Left to right: Hotel Diament • Main Post Office •
Market Square • Cathedral • Gliwice Castle
|o Mayor||Zygmunt Frankiewicz|
|o City||133.88 km2 (51.69 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||278 m (912 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||200 m (700 ft)|
|o Density||1,400/km2 (3,600/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|o Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Postal code||44-100 to 44-164|
|Area code(s)||+48 32|
Gliwice [?l?i'v?it?s?] (German: Gleiwitz) is a city in Upper Silesia, southern Poland, near Katowice. Gliwice is the west district of the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union - a metropolis with a population of 2 million. The city is located in the Silesian Highlands, on the K?odnica river (a tributary of the Oder).
Situated in the Silesian Voivodeship since its formation in 1999, Gliwice was previously in Katowice Voivodeship. Gliwice is one of the cities of a 2.7 million conurbation known as the Katowice urban area and is within the larger Silesian metropolitan area, which has a population of about 5,294,000 people. The population of the city is 185,196 (March 2014).
Founded in the 13th century, Gliwice is one of the oldest settlements in Upper Silesia. Despite rapid development during the industrial and socialist eras, the central Old Town fully retained its medieval character and part of its defensive walls date back to the 15th century.
Gliwice is primarily known as an industrial city with developed industries such as coal mining, steel making and production of machinery and chemicals. It is also an important educational centre, being home to most of the departments of the renowned Silesian University of Technology. The city's long history had a great impact on the architecture of its buildings and structures; the most characteristic feature of Gliwice is a 110-meter high radio mast, which is thought to be the world's tallest wooden construction.
Gliwice was first mentioned as a town in 1276 and was ruled during the Middle Ages by the Silesian Piast dukes. During the reign of Mieszko I Tanglefoot, the town was part of a duchy centered on Opole-Racibórz, and became a separate duchy in 1289. According to 14th-century writers, the town seemed defensive in character and was ruled by Siemowit of Bytom. The town became a possession of the Bohemia crown in 1335, passing with that crown to the Austrian Habsburgs as Gleiwitz in 1526.
Because of the vast expenses incurred by the Habsburg Monarchy during their 16th century wars against the Ottoman Empire, Gleiwitz was leased to Friedrich Zettritz for the amount of 14,000 thalers. Although the original lease was for a duration of 18 years, it was renewed in 1580 for 10 years and in 1589 for an additional 18 years.
During the mid 18th century Silesian Wars, Gleiwitz was taken from the Habsburg Monarchy by the Kingdom of Prussia along with the majority of Silesia. After the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Gleiwitz was administered in the Prussian district of Tost-Gleiwitz within the Province of Silesia in 1816. The city was incorporated with Prussia into the German Empire in 1871 during the unification of Germany. In 1897 Gleiwitz became its own Stadtkreis, or urban district.
The first coke-fired blast furnace on the European continent was constructed in Gleiwitz in 1796 under the direction of John Baildon. Gleiwitz began to develop into a major city through industrialization during the 19th century. The town's ironworks fostered the growth of other industrial fields in the area. The city's population in 1875 was 14,156. However, during the late 19th century Gleiwitz had: 14 distilleries, 2 breweries, 5 mills, 7 brick factories, 3 sawmills, a shingle factory, 8 chalk factories and 2 glassworks.
Other features of the 19th century industrialized Gleiwitz were a gasworks, a furnace factory, a beer bottling company, and a plant for asphalt and paste. Economically, Gleiwitz opened several banks, Savings and loan associations, and bond centers. Its tram system was completed in 1892, while its theater was opened in 1899; until World War II, Gleiwitz' theatre featured actors from throughout Europe and was one of the most famous theatres in the whole of Germany.
According to the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Gleiwitz's population in 1905 was 61,324. By 1911 it had two Protestant and four Roman Catholic churches, a synagogue, a mining school, a convent, a hospital, two orphanages, and a barracks. Gleiwitz was the center of the mining industry of Upper Silesia. It possessed a royal foundry, with which were connected machine factories and boilerworks. Other industrialized areas of the city had other foundries, meal mills, and factories producing wire, gas pipes, cement, and paper.
After the end of World War I, clashes between Poles and Germans occurred during the Polish insurrections in Silesia. Some ethnically Polish inhabitants of Upper Silesia wanted to incorporate the city into the Second Polish Republic. Seeking a peaceful solution to the conflict, the League of Nations held a plebiscite on 20 March 1921 to determine which country the city should belong to. In Gleiwitz, 32,029 votes (78.7% of given votes) were for remaining in Germany, Poland received 8,558 (21.0%) votes, and 113 (0.3%) votes were declared invalid. The total voter turnout was listed as 97.0%. This prompted another illegal insurrection by Poles. The League of Nations determined that three Silesian towns: Gleiwitz, Hindenburg and Beuthen would remain in Germany, and the eastern part of Upper Silesia with its main town of Katowice (Kattowitz) would join restored Poland.
An attack on a radio station in Gleiwitz on 31 August 1939, staged by the German secret police, served as a pretext, devised by Reinhard Heydrich under orders from Hitler, for Nazi Germany to invade Poland, which marked the start of the Second World War. From July 1944 to January 1945, Gliwice was the location for one of the many sub-camps of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
On 24 January 1945, Gliwice was occupied by Red Army as part of their Allied Occupation Zone. However they then illegally placed the province under Polish administration and announced it at the 1945 Potsdam Conference as a fait accompli. Most of the German population was expelled and replaced with Polish settlers expelled from eastern, previously Polish & Lithuanian lands annexed post war by the Soviet Union. It was incorporated into Poland's Silesian Voivodeship on 18 March 1945 after well over 600 years of Teutonic rule.
Gliwice is a major applied science hub for the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union. Gliwice is a seat of:
The Gliwice Canal (Kana? Gliwicki) links the harbour to the Oder River and thus to the waterway network across much of Germany and to the Baltic Sea. There is also an older K?odnica Canal (Kana? K?odnicki) which is no longer operational.
President of the city (i.e. Mayor) is Zygmunt Frankiewicz. Gliwice has 21 city districts, each of them with its own Rada Osiedlowa. They include in alphabetical order: Bojków, Brzezinka, Czechowice, Kopernik, Ligota Zabrska, ?ab?dy, Obro?ców Pokoju, Ostropa, Politechnika, Sikornik, So?nica, Stare Gliwice, Szobiszowice, ?ródmie?cie, ?wirki I Wigury, Trynek, Wilcze Gard?o, Wojska Polskiego, Wójtowa Wie?, Zatorze, ?erniki.
Members of Parliament (Sejm) elected from Bytom/Gliwice/Zabrze constituency include: Brzezi?ski Jacek (PO), Ch?opek Aleksander (PiS), Ga?a?ewski Andrzej (PO), G?ogowski Tomasz (PO), Ka?mierczak Jan (PO), Martyniuk Wac?aw (LiD), Religa Zbigniew (PiS), Seku?a Miros?aw (PO), Szarama Wojciech (PiS), Szumilas Krystyna, (PO).
Gliwice is twinned with the following cities: