Silesia region on the map.
The Silesia Region belongs to the group of the most industrialised regions in Poland, bordering from the south with the Slovak Republic and Czech Republic, from the west with the Opolskie Voivodeship, from the north with the Łódzkie Voivodeship and from the east with the Małopolskie and Świętokrzyski. Within the area of 12,300 sq. km
This land is unique. During long time it was German territory. Important event happened in 19-20 centuries – Industrialization. Having recources of coal and perspectives of production development, Silesia started to be rich land. Talking about industrial production, Katowice is one of the most rapidly developing Polish metropolises. The former capital of the Polish heavy industry has been transformed into a modern municipal organism throughout the last decade. No wonder Katowice is reputed to be one of the most attractive investment areas in Eastern Europe. The Population of Katowice is ~328. 404
St. Mary church; Mariacka Street, Katowice
In nowadays post industrial world Silesia starts to switch to development of small business and tourism – a lot of mines and factory were closed and people lost their jobs. Still Silesia is rich and powerful, but I think not so much as in the past. The minds of people change not so quickly, and still people want to have autonomy, don’t share money with Warsaw and poorer Polish regions.
Maybe, Silesia is not the most homogeneous part of Poland. The biggest ethnical group in Poland apart from Polish are Silesians – 2,1 % of population, and they live here. People from Silesia Region are proud of themselves: Silesians have their own language, their own cuisine, culture and so on; and they think about themselves as Silesians, not Polish. My opinion is that it is some kind of German-Polish mix.
In modern borders Silesia can be divided into three parts:
- Central – Katowice and cities, towns, villages around – chain of historically connected places called Upper Silesia Industrial region
- North – part of nothing. Ok, here also you can find Czenstochowa (pol. Częstochowa) – city with holy monastery and Jura – Krakow-Częstochowa upland – hills with beautiful cliffs and rocks.
- South – Beskids mountain part of nice small towns and villages, ski and summer hiking resorts.
In Silesia Region there is also a Silesia Metropolis with 5.294.000 inhabitants : Association of 14 cities of Silesia Region. There are no borders between these cities and the areas of all these cities are difficult to recognize – all of them are so close to each other. I suppose that Silesia is similar with industrial regions in another countries – Ruhr region in Germany or Donbass in Ukraine. These places were lucky in specific time period had such advantage as natural recources.