Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Katowice, Poland

Katowice is in southern Poland, about 3,5 - 4 hours from Brno.  It's 60 km (37 miles) from Częstochowa and 69 km (43 miles) from Kraków.  Katowice has a population over 297,000 while the greater metropolitan area is home to 2,2 million people.

From 1327 the region was part of the Kingdom of Bohemia.  Katowice was founded around 1580 and gained city status in 1865.  It has been home to Germans, Silesians, Jews, and Poles.  It's an industrial city with a history of coal mines and steel factories.

The Silesian Parliament was built from 1925-1929.  It was once the biggest building in the country.  In 1012, it was declared a historic monument.

The Scouts Memorial is dedicated to the scouts who, for two days, defended the city against the Germans at the start of the war in 1939.

The Katowice History Museum was established in 1981.  It's rather small but completely covers the city's history.

St. Mary's Church dates back to the 19th century and is one of the oldest in Katowice.

Spodek ("saucer" in Polish) opened in 1971 and it's a multipurpose area.  It can hold up to 11,500 people and until 2014 it was the country's largest indoor venue.

The Silesian Library was founded in 1922 and became a public library in the 1930s. It is home to more than 2,5 million volumes.  It's one of the most modern libraries in Poland.

The Polish Soldier Monument was unveiled in 1978 and honours those Poles who fought in WWII.  The bronze statue weights 80 tons.

The Silesian Theatre was originally built as the "German Theatre" in 1907.  It is the largest theatre in Silesia.

The Church of Saints Peter and Paul was built between 1898 and 1902.  It served as the city's cathedral from 1925 to 1955.

The Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music was founded in 1929.  It provides university level courses.

The Silesian Insurgents' Monument was unveiled in 1967.  It is dedicated those who took part in the Silesian Uprisings of 1919, 1920, and 1921.

The Evangelical Church was built from 1856-1858 and it is the oldest building in the city.

The Christ the King Cathedral was built between 1927 and 1955.  It's the largest in Poland and there is a coal alter to honour miners.

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