Suwalki is a town in northeastern Poland, located about 30 km from the southwestern Lithuanian border. The village was first mentioned in 1688; two years later it was reported to have two houses. However, the growth of the village was fast and by 1700 it was split onto Male Suwalki and Wielkie Suwalki (Small and Great Suwalki). The village was located on the main trade route linking Grodno and Merecz with Königsberg. That is why in 1710 King Augustus II the Strong granted the village a privilege to organise fairs and markets. After the peaceful dissolution of the Communist system in Poland in 1989 the city experienced a period of economic difficulties. Most of the city's major factories were inefficient and went bankrupt. However, the creation of the Suwalki Special Economic Zone and the proximity of the Russian and Lithuanian borders opened new possibilities for the local trade and commerce. In addition, the ecologically clean region started to attract many tourists from all around the world. Main sights: Kosciuszko street with classicist architecture, romantic 19th century park, St. Alexander's Church, St. Peter and Paul's Church, cemetery complex at Bakalarzewska street (Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim), municipal museum, town hall, former gymnasium building, museum and monument to Maria Konopnicka, 19th century brewery of Waclaw Kunc.
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