Cieszyn: Wikis


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Town square


Coat of arms
Motto: Amore et non dolore
Cieszyn is located in Poland
Location of Cieszyn in Poland
Coordinates: 49°44′54.37″N 18°37′59.56″E / 49.7484361°N 18.6332111°E / 49.7484361; 18.6332111
Country  Poland
Voivodeship Silesian
County Cieszyn
First mentioned 1155
 - Mayor Bogdan Ficek
 - Total 28.69 km2 (11.1 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 - Total 36,014
 - Density 1,255.3/km2 (3,251.2/sq mi)
Postal code 43-400
Divided town. Cieszyn (left), Olza River (centre) and Český Těšín (right).

Cieszyn [ˈt​͡ɕɛʂɨn] ( listen) (Czech: Těšín, German: Teschen) is a border-town and the seat of Cieszyn County, Silesian Voivodeship, southern Poland. It has 36,109 inhabitants (2004). Cieszyn lies on the Olza River, a tributary of the Oder river, opposite Český Těšín.

It is situated in the heart of the historical region of Cieszyn Silesia. Until the end of World War I in 1918 it was a seat of the Duchy of Teschen. In 1920 Cieszyn Silesia was divided between the two newly created states of Poland and Czechoslovakia, with the smaller western suburbs of Teschen becoming part of Czechoslovakia as a new town called Český Těšín. The larger part of the town joined Poland as Cieszyn.[1]

The town combines both Polish and Austrian peculiarities in the style of its buildings. Because of several major fires and subsequent reconstructions (the last one in the late 18th century), the picturesque old town is sometimes called Little Vienna. The only relic of the ancient castle is a square tower, dating from the 12th century and 10th century romanesque chapel.



The area has been populated by Slavic peoples since at least the 7th century. According to the legend, in 810 three sons of a prince – Bolko, Leszko and Cieszko, met here after a long pilgrimage, found a spring, and decided to found a new settlement. They called it Cieszyn, from the words "cieszym się", "I'm happy". This well can be found at the ulica Trzech Braci ("Three Brothers Street"), just west of the town square.[2][3]

The town was the capital of the Duchy of Teschen and shared its history throughout the ages. It was in Teschen where Maria Theresa and Frederick II signed on 13 May 1779, the Teschen Peace Treaty, which put an end to the War of the Bavarian Succession. Teschen was known for its national, religious and cultural diversity, comprising mostly of German, Polish, Jewish and Czech communities.[4] There was also a small but lively Hungarian community in the town comprised mostly of officers and clerks.[5]

According to the Austrian census of 1910 the town had 22,489 inhabitants. 13,254 (61.5%) were German-speaking, 6,832 (31.7%) were Polish-speaking and 1,437 (6.7%) were Czech-speaking. Jews were not allowed to declare Yiddish, most of them thus declared German as their native language. The most populous religious groups were Roman Catholics with 15,138 (67.3%), followed by Protestants with 5,174 (23%) and the Jews with 2,112 (9.4%).[6]

The town was divided in July 1920, by the Spa Conference, a body formed by the Versailles Treaty, leaving a sizeable Polish community on the Czechoslovak side. Its smaller westerns suburbs became what is now the town of Český Těšín in the Czech Republic. Both towns were joined together again in October 1938 when Poland annexed the Zaolzie area together with Český Těšín. In 1939 whole Cieszyn Silesia was annexed by German forces and during the World War II was a part of Nazi Germany. After the war, the border between Poland and Czechoslovakia was restored to the one from 1920.

After Poland and the Czech Republic joined the European Union and its passport-free Schengen zone, border controls were abolished and residents of both the Polish and Czech part can move freely across the border.

On 19 July 1970, five Polish firefighters from Cieszyn died, when a bridge they were on fell into the Olza River, due to heavy flooding.


Since 19th century Cieszyn Silesia has been an important centre of Polish Protestantism. Currently Cieszyn is also the site of the Cieszyn Summer Film Festival, one of the most influential film festivals in Poland. There is also an earlier established Czech-Polish-Slovak film festival.


Cieszyn is an important centre of the electromechanical industry. It is also the site of the Olza Cieszyn sweets factory (where the famous Prince Polo wafers are made) and a Brackie brewery. The main source of income for many citizens is trade with the nearby Czech Republic and retail trade associated with transit across the two bridges over the Olza to Český Těšín.

Sites of interest

Copper engraving from c. 1640 depicting the town
  • Romanesque St. Nicholas' Chapel (Kaplica św. Mikołaja, a rotunda from the 11th century)
  • Remnants of the Piast dynasty castle
    • Piast castle tower (Wieża piastowska, mostly 14th century)
    • Gothical St. Mary Magdalene Church (Kościół Marii Magdaleny, 13th century)
  • Old Town Square (Rynek)
    • bourgeoisie houses (15th-19th centuries)
    • Town Hall (Ratusz, early 19th century)
  • Former minting house (18th century)
  • Museum of Cieszyn Silesia in the former Larisch family palace (Pałac Laryszów, Muzeum Śląska Cieszyńskiego, the first museum in Poland)
  • Castle Brewery (Browar zamkowy, 1846)
  • The protestant Church of Jesus (Kościół Jezusowy), with a baroque tower and statues of the Four Evangelists above the altar that liven up the plain interior.


See also the related Category:People from Cieszyn.
  • Herbert Czaja (born November 5, 1914), German politician (CDU)
  • Magdalena Gwizdoń (born August 4, 1979), Polish female biathlete
  • Hermann Heller (born July 17, 1891), jurist
  • Ireneusz Jeleń (born April 9, 1981), Polish footballer
  • Carl Friedrich Kotschy (born January 26, 1789), botanist and theologian
  • Inge Mahn (born 1943), German female sculptor, professor
  • Rudolf Ramek (born April 12, 1881), Austrian politician, Chancellor of Austria
  • Max Rostal (born August 7, 1905), violinist and educator
  • Tomisław Tajner (born May 14, 1983), Polish ski jumper
  • Jiří Třanovský (born March 27, 1592), theologian and composer
  • Friedrich Uhl (born May 14, 1825), journalist, writer
  • Viktor Ullmann (born January 1, 1898), a Jewish musician

Sister towns



  1. ^ Edmund Jan Osmańczyk, Anthony Mango. Encyclopedia of the United Nations and international agreements - Volume 1 A-F (2003 ed.). Taylor & Francis. p. 382. ISBN 0415939216.  
  2. ^ Cieszyn - Tourism | Tourist Information - Cieszyn, Poland |
  3. ^ The legend is inscribed on the Well of the Three Brothers in Cieszyn.
  4. ^ Wawreczka et al. 1999, 13.
  5. ^ Wawreczka et al. 1999, 10.
  6. ^ Ludwig Patryn (ed): Die Ergebnisse der Volkszählung vom 31. Dezember 1910 in Schlesien, Troppau 1912.


  • Wawreczka, Henryk; Janusz Spyra and Mariusz Makowski (1999). Těšín, Český Těšín na starých pohlednicích a fotografiích / Cieszyn, Czeski Cieszyn na starych widokówkach i fotografiach. Nebory, Třinec: Wart. ISBN 80-238-4804-6.  

Further reading

  • Długajczyk, Edward (1993). Tajny front na granicy cieszyńskiej. Wywiad i dywersja w latach 1919-1939. Katowice: Śląsk. ISBN 83-85831-03-7.  

External links

Coordinates: 49°44′54.37″N 18°37′59.56″E / 49.7484361°N 18.6332111°E / 49.7484361; 18.6332111

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Śląskie : Cieszyn

Cieszyn [1] is a medival town in Śląskie, Poland.

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