Bielsko-Biała

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bielsko-Biała
Bielsko-Biała. Top: view of Bielsko-Biała from Szyndzielnia Hill, 2nd row (left to right): Bielsko-Biała City Hall, Pod Orlem Convension Center, Evangelical Saviour Cathedral, 3rd row: Wojska Polsiego Square, Sulkowski Castle, Eleven Listopada Street, bottom: Polish Theater in Adama Mickiewicza, Saint Nicolas Cathedral, Martin Luther Cathedral, Zaklady Eatona Wapienica center
Bielsko-Biała. Top: view of Bielsko-Biała from Szyndzielnia Hill, 2nd row (left to right): Bielsko-Biała City Hall, Pod Orlem Convension Center, Evangelical Saviour Cathedral,
3rd row: Wojska Polsiego Square, Sulkowski Castle, Eleven Listopada Street, bottom: Polish Theater in Adama Mickiewicza, Saint Nicolas Cathedral, Martin Luther Cathedral, Zaklady Eatona Wapienica center
Flag of Bielsko-Biała
Flag
Coat of arms of Bielsko-Biała
Coat of arms
Bielsko-Biała is located in Poland
Bielsko-Biała
Bielsko-Biała
Coordinates: 49°49′21″N 19°2′40″E / 49.82250°N 19.04444°E / 49.82250; 19.04444
Country  Poland
Voivodeship Silesian
County city county
Town rights 1312 Bielsko
1723 Biała
Government
 • Mayor Jacek Krywult
Area
 • City 124.51 km2 (48.07 sq mi)
Highest elevation 1,117 m (3,665 ft)
Lowest elevation 262 m (860 ft)
Population (2013)
 • City 174,370
 • Density 1,400/km2 (3,600/sq mi)
 • Urban 584,000
 • Metro 5,294,000
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 43-300 to 43-382
Area code(s) (+48) 033
Car plates SB
Website http://www.um.bielsko.pl

Bielsko-Biała [ˈbʲɛlskɔ ˈbʲawa] ( ) (German: Bielitz-Biala; Czech: Bílsko-Bělá) is a city in southern Poland with 175,513 inhabitants (June 2009). Bielsko-Biała is composed of two former cities on opposite banks of the Biała River, the Silesian Bielsko and the Lesser Poland's Biała, amalgamated in 1951.

History[edit]

Both town names refer to the Biała River, stemming from biel or biała, which means "white" in Polish.

Bielsko[edit]

Remains of a fortified settlement in what is now the Stare Bielsko (Old Bielsko) district of the city were discovered between 1933 and 1938 by a Polish archaeological team. The settlement was dated to the 12th - 14th centuries. Its dwellers manufactured iron from ore and specialized in smithery. The current centre of the town was probably developed as early as the first half of the 13th century. At that time a castle (which still survives today) was built on a hill.

In the second half of the 13th century, the Piast dukes of Opole invited German settlers to colonize the Silesian Foothills. As the dukes then also ruled over the Lesser Polish lands east of the Biała River, settlements arose on both banks like Bielitz (now Stare Bielsko), Nickelsdorf (Mikuszowice Śląskie), Kamitz (Kamienica), Batzdorf (Komorowice Śląskie) and Kurzwald in the west as well as Kunzendorf (Lipnik), Alzen (Hałcnów) and Wilmesau (Wilamowice) in the east. Nearby settlements in the mountains were Lobnitz (Wapienica) and Bistrai (Bystra).

After the partition of the Duchy of Oppeln in 1281, Bielsko passed to the Dukes of Cieszyn (Teschen). The town was first documented in 1312 when Duke Mieszko I of Cieszyn granted a town charter. The Biała again became a border river, when in 1315 the eastern Duchy of Oświęcim split off from Cieszyn as a separate under Mieszko's son Władysław. After the Dukes of Cieszyn had become vassals of the Bohemian kings in 1327 and the Duchy of Oświęcim was sold to the Polish Crown in 1457, the Biała River for centuries marked the border between the Bohemian crown land of Silesia within the Holy Roman Empire and the Lesser Polish region of the Kingdom of Poland and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

With Bohemia and the Upper Silesian Duchy of Cieszyn, Bielsko in 1526 was inherited by the Austrian House of Habsburg and incorporated into the Habsburg Monarchy. From 1560 Bielsko was held by Frederick Casimir of Cieszyn, son of Duke Wenceslaus III Adam, who due to the enormous debts his son left upon his death in 1571, had to sell it to the Promnitz noble family at Pless. With the consent of Emperor Maximilian II, the Promnitz dynasty and their Schaffgotsch successors ruled the Duchy of Bielsko as a Bohemian state country; acquired by the Austrian chancellor Count Friedrich Wilhelm von Haugwitz in 1752, the ducal status was finally confirmed by Empress Maria Theresa in 1754.

After the Prussian king Frederick the Great had invaded Silesia, Bielsko remained with the Habsburg Monarchy as part of Austrian Silesia according to the 1742 Treaty of Breslau.

In late 1849 Bielsko became a seat of political district. In 1870 it became a statutory city.

Biała[edit]

The opposite bank of the Biała River, again Polish since 1475, had been sparsely settled since the mid-16th century. A locality was first mentioned in a 1564 deed, it received the name Biała in 1584, and belonged at that time to Kraków Voivodeship. Its population increased during the Counter-Reformation in the Habsburg lands, when many Protestant artisans from Bielsko (which did not belong to Poland) moved across the river. Though already named a town in the 17th century, Biała officially was granted city rights by the Polish king Augustus II the Strong in 1723.

Austrian KK stamp first 1850 issue, cancelled BIALA

In the course of the First Partition of Poland in 1772, Biała was annexed by the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy and incorporated into the crownland of Galicia. The Protestant citizens received the right to establish parishes according to the 1781 Patent of Toleration by Emperor Joseph II. BIALA was head of the district with the same name, one of the 78 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in the Galicia crownland.[1]

Modern times[edit]

With the dissolution of Austria–Hungary in 1918 according to the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, both cities became part of the reconstituted Polish state. The ethnic German citizens formed an aggressively anti-Polish, rabidly racist and anti-Jewish Jungdeutsche Partei sponsored financially by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Third Reich and trained in propaganda, sabotage and espionage activities against the Polish state.[2] Its members smuggled military weapons,[3] and waged a campaign of intimidating other members of the community to leave for Nazi Germany, with tangible incentives.[2] A considerable number of young ethnic Germans joined the rank-and-file of the Party during the mid-1930s as a result of the Nazi indoctrination and aggressive recruitment.[4] During World War II the city was annexed by Nazi Germany. Its Jewish population was sent aboard Holocaust trains to nearby Auschwitz extermination camp never to return. After the defeat of Nazism in 1945, the remaining German population fled westward or were expelled by the Soviet-installed communist government.

The combined city of Bielsko-Biała was created administratively on 1 January 1951 when the two cities of Bielsko, and Biała (known until 1951 as Biała Krakowska), were unified.

Geography[edit]

The city is situated on the border of historic Upper Silesia and Lesser Poland at the eastern rim of the smaller Cieszyn Silesia region, about 60 km (37 mi) south of Katowice. Administrated within Silesian Voivodeship since 1999, the city was previously capital of Bielsko-Biała Voivodeship (1975–1998).

Bielsko-Biała is one of the most important cities of the Beskidy Euroregion and the main city of the Bielsko Industrial Region (Polish: Bielski Okręg Przemysłowy), part of the Upper Silesian metropolitan area.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Bielsko-Biała
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 12
(54)
17
(63)
19
(66)
25
(77)
28
(82)
29
(84)
31
(88)
31
(88)
27
(81)
23
(73)
16
(61)
16
(61)
31
(88)
Average high °C (°F) 0
(32)
1
(34)
6
(43)
11
(52)
16
(61)
18
(64)
20
(68)
20
(68)
16
(61)
12
(54)
5
(41)
2
(36)
11
(52)
Daily mean °C (°F) −1
(30)
−1
(30)
3
(37)
7
(45)
12
(54)
15
(59)
17
(63)
17
(63)
13
(55)
9
(48)
3
(37)
2
(36)
8
(46)
Average low °C (°F) −3
(27)
−3
(27)
1
(34)
4
(39)
8
(46)
11
(52)
13
(55)
13
(55)
10
(50)
6
(43)
1
(34)
−1
(30)
5
(41)
Record low °C (°F) −23
(−9)
−21
(−6)
−16
(3)
−5
(23)
−1
(30)
2
(36)
5
(41)
5
(41)
1
(34)
−5
(23)
−15
(5)
−18
(0)
−23
(−9)
Precipitation mm (inches) 50
(1.97)
49
(1.93)
54
(2.13)
76
(2.99)
114
(4.49)
145
(5.71)
141
(5.55)
125
(4.92)
84
(3.31)
60
(2.36)
63
(2.48)
59
(2.32)
1,020
(40.16)
Avg. precipitation days 16 15 15 13 13 14 11 12 11 11 15 17 163
Source: Weatherbase [5]

