Market place (rynek)
|• Mayor||Waldemar Socha|
|• City||64.64 km2 (24.96 sq mi)|
|• Density||960/km2 (2,500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code(s)||+48 32|
Żory [ˈʐɔrɨ] (German: Sohrau) is a town and city county in Silesian Voivodeship, Poland with 62,625 inhabitants (2006). Previously it was in Katowice Voivodeship (1975–1998). It is located in the historic Upper Silesia region about 30 kilometres (19 mi) southwest of Katowice.
The settlement on the road from Cieszyn to Kraków was first mentioned in a 1258 deed. Żory is one of the oldest towns in Silesia, it was granted city rights according to Magdeburg Law on 24 February 1272 by Duke Władysław of Opole. It remained part of the Upper Silesian Duchy of Opole, since 1327 a Bohemian fief, until in 1532 it was incorporated into the Lands of the Bohemian Crown. After the First Silesian War it was annexed by Prussia in 1742.
In the 18th century it was centre of cloth manufacturing, later of metal and machining industry. Upon the 1921 Upper Silesia plebiscite, Sohrau fell to the Silesian Voivodeship of the Second Polish Republic, though 69.4% of the citizens had voted for Germany. Occupied by Nazi Germany during the 1939 Invasion of Poland, it was re-conquered in the Vistula-Oder Offensive of the Red Army in 1945 and the German population was expelled.
- Górnośląska Wyższa Szkoła Handlowa im. Wojciecha Korfantego in Katowice - Branch in Zory (Wydział zamiejscowy w Żorach)
- Silesian University of Technology - Branch in Zory
- Pogoń 1922 Żory - women's handball team playing in Polish Ekstraklasa Women's Handball League: winner of 1st league in 2003/2004 season; promoted to Premiership in 2004/2005 season.
Żory is twinned with:
- Otto Stern (1888–1969), physicist and Nobel laureate
- Jerzy Makula (born 1952), two times European Glider Aerobatic Champion and six times World Glider Aerobatic Champion
- Stanisław Sojka, (born 1959) jazz and pop singer-songwriter
- Jewish Community in Żory on Virtual Shtetl
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