Wodzisław Śląski

Wodzisław Śląski. View of the old town. – Photo by: Marzena Machnik, Wodzisław – Stare Miasto Widok, CC BY-SA 3.0


Ostrava (Tjekkiet) sv
SV, 10 km SE, 63 km NE, 39 km E, 24 km NV, 12 km NE, 8 km NV, 24 km NE


48.584 (2016)

Location and history

The town of Wodzisław Śląski is located in southern Poland, in Upper Silesia, southwest of Katowice, a few kilometers north of the border with the Czech Republic.

In 1241, following the Tatars' attack (where the former settlement was probably burnt down), Władysław Opolski became the ruler of Racibórz and Opole. He ruled in the years 1246-1281, and all of Upper Silesia belonged to him. In his time, a number of new cities were founded, including Wodzisław.
It is not possible to say exactly when Wodzisław was founded, as no documents have been preserved, but it is believed that it happened between 1246 and 1257. However, at the time of the granting of market town rights, 1257. Prince Władysław showed particular interest in the city of Wodzisław’s development; he fortified the city and gave it his own name, which was formerly Wodzisław.
Around 1280, a fire destroyed many of the wooden houses in Wodzisław. The town was first rebuilt around 1299. The most prominent inhabitants were craftsmen and traders. Fish farming was also an important profession.
Władysław I, who wanted to promote the unification of the Polish regions, gave his daughter, Konstancja, as wife of Prince Henry IV Prawy. The marriage was not successful and the parties separated. Konstancja then chose to settle in Wodzisław, which is why the land around the city was established as the Principality of Wodzisław, specifically for her. After her death, the Wodzisław area was again incorporated into the Principality of Racibórz, but from 1327 it became a county under the Czech crown.
From this time until the 16th century. the area was first inherited and then sold to various Czech and German officials – worldly as well as ecclesiastical. From 1490-1502 Wodzisław was owned by Władysław II Jagiellończyk (Czech: Vladislav II Jagellonský), the son of the Polish king Kazimierz IV Jagiellończyk, who himself became king of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Croatia.
Around the year 1500, the state of Wodzisław was established, consisting of the city and the surrounding area with several small towns and villages. This state had its own administration, but was initially under Czech rule, since Austrian and Prussian. Independent administration was maintained until the early 19th century.
From 1740 almost all of Silesia and including the Wodzisław area belonged to Prussia. This led to a strong Germanization of the city and the area. In 1809, the first election to the City Council (24 members) was held. Only those citizens who owned a house or workshop in the city area had the right to vote.
In the early 1800s, the industrialization of the city and its surroundings was intensified, especially the ironworks and coal extraction. The number of mines grew. After a devastating fire in 1822, the city was rebuilt – now with a much larger number of foundation-walled buildings. The abbey church was left in 1830 to the evangelical congregation, which organized a school affiliated with the church. There was also a Catholic and a Jewish school in the city. Of business establishments there were in Wodzisław 4 breweries, 4 distilleries, a watermill, brickwork, dyeing, tobacco factory and a starch factory. There was no hospital, but a pharmacy. Of state buildings, there was a courthouse and a post office.
After World War I, in 1922, the Polish army occupied the entire Rybnik District, including Wodzisław. The city became part of the Silesian county. On September 1, 1939, Wodzisław was captured by German forces. Throughout the occupation there was extensive persecution of the Polish inhabitants. At the end of the war, one went “death march” with starved prisoners from the KZ camp in Oświęcim (Auschwitz) and his camps at Wodzisław. From here, the surviving prisoners were transported by train to Germany. At Wodzisław there is a common grave for some of the victims of this death march. Other places in the city also have memorial plaques for executed KZ prisoners. On March 26, 1945, after fierce fighting, the city was liberated by divisions of the Soviet army as well as a Czechoslovak armored brigade. At that time, about 80% of the city was destroyed. In Wodzisław is a memorial commemorating the soldiers of the Czechoslovak brigade who participated in the liberation of the city.
During the Polish People's Republic, reconstruction of the city first took place, then an extension of the city boundaries and the establishment of the Wodzisław district. The tobacco factory and the brick factory resumed production. The water supply, sewer system and mains were expanded. The mining industry was further developed. In 1975, the Wodzisław district was closed down. In the same year, the urban area was increased by 4 smaller, neighboring urban communities. The population thus rose to about 131,000 in 1990. In the following years, the same 4 small towns were again separated as independent cities and by the year 2000 the population had dropped to about 50,000.
After the system change in 1989, the Wodzisław district was restored in 1999 and the city became the local center for administration, services, commerce and industry.

Panorama of the New Town in Wodzisław Śląski seen from the northwest. – Photo by: – Omen600606, Wodzisław Śl.Nowe Miasto Panorama, CC BY-SA 3.0

Tourist attractions

Selected attractions:

Church of the Assumption of Mary
The church stands at the highest point of the city immediately north of the main square and dominates the entire city center. The present church was built in 1909-1911 in neo-Gothic style at the site of the former church. The first church was built in 1257, while the first ground-walled church building was erected about 1528.

The castle in Wodzisław Śląski
The castle, called the Dietrichstein Castle, was built in 1742-1747, in a classicist style, on the site of the medieval castle of the city from ca. 1257. In Wodzisław, once again, a fortified settlement was destroyed, which was destroyed by the Tatars in 1241. Count Guidobald von Dietrichstein (1717-1773) paid for the construction of the new castle. Today, the castle is the seat of the Municipal Civil Service Office and the City Museum.

built in Gothic style, emerged immediately after 1257 and served as a monastery until 1810. The building is today the seat of the City Court.

Church of the Holy Trinity
was formerly the Church of the Franciscan Monastery, but now belongs to the Evangelical-Augsburg congregation.

The Knights Tower and Grodzisko
The knight tower – also called the Romantic Tower – was built in 1867 by the then owner Edward Brauns. It was built on a natural elevation in the terrain, called Grodzisko, northeast of the current city center. “Grodzisko” can be translated into Danish as “rampart”, but is more broadly understood here as the name of the location of the oldest urban community on site, ie. before 1257 and before the city was given the name Wodzisław. The tower is neo-Gothic and approx. 20 meters high. In the late 1920s’The restaurant was equipped with a restaurant and a vantage point in the tower. Between 1938 and 1991 the tower was in very poor condition. After that it was renovated as a vantage point, but only to be exposed to a burning fire in 2004. In 2012, the tower was refurbished, both exterior and interior.

Castle park
- Park Zamkowy – is located on the south side of Dietrichstein Castle.

Surrounding Area

Through the southern part of the city runs a quite narrow river, Lesznica, which has its outlet south – along with Szotkówka – in Olza, which is here the border between Poland and the Czech Republic.

From Wodzisław, the main road 78 is approx. 19 km to the Czech border (Chałupki border crossing).



Other Internet sites and sources

Wodzisław Śląski

Translated into English by Google Translate. Spangshus.dk accept no liability for any errors or omissions in translation.

Wodzisław Śląski
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