In the Middle Ages, Ostrówek was a small town separated from Śródka and Cathedral Island by the Cybina River. The river formed the natural boundaries of Ostrówek, which, in the 15th century, enjoyed independence and its own city rights. The river also caused frequent floods, which ravaged the area. In 1888, flood victims in Śródka were visited by Empress Victoria. A year later, during another catastrophic flood, a similar visit was paid by her son, the young Emperor Wilhelm II. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, high water penetrated Ostrówek as many as fourteen times. Each flood deprived the local residents of their possessions. To protect themselves from flood waters, the Śródka community contributed to the building of flood dikes, which can still be seen to the south of Wyszyńskiego Street. The material used came from old defensive earth embankments.