Silesia
Overview
 

Silesia (icon or s; ś; ; Silesian German
Silesian German
Silesian German language , is a German dialect/language spoken in Silesia. Today, the area is mainly in southwestern Poland, but as well as in northeastern Czech Republic and in eastern Germany...

: Schläsing; ; Silesian: Ślůnsk [ɕlonsk]; ) is a historical region of Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 located mostly in Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, with smaller parts also in the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

, and Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

.

Silesia is rich in mineral and natural resources, and includes several important industrial areas. Silesia's largest city and historical capital is Wrocław. Other large cities are Opole
Opole
Opole is a city in southern Poland on the Oder River . It has a population of 125,992 and is the capital of the Upper Silesia, Opole Voivodeship and, also the seat of Opole County...

 and Katowice
Katowice
Katowice is a city in Silesia in southern Poland, on the Kłodnica and Rawa rivers . Katowice is located in the Silesian Highlands, about north of the Silesian Beskids and about southeast of the Sudetes Mountains.It is the central district of the Upper Silesian Metropolis, with a population of 2...

 in Poland, Ostrava
Ostrava
Ostrava is the third largest city in the Czech Republic and the second largest urban agglomeration after Prague. Located close to the Polish border, it is also the administrative center of the Moravian-Silesian Region and of the Municipality with Extended Competence. Ostrava was candidate for the...

 and Opava
Opava
Opava is a city in the northern Czech Republic on the river Opava, located to the north-west of Ostrava. The historical capital of Czech Silesia, Opava is now in the Moravian-Silesian Region and has a population of 59,843 as of January 1, 2005....

 in the Czech Republic, and Görlitz
Görlitz
Görlitz is a town in Germany. It is the easternmost town in the country, located on the Lusatian Neisse River in the Bundesland of Saxony. It is opposite the Polish town of Zgorzelec, which was a part of Görlitz until 1945. Historically, Görlitz was in the region of Upper Lusatia...

 in Germany.
Encyclopedia

Silesia (icon or s; ś; ; Silesian German
Silesian German
Silesian German language , is a German dialect/language spoken in Silesia. Today, the area is mainly in southwestern Poland, but as well as in northeastern Czech Republic and in eastern Germany...

: Schläsing; ; Silesian: Ślůnsk [ɕlonsk]; ) is a historical region of Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 located mostly in Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, with smaller parts also in the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

, and Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

.

Silesia is rich in mineral and natural resources, and includes several important industrial areas. Silesia's largest city and historical capital is Wrocław. Other large cities are Opole
Opole
Opole is a city in southern Poland on the Oder River . It has a population of 125,992 and is the capital of the Upper Silesia, Opole Voivodeship and, also the seat of Opole County...

 and Katowice
Katowice
Katowice is a city in Silesia in southern Poland, on the Kłodnica and Rawa rivers . Katowice is located in the Silesian Highlands, about north of the Silesian Beskids and about southeast of the Sudetes Mountains.It is the central district of the Upper Silesian Metropolis, with a population of 2...

 in Poland, Ostrava
Ostrava
Ostrava is the third largest city in the Czech Republic and the second largest urban agglomeration after Prague. Located close to the Polish border, it is also the administrative center of the Moravian-Silesian Region and of the Municipality with Extended Competence. Ostrava was candidate for the...

 and Opava
Opava
Opava is a city in the northern Czech Republic on the river Opava, located to the north-west of Ostrava. The historical capital of Czech Silesia, Opava is now in the Moravian-Silesian Region and has a population of 59,843 as of January 1, 2005....

 in the Czech Republic, and Görlitz
Görlitz
Görlitz is a town in Germany. It is the easternmost town in the country, located on the Lusatian Neisse River in the Bundesland of Saxony. It is opposite the Polish town of Zgorzelec, which was a part of Görlitz until 1945. Historically, Görlitz was in the region of Upper Lusatia...

 in Germany. Its main river is the Oder (in German; in Polish and Czech: Odra).

Silesia's borders and national affiliation have changed radically over time, both when it was a hereditary possession of noble houses
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

 and after the rise of modern nation-states. The first known states to hold power there were those of Greater Moravia  at end of 9th century and Bohemia early in the 10th century. In the 10th century Silesia was incorporated into the early Polish state, but it later broke into independent duchies, coming under increasing Czech and German influence. It came under the rule of the Crown of Bohemia
Lands of the Bohemian Crown
The Lands of the Bohemian Crown , also called the Lands of the Crown of Saint Wenceslas or simply the Bohemian Crown or Czech Crown lands , refers to the area connected by feudal relations under the joint rule of the Bohemian kings...

, which passed to the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

 in 1526. Most of Silesia was conquered by Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

 in 1742, later becoming part of the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 and German Reich up to 1945. After World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 (1918) the easternmost part of this region was awarded to Poland by the victorious Allies after rebellions by Silesian Polish people and a plebiscite. After World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 (1945) the bulk of Silesia was transferred to Polish jurisdiction and become legally and politically part of Poland. Meanwhile the remaining small parts of Silesia mostly went to Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 after World War I, and are now in the Czech Republic.

Most inhabitants of Silesia today speak the national languages of their respective countries (Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

, Czech
Czech language
Czech is a West Slavic language with about 12 million native speakers; it is the majority language in the Czech Republic and spoken by Czechs worldwide. The language was known as Bohemian in English until the late 19th century...

, German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

). There is an ongoing debate whether a local Silesian speech should be considered a Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

 dialect or a separate language. There also exists a Silesian German or Lower Silesian language, although this form of German is almost extinct.

Etymology

The names of Silesia in the different languages most likely share their etymology—Latin and English: Silesia; Polish: Śląsk; Old Polish: Ślążsk[o]; Silesian: Ślůnsk; German: Schlesien; Silesian German: Schläsing; Czech: Slezsko; Slovak: Sliezsko; Kashubian: Sląsk; Upper Sorbian: Šleska; Lower Sorbian: Šlazyńska. The names are all related to the name of a river (now Ślęza
Ślęza
Ślęza is a 78.6 km long river in Lower Silesia, southern Poland, a left tributary of the Oder. It starts in the Niemcza Hills , part of the Sudete Highlands , and flows near Mount Ślęża through the Silesian Lowland and enters the Oder in Wrocław.The most important tributary is: Mała...

) and mountain (Mount Ślęża
Mount Sleza
Ślęża is a mountain in the Sudetes foothills in Lower Silesia, from Wrocław, southern Poland. This natural reserve built mostly of granite is 718 m high and covered with forests....

) in mid-southern Silesia. The mountain is a prehistoric holy place.

Ślęża is listed as one of the numerous preindoeuropean
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

 topographic names in the region (see old European hydronymy
Old European hydronymy
Old European is the term used by Hans Krahe for the language of the oldest reconstructed stratum of European hydronymy in Central and Western Europe...

).

History

Silesia has been inhabited from time immemorial
Time immemorial
Time immemorial is a phrase meaning time extending beyond the reach of memory, record, or tradition, indefinitely ancient, "ancient beyond memory or record"...

 by people of multiple ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

s. In the 4th century b.c. Celts entered Silesia. They had their main settlements around the Mount Ślęża
Mount Sleza
Ślęża is a mountain in the Sudetes foothills in Lower Silesia, from Wrocław, southern Poland. This natural reserve built mostly of granite is 718 m high and covered with forests....

 near the modern Wrocław, Oława and Strzelin
Strzelin
Strzelin is a town in Lower Silesian Voivodeship in south-western Poland. It is located on the Oława river, a tributary of the Oder, about south of the region's capital Wrocław. The town is the seat of Strzelin County and also of the smaller municipality of Strzelin...

. Germanic tribes
East Germanic tribes
The Germanic tribes referred to as East Germanic constitute a wave of migrants who may have moved from Scandinavia into the area between the Oder and Vistula rivers between the years 600 and 300 BC. Later they went to the south...

 were first recorded within Silesia in the 1st century. Slavic peoples
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

 arrived in this territory around the 7th century. In the early 9th century the Slavic settlement stabilized. Local Slavs started to erect defence systems such as Silesian Przesieka
Silesian Przesieka
Silesian Przesieka, literally Silesian Cutting is the name of the old-Slavic border fortification in Silesia. The Przesieka, known from the early medieval written records, was developed as an impenetrable barrier on the frontier territory...

 and the Silesia Walls
Silesia Walls
Silesia Walls are a line of three parallel earthen ramparts and ditches that run through Lower Silesia in Poland, by the towns Szprotawa and Kożuchów. The walls are about 2.5 metres tall and, at their widest, 47 metres. They run for about 30 kilometres...

 to guard them from the peoples of the West. In those days the eastern border of Silesian tribes
Silesian tribes
Silesian tribes – are the European tribes of West Slavs that lived in the territories of Silesia. The territory they lived on became part of the Great Moravia in 875 and later, in 990, first Polish state created by duke Mieszko I and then expanded by king Boleslaw I at the beginning of the 11th...

 settlement was situated to the west of the gród
Grod
Grod may refer to:* Caspar Maria Grod, Wilhelm Riphahn's co-worker from 1913 to 1931* Weilern Grod, a village in Brittnau, Switzerland* Grod, 520s–528 ruler after Utigur in Patria Onoguria. He was succeeded by his brother Mugel.-See also:...

 Bytom
Bytom
Bytom is a city in Silesia in southern Poland, near Katowice. The central-western district of the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union - metropolis with the population of 2 millions. Bytom is located in the Silesian Highlands, on the Bytomka river .The city belongs to the Silesian Voivodeship since...

, and east from Racibórz
Racibórz
Racibórz is a town in southern Poland with 60,218 inhabitants situated in the Silesian Voivodeship , previously in Katowice Voivodeship...

 and Cieszyn
Cieszyn
Cieszyn is a border-town and the seat of Cieszyn County, Silesian Voivodeship, southern Poland. It has 36,109 inhabitants . Cieszyn lies on the Olza River, a tributary of the Oder river, opposite Český Těšín....

. East from this line dwelled a closely related Slavic tribe - Wiślanie
Vistulans
Vistulans were an early medieval West Slavic tribe inhabiting the land of modern Lesser Poland.From the 1st century and possibly earlier, the Vistulans , were part of the Carpian Tribe, which got its name from the area that they lived in, which was beside the Carpathian Mountain Range...

. Northern border was situated in the valley of the Barycz
Barycz
The Barycz is a river in Greater Poland and Lower Silesian Voivodeships in western Poland. It is a right tributary of the Oder River. The river course roughly marked the northern border of the historic region of Lower Silesia with Greater Poland....

 river, north of which dwelled Polans
Polans
Polans may refer to two Slavic tribes:* Polans , in the area of Dnieper river* Polans , in the area of Warta. The tribe unified most of the lands of present-day Poland under the Piast dynasty....

.

The first known states in Silesia were the Czech proto-states of Greater Moravia and Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

. In the 10th century, Polish ruler Mieszko I of the Piast dynasty
Piast dynasty
The Piast dynasty was the first historical ruling dynasty of Poland. It began with the semi-legendary Piast Kołodziej . The first historical ruler was Duke Mieszko I . The Piasts' royal rule in Poland ended in 1370 with the death of king Casimir the Great...

 incorporated Silesia into the Polish state. During the Fragmentation of Poland, Silesia, as well as the rest of the country, was divided among many independent duchies
Duchies of Silesia
The Duchies of Silesia resulted from divisions of the original Duchy of Silesia after 1138.In accordance with the last will and testament of Duke Bolesław III Wrymouth, the Kingdom of Poland was, upon his death in 1138, divided into five hereditary provinces distributed among his sons, including...

 ruled by various Silesian dukes
Dukes of Silesia
The Dukes of Silesia were the sons and descendants of the Polish Duke Bolesław III Wrymouth. In accordance with the last will and testament of Bolesław, upon his death his lands were divided into 4-5 hereditary provinces distributed among his sons, and a royal province of Kraków reserved for the...

 of the Silesian Piasts
Silesian Piasts
The Silesian Piasts were the oldest line of the Piast dynasty beginning with Władysław II the Exile, son of Bolesław III Wrymouth, Duke of Poland...

. During this time, cultural and ethnic German
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 influence increased due to immigrants
Ostsiedlung
Ostsiedlung , also called German eastward expansion, was the medieval eastward migration and settlement of Germans from modern day western and central Germany into less-populated regions and countries of eastern Central Europe and Eastern Europe. The affected area roughly stretched from Slovenia...

 from the German-speaking components of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

. In 1178, parts of the Duchy of Kraków around Bytom, Oświęcim
Oswiecim
Oświęcim is a town in the Lesser Poland province of southern Poland, situated west of Kraków, near the confluence of the rivers Vistula and Soła.- History :...

