Palace erected. After the First Silesian War of 1742 Żagań fell to Prussia.

In 1786 the fief was purchased by Peter von Biron, Duke of Courland, and eventually (1843) passed to his daughter Dorothea, the wife of Edmond de Talleyrand, a nephew of the great French diplomat Talleyrand, who came to pass her retirement years at Żagań. A patent of King Frederick William IV of Prussia on 6 January 1845 invested her as Duchess of Sagan and Napoleon III recognized the title in France, in favor of her son Louis.

In France there is a prince and a duc de Sagan. The double title, both Prussian and French, served to render the duc de Sagan a neutral party in World War II: his Château de Valençay provided a safe haven for treasures of the Louvre during the German occupation of France. During World War II, the town was the location of the infamous Stalag Luft III. The town was transferred from Germany to Poland in 1945.


  • Czarni Żagań
  • WKS Sobieski Żagań
  • Formoza Żagań
  • KS Bóbr Żagań
  • UKS Orzeł Żagań

Notable people

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Żagań is twinned with:


External links

Coordinates: 51°37′N 15°19′E / 51.617°N 15.317°E / 51.617; 15.317

Simple English

of Żagań]]

Żagań is a town in the west part of Poland. 26,665 people lived there in 2004. It is the main town of part of Poland called Żagań County.

It is now part of the in the Lubusz Voivodship (a Voivoidship is part of the way Poland is organised into areas), before it was in Zielona Gora Voivodship (1975-1998). There is a castle called Sagan in the middle of an area that is also called Sagan. The castle belonged to Wallenstein, a soldier and politician of the Thirty Years' War. Later, the castle belonged to the Bohemian family of Lobkowitz. In 1786, the Sagan area was bought by Peter Biron, duke of Courland. In 1843, it went to his daughter Dorothea, the wife of Edmond de Talleyrand.

An act of the king of Prussia on January 6, 1845 made her Duchess of Sagan. Napoleon III did the same in France, for her son Louis. The double title, both Prussian and French, meant that the duc de Sagan was a neutral party in the Second World War. His house (the Château de Valençay) was a safe place to keep pictures and other things from the Louvre when German soldiers were in France.

In the Second World War, the well-known war prison Stalag Luft III was there.

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