Economy and Industry[edit]

Locally designed and produced Margański & Mysłowski EM-11 Orka business long range small aircraft

Economically, Bielsko-Biała is one of the best-developed parts of Poland. It was ranked 2nd-best city for business in the country by Forbes. About 5% of people are unemployed (compared 9,6% for Poland). Bielsko-Biała is famous for its textile, machine-building, and especially automotive industry. In Bielsko-Biała there are four areas that belong to Katowice Special Economic Zone. Bielsko-Biała region is also a home for several manufacturers of high-performance gliders and aircraft. Another reason for the low unemployment rate is that large numbers of young families have become economic migrants and have moved to the UK for employment. There are large communities originally from Bielsko-Biała now living in towns such as Slough and Southampton.[citation needed]

Transport[edit]

Interior of the main railway station (of several) in Bielsko-Biała, 28 April 2006

Although Bielsko-Biała is not served by a motorway, it is served by the Expressway S1, which was completed in late 2006, and runs from Bielsko-Biała to Cieszyn at the Czech border. Another expressway, the S69, is under construction around Bielsko-Biała and will run to Žilina in Slovakia. It is planned to extend S1 north along the existing dual carriageway DK1 from Bielsko-Biała to Tychy and Katowice, thus connecting Bielsko-Biała with the national motorway network of Poland. National Road DK52 connects Bielsko-Biała with Kraków in the east. The most important interchange in the area is the cloverleaf north of Bielsko-Biała where S1, DK1 and DK52 meet.

Sights[edit]

Bielsko-Biała is a beautiful city. It has a vibrant modernistic presence being a student-city with its associated nightlife, as well as having numerous historical sights.

Town Hall
Street in the city
Bielsko-Biała - the main post office seen from the castle

Boroughs[edit]

Education[edit]

Politics[edit]

Bielsko-Biała constituency[edit]

Senators from Bielsko-Biała constituency:

Members of Sejm from Bielsko-Biała constituency:

Municipal politics[edit]

  • Mayor - Jacek Krywult
  • Deputy Mayor - Waldemar Jędrusiński
  • Deputy Mayor - Zbigniew Giełda
  • Deputy Mayor - Zbigniew Michniowski
Award ceremony Uvalde 2012, second from the left is Sebastian Kawa
Locally designed and produced S-1 Swift glider, a prominent player in the world's aerobatic gliders' market

Sports[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns - Sister cities[edit]

Bielsko-Biała is twinned with the following cities:[4]

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Die postalischen Abstempelungen auf den österreichischen Postwertzeichen-Ausgaben 1867, 1883 und 1890, Wilhelm KLEIN, 1967
  2. ^ a b Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax (August 24, 1939). "The British War Bluebook". 2008 Lillian Goldman Law Library. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  3. ^ Wacław Uruszczak (2012). Krakowskie Studia z Historii Państwa i Prawa Vol. 5. Wydawnictwo UJ. p. 339. ISBN 8323388687. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Karol Grünberg (1963). Nazi Front Schlesien: niemieckie organizacje polityczne w województwie Śląskim w latach 1933-1939. Wydawnictwo Śląsk, Katowice. Retrieved 11 September 2014. "Historic photos." 
  5. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Bielsko-Biala, Slaskie, Poland". Weatherbase. 
  6. ^ Current FAI ranking of Sebastian Kawa, retrieved on: August 22, 2012
  7. ^ "Kragujevac Twin Cities". ©2009 Information service of Kragujevac City. Retrieved 2009-02-21. 
  8. ^ "Žilina - oficiálne stránky mesta: Partnerské mestá Žiliny (Žilina: Official Partner Cities)". © 2008 MaM Multimedia, s.r.o.. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 

Coordinates: 49°49′21″N 19°02′40″E / 49.82250°N 19.04444°E / 49.82250; 19.04444