Gliwice, Ger. Gleiwitz, city (1993 est. pop. 216,000), Śląskie prov., SW Poland. A coal-mining and steel-making center of the Katowice region, it also produces machinery and chemicals. Its busy port on the Gliwice Canal gives it access to the Baltic Sea via the Oder River. Chartered in 1276, Gliwice was ceded by Austria to Prussia in 1742 and returned to Poland after World War II.
Gliwice (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.

20th century

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:


Famous people


Bytom/Gliwice/Zabrze constituency

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

Municipal politics

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

Sister cities

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)

External links

  • - Travel Guide

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