, Chrzanów
Chrzanów
Chrzanów is a town in south Poland with 39,704 inhabitants . It is situated in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship and is the capital of Chrzanów County.- To 1809:...

 and Siewierz
Siewierz
Siewierz is a town in the Silesian Voivodeship in Poland.-History:In history, Sewerien was first mentioned in 1125, which was administered by the Castellan of Bytom. In 1177, Casimir II granted Sewerien to Mieszko IV Tanglefoot duke of Silesia and Racibórz, together with the duchy of Bytom. The...

 were transferred to the Silesian Piasts, yet their population was of Vistulan and not of Silesian descent.

Between 1289 and 1292, Bohemian king Wenceslaus II became suzerain of some Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia is the southeastern part of the historical and geographical region of Silesia. Since the 9th century, Upper Silesia has been part of Greater Moravia, the Duchy of Bohemia, the Piast Kingdom of Poland, again of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown and the Holy Roman Empire, as well as of...

n duchies. It wasn't however until 1335 when Polish kings renounced their hereditary rights to Silesia. The province became part of the Bohemian Crown
Lands of the Bohemian Crown
The Lands of the Bohemian Crown , also called the Lands of the Crown of Saint Wenceslas or simply the Bohemian Crown or Czech Crown lands , refers to the area connected by feudal relations under the joint rule of the Bohemian kings...

 under the Holy Roman Empire, and passed with that crown to the Habsburg Monarchy
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

 of Austria in 1526.

In the 15th century there were several border changes of the province. First of all parts of the territories that were ransfered to the Silesian Piasts in 1178, were bought by the Polish kings in the second half of the 15th century (the Duchy of Oświęcim
Duchy of Oswiecim
The Duchy of Oświęcim , or the Duchy of Auschwitz , was one of many Duchies of Silesia, formed in the aftermath of the fragmentation of Poland....

 in 1457 and the Duchy of Zator
Duchy of Zator
The Duchy of Zator was one of many Duchies of Silesia.It was split off the Duchy of Oświęcim, when after eleven years of joint rule the sons of Duke Casimir I in 1445 finally divided the lands among themselves, whereby his eldest son Wenceslaus received the territory around the town of Zator...

 in 1494). The Bytom area however remained in the possession of the Silesian Piasts, even though it was a part of the Diocese of Kraków. Secondly the Duchy of Crossen
Krosno Odrzanskie
Krosno Odrzańskie is a city on the east bank of Oder River, at the confluence with the Bóbr. The town in Western Poland with 12,500 inhabitants is the capital of Krosno County...

 was inherited by Margraviate of Brandenburg
Margraviate of Brandenburg
The Margraviate of Brandenburg was a major principality of the Holy Roman Empire from 1157 to 1806. Also known as the March of Brandenburg , it played a pivotal role in the history of Germany and Central Europe....

 in 1476 and, with the renunciation by King Ferdinand I
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

 and estates of Bohemia in 1538, it became an integral part of Brandenburg.

In 1742, most of Silesia was seized by King Frederick the Great
Frederick II of Prussia
Frederick II was a King in Prussia and a King of Prussia from the Hohenzollern dynasty. In his role as a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire, he was also Elector of Brandenburg. He was in personal union the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel...

 of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

 in the War of the Austrian Succession
War of the Austrian Succession
The War of the Austrian Succession  – including King George's War in North America, the Anglo-Spanish War of Jenkins' Ear, and two of the three Silesian wars – involved most of the powers of Europe over the question of Maria Theresa's succession to the realms of the House of Habsburg.The...

 and subsequently made the Prussian Province of Silesia
Province of Silesia
The Province of Silesia was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1815 to 1919.-Geography:The territory comprised the bulk of the former Bohemian crown land of Silesia and the County of Kladsko, which King Frederick the Great had conquered from the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy in the 18th...

. Consequently, Silesia became part of the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 when it was proclaimed in 1871.

After World War I, Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia is the southeastern part of the historical and geographical region of Silesia. Since the 9th century, Upper Silesia has been part of Greater Moravia, the Duchy of Bohemia, the Piast Kingdom of Poland, again of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown and the Holy Roman Empire, as well as of...

 was contested by Germany and the newly-independent Second Polish Republic
Second Polish Republic
The Second Polish Republic, Second Commonwealth of Poland or interwar Poland refers to Poland between the two world wars; a period in Polish history in which Poland was restored as an independent state. Officially known as the Republic of Poland or the Commonwealth of Poland , the Polish state was...

. The League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 organized a plebiscite
Upper Silesia plebiscite
The Upper Silesia plebiscite was a border referendum mandated by the Versailles Treaty and carried out in March 1921 to determine a section of the border between Weimar Germany and Poland. The region was ethnically mixed, chiefly among Germans, Poles and Silesians. According to prewar statistics,...

 to decide the issue in 1921, whose results (disputed by Poland) were skewed by the German population and therefore wished to remain part of Germany. Following the third Silesian Uprising (1921), however, the easternmost portion of Upper Silesia (including Katowice
Katowice
Katowice is a city in Silesia in southern Poland, on the Kłodnica and Rawa rivers . Katowice is located in the Silesian Highlands, about north of the Silesian Beskids and about southeast of the Sudetes Mountains.It is the central district of the Upper Silesian Metropolis, with a population of 2...

), with a majority ethnic Polish population, was awarded back to Poland, where it was formed into the Silesian Voivodeship. The Prussian Province of Silesia within Germany was then divided into the provinces of Lower Silesia
Province of Lower Silesia
The Province of Lower Silesia was a province of the Free State of Prussia from 1919 to 1945. Between 1938 and 1941 it was reunited with Upper Silesia as the Silesia Province. The capital of Lower Silesia was Breslau...

 and Upper Silesia
Province of Upper Silesia
The Province of Upper Silesia was a province of the Free State of Prussia created in the aftermath of World War I. It comprised much of the region of Upper Silesia and was eventually divided into two administrative regions , Kattowitz and Oppeln...

. Meanwhile Austrian Silesia
Austrian Silesia
Austrian Silesia , officially the Duchy of Upper and Lower Silesia was an autonomous region of the Kingdom of Bohemia and the Austrian Empire, from 1867 a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria-Hungary...

