Sulechów (pronounced Sue-leh-hoof [suˈlɛxuf], German: Züllichau) is a town located within the Zielona Góra County, in Lubusz Voivodeship, western Poland. It is the administrative seat of the Gmina Sulechów. Established in the Middle Ages, the town features many historical monuments significant to the Polish Lubusz region. From 1975–1998 Sulechów was part of Zielona Góra Voivodeship. The town limits cover 6.88 square kilometres (2.66 sq mi). Olga Tokarczuk, the Nobel Prize in Literature winner for 2018 was born in 1962 in Sulechów.
Sulechów is situated in the historic Lower Silesia region, north of the Oder river. The town centre is located about 22 km (14 mi) northeast of the regional capital Zielona Góra, where the national road 32 to Poznań crosses the expressway S3 to Gorzów Wielkopolski. The regional Zielona Góra Airport is about 14 km (8.7 mi) away.
The settlement of the region on the Middle Oder dates back to the 4th century AD.
In the late 10th century, the area was included in the emerging Polish state by its first historic ruler Mieszko I of the Piast dynasty. It became part of the Duchy of Silesia, a province of fragmented Poland, in 1138, and, later belonged to the Silesian Duchy of Głogów, established in 1249-51 under the rule of Duke Konrad I. In the beginning of the 14th century, Sulechów was encompassed by defensive walls.
The settlement itself was first mentioned in a 1319 deed, at the time when the warlike Ascanian margrave Waldemar of Brandenburg campaigned the area, occupying Sulechów and neighbouring Świebodzin. Margrave Waldemar, however, died in the same year, and the localities fell back to the Piast dukes of Głogów.When the last Piast duke Henry XI of Głogów died without issue in 1476, inheritance claims were raised by his widow Barbara of Brandenburg and her father, the Hohenzollern elector Albrecht Achilles. The Brandenburg influence met with fierce opposition by Henry's Piast cousin, Duke Jan II the Mad of Żagań, who nevertheless after several years of fighting had to sign an agreement, whereby the Silesian towns of Crossen (Krosno) and the town passed to the Margraviate of Brandenburg as a fief of the Bohemian (Czech) Kingdom, an integral part of the Holy Roman Empire.
Along with Crossen, Sulechów, under the Germanized name Züllichau, was incorporated into the Brandenburg Neumark district by 1535, ruled by Margrave John of Brandenburg-Küstrin who implemented the Protestant Reformation. Two years later, the Piast duke Joachim of Münsterberg-Oels and his younger brothers officially waived any rights to the Crossen and Züllichau territories. Part of Brandenburg-Prussia from 1618, the town was devastated during the Thirty Years' War but again flourished under the rule of the "Great Elector" Frederick William. From the 17th century, clothmaking developed.Züllichau was part of the newly established Kingdom of Prussia since 1701. It became a garrison town of the Prussian Army. The Polish minority resisted Germanisation attempts, carried out by the Prussian authorities. From 1815 it belonged to the Province of Brandenburg and became the administrative seat of the Züllichau-Schwiebus rural district within the Frankfurt Region. In 1828, 18-year-old Frédéric Chopin visited the town and gave an improvised concert. Between 1871 and 1945 Züllichau was part of the German Reich. In the late 19th century, the medieval town walls were partly dismantled. Four Polish insurgents of the Greater Poland uprising died in German captivity in the town in 1919.During World War II the Germans established two forced labour camps in the town, mainly for the Soviets. The territory was conquered by Red Army forces during the Vistula-Oder Offensive in the final stage of World War II. In accordance with the Potsdam Agreement, the town was incorporated into the Republic of Poland by the implementation of the Oder–Neisse line in 1945, while the remaining German population was expelled. The remaining Polish inhabitants were joined by Poles displaced from former eastern Poland annexed by the Soviet Union. The historic Polish name Sulechów was restored.
The town's most notable sports clubs are football team Lech Sulechów and volleyball team Orion Sulechów. Both teams compete in the lower leagues.
Johann Gottfried Rösner (1658–1724), mayor of Thorn (Toruń) as a consequence of the Tumult of Thorn
Caspar Neumann (1683–1737), first pharmaceutical professor at the Berlin Collegium Medico-Chirurgicum
Johann Gottfried Ebel (1764–1830), author
Carl Friedrich Ernst Frommann (1765–1837), bookseller and publisher
Minna Herzlieb (1789–1865), role model for "Ottilie" in Goethes "Die Wahlverwandtschaften"
Hermann Marggraff (1809–1864), author
Theodor Kullak (1818–1882) pianist, composer was educated in the town.
Rüdiger Graf von der Goltz (1865–1946), a German Major-General during World War I and Estonian War of Independence
Gerhard Benack (1915–1994), German officer
Nicholas Forell (1923–1998), engineer
Peter Robert Keil (born 1942), German painter and sculptor
Klaus-Dieter Ludwig (1943–2016), German rowing coxswain
Olga Tokarczuk (born 1962), writer, winner of the Man Booker International Prize as well as the Nobel Prize in Literature
Łukasz Żygadło (born 1979), volleyball player
Mela Koteluk (born 1985), singer
Tomasz Kędziora (born 1994), Polish international footballer, born in Sulechów
Tymoteusz Puchacz (born 1999), Polish international footballer, born in Sulechów