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O:. Bydgoszcz, Grand Orient of Poland

Janus Lodge of Bydgoszcz

Bydgoszcz (pronounced as: [ˈbɨdɡɔʂt͡ʂ] audio available here) is an old city located in northern Poland, on the Brda and Vistula rivers. During the early Slavic times a fishing settlement called Bydgostia, became a stronghold on local river trade routes. In the 13th century it was the site of a castellany, mentioned in 1238.

The Freemason ideas appeared in Bydgoszcz 1784 with installation of a Janus Lodge which resided near Jagiellonian Walls. Its founders recruited from higer Prussian offices, invited to supervise lands accuired by the Prussian Mason-King Frideric II. Lodge patents were issued by the Mother Lodge of Royal York. In the very first year of existence, there were 35 Brothers in the Craft. In 1800 the Lodge changed its obedience to Mothe Lodge Under Three Globes in Berlin. After 12 years, during Napoleonic Wars, the obedience was moved again. This time to the Grand Mother Lodge Eastern Star. The name of the workshop also changed to the "Kight's Cross". However, this proved to be only temporal, as in three years, the previous superiority was re-established.

In the years 1827-35 the documents claim the existence of 167 Brothers: lawyers, officers, clerks, professors and landowners. It is worth noted, that in the city's address book there are also other masonic organisations noted, including "Freemasone Society Gates of Light", "Frideric the Great Lodge" and "Eduard Lodge"

The history of Freemasonry in Bydgoszcz seems to end in 1927. Last working Brothers sold its building and moved. A few years after the Nazi army invaded Poland. The lodge buileing was razed to the ground and all freemasons were hunted down. After the end of WW2, Poland has fallen into Soviet Union's domination. The masonic movements were strictly forbidden.

After the communism fall in 1989, the new hope begun. Feb 20, 2009 the Galileo Galilei's Lodge Lights were lit and Freemasonry returned to the city of Bydgoszcz.