, the small portion of Silesia retained by Austria after the Silesian Wars
Silesian Wars
The Silesian Wars were a series of wars between Prussia and Austria for control of Silesia. They formed parts of the larger War of the Austrian Succession and Seven Years' War. They eventually ended with Silesia being incorporated into Prussia, and Austrian recognition of this...

, was mostly awarded to the new Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 (becoming known as Czech Silesia
Czech Silesia
Czech Silesia is an unofficial name of one of the three Czech lands and a section of the Silesian historical region. It is located in the north-east of the Czech Republic, predominantly in the Moravian-Silesian Region, with a section in the northern Olomouc Region...

), although most of Cieszyn
Cieszyn
Cieszyn is a border-town and the seat of Cieszyn County, Silesian Voivodeship, southern Poland. It has 36,109 inhabitants . Cieszyn lies on the Olza River, a tributary of the Oder river, opposite Český Těšín....

 and territory to the east of it went to Poland (see Zaolzie
Zaolzie
Zaolzie is the Polish name for an area now in the Czech Republic which was disputed between interwar Poland and Czechoslovakia. The name means "lands beyond the Olza River"; it is also called Śląsk zaolziański, meaning "trans-Olza Silesia". Equivalent terms in other languages include Zaolší in...

).

In 1945, at the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, all of the former German Silesia was occupied by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, and under the post-war border changes
Oder-Neisse line
The Oder–Neisse line is the border between Germany and Poland which was drawn in the aftermath of World War II. The line is formed primarily by the Oder and Lusatian Neisse rivers, and meets the Baltic Sea west of the seaport cities of Szczecin and Świnoujście...

 most of it eventually became part of Poland. As a result the vast majority of the ethnic German population that had been settled there for centuries was expelled by force
Flight and expulsion of Germans from Poland during and after World War II
The flight and expulsion of Germans from Poland was the largest of a series of flights and expulsions of Germans in Europe during and after World War II...

 and replaced by Polish settlers
Repatriation of Poles (1944–1946)
The Polish population transfers from the former eastern territories of Poland also known as the flight and expulsion of Poles towards the end – and in the aftermath – of World War II refer to the forced migration of Poles between 1944–1946...

, most of whom had themselves been expropriated and forcefully expelled from the former eastern parts of Poland (Kresy
Kresy
The Polish term Kresy refers to a land considered by Poles as historical eastern provinces of their country. Today, it makes western Ukraine, western Belarus, as well as eastern Lithuania, with such major cities, as Lviv, Vilnius, and Hrodna. This territory belonged to the Polish-Lithuanian...

) that had been occupied by the Soviet Union.

The administrative division of Silesia within Poland has changed several times since 1945. Since 1999 it has been divided between Lower Silesian Voivodeship
Lower Silesian Voivodeship
Lower Silesian Voivodeship, or Lower Silesia Province , is one of the 16 voivodeships into which Poland is currently divided. It lies in southwestern Poland...

, Opole Voivodeship
Opole Voivodeship
- Administrative division :Opole Voivodeship is divided into 12 counties : 1 city county and 11 land counties. These are further divided into 71 gminas.The counties are listed in the following table .- Economy :...

, Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship, or Silesia Province , is a voivodeship, or province, in southern Poland, centering on the historic region known as Upper Silesia...

 and Lubusz Voivodeship
Lubusz Voivodeship
- Administrative division :Lubusz Voivodeship is divided into 14 counties : 2 city counties and 12 land counties. These are further divided into 83 gminas....

. Czech Silesia is now part of the Czech Republic, forming the Moravian-Silesian Region
Moravian-Silesian Region
Moravian-Silesian Region , or Moravo-Silesian Region, is one of 14 administrative Regions of the Czech Republic, until May 2001 it was formerly called the Ostrava Region . The region is located in the north-eastern part of its historical region of Moravia and in most of the Czech part of the...

 and the northern part of Olomouc Region
Olomouc Region
Olomouc Region is an administrative unit of the Czech Republic, located in the north-western and central part of its historical region of Moravia and in a small part of the historical region of Silesia . It is named for its capital Olomouc.-External links:* *...

. Germany retains the Silesian-Lusatian region (Niederschlesien-Oberlausitz or Schlesische Oberlausitz) west of the Neisse
Lusatian Neisse
The Lusatian Neisse is a long river in Central Europe. The river has its source in the Jizera Mountains near Nová Ves nad Nisou, Czech Republic, reaching the tripoint with Poland and Germany at Zittau after , and later forms the Polish-German border on a length of...

, which is part of the federal-state of Saxony.

Geography

Most of Silesia is relatively flat, although its southern border is generally mountainous. It is primarily located in a swath running along both banks of the upper and middle Oder (Odra) river, but it extends eastwards to the upper Vistula
Vistula
The Vistula is the longest and the most important river in Poland, at 1,047 km in length. The watershed area of the Vistula is , of which lies within Poland ....

 river. The region also includes many tributaries of the Oder, including the Bóbr
Bóbr
Bóbr is a river which runs through the north of the Czech Republic and the southwest of Poland, a left tributary of the Oder River, with a length of and a basin area of .The Bóbr originates in the Rýchory mountains in the southeast of the Karkonosze range, where the source is...

 (and its tributary the Kwisa
Kwisa
The Kwisa is a river in south-western Poland, a left tributary of the Bóbr, which itself is a left tributary of the Oder river.It rises in the Izera Mountains, part of the Western Sudetes range, where it runs along the border with the Czech Republic...

), the Barycz
Barycz
The Barycz is a river in Greater Poland and Lower Silesian Voivodeships in western Poland. It is a right tributary of the Oder River. The river course roughly marked the northern border of the historic region of Lower Silesia with Greater Poland....

 and the Nysa Kłodzka. The Sudeten mountains
Sudeten mountains
The Sudetes is a mountain range in Central Europe. It is also known as the Sudeten or Sudety Mountains....

 run along most of the southern edge of the region, though at its south-eastern extreme it reaches the Silesian Beskids
Silesian Beskids
Silesian Beskids is one of the Beskids mountain ranges in Outer Western Carpathians in southern Silesian Voivodeship, Poland and the eastern Moravian-Silesian Region, Czech Republic.Most of the range lies in Poland...

 and Moravian-Silesian Beskids
Moravian-Silesian Beskids
The Moravian-Silesian Beskids is a mountain range in the Czech Republic with a small part reaching to Slovakia. It lies on the historical division between Moravia and Silesia, hence the name...

