(Gleiwitz) is an industrial city
in southern Poland
with 200,361 inhabitants (2004) on the Kłodnica
River, about 20 km to the west from Katowice
Gliwice is one of the main centers of the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union, the largest legally-recognized urban entity in Poland, with the population of the greater metropolitan area of 3,487,000.
Gliwice has been situated in the Silesian Voivodeship since 1999; previously, it was in Katowice Voivodeship.
Late Middle Ages
Gliwice was first mentioned as a town in 1276 and was ruled during the Middle Ages
by the Silesian Piast
dukes. It became a possession of the Bohemia
crown in 1335, passing with that crown to the Austrian Habsburgs
as Gleiwitz in 1526.
Early Modern Age
Because of the vast expenses incurred by the Habsburg Monarchy
during their 16 century wars
against the Ottoman Empire
, Gleiwitz was leased
to Friedrich Zettritz
for the meager amount of 14,000 thalers
. Although the original lease was for a duration of 18 years, it was renewed in 1580 for 10 years and in 1589 for an additional 18 years.
During the mid 18th century Silesian Wars, Gliwice was taken from Austria by the Kingdom of Prussia along with the majority of Silesia. After the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Gleiwitz was administered in the Prussian district of Tost-Gleiwitz within the Province of Silesia in 1816. The city was incorporated with Prussia into the German Empire in 1871 during the unification of Germany. In 1897 Gleiwitz became its own Stadtkreis, or urban district.
Gleiwitz began to develop into a major city through industrialization
during the 19th century. The town's ironworks
fostered the growth of other industrial fields in the area. During the late 19th century Gleiwitz had:
Other features of the 19th century industrialized Gleiwitz were a gasworks, a furnace factory, a beer bottling company, and a plant for asphalt and paste. Economically, Gleiwitz opened several banks, Savings and loan associations, and bond centers. Its tram system was completed in 1892, while its theater was opened in 1899; until World War II, Gleiwitz' theatre featured actors from through Europe and was one of the most famous theatres of entire Germany. The city's population in 1875 was 14,156.
According to the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, Gleiwitz's population in 1905 was 61,324. By 1911 it had two Protestant and four Roman Catholic churches, a synagogue, a mining school, a convent, a hospital, two orphanages, and a barracks. Gleiwitz was the center of the mining industry of Upper Silesia. It possessed a royal foundry, with which were connected machine manufactories and boilerworks. Other industrialized areas of the city had other foundries, meal mills, and manufactories producing wire, gas pipes, cement, and paper.
After the end of World War I, clashes between Poles and Germans occurred during the Silesian Uprisings. Ethnically Polish inhabitants of Upper Silesia wanted to incorporate the city not into Germany, but into the Second Polish Republic. The differences between Germans and Poles led to three subsequent Polish uprisings, and German resistance against them. Seeking a peaceful solution to the conflict, the League of Nations held a plebiscite on March 20 1921 to determine which country the city should belong to. In Gleiwitz, 32,029 votes (78.7% of given votes) were for remaining in Germany, Poland received 8,558 (21.0%) votes, and 113 (0.3%) votes were declared invalid. The total voter turnout was listed as 97.0%. The League of Nations determined that three Silesian towns: Gleiwitz/Gliwice, Hindenburg/Zabrze and Beuthen/Bytom would remain in Germany, and the rest of Upper Silesia with its main town of Katowice (Kattowitz) would join restored Poland.
An attack on a radio station in Gleiwitz on August 31, 1939, staged by the German secret police, served as a pretext for Nazi Germany to invade Poland, which was the beginning of World War II. The city was placed under Polish administration according to the 1945 Potsdam Conference and thus part of the Silesian-Dabrowa Voivodeship. The German population was expatriated to Germany as stated by the Potsdam Conference and replaced with Poles.
Higher Education and Science
Gliwice is a major applied science hub for the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union. Gliwice is a seat of:
- John Baildon, Scottish engineer
- Richard Fritz Behrendt, German sociologist
- Horst Bienek, German author of novels about Upper Silesia
- Wolfgang Bittner, German author
- William Blandowski, zoologist
- Lothar Bolz, foreign affairs minister of the communist German Democratic Republic
- Jerzy Buzek, professor of chemistry, prime minister of Poland 1997-2001, MEP since 2004
- Walther Busse von Colbe, German economist
- Ernst Degner, German Grand Prix motorcycle racer and designer
- Gottfried Bermann Fischer, German publisher
- Eugen Goldstein, German scientist
- Alfred Hauptmann, German psychiatrist and neurologist of Jewish origin
- Rudolf Herrnstadt, German communist
- Hans Kneifel, German author
- Richard Kubus, German football player
- Emanuel Larisch, German communist politician
- Paul Latussek, Vice-president of the Association of German expellees (1992-2001)
- Monika Lindner, director of the Austrian television ORF
- Gustav Neumann, German chess player
- Lukas Podolski, German (Polish born) football player
- Tadeusz Różewicz, Polish poet and writer
- Oskar Troplowitz, pharmacist and owner of Nivea skin creams
- Leo Yankevich, poet and translator
- Agnes Wabnitz, feminist
- Richard Wetz, composer
- Christoph Zöpel, German politician (SPD)
- Wojciech Kocyan, pianist
- Erich Peter Wohlfarth, German physicist
- Krystian Zimmermann, Polish born, famous international piano player
- Stanisław Sojka, musician
- Katarzyna Groniec, vocalist
- Agata Buzek, actress, daughter of Jerzy Buzek
Members of Parliament (Sejm) elected from Bytom/Gliwice/Zabrze constituency
- Chojnacki Jan, SLD-UP
- Dulias Stanisław, Samoobrona
- Gałażewski Andrzej, PO
- Janik Ewa, SLD-UP
- Kubica Józef, SLD-UP
- Martyniuk Wacław, SLD-UP
- Okoński Wiesław, SLD-UP
- Szarama Wojciech, PiS
- Szumilas Krystyna, PO
- Widuch Marek, SLD-UP
President of city (Mayor) - Zygmunt Frankiewicz
- The Gliwice Radio Tower of Radiostacja Gliwicka ("Radio Station Gliwice") in Szobiszowice is the only remaining radio tower of wood construction in the world, and with a height of 118 metres, is perhaps the tallest remaining construction made out of wood in the world.
- Gliwice Trynek narrow-gauge station is a protected monument. The narrow-gauge line to Raciborz via Rudy closed in 1991 although a short section still remains as a museum line.
- Castle in Gliwice dates back to the Middle Ages and hosts a museum
Gliwice is twinned
with the following cities:
- Max Lamla: Merkwürdiges aus meinem Leben (1917-1999), Saarbrücken 2006, ISBN 3-00-018964-5
- Boleslaw Domanski (2000) "The Impact of Spatial and Social Qualities on the Reproduction of Local Economic Success: The Case of the Path Dependent Development of Gliwice", in: Prace Geograficne, zesyt 106, Cracow, pp 35-54.
- B. Nietsche, Geschichte der Stadt Gleiwitz (1886)
- Seidel, Die königliche Eisengiesserei zu Gleiwitz (Berlin, 1896)
- http://aegee.gliwice.pl/new/en/documents/travel_guide/ - Travel Guide