Der nachfolgende Artikel ist erschienen im "Heimatbrief für den Kreis Braunsberg, 1999 , Nr. 12" und mit freundlicher Erlaubnis der Kreisgemeinschaft Braunsberg (Ostpreußen) e.V. veröffentlicht.

The following Pettelkau story is taken from the "Heimatbrief für den Kreis Braunsberg, 1999, No. 12", and printed at the Pettelkau/Pittelkau Internet Site with the permission of its editorial staff. [Kreisgemeinschaft Braunsberg (Ostpreußen) e.V.]

The nearer coming date of the completion and now again of the structured church in Pettelkau which was destroyed in the last war, gives cause which remembers again the history of the place and the church.

The name goes back to an Old Prussian field with the name Potilkow. The way of writing varies between Potilkow, Puttelkow, Pokilkow, Poetilkow, Petlekau and Petelkeim. Their position is described between the passage and the Braunsberger city forest as well as between Fehlau, Knorrforest and Tromp. Before 1296 a German named Theoderich (Dietrich) has received this field for settlement by bishop Heinrich I. Therefore he called himself Theoderich of Potilkow. In the privilege for Tiedmannsdorf of 12th September 1296 the property is called Potilkow.

Theoderich started immediately to set here settlers because on the 4th April 1311 the village Potilkow is already mentioned. One can also assume that he built a small parish church at the same time because the assigned Pfarrhufen made the intention clear of establishing there a Pfarrei, too.

The sons of Theoderich of Potilkow, Johannes and Tylo, probably have disposed of their father’s heir soon and then they moved to Frauenburg. There they are provable as inhabitants 1320. Probably Pettelkau got back in the property of the bishop. Johannes married the daughter of the founder of Frauenburg, Gerhard Fleming. Fleming was a brother of the bishop Heinrich I. as well as the brother of the founder of the town Brownsburg, Johann Fleming.

According to the tradition the area around the passage was a heathen cult centre of the Prussian original inhabitants. In order to strengthen the original Prussians in their faith it seems to be required to oppose the heathen cult a Christian holy shrine and to lead over the attraction of the old sacrifice place on a god consecrated place of pilgrimage. For giving this place a higher reputation and to increase the splendour of the divine service bishop Hermann of Prague had donated on the 17th of June 1341 a Kollegiatstift for honour of all saints near from Brownsburg, which took the residence in Pettelkau. The lands passed over to the staff of the gunners. Two years later the Kollegiatstift moved to Glottau (30th of October 1343) and 1347 finally to Guttstadt. Although the Kollegiatstift moved, the lands still stayed in their possession.

The gunners began immediately to build a massive church at the place of the existing wooden church, for choir divine services as well as for the pilgrimage. In two and a half years they first built the choir of the new donating church. It is the church we know and which is finished today again.

Here is shown the same art of procedure like this one of the Frauenburger cathedral, where first also is built the choir which is then consecrated. One can say with right, that the church in Pettelkau belongs to the oldest churches of the Ermland although the first documentary mention is just found 1405. In those days it already was the daughter church of Schalmey. The priest Nikolaus Neue lamented at the official in Frauenburg on a member of the church managing committee of the subsidiary church because of unauthorized gathers of collection.

With the moving of the Kollegialstift to Glottau there wasn’t any necessity for building the projected wide long ship. So the only finished choir of the church stayed obtain and was finished with building the tower. The small number of the faithful didn’t justify to that time to found in Pettelkau an own rectory. But Pettelkau was assigned to Schalmey as subsidiary church. For not being hampered in their rights for the village and the church Pettelkau the gunners secured at the same time the incorporation of the rectory church of Schalmey in its chapter. Consequently the pastoral care of Pettelkau stayed in hands of the donating men.

After moving again from Glottau to Guttstadt the chapter was finished on the 10th of July 1361 in the village Pettelkau by a Schulzenamt which has not been existing before. However there already was a pub in the village. 

Because of the large distance of Guttstadt and Pettelkau it seemed to be advisable to search for new solutions. Finally the gunners separated from the Pettelkau and on the 9th of September 1378 they received the villages Lindenaw (Lingenau) and Wurlacken (Warlack) for exchange, which were nearer for them. With this villages the village Pettelkau got back to the power of the bishop.

The church in Pettelkau stayed subsidiary church of the rectory Schalmey. The right of proposing for the occupation of the rectory in Schalmey was carrying on the chapter of the Kollegiatstift in Guttstadt until 1810. There are the following patrons of the church in Pettelkau: the holy Virgin Mary (Mary birthday 8th of September) and the holy Margaret (20th of July). All the large wars of the ending 15th century (war of towns 1454 – 1466 / war of priests 1467 – 1479) were all wars between Poland and the German order. The mourner was the Episcopal prince bishopric Ermland and the Polish king had pretensions to the independent Ermland. Probably they completely ruined the place. Therefore bishop Lucas Watzenrode had shown a new sturdy for Pettelkau. To that time the total field counted 44 ˝ hoofs. Four of them were allocated to the church and three free hoofs were allocated to the Schulze.

The rider war (1519 – 1525) between the order and Poland ruined Pettelkau again. In those days five farms went under. Bishop Hosius transferred 15 free hoofs to the Christians of Brownsburg for their supports. 1656 there belonged 29 ˝ hoofs with five farmers, one Schulze and one pub to Pettelkau. On the 15 hoofs of the Christians there had been four farmers. In the following time the Sweden troops had raged again, so 16 hoofs had become desolated as well as eight hoofs of the Christians.

When 1772 the prince bishopric Ermland became Prussian, there was one Schulze and eight farmers in Pettelkau as well as five farmers who run the land of the Christian lecture in Brownsburg. Besides there were nine little farmers (gardener) and six plumbers. In total there lived 176 inhabitants in the village with 56 persons under 12 years or over 60 years. In 1798 Pettelkau received an own school where eight children were taught in the beginning. In 1893 Pettelkau became an independent rectory and removed from the rectory union with Schalmey.

In 1939 Pettelkau had 488 inhabitants.