, which belong to the Carpathian
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

 range.

Historically, Silesia was bounded to the west by the Kwisa
Kwisa
The Kwisa is a river in south-western Poland, a left tributary of the Bóbr, which itself is a left tributary of the Oder river.It rises in the Izera Mountains, part of the Western Sudetes range, where it runs along the border with the Czech Republic...

 and Bóbr
Bóbr
Bóbr is a river which runs through the north of the Czech Republic and the southwest of Poland, a left tributary of the Oder River, with a length of and a basin area of .The Bóbr originates in the Rýchory mountains in the southeast of the Karkonosze range, where the source is...

 rivers, while the territory west of the Kwisa was in Upper Lusatia
Lusatia
Lusatia is a historical region in Central Europe. It stretches from the Bóbr and Kwisa rivers in the east to the Elbe valley in the west, today located within the German states of Saxony and Brandenburg as well as in the Lower Silesian and Lubusz voivodeships of western Poland...

 (earlier Milsko). However, because part of Upper Lusatia was included in the Province of Silesia
Province of Silesia
The Province of Silesia was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1815 to 1919.-Geography:The territory comprised the bulk of the former Bohemian crown land of Silesia and the County of Kladsko, which King Frederick the Great had conquered from the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy in the 18th...

 in 1815, in Germany Görlitz
Görlitz
Görlitz is a town in Germany. It is the easternmost town in the country, located on the Lusatian Neisse River in the Bundesland of Saxony. It is opposite the Polish town of Zgorzelec, which was a part of Görlitz until 1945. Historically, Görlitz was in the region of Upper Lusatia...

, Niederschlesischer Oberlausitzkreis
Niederschlesischer Oberlausitzkreis
The Niederschlesischer Oberlausitzkreis was the easternmost Kreis of the Free State of Saxony and Germany. Neighboring districts were Löbau-Zittau, Bautzen, Kamenz and the district Spree-Neiße in Brandenburg...

 and neighbouring areas are considered parts of historical Silesia. Those districts, along with Poland's Lower Silesian Voivodeship
Lower Silesian Voivodeship
Lower Silesian Voivodeship, or Lower Silesia Province , is one of the 16 voivodeships into which Poland is currently divided. It lies in southwestern Poland...

 and parts of Lubusz Voivodeship
Lubusz Voivodeship
- Administrative division :Lubusz Voivodeship is divided into 14 counties : 2 city counties and 12 land counties. These are further divided into 83 gminas....

, make up the geographic region of Lower Silesia
Lower Silesia
Lower Silesia ; is the northwestern part of the historical and geographical region of Silesia; Upper Silesia is to the southeast.Throughout its history Lower Silesia has been under the control of the medieval Kingdom of Poland, the Kingdom of Bohemia and the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy from 1526...

.

Silesia has undergone a similar notional extension at its eastern extreme. Historically it extended only as far as the Brynica
Brynica
Brynica is a river in Silesia and Lesser Poland , Poland. It has a length of 55 km and is the main confluence of Czarna Przemsza. It has a source in Wymysłów, and flows through Piekary Śląskie, Wojkowice, Czeladź, Siemianowice Śląskie, Świerklaniec, Katowice, Sosnowiec and finally Mysłowice...

 river, which separates it from Zagłębie Dąbrowskie in the Lesser Poland
Lesser Poland
Lesser Poland is one of the historical regions of Poland, with its capital in the city of Kraków. It forms the southeastern corner of the country, and should not be confused with the modern Lesser Poland Voivodeship, which covers only a small, southern part of Lesser Poland...

 region. However to many Poles today, Silesia (Śląsk) is understood to cover all of the area around Katowice, including Zagłębie. This interpretation is given official sanction in the use of the name Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship, or Silesia Province , is a voivodeship, or province, in southern Poland, centering on the historic region known as Upper Silesia...

 (województwo śląskie) for the province covering this area. In fact the word Śląsk in Polish (when used without qualification) now commonly refers exclusively to this area (also called Górny Śląsk or Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia is the southeastern part of the historical and geographical region of Silesia. Since the 9th century, Upper Silesia has been part of Greater Moravia, the Duchy of Bohemia, the Piast Kingdom of Poland, again of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown and the Holy Roman Empire, as well as of...

).

As well as the Katowice area, historical Upper Silesia also includes the Opole
Opole
Opole is a city in southern Poland on the Oder River . It has a population of 125,992 and is the capital of the Upper Silesia, Opole Voivodeship and, also the seat of Opole County...

 region (Poland's Opole Voivodeship
Opole Voivodeship
- Administrative division :Opole Voivodeship is divided into 12 counties : 1 city county and 11 land counties. These are further divided into 71 gminas.The counties are listed in the following table .- Economy :...

) and Czech Silesia
Czech Silesia
Czech Silesia is an unofficial name of one of the three Czech lands and a section of the Silesian historical region. It is located in the north-east of the Czech Republic, predominantly in the Moravian-Silesian Region, with a section in the northern Olomouc Region...

. Czech Silesia consists of a part of the Moravian-Silesian Region
Moravian-Silesian Region
Moravian-Silesian Region , or Moravo-Silesian Region, is one of 14 administrative Regions of the Czech Republic, until May 2001 it was formerly called the Ostrava Region . The region is located in the north-eastern part of its historical region of Moravia and in most of the Czech part of the...

 and the Jeseník District
Jeseník District
Jeseník District is a district in the Olomouc Region of the Czech Republic. Its seat is the town Jeseník.The area called Jeseníky region is in the most northern bulge of Silesia and Moravia. It is closed by frontier with Poland that passes westward through Rychleby Hills and crosses the Nysa...

 in the Olomouc Region
Olomouc Region
Olomouc Region is an administrative unit of the Czech Republic, located in the north-western and central part of its historical region of Moravia and in a small part of the historical region of Silesia . It is named for its capital Olomouc.-External links:* *...

.

Natural resources

Silesia is a resource-rich and populous region. Bituminous and lignite coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

 is abundant, and a substantial manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

 industry is present, particularly in Upper Silesia. Lower Silesia features large copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 mining and processing between the cities of Legnica
Legnica
Legnica is a town in south-western Poland, in Silesia, in the central part of Lower Silesia, on the plain of Legnica, riverside: Kaczawa and Czarna Woda. Between 1 June 1975 and 31 December 1998 Legnica was the capital of the Legnica Voivodeship. It is currently the seat of the county...

, Głogów, Lubin and Polkowice. Recently, the estimate of lignite
Lignite
Lignite, often referred to as brown coal, or Rosebud coal by Northern Pacific Railroad,is a soft brown fuel with characteristics that put it somewhere between coal and peat...

 reserves near Legnica has been upgraded to about 35 billion tonnes, making them some of the largest in the world.

The following minerals have also been mined in Silesia: zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

, silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

, cadmium
Cadmium
Cadmium is a chemical element with the symbol Cd and atomic number 48. This soft, bluish-white metal is chemically similar to the two other stable metals in group 12, zinc and mercury. Similar to zinc, it prefers oxidation state +2 in most of its compounds and similar to mercury it shows a low...

, arsenic
Arsenic
Arsenic is a chemical element with the symbol As, atomic number 33 and relative atomic mass 74.92. Arsenic occurs in many minerals, usually in conjunction with sulfur and metals, and also as a pure elemental crystal. It was first documented by Albertus Magnus in 1250.Arsenic is a metalloid...

, lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

, gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

, methane
Methane
Methane is a chemical compound with the chemical formula . It is the simplest alkane, the principal component of natural gas, and probably the most abundant organic compound on earth. The relative abundance of methane makes it an attractive fuel...

, iron ore, limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

, marl
Marl
Marl or marlstone is a calcium carbonate or lime-rich mud or mudstone which contains variable amounts of clays and aragonite. Marl was originally an old term loosely applied to a variety of materials, most of which occur as loose, earthy deposits consisting chiefly of an intimate mixture of clay...

, marble
Marble
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite.Geologists use the term "marble" to refer to metamorphosed limestone; however stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone.Marble is commonly used for...

, and basalt
Basalt
Basalt is a common extrusive volcanic rock. It is usually grey to black and fine-grained due to rapid cooling of lava at the surface of a planet. It may be porphyritic containing larger crystals in a fine matrix, or vesicular, or frothy scoria. Unweathered basalt is black or grey...

. Historically, also uranium used to be mined.

In post-communist times, however, the outdated nature of many facilities has led to environmental problems and substantial transition away from the resource-based to service-based economy.
Annual production of minerals in Silesia
Mineral Name Production (tonnes) Reference
Bituminous coal 95,000,000
Copper 571,000
Zinc 160,000
Silver 1,200
Cadmium 500
Lead 70,000


The region also has a thriving agricultural
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 sector, which produces cereal
Cereal
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

s (wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn), potato
Potato
The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family . The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species...

es, rapeseed
Rapeseed
Rapeseed , also known as rape, oilseed rape, rapa, rappi, rapaseed is a bright yellow flowering member of the family Brassicaceae...

, sugar beet
Sugar beet
Sugar beet, a cultivated plant of Beta vulgaris, is a plant whose tuber contains a high concentration of sucrose. It is grown commercially for sugar production. Sugar beets and other B...

s and others. Milk production is well developed. The Opole Silesia has for decades occupied the top spot in Poland for their indices of effectiveness of agricultural land use.

Mountainous parts of southern Silesia feature many significant and attractive tourism destinations (e.g., Karpacz
Karpacz
Karpacz is a spa town and ski resort in Jelenia Góra County, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, south-western Poland, and one of the most important centres for mountain hiking and skiing, including ski jumping. Its population is about 5,000...

, Szczyrk
Szczyrk
Szczyrk is a town in the Beskid Śląski mountains of southern Poland, situated in the valley of the Żylica river. It is part of the Silesian Voivodeship , previously being part of the Bielsko-Biała Voivodeship . It has a population of 5,810 people .The town is a popular winter sports centre, with...

, Wisła).

Silesia is generally well forested. This is because greenness is generally highly desirable by the local population, particularly in the highly industrialized parts of Silesia.

Demographics

Modern Silesia is inhabited by Poles
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

, Germans, Czechs and Silesians
Silesians
Silesians , are the inhabitants of Silesia in Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. A small diaspora community also exists in Karnes County, Texas in the USA....

. The last Polish census of 2002 showed that the Silesians are the largest national minority in Poland, Germans being the second; both groups are located mostly in Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia is the southeastern part of the historical and geographical region of Silesia. Since the 9th century, Upper Silesia has been part of Greater Moravia, the Duchy of Bohemia, the Piast Kingdom of Poland, again of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown and the Holy Roman Empire, as well as of...

. The Czech part of Silesia is inhabited by Czechs, Moravians
Moravians (ethnic group)
Moravians are the modern West Slavic inhabitants of the historical land of Moravia, the easternmost part of the Czech Republic, which includes the Moravian Slovakia. They speak the two main groups of Moravian dialects , the transitional Bohemian-Moravian dialect subgroup and standard Czech...

, Silesians
Silesians
Silesians , are the inhabitants of Silesia in Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. A small diaspora community also exists in Karnes County, Texas in the USA....

 and Poles
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

.

Before the Second World War, Silesia was inhabited mostly by Germans and Poles, in addition to German and Polish Jews and Czechs. In 1905, a census showed that 75% of the population were Germans and 25% Poles. Most Jews were murdered in the Holocaust in the German concentration camps. The vast majority of Germans fled or were expelled from Silesia during and after World War II. Most German Silesians and their descendants live today in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany, many of them working as miners in the Ruhr area
Ruhr Area
The Ruhr, by German-speaking geographers and historians more accurately called Ruhr district or Ruhr region , is an urban area in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. With 4435 km² and a population of some 5.2 million , it is the largest urban agglomeration in Germany...

, like their ancestors did in the Silesian mines. In order to smooth their integration into West German society after 1945, they were organized into officially recognized organisations, like the Landsmannschaft Schlesien, financed from the federal German budget. One of its most notable but controversial spokesmen was the CDU
Christian Democratic Union (Germany)
The Christian Democratic Union of Germany is a Christian democratic and conservative political party in Germany. It is regarded as on the centre-right of the German political spectrum...

 politician Herbert Hupka
Herbert Hupka
Herbert Hupka was a German journalist and politician .Hupka was born in Diyatalawa, Sri Lanka, to a Silesian German Catholic professor Erich Hupka and a Jewish-German Lutheran mother Sara Rosenthal. Herbert Hupka raised in Ratibor, Upper Silesia...

. The prevailing public opinion in Germany is that these organisations will achieve reconciliation with the Polish Silesians, which is gradually occurring. Many of the pre-war Germanised Slavic Silesians living in Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia
Upper Silesia is the southeastern part of the historical and geographical region of Silesia. Since the 9th century, Upper Silesia has been part of Greater Moravia, the Duchy of Bohemia, the Piast Kingdom of Poland, again of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown and the Holy Roman Empire, as well as of...

 have remained culturally bound to and have sought work in the Federal Republic of Germany after 1990, along with their ethnic German
Ethnic German
Ethnic Germans historically also ), also collectively referred to as the German diaspora, refers to people who are of German ethnicity. Many are not born in Europe or in the modern-day state of Germany or hold German citizenship...

 Silesian countrymen.

Silesia is perceived by many inhabitants as a distinct region with its own culture. Also stereotyping of Silesians and by Silesians themselves is common.

Cities

The following table lists the cities in Silesia with a population greater than 100,000 (2006) (with German names in italics):
Wrocław
Ostrava
Ostrava
Ostrava is the third largest city in the Czech Republic and the second largest urban agglomeration after Prague. Located close to the Polish border, it is also the administrative center of the Moravian-Silesian Region and of the Municipality with Extended Competence. Ostrava was candidate for the...

Katowice
Katowice
Katowice is a city in Silesia in southern Poland, on the Kłodnica and Rawa rivers . Katowice is located in the Silesian Highlands, about north of the Silesian Beskids and about southeast of the Sudetes Mountains.It is the central district of the Upper Silesian Metropolis, with a population of 2...

Bielsko-Biała
Bielsko-Biała
-Economy and Industry:Nowadays Bielsko-Biała is one of the best-developed parts of Poland. It was ranked 2nd best city for business in that country by Forbes. About 5% of people are unemployed . Bielsko-Biała is famous for its textile, machine-building, and especially automotive industry...

Opole
Opole
Opole is a city in southern Poland on the Oder River . It has a population of 125,992 and is the capital of the Upper Silesia, Opole Voivodeship and, also the seat of Opole County...

Görlitz
Görlitz
Görlitz is a town in Germany. It is the easternmost town in the country, located on the Lusatian Neisse River in the Bundesland of Saxony. It is opposite the Polish town of Zgorzelec, which was a part of Görlitz until 1945. Historically, Görlitz was in the region of Upper Lusatia...


Name Population Area Administrative Country
1
Wrocław (Breslau) 632,162 293 km² Lower Silesian V.
Lower Silesian Voivodeship
Lower Silesian Voivodeship, or Lower Silesia Province , is one of the 16 voivodeships into which Poland is currently divided. It lies in southwestern Poland...

 
2
Ostrava
Ostrava
Ostrava is the third largest city in the Czech Republic and the second largest urban agglomeration after Prague. Located close to the Polish border, it is also the administrative center of the Moravian-Silesian Region and of the Municipality with Extended Competence. Ostrava was candidate for the...

*(Ostrau)
336,556 214 km² Moravian-Silesian R.
Moravian-Silesian Region
Moravian-Silesian Region , or Moravo-Silesian Region, is one of 14 administrative Regions of the Czech Republic, until May 2001 it was formerly called the Ostrava Region . The region is located in the north-eastern part of its historical region of Moravia and in most of the Czech part of the...

 
3
Katowice
Katowice
Katowice is a city in Silesia in southern Poland, on the Kłodnica and Rawa rivers . Katowice is located in the Silesian Highlands, about north of the Silesian Beskids and about southeast of the Sudetes Mountains.It is the central district of the Upper Silesian Metropolis, with a population of 2...

(Kattowitz)
317,220 165 km² Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship, or Silesia Province , is a voivodeship, or province, in southern Poland, centering on the historic region known as Upper Silesia...

 
4
Gliwice
Gliwice
Gliwice is a city in Upper Silesia in southern Poland, near Katowice. Gliwice is the west district of the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union – a metropolis with a population of 2 million...

(Gleiwitz)
199,451 134 km² Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship, or Silesia Province , is a voivodeship, or province, in southern Poland, centering on the historic region known as Upper Silesia...

 
5
Bytom
Bytom
Bytom is a city in Silesia in southern Poland, near Katowice. The central-western district of the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union - metropolis with the population of 2 millions. Bytom is located in the Silesian Highlands, on the Bytomka river .The city belongs to the Silesian Voivodeship since...

(Beuthen)
187,943 69 km² Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship, or Silesia Province , is a voivodeship, or province, in southern Poland, centering on the historic region known as Upper Silesia...

 
6
Zabrze
Zabrze
Zabrze is a city in Silesia in southern Poland, near Katowice. The west district of the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union is a metropolis with a population of around 2 million...

(Hindenburg O.S.)
191,247 80 km² Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship, or Silesia Province , is a voivodeship, or province, in southern Poland, centering on the historic region known as Upper Silesia...

 
7 Bielsko-Biała
Bielsko-Biała
-Economy and Industry:Nowadays Bielsko-Biała is one of the best-developed parts of Poland. It was ranked 2nd best city for business in that country by Forbes. About 5% of people are unemployed . Bielsko-Biała is famous for its textile, machine-building, and especially automotive industry...

* (Bielitz-Biala)
176,864 125 km² Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship, or Silesia Province , is a voivodeship, or province, in southern Poland, centering on the historic region known as Upper Silesia...

 
8 Ruda Śląska
Ruda Slaska
Ruda Śląska is a city in Silesia in southern Poland, near Katowice. It is a district in the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union, a metropolis with a population of 2 million. It is located in the Silesian Highlands, on the Kłodnica river ....

(Ruda)
146,658 78 km² Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship, or Silesia Province , is a voivodeship, or province, in southern Poland, centering on the historic region known as Upper Silesia...

 
9
Rybnik
Rybnik
Rybnik is a city in southern Poland, in the Silesian Voivodeship. Rybnik is located close to the border with the Czech Republic and just outside the southern border of the largest urban area in Poland, the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union...

141,580 148 km² Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship, or Silesia Province , is a voivodeship, or province, in southern Poland, centering on the historic region known as Upper Silesia...

 
10
Tychy
Tychy
Tychy is a city in Silesia, Poland, approximately south of Katowice. Situated on the southern edge of the Upper Silesian industrial district, the city borders Katowice to the north, Mikołów to the west, Bieruń to the east and Kobiór to the south...

