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Wałbrzych Main Square


Coat of arms
Wałbrzych is located in Poland
Coordinates: 50°47′0″N 16°17′0″E / 50.783333°N 16.283333°E / 50.783333; 16.283333
Country  Poland
Voivodeship Lower Silesian
County Wałbrzych County
Gmina Wałbrzych (urban gmina)
Established 9th century
City rights 1400
 - Mayor Piotr Kruczkowski
 - Total 84.70 km2 (32.7 sq mi)
Elevation 350 m (1,148 ft)
Population (2009)
 - Total 121,919
 - Density 1,439.4/km2 (3,728.1/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 58-300 to 58-309, 58-316
Area code(s) +48 074
Car plates DB
Seal of Bolko I, showing him as the duke of Vistenberch (Fürstenberg) = Fürstenstein
Książ Castle in Wałbrzych

Wałbrzych [ˈvau̯bʐɨx] ( listen) (German: Waldenburg, Czech: Valbřich or Valdenburk) is a city in Lower Silesian Voivodeship in south-western Poland, with 121,919 inhabitants (June 2009). From 1975–1998 it was the capital of Wałbrzych Voivodeship; it is now the seat of Wałbrzych County. Wałbrzych is by far the largest city in Poland that does not itself form a separate county (powiat), having given up that status in 2003. (The next largest such town is Inowrocław, population 77,313.) Wałbrzych lies approximately 70 kilometres (43.5 miles) south-west of the regional capital Wrocław, and about 10 km from the Czech border.



The German name Waldenburg (meaning "forest castle") refers to the castle Nowy Dwór, whose ruins stand south of the city; the name came to be used for the entire settlement.[1] The Polish name Wałbrzych comes from the German name Walbrich, a late medieval linguistic variation of the older names "Wallenberg" or "Walmberg".[2]



Middle Ages

According to the website of the Wałbrzych City Office, the city's predecessor was an early medieval Slavic settlement named Lasogród ("forest castle"), whose inhabitants engaged in hunting, honey gathering, and later agriculture. The website further says Lasogród lated developed into a defensive fort, the remains of which were destroyed in the 19th century during expansion of the city.[3]

Historians Hugo Weczerka and John Koch say that no archaeological or written records support a Slavic settlement or the existence of a castle before the late 13th century.[4][5] They say that during the Middle Ages the area of Wałbrzych was part of the Silesian Przesieka,[6][7] a dense, unpopulated forest.[8][9][10] According to a writing from 1667 by jurist and historian Ephraim Ignatius Naso, Wałbrzych already existed as a small village in 1191,[11] but the source is not reliable[12] and the possibility is also rejected by Weczerka.[13]

According to Weczerka, Wałbrzych was founded between 1290 and 1293 on a cleared spot in the mountains near the castle of Nowy Dwór (German: Neuhaus), and first mentioned as Waldenberc in 1305.[1][2] Nowy Dwór, probably built around the same time, was first mentioned as "newe haus" in 1365,[14] and built by Bolko I of the Silesian Piast dynasty of Świdnica-Jawor (German: Schweidnitz-Jauer). A part of Nowy Dwór castle, a manor built in the 17th century, was destroyed in the 19th century.[15]

The city was chartered in 1426, but it did not receive the rights to hold markets or many other privileges due to the competition of nearby towns and the insignificance of the local landlords. Subsequently, the city became the property of the Silesian knightly families, initially the Schaffgotsches in 1372, later the Czettritzes, and from 1738, the Hochberg family, owners of Fürstenstein Castle.

Modern Era

Coal mining in the area was first mentioned in 1536. The settlement was transformed into an industrial centre at the turn of the 19th century, when coal mining and weaving flourished. In 1843 the city obtained its first rail connection, which linked it with Breslau (Wrocław). In the early 20th century a glassworks and a large china tableware manufacturing plant, which are still in operation today, were built. In 1939 the city had about 65,000 inhabitants.

After World War II, the area became Polish, and as in all of post-war Poland most of the German population was expelled. However, Walbrzych was one of the few areas where several Germans[16] were held back as they were deemed indispensable for the economy.[17] A contineous post-war German society is maintained in Walbrzych since 1957.[17]

The city was relatively unscathed by the Second World War, and as a result of combining the nearby administrative districts with the town and the construction of new housing estates, Wałbrzych expanded geographically. At the beginning of the 1990s, because of new social and economic conditions, a decision was made to close down the town's coal mines. In 1995, a Museum of Industry and Technology was set up on the facilities of the oldest coal mine in the area, KWK THOREZ. The 2005 the film Komornik was filmed in and around Wałbrzych.


  • Książ Castle, the largest Silesian castle, the third largest castle in Poland behind Kraków's Wawel and the castle in Malbork.
  • Chełmiec Mountain
  • Palmiarnia
  • Market square (1997-1999 renovated)
  • Czettritz Castle (1604–1628)
  • Alberti Castle (1801), housing the Municipal Museum
  • St. Mary's (1305, ren. 1720)
  • Protestant Church (1785–1788)

City districts

City hall
Guardian Angels' Church
TD Centrum shopping centre

Including date of incorporation into the city



Wałbrzych constituency

Members of Parliament (Sejm) elected from Wałbrzych constituency

  • Zbigniew Chlebowski, PO
  • Henryk Gołębiewski, SLD
  • Roman Ludwiczuk, PO (Senat)
  • Katarzyna Mrzygłocka, PO
  • Giovanni Roman, PiS
  • Mieczysław Szyszka, PiS (Senat)


  • Górnik Wałbrzych(also known as Vicotria Górnik Wałbrzych) is a professional mens' basketball club performing in Polish 1st League. Its achievements include:
  • the 1982 Polish Champions
  • the 1988 Polish Champions
  • the 1981 Polish runner-up
  • the 1983 Polish runner-up
  • the 1986 Polish runner-up
  • the 1979 Polish Junior Champions
  • the 1980 Polish Junior Champions
  • the 2000 Polish Junior runner-up
  • the 2003 Polish Junior 3rd place

Last time Górnik played in PLK - the Polish top basketball league in 2009. Unfortunately, since the 2009/2010 season the team is playing in the Polish 1st league.

  • PWSZ Górnik Wałbrzych is a professional men football club performing in Polish 3rd league.[18]
  • Victoria PWSZ Wałbrzych is a professional mens' volleyball club performing in Polish 3rd league.

There are many semi-professional or amateur football clubs (like Zagłębie Wałbrzych, Juventur Wałbrzych, Podgórze Wałbrzych, Gwarek Wałbrzych, Czarni Wamag Wałbrzych and one basketball club (KS Dark Dog is playing in the Polish 3rd league)

  • LKKS Górnik Wałbrzych is a cycling club


Notable people

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Wałbrzych is twinned with:


  1. ^ a b Weczerka, p.555.
  2. ^ a b Barbara Czopek, Adaptacje niemieckich nazw miejscowych w języku polskim, 1995, pp.55, ISBN 8385579338
  3. ^ "Historia Wałbrzycha". Wałbrzych City Office. Retrieved 2 April 2009.  
  4. ^ Vorgeschichtliche Funde innerhalb des Stadtgebietes sind spärlich und zweifelhaft in der Deutung, so daß eine frühe Dauersiedlung nicht angenommen werden kann. Für die Existenz einer "Waldenburg" im Bereich der Altstadt gibt es keinerlei Anhaltspunkte. Weczerka, p.555
  5. ^ Die letzten Dörfer des flachen Landes am Fuße der auf der äußersten Kette der Vorsudetenberge thronenden Burg Fürstenstein waren Zirlau und Polsnitz, beide schon in frühester Zeit erwähnt. Koch, p.11
  6. ^ An der Westgrenze des Piastenherzogtums Schweidnitz gelegen, bewachte Fürstenstein den Handelsweg der, von Breslau und Schweidnitz über das Städtchen Freiburg führend, sich hinter Fürstenstein durch den dichten Grenzwald, Preseka genannt, zwang. Koch, p.11
  7. ^ Auch der Grenzwald spricht dagegen. Weczerka, p.555
  8. ^ Weczerka, p.416
  9. ^ Badstübner, p.2.
  10. ^ Petry, p.11.
  11. ^ Kronika wałbrzyska Wałbrzyskie Towarzystwo Kultury, Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe 1985 page 231
  12. ^ Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, Band 23, page 261, Markgraf, Duncker & Humblot, 1886
  13. ^ Die Behauptung, die "Waldenburg" sei 1191 erbaut worden (Naso), ist nicht haltbar. Weczerka, p.555
  14. ^ Weczerka, p.340.
  15. ^ Weczerka, p.341.
  16. ^ Werner Besch, Dialektologie: Ein Handbuch zur Deutschen und allgemeinen Dialektforschung, Walter de Gruyter, 1982, p.178, ISBN 3110059770
  17. ^ a b Stefan Wolff, German Minorities in Europe: Ethnic Identity and Cultural Belonging, Berghahn Books, 2000, p.79, ISBN 157181504
  18. ^ PWSZ Górnik Wałbrzych Official Site


  • Badstübner, Ernst; Dietmar Popp, Andrzej Tomaszewski, Dethard von Winterfeld (2005). Dehio - Handbuch der Kunstdenkmäler in Polen: Schlesien. München, Berlin: Deutscher Kunstverlag 2005. ISBN 342203109X.  
  • Koch, John (2006). Schloss Fürstenstein. Würzburg: Bergstadt. ISBN 0973157941.  
  • Petry, Ludwig; Josef Joachim Menzel, Winfried Irgang (2000). Geschichte Schlesiens. Band 1: Von der Urzeit bis zum Jahre 1526. Stuttgart: Jan Thorbecke Verlag Stuttgart. ISBN 3-7995-6341-5.  
  • Thum, Gregor (2003). Die fremde Stadt. Breslau 1945. Berlin: Siedler. ISBN 3-88680-795-9.  
  • Weczerka, Hugo (2003). Handbuch der historischen Stätten: Schlesien, Second Edition. Stuttgart: Kröner Stuttgart. ISBN 3-520-31602-1.  

External links

Coordinates: 50°46′N 16°17′E / 50.767°N 16.283°E / 50.767; 16.283


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




Proper noun

Wałbrzych m.

  1. A city in Lower Silesian Voivodeship in south-western Poland.


Singular only
Nominative Wałbrzych
Genitive Wałbrzycha
Dative Wałbrzychowi
Accusative Wałbrzych
Instrumental Wałbrzychem
Locative Wałbrzychu
Vocative Wałbrzychu

Derived terms

  • wałbrzyszanin m., wałbrzyszanka f.
  • adjective: wałbrzyski

Simple English

Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this name.


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