Silesia (Slaskie) Voivodeship was formed on 1st January, 1999 out of the former: bielskie, czestochowskie and katowickie voivodeships.
There are 166 gminas in the voivodeship: 48 town gminas, 21 town-village gminas, and 97 village gminas. The voivodeship is divided in 36 poviats, the number includes 17 land poviats and 19 city poviats.
Borders of the present Silesia Voivodeship should not be identified with historical borders of the Silesian region. Historical Silesia included lands which now are in Oder's and Vistula's river-basins. Several changes of Silesia's nationality and its divisions made the history of this land complicated. During the last eleven centuries, Silesia has been under the rules of Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, Austrians and Prussians. Many times it came from hands to hands but now most of its lands are inside the borders of the Republic of Poland (provinces of Lower Silesia, Opole, a part of Silesia and Lubin). A little piece of Lower Silesia belongs to Germany (town called Heyeswerda) and to Czech Republic (Silesia Opawsko-pomorski and Western part of Silesia called Zaolzie)
Throughout centuries, administrative borders of Silesia underwent several changes and now it is hard to say exactly which lands are historically Silesian and which are not. Everything depends on historical period we will refer it to. In the Middle Ages main fortified castles were: Wroclaw (Breslau), Glogow, Niemcza and Legnica. Places in Lower Silesia which are not parts of the present Silesia Voivodeship. The name itself Upper Silesia' appeared in 15th century and its lands were in the shadow of economically predominant Lower Silesia till 18th century. Not historical factors but economic ones decided that these lands are parts of Silesia Voivodeship.
Church of St. Michael the Archangel was built in 1305 as a sancctuary to citizens of neighbouring villages in case of incursion. This is why near the church the bell tower was built - not only to ring the bell but also as a good point to observe surroundings. The whole was protected by .historic lych-gate and wooden fence around the churchyard. In 1510 the church occured to be too small for the local society and it was decided to extend it to the size we can see today. In 1938 the church was transferred to Katowice from Syrynia (Rybnik district). The bell tower was built in XVII century.
The immaculate conception catholic church was built in 1862 - 1870. It was designed in neo-ghotic style by Alexcus Langer from Wroclaw. The secession stained glass windows in chapels were designed by A. Bunsch.
The cathedral under the invocation of Christ the Lord was constructed in 1927-1956, neo-baroque. Its architects are Zygmunt Gawlik and Franciszek Maczynski, the participatnts of the competition for the cathedral edifice in 1925. The competition for the cathedral design and the discussion after the competition, also about the final decision connected with its execution were one of the most important events of the architectural life in the interwar Poland. The cathedral is a central structure, with a dome on the nave intersection and unclearly exposed presbytery - the altar part. According to the lay out the dome was to be mounted on a very high drum. Unfortunately the postwar authorities did not agree with that. The lack of drums destroys the stylish baroque effect of the structure to a great extent, giving the cathedral more classicistic character, emphsized by a monumental column portico, which makes the church facade.
The interior decorations are dominated by the altar table with a sculpture of the Resurrected Christ hanging over it (designed by Jerzy Kwiatkowski). Jerzy Kwiatkowski is also an author of the bas relief door of the cathedral.
The Museum was founded in 1929. In 1939 Germans took out most of the museum's collection to Bytom. The Silesian Museum came back to Katowice in 1984 and found its headquarter in the building where an old hotel from XIX century was.
The Musem is open from Tuesdays to Friday (10am - 5pm) and on Saturday and Sunday (11am - 4pm). Monday closed. On Saturdays the admission is for free.
The University of Silesia was established in Katowice in 1968 as the ninth university in Poland. It now has campuses in four cities in the region: Katowice, Sosnowiec, Chorzow and Cieszyn. The majority of faculties are located in Katowice. University of Silesia has 75 departments and 23 institutes. It has more than 45 thousand students and almost 2 thousand teachers, 215 professors and 274 hab. doctors.
A frog in Stawowa street is one of the most famous thing among people who live in Katowice. The frog is located in one of the most crowded street in the city. The street is reserved only for people. Yo can't get there by car.:)
The frog is known as a meeting point or just a place where there are lots of flowers' sellers during summer months...
An old railway station was built in 1896-1906. In 1972 was replaced by the new railway station, built close to the old one. The building is in secession style and it used to be one of the biggest and most beautiful railway stations in Poland (between world wars). The old building seems to be much nicer than the new one.
Pilsudski on a horse came to Katowice in 1991 from Croatia. From 1993 stayed temporarly, from 1998 permanently. It is situated opposite the main entrance to the Headquarter of Silesia Voivodship in Jagiellonska Street.
Various departments including art, archaeology, ethnography and local history.
The Museum has a large collection of Polish paintings including works by Matejko and Michalowski -- also a large collection of non-professional works.
Open weekdays 10-00 to 17-00 (closed Mondays) and weekends 11-00 to 17-00.
Entrance fee: 9zl (at April 2005)
Silesian Theatre of Stanislaw Wyspanski was founded in 1907. Designed by Carl Moritz in modern style. For the first 15 years it used to be a German Theatre. When Silesia came back to Poland Polish Theatre began its avtivity in the building. The Theatre has currantly many international contacts and plays roles in such cities as: Moscow, Lviv, Paris, Vienna, Brussel or Stockholm.
One of the best designed Polish monuments, very well exposed. A harmonious combination of the architecture and the sculpture, an appropiate symbolism - the wings symbolize the three Silesian uprisings 1919-1920-1921, on the vertical slopes names of places - battlefields. Funded by people from Warsaw for Upper Silesia. It is considered to be a landmark of the town.
It was designed by G. Zemla in 1967; sculpture by W. Zablocki. The monument is probably the biggest and the heaviest in Poland.
The monument was designed by an artist Bronislaw Chromy and inż. architect Jerzy Pilitowski. It was errected on October 6, 1978. The information sign informs about the fightening places from Warld War II.
The Church of St. Michael Archangel contains some unique furnishings and other parts of the church. You can find a wooden, XVII - century pulpit, a wooden, late-gothic sculpture of Our Lady with Jesus from XVI century (transferred in 1970 from Debiensk) and in the church's porch: a stone stoup from XV century and a wooden box (coffer) from XVIII/XIX century.
The monument commemorates scouts who died in 1939 - 1945 fighting for Silesia Region... It was designed by artist Zygmunt Brachmanski and architect Michal Kuczminski. The monument was built in November 1983.