Katowice - the capital city of Silesian Province
The Silesian Province is the place of many tourist attractions, ranging from the Beskid Mountains to Kraków-Częstochowa Upland. The region is diversified in terms of natural environment and demographics. It is inhabited by nearly 4 million residents, thus being the most urbanized region of Poland and is also the greatest industrial base, accounting for approx. 25% of the country's industrial production capacities.
The motto of the region is “Silesia. Positive energy”. Interestingly, it combines traditional areas of industry (mining, metallurgy, organic chemistry) and modern technologies (nanotechnology, aircraft industry, biotechnology and IT). Apart from the units of the University of Silesia, two important technical universities operate in Silesian Province: the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice and Częstochowa University of Technology.
Nowadays the Silesian Province is an example of successful economic transformation, going through changes that adapted it to the contemporary economic and social challenges. The Provincial authorities care very much about ecology matters. The Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas does research in the region. The UN climate summit 2018 is going to take place here in 2018.
The short history of Silesia is a product of the power struggle in the Middle and in the Eastern Europe throughout the centuries. The Province lies at the boundary of Polish, Czech, Slovak and German borderland, thus the region developed complex multicultural society including significant contribution of the local Jewish community.
In Medieval the territory of the contemporary Silesia Province stood under the influence of both Polish and Czech kingdoms. During the XVI century it became part of the Habsburg Monarchy which in turn lost the core part of the region in favor of Prussian State in the 1740s. In the course of the following decades Prussian authorities transformed Upper part of Silesia (around Katowice) into one of the most important coal-mining and metallurgy centers in Europe. Following the partition of Poland in the late XVIII century the region bordered on Russian Empire. Along with regaining its independence in 1918 Poland took control of the eastern strip of Silesia with Katowice. After the IIWW Germany had to resign on the Silesia (including Lower Silesia with Wroclaw/former Breslau) which had been annexed to Poland.