(Tichau)
131,153 82 km² Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship, or Silesia Province , is a voivodeship, or province, in southern Poland, centering on the historic region known as Upper Silesia...

 
11
Opole
Opole
Opole is a city in southern Poland on the Oder River . It has a population of 125,992 and is the capital of the Upper Silesia, Opole Voivodeship and, also the seat of Opole County...

(Oppeln)
128,268 97 km² Opole Voivodeship
Opole Voivodeship
- Administrative division :Opole Voivodeship is divided into 12 counties : 1 city county and 11 land counties. These are further divided into 71 gminas.The counties are listed in the following table .- Economy :...

 
12 Wałbrzych (Waldenburg) 126,465 85 km² Lower Silesian V.
Lower Silesian Voivodeship
Lower Silesian Voivodeship, or Lower Silesia Province , is one of the 16 voivodeships into which Poland is currently divided. It lies in southwestern Poland...

 
13
Zielona Góra
Zielona Góra
Zielona Góra is a city in Lubusz Voivodeship, in western Poland, with 117,557 inhabitants within the city limits and 294,000 inhabitants within the metropolitan area, including three neighbouring counties ....

(Grünberg)
118,221 58 km² Lubusz Voivodeship
Lubusz Voivodeship
- Administrative division :Lubusz Voivodeship is divided into 14 counties : 2 city counties and 12 land counties. These are further divided into 83 gminas....

 
14
Chorzów
Chorzów
Chorzów is a city in Silesia in southern Poland, near Katowice. Chorzów is one of the central districts of the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union - a metropolis with a population of 2 million...

(Königshütte)
114,686 33 km² Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship, or Silesia Province , is a voivodeship, or province, in southern Poland, centering on the historic region known as Upper Silesia...

 
15
Legnica
Legnica
Legnica is a town in south-western Poland, in Silesia, in the central part of Lower Silesia, on the plain of Legnica, riverside: Kaczawa and Czarna Woda. Between 1 June 1975 and 31 December 1998 Legnica was the capital of the Legnica Voivodeship. It is currently the seat of the county...

(Liegnitz)
105,750 56 km² Lower Silesian V.
Lower Silesian Voivodeship
Lower Silesian Voivodeship, or Lower Silesia Province , is one of the 16 voivodeships into which Poland is currently divided. It lies in southwestern Poland...

 
* Only part in Silesia

See also

  • Architecture of Silesia
  • Czech Silesia
    Czech Silesia
    Czech Silesia is an unofficial name of one of the three Czech lands and a section of the Silesian historical region. It is located in the north-east of the Czech Republic, predominantly in the Moravian-Silesian Region, with a section in the northern Olomouc Region...

  • Austrian Silesia
    Austrian Silesia
    Austrian Silesia , officially the Duchy of Upper and Lower Silesia was an autonomous region of the Kingdom of Bohemia and the Austrian Empire, from 1867 a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria-Hungary...

  • Expulsion of Germans after World War II
    Expulsion of Germans after World War II
    The later stages of World War II, and the period after the end of that war, saw the forced migration of millions of German nationals and ethnic Germans from various European states and territories, mostly into the areas which would become post-war Germany and post-war Austria...

  • Expulsion of Poles by Germany
    Expulsion of Poles by Germany
    The Expulsion of Poles by Germany was a prolonged anti-Polish campaign of ethnic cleansing by violent and terror-inspiring means lasting nearly a century. It began with the concept of Pan-Germanism developed in early 19th century and continued in the racial policy of Nazi Germany asserting the...

  • List of Silesians
  • Silesian cuisine
    Silesian cuisine
    Silesian Cuisine is the local culinary tradition of Silesia, a region in Central Europe....

  • Silesian language
  • Silesian German
    Silesian German
    Silesian German language , is a German dialect/language spoken in Silesia. Today, the area is mainly in southwestern Poland, but as well as in northeastern Czech Republic and in eastern Germany...

  • Silesians
    Silesians
    Silesians , are the inhabitants of Silesia in Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. A small diaspora community also exists in Karnes County, Texas in the USA....

  • Slezak
    Slezak
    The Slezak surname, or and , originated from the Czech designation of the inhabitant of Silesia , according to onomastic research. Although variations amongst bearers of the perennial and distinguished Slezak surname may exist, the archetypal form of Slezak is esteemed...


Further reading

  • Documents on British Foreign Policy 1919–1939, 1st Series, volume XI, Upper Silesia, Poland, and the Baltic States, January 1920-March 1921, edited by Rohan Butler, MA, J.P.T.Bury, MA, & M.E.Lambert, MA, Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO), London, 1961 (amended edition 1974), ISBN 0-11-591511-7
  • Documents on British Foreign Policy 1919–1939, 1st Series, volume XVI, Upper Silesia, March 1921 – November 1922, edited by W.N. Medlicott, MA, D.Lit., Douglas Dakin, MA, PhD, & M.E.Lambert, MA, HMSO, London, 1968
  • Kleineberg A., Marx Ch., Knobloch E., Lelgemann D.: Germania und die Insel Thule. Die Entschlüsselung von Ptolemaios: "Atlas der Oikumene". Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2010.
  • Microcosm, Portrait of a Central European City, by Norman Davies
    Norman Davies
    Professor Ivor Norman Richard Davies FBA, FRHistS is a leading English historian of Welsh descent, noted for his publications on the history of Europe, Poland, and the United Kingdom.- Academic career :...

     and Roger Moorhouse
    Roger Moorhouse
    Roger Moorhouse is a British historian and author. Born in Stockport, Cheshire, he was raised in Hertfordshire and attended Berkhamsted School. Inspired to return to education by the East European Revolutions of 1989, Moorhouse enrolled in the School of Slavonic and East European Studies of the...

     (Jonathan Cape
    Jonathan Cape
    Jonathan Cape was a London-based publisher founded in 1919 as "Page & Co" by Herbert Jonathan Cape , formerly a manager at Duckworth who had worked his way up from a position of bookshop errand boy. Cape brought with him the rights to cheap editions of the popular author Elinor Glyn and sales of...

    , 2002) ISBN 0-224-06243-3
  • Dehio - Handbuch der Kunstdenkmäler in Polen: Schlesien, Herder-Institut Marburg and Krajowy Osrodek Badan i Dokumentacji Zabytkow Warszawa, Deutscher Kunstverlag 2005, ISBN 3-422-03109-X

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK