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A special form of thanks to our donors are Gregorovius Awards. Since 2002 we organize a contest for the Philanthropist of the Year in which we feature people and enterprises that notably engage in supporting social initiatives. The contest is organized annually on December 6 by the Nidzica Community Foundation.

Title “Philanthropist of the Year” is granted in two categories:

A/ an individual

B/ institution, private enterprise, state company


According to the rules of the contest, an application may be submitted by non-governmental organizations, informal groups, schools, libraries and other educational institutions form the Nidzica county, and by sending a filled out nomination proposal to the headquarters of the Nidzica Community Foundation.

The prize in the contest is a statuette of “GREGOROVIUS” which refers to Ferdinand Gregorovius – a great philanthropist from Nidzica who supported education of children and youth in the 19th century.

The announcement of the winners and the presentation of the award is held every year in the Nidzica’s castle during Gala on December 6, the day which is better known in Nidzica as the Day of Philanthropy.



Ferdinand Gregorovius (1821-1891) was born in Nidzica in Masuria. He became worldwide famous for his studies on medieval Rome and Greece.

During the Revolutions of 1848 he became preoccupied with politics. He stood for freedom grounded on extensive basis of the constitution. He believed in a democratic union of Germany. He condemned the Partitions of Poland and blamed Prussia for the blood spill in the Greater Poland Uprising.

In 1848 he published “The vision of Polish character”, and a year later “Polish and Hungarian cantos” which are a tribute to both nations fighting for independence.

It is worth to point out that Gregorovius highly appreciated the Constitution of May 3 which apart from substantive value had another meaning to him: “In reality, the Polish constitution was a moral absolution of the nation which was guilty of plenty. Along with the new constitution, the Polish nation opened a new and fortuitous chapter, and earned the right to be supported by other nations”.

In 1889 his testament came to be, in which there was a note stating that he donated 60 thousand marks to upbringing and education of the poor in Nidzica, no matter the religious denomination. Hence the idea for GREGOROVIUS Awards – the patron of philanthropy in Nidzica. Moreover, the revenue from the publishing house was to be used for his monument in order to commemorate his merit for the town of Nidzica.

However, Nidzica remembered about its great compatriot before his passing. In 1889 the town put a bronze plaque on a rebuilt house, a place of his birth. The plaque reads: “In this house, on 19 January 1821, Ferdinand Adolf Gregorovius was born”.

The monument commemorating not only the memory of the father, but also his two sons, Ferdinand and Juliusz, the latter was appreciated for his scientific monograph of the town, was showcased on a hillside next to the castle in 1912. Two urns with ashes of both sons were placed therein. In the last years before the World War I a street in the town was named after Ferdinand Gregorovius (today it is Rataja street). It is worth to point out that Gregorovius offered a collection of iconography and his portrait by H. Schumacher. Unfortunately, they were kept at the town hall and burnt during the war in 1914. However, his manuscripts and correspondence were preserved at archives in Munich.

In 1986 a commemorative plaque was built in the gate of the castle. The plaque reminds merit of Gregorovius for Nidzica and his sympathy for the Polish nation. Thanks to Ferdinand Gregorovius, in the 14th century, near Nidzica, a village was founded based on Kulm Law.

On the occasion of 100th anniversary of his passing, by the resolution of the Town Council, in July 1991, the former town forest, and recently Park of the 20th Anniversary, was named after Gregorovius. He was one of the most loyal friend of Poland in the 19th century.  

Years 2002 – 2015:











Special statuettes



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