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Coat of arms
Katowice is located in Poland
Coordinates: 50°15′N 19°0′E / 50.25°N 19°E / 50.25; 19
Country  Poland
Voivodeship Slaskie flag.svg Silesian
County city county
Established 16th century
City rights 1865
 - Mayor Piotr Uszok
 - City 164.67 km2 (63.6 sq mi)
Highest elevation 352 m (1,155 ft)
Lowest elevation 266 m (873 ft)
Population (2009)
 - City 308,724
 - Density 1,874.8/km2 (4,855.7/sq mi)
 - Urban 2,746,000
 - Metro 5,294,000
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 40-001 to 40-999
Area code(s) +48 32
Car plates SK

Katowice [katɔˈvit​͡sɛ] ( listen) (Czech: Katovice, German: Kattowitz) is a city in Silesia in southern Poland, on the Kłodnica and Rawa rivers (tributaries of the Oder and the Vistula). Katowice is located in the Silesian Highlands, about 50 km on north from the Silesian Beskids (part of the Carpathian Mountains) and about 100 km on south-east from Sudetes Mountains.

It is the central district of the Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia, with a population of 2 million. Katowice is large local center of science, culture, industry, business and transportation. Katowice is the main city in the Upper Silesian Industrial Region, and of the 2,7 million[1][2][3][4][5] conurbation, the Katowice urban area, within a greater Silesian metropolitan area populated by about 5,294,000 people.[6] The population within the city limits is 308,724.[7]

Katowice has been the capital of Silesian Voivodeship since its formation in 1999. Previously, it was the capital of the Katowice Voivodeship, and before then, of the Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship.



The Silesian Parliament in Katowice.

The area around Katowice in Upper Silesia has been inhabited by ethnic Silesians from its earliest documented history. It was first ruled by the Polish Silesian Piast dynasty (until its extinction). From 1335 it was a part of the Crown of Bohemia. In 1526 the territory passed to the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy after the death of King Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia. In 1742 most of Silesia was annexed from Austria by the Kingdom of Prussia during the First Silesian War.

Katowice was founded in the 19th century and gained city status in 1865 as Kattowitz in the Prussian Province of Silesia. The city flourished due to large mineral (especially coal) deposits in the nearby mountains. Extensive city growth and prosperity depended on the coal mining and steel industries, which took off during the Industrial Revolution. Kattowitz was inhabited mainly by Germans, Silesians, Jews and Poles. Previously part of the Beuthen district, in 1873 it became the capital of the new Kattowitz district. On 1 April 1899, the city of Kattowitz was separated from the district, becoming an independent city.

According to the Treaty of Versailles after World War I the Upper Silesia plebiscite was organised by the League of Nations. While in the city of Katowice the plebiscite resulted 22,774 votes to remain in Germany and 3,900 votes for Poland[8] in the voting district of Katowice overall (combined with rural areas near the city and castle area) they were 66,119 votes for Poland and 52,992 for Germany[9] and following the Silesian Uprisings (1918-21) Katowice became part of the Second Polish Republic with a certain level of autonomy (Silesian Parliament as a constituency and Silesian Voivodeship Council as the executive body).

The city was occupied by Nazi Germany between 1939-1945.

Cathedral in Katowice

In 1953 the city was renamed Stalinogród ("Stalin City") by the Polish communist government. However, the new name was never accepted by the city's population and in 1956 the former name of 'Katowice' was restored.

Severe ecological damage to the environment occurred during the post-Second World War time of communist governance in the People's Republic of Poland, but recent changes in regulations, procedures and policies of Polish government since the fall of Communism have reversed much of the harm that was done.

Due to economic reforms, there has been a shift away from heavy industry, and towards small businesses.



Katowice lies on Katowice Highlands, as part of the Silesian Highlands, in the eastern part of Upper Silesia, within the central portion of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin. In administrative terms, Katowice is an urban community in the Silesian Voivodeship in south-west Poland. It is central district of the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union - metropolis with the population of 2 millions. It borders the cities of Chorzów, Siemianowice Śląskie, Sosnowiec, Mysłowice, Lędziny, Tychy, Mikołów, Ruda Śląska and Czeladź. In geographical terms, it lies between the Vistula and Oder rivers, on the Silesian Highlands. Several rivers flow through the city, the major two being the Kłodnica and Rawa Rivers. Within 600 kilometres of Katowice are the capital cities of six countries: Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Bratislava, Budapest and Warsaw.


The climate of the area is continental humid. The average temperature is 8.2 degrees Celsius (average -1.5°C in January and up to average 18°C in July). Yearly rainfall averages at 60.85 mm. The area's characteristic weak winds blow at about 2 m/s from the west - Moravian Gate.

Weather data for Katowice
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 1
Daily mean °C (°F) -1.5
Average low °C (°F) -4
Precipitation cm (inches) 3.04
Source: MSN Weather[10]


Districts of Katowice
I. Central-City
II. North-City
III. West-City
IV. East-City
V. South-City



Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union - central part of conurbation
Map of central Katowice

Katowice lies in the centre of the largest conurbation in Poland and is one of the largest in the European Union, numbering at about 2.7 million. This urban expansion boomed in the 19th century thanks to the rapid development of the mining and metallurgical industries. The Katowice urban area consists of about 40 adjacent cities and towns. However, the whole Silesian metropolitan area (mostly within the Upper Silesian Coal Basin) consists of over 50 cities/town. This metropolitan area has a population of 5,294,000. Katowice is also part of a megalopolis of over 7 million inhabitants covering Katowice, Ostrava, Kraków and Częstochowa regions.

In the year 2006 Katowice and 14 adjacent cities united under one municipal organism - the union of cities - Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union. Its population is 2 million and its area is 1,104 km². In 2006 and 2007, the union planned to unite these cities in one city under the name "Silesia"; however, this proved unsuccessful.[11]


Katowice, Silesian Theatre


  • Silesian Theater
  • Ateneum Theater
  • Korez Theater
  • Cogitatur Theater
  • Rialto Cinetheater


  • IMAX Katowice
  • Cinema City - Punkt rozrywki 44 ( 13 halls )
  • Cinema City - Silesia City Center ( 13 halls )
  • Helios Cinema Center ( 9 halls )
  • Światowid Cinema ( 1 halls )
  • Rialto Cinetheater ( 1 halls )
  • Cinematographic Arts Center ( 2 halls )



Katowice, Silesian Museum
  • Silesian Museum
  • History of Katowice Museum
  • Muzeum Archidiecezjalne
  • Muzeum Misyjne OO. Franciszkanów
  • Muzeum Biograficzne P. Stellera
  • Muzeum Prawa i Prawników Polskich
  • Muzeum Najmniejszych Książek Świata Zygmunta Szkocnego
  • Izba Śląska
  • Centre of Polish Scenography
  • Silesian center of refreshment and culture


TV stations:
radio stations:
Katowice, Spodek

Festivals and events

Art galleries

  • Galeria Sztuki Współczesnej BWA Al. Korfantego 6
  • Galeria Sztuki Współczesnej Parnas ul. Kochanowskiego 10
  • Galeria Sztuki Atelier 2 ul. Batorego 2
  • Galeria Związku Polskich Artystów Plastyków ul. Dworcowa 13
  • Galeria Architektury SARP ul. Dyrekcyjna 9
  • Galeria Art-Deco pl. Andrzeja 4
  • Galeria Fra Angelico ul. Jordana 39
  • Galeria Akwarela ul. Mikołowska 26
  • Galeria Marmurowa ul. Mikołowska 26
  • Galeria Piętro Wyżej
  • Galeria Sektor I
  • Galeria Szyb Wilson

Parks and squares

Main parks:
  • Market square (Rynek w Katowicach)
  • Wolność Square (Plac Wolności)
  • Andrzej Square (Plac Andrzeja)
  • Miarka Square (Plac Miarki)
  • Council of Europe Square (Plac Rady Europy)
  • Alfred Square (Plac Alfreda)
  • A. Budniok Square (Plac A. Brudnioka)
  • J. Londzin Square (Plac J. Londzina)
  • A. Hlond Square (Plac A. Hlonda)

Nature reserves and ecological areas

  • Nature reserve Las Murckowski
  • Nature reserve Ochojec
  • Szopienice-Borki
  • Źródła Kłodnicy
  • Staw Grunfeld
  • Stawy Na Tysiącleciu
  • Płone Bagno


General information

Map of Katowice's modern architecture build in 1922-1939

Katowice are to the group of Polish cities whose centers do not originate from the medieval town. Downtown City was formed in the mid-nineteenth century. Established at the time the buildings are decorated eclectic (mostly Renaissance and Baroque) as elements of Art Nouveau style (secesja). The end of the nineteenth century, which may seem surprising for visitors today, the center of Katowice, was regarded as a "little Paris"[12]

Katowice's mixture of architectural styles. Most of the historical buildings were thoroughly reconstructed. However, some of the buildings from the 19th century that had been preserved in reasonably reconstructible form were nonetheless eradicated in the 1950s to 1970s. Mass residential blocks were erected, with basic design typical of Eastern bloc countries.

Public spaces attract heavy investment, so that the city has gained entirely new squares, parks and monuments. Katowice's current urban landscape is one of modern and contemporary architecture.

Examples of Modernism (International Style and Bauhaus inspired architecture) may be found in the city downtown. Central Katowice also contain a significant number of Art Nouveau (Secesja) buildings along with the Communist Era giants such as Spodek or Superjednostka.

Katowice's Rynek is the old centre and marketplace of the city. Unfortunately many old buildings were demolished in the 1950s to make space for monumental communist modern buildings. Several streets around the Rynek and the Rynek itself are now closed to traffic and have been made into a shopping promenades.

Regeneration of the Rynek area should start at 2007-2008 and there was an international architectural competition in 2006 to find the best design.

Tourist attractions

Market square in Katowice
Nikiszowiec - antique settlement, candidate to UNESCO

Best buildings and places to see in Katowice:

  • Market square and adjacent streets: Warszawska, Teatralna, Dyrekcyjna, Staromiejska, Dworcowa, św. Jana, Pocztowa, Wawelska, 3 Maja, Stawowa, Mielęckiego, Starowiejska and Mickiewicza, the so-called "Great Market Square of Katowice" or "Old town of Katowice" - a lot of historic (monument) buildings. This is a group of functional-architectural. On the market square and most of the above-mentioned streets are prohibitions or restrictions on cars. Streets: Staromiejska, Dyrekcyjna, Wawelska, Stawowa and Warszawska is lined decorative cobblestone creating a the pedestrian zone. The authority plans to Katowice - Quarter streets: św. Jana, Dworcowa, Mariacka, Mielęckiego, Stanisława and Starowiejska is to become so "small market square".[13]
  • Nikiszowiec - historical settlement of Katowice, candidate to UNESCO
  • Church of the Resurrection in Katowice, Evangelical-Augsburg, built in the years 1856-1858
  • Silesian Parliament, built in the years 1925-1929. For a very long time it was the biggest structure in Poland
  • Modernist Old-Town
  • Silesian Insurgents Monument (Polish: Pomnik Powstańców Śląskich), the largest and heaviest monument in Poland. It is a harmonious combination of architecture and sculpture with appropriate symbolism: the wings symbolize the three Silesian Uprisings 1919 - 1920 - 1921 while the names of places that were battlefields are etched on the vertical slopes. The monument, which was funded by the people of Warsaw for Upper Silesia, is considered Katowice's landmark.
  • Silesian Theater, built in 1907
  • Rialto Cinetheater, built in 1912
  • Silesian Museum, built in 1899
  • Old train station in Katowice, built in 1906
  • The Goldstein Palace
  • The Załęże Palace
  • Parachute Tower Katowice - 50 metre tall lattice parachute tower built in 1937 for training parachute jumps. It was used in the first days of World War II. Parachute Tower Katowice is the only existing parachute tower in Poland.


  • Franciscan Monastery in Panewniki
  • Church of St. Joseph in Katowice (Załęże)
  • St. Stephen's Church
  • Church of Christ Resurrection in Katowice
  • The Monument to Marshal Piłsudski by Croatian sculptor Antun Augustinčić, 1937-39. It was commissioned in 1936 but brought to Poland in 1991
  • Monopol Hotel in Katowice
  • Katowice Rondo - is the large square/roundabout, which was reconstructed recently, featuring the semi circular Galeria Rondo Sztuki in the centre.
  • The Altus Skyscraper, tallest City skyscraper



Silesia City Center - big shopping mall in Katowice, in the past coal mine "Gottwald"

Katowice is a large coal and steel centre. It has several coal mines (Wujek Coal Mine, Mysłowice-Wesoła Coal Mine, Wieczorek Coal Mine, Murcki Coal Mine, Staszic Coal Mine) organized into unions - Katowice Coal Holding company (pl: Katowicki Holding Węglowy), two steelworks (Huta Baildon, Huta Ferum), and one foundry of non-ferrous metals (Huta Metali Nieżelaznych Szopienice).

South part of Katowice Business Centre (Katowickie Centrum Biznesowe)

Business and commerce

Katowice is also a large business and trade fair centre. Every year in Katowice International Fair and Spodek, tens of international trade fairs are organized. Katowice has the second largest business centre in Poland (after Warsaw Business Centre). Skyscrapers stand along Chorzowska, Korfantego and Roździeńskiego street in the centre of the city. The newest office buildings (A-class) in Katowice are the Chorzowska 50, Altus Skyscraper and Silesia Towers (under construction).


Katowice is the seat of Katowice Special Economic Zone (Katowicka Specjalna Strefa Ekonomiczna).

The unemployment rate in Katowice is one of the lowest in Poland, at 2% (in 2008), according to the official figures.[14] The city is still characterized by its working class strength and thus attracts many people seeking jobs from neighbouring cities (other districts USMU).

The average monthly salary in Katowice is the highest in Poland - about 4222,52 ($~1,220), in Warsaw it's about 4135,93 zł ($~1,200).[15]


Silesian Library in Katowice

Katowice is the third largest scientific centre in Poland (after Warsaw and Cracow). It has over 20 schools of higher education, at which over 100,000 persons study.

  1. University of Silesia
  2. University of Economics in Katowice
  3. University of Music in Katowice
  4. University of Sports in Katowice
  5. Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice
  6. Medical University of Silesia
  7. Silesian University of Technology - Faculty of Materials Science and Metallurgy and Transport
  8. Polish Academy of Sciences
  9. International Higher School of Political Sciences in Katowice
  10. International Higher School of Banking and Finances in Katowice
  11. Silesian International Business Higher School in Katowice
  12. Silesian Higher School of Computer science in Katowice
  13. Silesian Higher School of Management in Katowice
  14. Uppersilesian Higher School of Trade in Katowice
  15. Higher School of Banking and Finances in Katowice
  16. Higher School of Humanistic Science in Katowice
  17. Higher School of Technical Science in Katowice
  18. Higher School of Computer Technologies in Katowice
  19. Higher School the Pedagogical TWP in Warsaw, the Institute of Pedagogy in Katowice
  20. Higher School of Social Skills in Poznań (department in Katowice)
  21. Higher School of Humanistic - Economic in Łódź (department in Katowice)
  22. Higher School of Marketing Management and Foreign Languages in Katowice
  23. Higher School of Management the Protection of Work in Katowice
  24. Silesian Higher Clerical Seminar in Katowice
  25. Theological Seminar of Franciscans in Katowice Panewniki
  26. Private Teacher's College of Foreign Languages in Katowice
  27. Private Teacher's Board of Foreign Languages in Bielsko (department in Katowice)

There are also:


Public transport

Tram in Katowice
National road 79 in Katowice

The public transportation system of the Katowice and Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union consists of four branches - buses and trams united in the KZK GOP and furthermore the regional rail. Additional services are operated by private companies and the state-owned railways.


Silesian Interurbans - one of the largest tram systems in the World, in existence since 1894. The system spreads for more than 50 kilometres (east-west) and covers fourteen districts of the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union.



Several important roads in neighbourhoods of Katowice (USMU):


Lobby seen from upper level in terminal B in Katowice International Airport

The city and the area is served by the Katowice International Airport, located about 30 km from the center of Katowice. With over 20 international and domestic flights daily, it is by far the biggest airport in Silesia (~2,5 million passengers served in 2008; 2 terminals: A and B).

Because of the long commute to the airport, there is a proposal to convert the much nearer sport aviation-serving Katowice-Muchowiec Airport into a so-called city airport, a second international airport for smaller, business-oriented traffic.


Standard gauge railway

The first railroad reached this area in 1846 (the Upper Silesia Railway, in Polish: Kolej Górnośląska; in German: Oberschlesische Eisenbahn). Nowadays Katowice is one of the main railway nodes and exchange points in Silesia and in Poland. Cheap and fairly efficient, the Polskie Koleje Państwowe (Polish State-Owned Railways) in the area of the proposed union constitute one of the main transport hubs in Poland (the most important one being Warsaw). The main railroad station is Katowice Central Station. Both the domestic and the international connections run from there to almost every major city in Poland and Europe.

Narrow gauge railway


Sports facilities

Silesian Stadium (between Chorzów and Katowice)

The Silesian Stadium is located between Chorzów and Katowice. It is a national stadium of Poland, more than 50 international matches of Poland national football team were played here as well as around 30 matches of UEFA competitions. There were also a Speedway World Championship, Speedway Grand Prix of Europe and a number many concerts featuring international stars.

There are many sports centers in the city as well. Most of these facilities are swimming pools and sports halls, mostly built by the municipality in the past several years.

Katowice is a city where you can enjoy active leisure as well. Tourists can relax playing tennis or squash, doing water sports also sailing (for example - in Dolina Trzech Stawów), horse-riding (in Wesoła Fala and Silesian culture and refreshment park), cycling or going to one of numerous excellently equipped fitness clubs. Near the city center are sporting facilities like swimming pools (for example "Bugla", "Rolna") and in neighbourhood - golf courses (in Siemianowice Śląskie).

Sports clubs

  • GKS Katowice - men's football, (Polish Cup winner: 1986, 1991, 1993; Polish SuperCup winner: 1991, 1995; 1st league in 2003/2004 and 2004/2005 seasons). ice hockey team Champion :1958,1960,1962 Gòrnik Katowice / GKS 1965,1968,1970.
  • 1. FC Kattowitz - football club, vice-champion of Poland: 1927; champion of Upper Silesia: 1907, 1908, 1909, 1913, 1922, 1932, 1945
  • AZS AWF Katowice - various sports, women's handball team playing in Polish Women's Handball Superleague, men's basketball team playing in Second league, fencing section - a lot of medals in the Polish Championship
  • Naprzód Janów Katowice - hockey club playing in Polish Hockey Superleague, vice-champion of Poland (5x): 1971, 1973, 1977, 1989, 1992; bronze medal (7x): 1972, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1987; Polish Cup (1x): 1970.
  • AZS US Katowice - various sports, a lot of medals in the Polish Championship in various sports
  • HKS Szopienice - various sports, a lot of medals in the Polish and Europe and World Championship in weightlifting
  • Silesia Miners - American football club playing in Polish American Football League, Polish champion in 2009, vice-champion in 2007
  • Jango Katowice - futsal club playing in Polish Futsal Superleague; Polish Cup (1x): 2007; bronze medal Polish Championship (2x): 2001, 2007
  • Rozwój Katowice - football club playing in Polish Third League
  • MK Katowice - football club playing in Polish Fourth League
  • Hetman Szopienice - chess club, a lot of medals in the Polish Championship
  • Sparta Katowice - various sports, a lot of medals in the Polish Championship in various sports
  • Policyjny Klub Sportowy Katowice - various sports, a lot of medals in the Polish Championship in various sports
  • AWF Mickiewicz Katowice - basketball club
  • Silesian Flying Club (Aeroklub Śląski)

Defunct sports clubs:

  • Diana Kattowitz - football club
  • Germania Kattowitz - football club
  • KS Baildon Katowice - various sports, a lot of medals in the Polish Championship in various sports
  • Pogoń Katowice - various sports, a lot of medals in the Polish Championship in various sports

Sports events

Notable residents

University of Silesia - Faculty of Law and Administration

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Katowice is twinned with:

See also


  1. ^ 2,746,000 according to scientific description by Tadeusz Markowski "Funkcje Metropolitalne Pięciu Stolic Województw Wschodnich"
  2. ^ 2,733,000 (2,928,000 - counting whole powiats adjacent to the city) according to scientific description by Paweł Swianiewicz and Urszula Klimska "Społeczne i polityczne zróżnicowanie aglomeracji w Polsce" - Paweł Swianiewicz, Urszula Klimska; University of Warsaw 2005
  3. ^ 2,775,000 according to
  4. ^ 2,710,397 according to Eurostat - Larger Urban Zones (LUZ): Urban
  5. ^ "Powierzchnia i ludność w przekroju terytorialnym w 2008" (in Polish). Central Statistical Office in Poland. 1 January 2008. "In 42 adjacent cities and towns in conurbation, reside a total of 2,764,971 peoples on 2411 km², density: 1146 hab./km2"  
  6. ^ European Spatial Planning Observation Network (ESPON)[1]
  7. ^ Central Statistical Office, Warsaw 2009, "Population. Size and Structure by Territorial Division, as of June 30, 2009" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-12-31.  
  8. ^ "Von Krakau bis Danzig" (in German). Thomas Urban. 2004.,M1. Retrieved 2009-03-21.  
  9. ^ Documents on British foreign policy, 1919-1939‎ Great Britain. Foreign Office, Ernest Llewellyn Woodward page 44
  10. ^ "Local weather forecast: Katowice".  
  11. ^ (Polish) - "17 śląskich miast chce się połączyć w Silesię", 11 December 2006)
  12. ^ "Wydawnictwo Muzeum Śląskiego: Lech Szaraniec "Katowice w dawnej i współczesnej fotografii".  
  13. ^ Dziennik Zachodni Katowice - "Będą dwie Mariackie", 3 sierpnia 2007
  14. ^ "Bezrobotni oraz stopa bezrobocia wg województw, podregionów i powiatów (stan w końcu lipca 2008 r.)".  
  15. ^ "Voivodship Cities basic statistical data" - Central Statistical Office in Poland, ISSN 1642-574X , 31.06.2008
  16. ^ "Partnerstädte". Retrieved 2009-06-22.  
  17. ^ "Groningen - Partner Cities". © 2008 Gemeente Groningen, Kreupelstraat 1,9712 HW Groningen. Retrieved 2008-12-08.  

External links

Katowice travel guide from Wikitravel

Coordinates: 50°16′N 19°01′E / 50.267°N 19.017°E / 50.267; 19.017

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Panorama Katowice by night
Panorama Katowice by night
This article or section does not match our manual of style or needs other editing. Please plunge forward, give it your attention and help it improve!

Katowice [1] is the largest city in Silesia in Poland with a population of about 320,000 in the city itself and over 2.1 million if the surrounding cities of the Upper-Silesian Metropolitan Union [2] are taken into account. Located in the middle of Silesia on the banks of the river Rawa, Katowice's historical importance as Poland's main industrial centre has been indisputable in recent decades. Nowadays Katowice has also a rich cultural life with theatres, the Silesian Philharmonic, the Silesian Museum and famous concert hall is known as the Spodek. Visitors will find an interesting city with many relics, stunning modern architecture, hospitable people and easy access to the Beskidy Mountains and other Silesian Cities.

Qubus Hotel Prestige in Katowice
Qubus Hotel Prestige in Katowice
The Spodek by Night
The Spodek by Night
Architectural map of Katowice
Architectural map of Katowice

The city is at the intersection of major road and rail routes connecting Poland to the rest of Europe in all directions, with Katowice International Airport in nearby Pyrzowice. Until recently, the dominant economic sectors in the Katowice region were mining, steel, electrical machinery, electronics, and chemicals. Due to economic changes in Poland, this situation is changing, and heavy industry has given way to commerce and services. There are many new business buildings such as the Katowice Business Centre, the ALTUS Centre Building, and Punkt 44 Leisure Centre.

The origins of Katowice go back to 1397 when the settlement of Kuznica was founded. Katowice was first mentioned as a village [3] in the middle of dense forests in 1598. In the 18th Century numerous work colonies sprang up here and in around 1769-70 the Duke of Pless established an underground coal mine. The next industrial sites were the Hohenlohe steelworks in the village of Wełnowiec, founded in 1805, the Baildon steelworks in 1828 (named after their founder, a Scotsman), and the Wilhelmina zinc works in 1834.

In 1873 Katowice achieved the status of county town. In 1897 Katowice was formed into a separate urban district, which also included the suburban municipalities of Bogucice - Zawodzie, Dąb, Wełnowiec and Załęże.

In 1889 one of the largest companies in Upper Silesia, the Kattowitzer Aktien-Gesellschaft, was set up with its headquarters in Katowice. As a result, major insurance companies and large-cap banks were attracted to the city. During the First World War, the steel industry continued to develop at a frenetic pace. Rail connections were also developed.

After Third Silesian Uprising Polish Government had decided to give Silesia considerable Autonomy with Katowice as a capital and home of the Silesian Parliament. It was the time of city most intense growth (1922-1939).

In 1975 the neighbouring municipalities of Piotrowice [4], Ochojec, Panewniki, Kostuchna [5], Wełnowiec, Szopienice, Giszowiec, Dąbrówka Mała and Murcki were merged with Katowice. Construction works are still continuing in the city centre. The main communications artery (Al. W. Korfantego) has been widened, while old industrial buildings to the west of this road have been demolished. To the east the historic Tiele-Winckler Palace has also been demolished. On the market place, old buildings have been replaced by modern shops: "Zenit" and "Skarbek", and also the "Dom Prasy".

The construction of the Roundabout and the "Flying Saucer" Sports Hall (1962 -71) had a significant impact. The Millennium Housing Estate on the border of Katowice and Chorzów, the Paderewski Estate to the east of the city, the Południe Estate covering the suburbs of Kostuchna, Piotrowice, Ligota [6], and the Roździeński Housing Estate should also be mentioned.

Get in

By plane

Some major airlines, Poland's national carriers LOT Polish Airlines [7], and a low cost airline Centralwings [8] (owned by LOT) and some other low cost airlines fly to Katowice's Pyrzowice Airport [9] (KTW). Domestic flights operated by LOT (under Eurolot brand) connect Katowice with i.e. Warsaw's Frederic Chopin Airport [10] (WAW). There is also possibility to flight from and to nearby Kraków-Balice airport.

The Katowice-Pyrzowice airport in Pyrzowice (34 km from Katowice) is an airport for domestic and European flights to following cities:

  • Athens
  • Barcelona
  • Belfast
  • Bournemouth
  • Bristol
  • Brussels - Charleroi
  • Budapest
  • Cologne
  • Cork
  • Coventry
  • Dortmund
  • Dublin
  • Dusseldorf
  • Doncaster - Sheffield
  • Edinburgh
  • Frankfurt
  • Frankfurt (Hann)
  • Koln
  • Kyiv
  • Liverpool
  • London
  • Milan
  • Munich (München)
  • Oslo
  • Palma de Mallorca
  • Paris
  • Paris (Beauvais)
  • Rome
  • Rhodes
  • Stockholm
  • Thessaloniki
  • Warsaw

There's a frequent shuttle bus from outside the terminal building to the city centre dropping off near main railway station.

For further information see the websites of GTL Airport Katowice - Pyrzowice [11] and GTL Travel [12].

By train

Katowice Main Railway Station is located in the city center.

Trains from all parts of Poland and other countries arrive at Central Station. There are fourteen trains per day between Warsaw and Katowice and twenty-eight trains per day between Cracow and Katowice during the day; the journey takes 180 minutes (from Warsaw) and 80 minutes (from Cracow). You can arrive by train directly from Vienna, Budapest, Kiev, Berlin, Ostrava, Praha, Bohumin, Bratislava, Zilina, Cesky Tesin, Hamburg, Moskva, Minsk. The Main Station has left luggage lockers. The station is an easy two minute walk apart main Bus Station.

The trains within Poland are run by Polskie Koleje Państwowe (see PKP [13]).

By car

The main approaches to Katowice are:

  • from Cracow on the A-4 motorway; Katowice is about 60 km westward of Cracow
  • from Wroclaw on the A-4 motorway; Katowice is about 180 km eastward of Wroclaw
  • from Warsaw on the E-67 European main road; Katowice is about 300 km south of Warsaw
  • from Cieszyn (on the southern border) on the E-75 European main road; Katowice is about 70 km north of Cieszyn

All routes converge on the main crossroads (the A-4 and E-75) which lies near the city centre. Katowice has no big car parks system but there are many small car parks along the roads in the city center.

By bus

Long-distance bus services arrive at International Katowice Bus Station (in the city centre, close to Sadowa Street). The main operator is Pekaes Eurolines (see the website [14]).

Get around

Public transport

All public bus and tram transport is supervised by KZK GOP. 24h free phone information: 0 800 16 30 30. KZK GOP Website [15].

Buses & Trams

The main bus station of the Passengers' Municipal Communication is situated near the Railway Station. Booking-Offices and the information office are situates there, open: 8 am - 6 pm. At each bus-stop there is an information board with bus routes and where they go.

Tram-stop in Rynek (the market square)
Tram-stop in Rynek (the market square)

There are also tramways which transport passengers within the city and beyond the limits of the city. The dispatcher's office and information of the Municipal Tramway Enterprise are situated at the tram-stop in Rynek (the market square) in Katowice.

The same ticket type is used in bus and tram. Katowice offers many different tickets. Consider, if it is better to use one-ride ticket, week-ticket or monthly ticket.

One ride ticket price:

  • within one zone 2,40 PLN (normal rate) 1,20 PLN (reduced rate)
  • within two zones 3,00 PLN (normal rate) 1,50 PLN (reduced rate)
  • within three or more zones 4,00 PLN (normal rate)2,00 PLN (reduced rate)

Monthly ticket price (valid for one specified holder only):

  • The holder is authorised to ride all bus and tram lines within one selected town (municipality): 82 PLN (normal rate) 41 PLN (reduced rate)
  • The holder is authorised to ride all bus and tram lines over the entire network 96 PLN (normal rate) 48 PLN (reduced rate)
  • The holder is authorised to ride all bus lines or only tram lines within one selected town (municipality) 78 PLN (normal rate) 39 PLN (reduced rate)
  • The holder is authorised to ride all bus lines or only tram lines over the entire network 92 PLN (normal rate) 46 PLN (reduced rate)

Other season tickets valid for buses and trams.


  • 1-day: normal rate 12 PLN, reduced rate 6 PLN
  • 2-day: normal rate 18 PLN, reduced rate 9 PLN
  • 5-day: normal rate 30 PLN, reduced rate 15 PLN
  • 7-day: normal rate 34 PLN, reduced rate 17 PLN
  • 14-day: normal rate 56 PLN
  • monthly: normal rate 108 PLN


Taxi-stops are situated in several places in Katowice:

  • at the entrance of the railway station on the ground floor from 3 maja St.
  • Plac Oddzialow Mlodziezy Powstanczej
  • the "Silesia' hotel
  • Skargi St.
  • the "Katowice" hotel
  • Korfantego Av.
  • Dworcowa St.

A note: when you take a taxi always ask for the price beforehand unless you are willing to pay anything. Different types of taxis can charge very different prices which can vary up to 5 times the regular fare depending on location and time.

The Augsburg-evangelical church under the invocation of the Lord's Resurection
The Augsburg-evangelical church under the invocation of the Lord's Resurection

The finest examples of Modernism (International Style and Bauhaus inspired architecture) could be easily found in the city downtown. Central Katowice also contain a significant number of Art Nouveau (Secesja) buildings along with the Communist Era giants such as Spodek or Superjednostka.

  • St. Michel Archangel A complex of the wooden churches in the Kosciuszko Park
  • Christ the Lord cathedral, 49a Plebiscytowa Street.
  • The Jewish cemetery 12 Kozielska St.
  • Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary Panewniki, A church and a cloister of Franciscan brothers under the invocation of Ludvig the King.
  • The Wyspianski Theater
  • Swiatowid [16], 7 3-rd Maja Street. The primary place for art-house film in the city centre
  • Rialto [17], 24 St Jana Street. An artist run venue which specialises in more experimental film and music and has a lovely cafe too.
  • Cinema City - Punkt 44 [18], 44 Gliwicka Street modern multiplex type cinema with approx 13 screens and IMAX 3-D system.
  • Cinema City - Silesia City Center [19], 107 Chorzowska Street modern multiplex type cinema with 13 screens. It is located inside the biggest shopping mall in Katowice, Silesia City Center.
  • Helios [20], 13 Uniwersytecka Street modern multiplex type cinema with approx 9 screens. This one is in Altus - the highest building in Katowice.
Silesian Theatre
Silesian Theatre
  • Silesian Theatre [21], 2 Main Market. Katowice's main repertory theatre, located in the city center.
  • Theatre Korez [22], 2 Plac Sejmu Slaskiego. Well known for being involved in some of the most cutting-edge theatre in the city.
  • Theatre Cogitatur [23], 9a Gliwicka Street. Experimetal theatre known also as former organizers of A'Part Festival
  • Theatre A PART [24] is contemporary visual and physical theatre group, formed by Marcin Herich, actor, director and organizer of theatre events. They are also organizers of A Part Theatre Festival
  • Silesian Theatre of Doll and Actor Ateneum [25], 10 Sw. Jana Street. One of the oldest doll's bands in Poland. They are organizers of International Festival of Doll's Theatres Katowice - For Children.
  • Teatr 'Gry i ludzie [26] ('Games and People' Theatre), 2 Niepodległości Av., experimental and maily outdoor theatral group having their scene in the old railway station
  • Concert Hall The Spodek [27], 35 W. Korfantego Avenue. Wide variety of concerts, performances and sports events.
  • Silesian Philharmonic [28], 2 Sokolska Street.
  • National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice [29], 2 Plac Sejmu Slaskiego.
  • History of Katowice Museum [30], 9 Szafranka St.
  • Silesian Museum [31], 3 W. Korfantego Av.
  • Archidiocesan Museum, 39 Jordana St.
  • Gallery "Szyb Wilson" [32], 1 Oswobodzenia St.

motto: Before swallow us the fires - about spirituality of our factories.

  • BWA Contemporary Art Gallery Katowice [33], 6 w. Korfantego Avenue
  • Parnas Contemporary Art Gallery [34], 10 Kochanowskiego Street.
  • Hipnoza Jazz Club [35], 2 Sejmu Śląskiego Sq. One of most active places in Katowice. A lot of concerts, drinks and interesting dishes.
  • GuGalander [36] - a bar, a scene, a gallery place with good music, concerts, spectacles and so on.
  • Elektro [37], 2 Sejmu Śląskiego Sq.

rather common discos

  • Wyższy Wymiar [38], 3 Matejki St.
  • Inqbator [39], 2 Dworcowa St.
  • Sqandal [40], 23 3 Maja St.
  • Mega club [41], 4 Dworcowa St.
  • Spiż [42], 22 Opolska St, a club with own small brewery
  • Rentgen, Wolności Sq.
  • Arkada [43], 14a Bogucicka St.
  • Kwadraty [44], 10 Franciszkańska St.
  • Straszny Dwór [45], 19 Studencka St.
  • Za szybą [46], 16 Studencka St.


There is a lot of cultural events in Katowice. Exhibitions, concerts, festivals, spectacles and so on - thay all happen in galleries, clubs and theatres. It is impossible to mention here all of them as they appear without any regular schedule. To get information 'whats on' it is suggested to have a look at up-to-date internet releases of conventional press like Ultramaryna [47] or Gazeta Wyborcze: Co jest grane [48] bringing cultural news for whole agglomeration. Below there is a list of events that happen at regular schedule.

  • Polish Directors' Art Festival "Interpretacje" [49], Festival of theatres and TV drama - its a competition of directors for "Konrad Prize".
  • "A Part" Theatre Festival [50] is international review of alternative and experimental "OFF" theatres rather than classic ones.
  • Summer Theatre Garden [51] "LOT" are summertime outdoor every weekend theatre meetings with comedy and cabaret spectacles. It is organized by Korez theatre.
  • "Cult" Film Festival [52], Festival of esteemed films. There are numerous in- and out-door movie shows and concerts.
  • "Rawa Blues" Festival [53] is the biggest in-door blues festival in the world. It happens every year since 1981, from the beginning Rawa Blues is led by the bluesman Irek Dudek.
  • "Metalmania" Metal Music Festival [54], The most prestigious metal festival in Poland and in this part of Europe.
  • Mayday [55], Polish edition of international technoparty located in "Spodek".
  • Grzegorz Fitelberg International Competition For Conductors [56] Prestige open competition for conductors of all nationalities.
  • International Students' Festival of Folklore [57] Annual festival of folkloristic music and dance takes place at the end of summer not only in Katowice but also in many other places in the region. It is organized by Silesian University.
  • ARTerie young art festival [58] Annual festival of students' of art universities and faculties that take place in the autumn. Recent edition (2006) had international cast.
  1. University of Silesia [59] (Uniwersytet Śląski)
  2. Karol Adamiecki University of Economics [60] (Akademia Ekonomiczna im. Karola Adamieckiego w Katowicach)
  3. Silesian Academy of Music [61] (Akademia Muzyczna w Katowicach)
  4. Silesian Academy of Sports [62] (Akademia Wychowania Fizycznego w Katowicach)
  5. Medical University of Silesia [63] (Śląski Uniwersytet Medyczny)
  6. Silesian Academy of Fine Arts [64] (Akademia Sztuk Pięknych w Katowicach)
  7. Silesian University of Technology [65] - Faculty of Materials Science and Metallurgy, Faculty of Transport and Faculty of Management (all the rest of University is located in neighbouring towns)
  • ~80 High school
  • ~35 Gymnasium (school)
  • ~55 Primary education
  • ~50 Libraries among them Library of Silesia [66] one of the biggest and most important (national) libraries in Poland.



Silesia and especially Katowice is one of major business centres of Poland. Silesia is the main industrial centre in Poland, its economy used to be based on coal, metallurgy, energetics, and chemical industry. Nowadays it is converting to more modern profile - services and information technology. The most of industrial works are located outside the city in the surrounding locations meanwhile offices remain in Katowice. There are institutions supporting development and economic growth of the region:

  • The Katowice Special Economic Zone [67]
  • Upper-Silesian Regional Development Agency [68]

There is also company-organizer of numerous tradeshows and fair in Katowice: International Katowice Fair [69]

For those interested in renting office spaces there are variuos offers. From XIX/XX century adapted houses and old factories (like B-class old printing house [70]) to A class skyscarpers - two mostly noticable are ALTUS [71] and Chorzowska 50 [72].

  • Złoty Osioł, 1 Mariacka Street, vegetarian bar having unusual atmosphere and events like poet meetings or concerts
  • Naleśnikarnia, 24 Wojewódzka Street, small hidden bar serving pancakes and crepes at affordable prices
  • Bar Mleczny "Europa", 8 Mickiewicza Street, one of so called "milk bars" where you can have a meal without spending a lot of money, milk bars are preferred by students and travellers without fat wallet
  • Karcma pod Strzechom, 13 Grzyśki St., [73]. Polish mountain style cottage in the area of blocks of flats. They serve folk dishes mainly, prices from modest to high
  • Marysin Dwór, 17a Pukowca St., [74]. It is styled as countryside noble residence from old days and located in industrial area


There is a medium number of hotels and guest houses in the Katowice area.

  • School Youth Hostel Ślązaczek, 26 Sokolska St, [75]. Located just about centre of the city in building of technical high school  edit
  • Jopi Hostel, 23 Plebiscytowa St, [76].  edit
  • Hotel Zaleze, 106 Gliwicka Street. in a secure, but a little miners' area two kilometres west of the railway station and downtown  edit
  • Hotel Jantor, 10 Nalkowskiej St (In old mining estate Nikiszowiec), (032)255, [77]. Not modern but clean and cheap 2-Bed Rooms. The hotel has a free guarded car park and a restaurant.  edit
  • Hotel Monopol, (near Old Market in Dyrekcyjna and Dworcowa Stree), [78]. Located in the heart of the Old Town, this grand old hotel was opened in 1903.  edit
  • Qubus Hotele, 13 Uniwersytecka Street, [79]. Modern, four-star hotel located in the city centre, has a Sky Bar with nice views on the 27th floor.  edit
  • Katowice's area code (for landline numbers) is 032 when dialed from within Poland or +4832 from outside Poland.
  • There are not many places that offer web and other Internet access. But there are some:
    • Costa Coffee - on Stawowa Street near the station. Free good wireless.
    • CafeKontakt [80] Internet Café Bar: Katowice, 3 Stawowa Street. No wireless.
    • Katowice-Pyrzowice Airport - Hot Spot (provided by Era and Plus GSM)
    • Dekadencja Private Club [81] - 20 Mariacka St. Hot Spot (free of charge). Wireless does not always work.

Stay safe

Katowice is a generally safe city to stay in. Beware of the usual nuisance of petty theft (especially at Railway Station).

  • Important phone numbers: police: 997, fire department: 998, ambulance: 999, all three at common, universal number 112
  • Municipal guard: +48 32 986
  • Watch out for pickpockets in public transport and busy places.
  • Park your car in safe place, on a guarded parking if possible.
  • Most long-distance trains have compartments, choose the occupied ones so you don't ride alone. Also, during night - make sure that at least one person is not asleep.
  • Oświęcim and Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi camp there
  • Adit of the black trout in Tarnowskie Gory
  • Central Firefighting Museum in Myslowice
  • Mining skansen in Zabrze
  • Monumental Mine in Tarnowskie Gory
  • Silesian Ethnographic Park in Chorzow
  • Brewing Museum in Tychy [82]
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




  •  audiohelp, file
  • IPA: [kat̪ɔˈvʲit͡s̪ɛ]

Proper noun

Katowice pl.

  1. City in southern Poland, capital of Silesian Voivodeship.


Plural only
Nominative Katowice
Genitive Katowic
Dative Katowicom
Accusative Katowice
Instrumental Katowicami
Locative Katowicach
Vocative Katowice

Derived terms

  • katowiczanin m., katowiczanka f.
  • adjective: katowicki

Simple English

[[File:|center|600px|thumb|Katowice at night]]

Coat of Arms
[[File:|100px|Coat of Arms of Katowice]]

Katowice (pronounce: [[File:]] [katɔ'vʲitsɛ], also known as Kattowitz in German) is a city in Poland. It is in the south of Poland in the historical region called Silesia on Kłodnica and Rawa river. It received city rights in 1865. Between 1954 and 1956 Katowice had the name Stalinogród - "Stalin City". It was given by the polish communists. There are about 315,123 people living there. The mayor of the city is Piotr Uszok. For a long period of time the city was ruled by Germans, as it was a part of Germany until 1918. There is a little airport called Airport Muchowiec. There are both modern and old buildings in Katowice. It was the center of the coal mining and metallurgy.



[[File:|thumb|right|300px|Districts of Katowice]]

I. City

  • 1. Śródmieście
  • 2. Koszutka
  • 3. Bogucice
  • 4. Osiedle Paderewskiego - Muchowiec

II. North-Town

  • 5. Załęże
  • 6. Osiedle Witosa
  • 7. Osiedle Tysiąclecia
  • 8. Dąb
  • 9. Wełnowiec - Józefowiec

III. West-Town

  • 10. Ligota - Panewniki
  • 11. Brynów - Osiedle Zgrzebnioka
  • 12. Brynów - Załęska Hałda

IV. East-Town

  • 13. Zawodzie
  • 14. Dąbrówka Mała
  • 15. Szopienice - Burowiec
  • 16. Janów - Nikiszowiec
  • 17. Giszowiec

V. South-Town

  • 18. Murcki
  • 19. Piotrowice - Ochojec
  • 20. Zarzecze
  • 21. Kostuchna
  • 22. Podlesie

Famous people from Katowice

Katowice, Museum of Silesia
  • Hans Bellmer, surrealist photographer
  • Henryk M. Broder, journalist
  • Maria Goeppert-Mayer
  • Kurt Goldstein, neurologist
  • Jerzy Kukuczka
  • Kazimierz Kutz
  • Franz Leopold Neumann
  • Hans Sachs

Twin towns

Other websites

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