|Motto: Amore et non dolore|
|• Mayor||Mieczysław Jerzy Szczurek|
|• Total||28.69 km2 (11.08 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,300/km2 (3,300/sq mi)|
Cieszyn [ˈt͡ɕɛʂɨn] ( ) (Czech: Těšín, German: Teschen) is a border-town and the seat of Cieszyn County, Silesian Voivodeship, southern Poland. It has 36,109 inhabitants (2004). Cieszyn lies on the Olza River, a tributary of the Oder river, opposite Český Těšín.
It is situated in the heart of the historical region of Cieszyn Silesia. Until the end of World War I in 1918 it was a seat of the Duchy of Teschen. In 1920 Cieszyn Silesia was divided between the two newly created states of Poland and Czechoslovakia, with the smaller western suburbs of Teschen becoming part of Czechoslovakia as a new town called Český Těšín. The larger part of the town joined Poland as Cieszyn. Both Polish and Czech part of the city have 61,201 inhabitants.
The town combines both Polish and Austrian peculiarities in the style of its buildings. Because of several major fires and subsequent reconstructions (the last one in the late 18th century), the picturesque old town is sometimes called Little Vienna. The only relic of the ancient castle is a square tower, dating from the 12th century and 10th century romanesque chapel.
The area has been populated by Slavic peoples since at least the 7th century. According to legend, in 810 three sons of a prince – Bolko, Leszko and Cieszko, met here after a long pilgrimage, found a spring, and decided to found a new settlement. They called it Cieszyn, from the words "cieszym się", "I'm happy". This well can be found at ulica Trzech Braci ("Three Brothers Street"), just west of the town square.
The town was the capital of the Duchy of Teschen and shared its history throughout the ages. It was in Teschen where Maria Theresa and Frederick II signed on 13 May 1779, the Teschen Peace Treaty, which put an end to the War of the Bavarian Succession. Teschen was known for its national, religious and cultural diversity, consisting mostly of German, Polish, Jewish and Czech communities. There was also a small but lively Hungarian community in the town consisting mostly of officers and clerks.
According to the Austrian census of 1910 the town had 22,489 inhabitants. 13,254 (61.5%) were German-speaking, 6,832 (31.7%) were Polish-speaking and 1,437 (6.7%) were Czech-speaking. Jews were not allowed to declare Yiddish, most of them thus declared German as their native language. The most populous religious groups were Roman Catholics with 15,138 (67.3%), followed by Protestants with 5,174 (23%) and the Jews with 2,112 (9.4%).
The town was divided in July 1920, by the Spa Conference, a body formed by the Versailles Treaty, leaving a sizeable Polish community on the Czechoslovak side. Its smaller westerns suburbs became what is now the town of Český Těšín in the Czech Republic. Both towns were joined together again in October 1938 when Poland annexed the Zaolzie area together with Český Těšín. In 1939 whole Cieszyn Silesia was annexed by German forces and during the World War II was a part of Nazi Germany. After the war, the border between Poland and Czechoslovakia was restored to the one from 1920.
During interwar period two villages were submerged with Cieszyn: Błogocice in 1923 and Bobrek in 1932. After World War II Boguszowice, Gułdowy, Kalembice, Krasna, Mnisztwo, Pastwiska were amalgamated with Cieszyn in 1973 and Marklowice in 1977.
After Poland and the Czech Republic joined the European Union and its passport-free Schengen zone, border controls were abolished and residents of both the Polish and Czech part can move freely across the border.
On 19 July 1970, five Polish firefighters from Cieszyn died, when a bridge they were on fell into the Olza River, due to heavy flooding.
Since the 19th century Cieszyn Silesia has been an important centre of Polish Protestantism. Currently Cieszyn is also the site of the Cieszyn Summer Film Festival, one of the most influential film festivals in Poland. There is also an earlier established Czech-Polish-Slovak film festival.
Cieszyn is an important centre of the electromechanical industry. It is also the site of the Olza Cieszyn sweets factory (where the famous Prince Polo wafers are made) and the Brackie Browar, where Żywiec Porter is brewed. The main source of income for many citizens is trade with the nearby Czech Republic and retail trade associated with transit across the two bridges over the Olza to Český Těšín.
Sites of interest
- Romanesque St. Nicholas' Chapel (Kaplica św. Mikołaja, a rotunda from the 11th century)
- Remnants of the Piast dynasty castle
- Old Town Square (Rynek)
- bourgeoisie houses (15th-19th centuries)
- Town Hall (Ratusz, early 19th century)
- Former minting house (18th century)
- Museum of Cieszyn Silesia in the former Larisch family palace (Pałac Laryszów, Muzeum Śląska Cieszyńskiego, the first museum in Poland)
- Castle Brewery (Browar Zamkowy, 1846)
- The protestant Church of Jesus (Kościół Jezusowy), with a baroque tower and statues of the Four Evangelists above the altar that liven up the plain interior.
- Adam Christian Agricola (born December 12, 1593), evangelical preacher
- Herbert Czaja (born November 5, 1914), German politician (CDU)
- Magdalena Gwizdoń (born August 4, 1979), Polish female biathlete
- Hermann Heller (born July 17, 1891), jurist
- Ireneusz Jeleń (born April 9, 1981), Polish footballer
- Carl Friedrich Kotschy (born January 26, 1789), botanist and theologian
- Inge Mahn (de) (born 1943), German female sculptor, professor
- Richard Pipes (born July 11, 1923), a Jewish-American historian
- Rudolf Ramek (born April 12, 1881), Austrian politician, Chancellor of Austria
- Max Rostal (born August 7, 1905), violinist and educator
- Tomisław Tajner (born May 14, 1983), Polish ski jumper
- Jiří Třanovský (born March 27, 1592), theologian and composer
- Friedrich Uhl (born May 14, 1825), journalist, writer
- Viktor Ullmann (born January 1, 1898), a Jewish musician
Twin towns — Sister cities
Cieszyn is twinned with:
14th century Piast tower
Statue of Saint Florian
Monastery, church, and hospital of the Sisters of Saint Elizabeth
Mary Magdalene Dominican Church, begun in late 13th century
Adam Mickiewicz Theatre
Evangelical Protestant Church of Jesus, begun in 1710
- Edmund Jan Osmańczyk, Anthony Mango. Encyclopedia of the United Nations and international agreements - Volume 1 A-F (2003 ed.). Taylor & Francis. p. 382. ISBN 0-415-93921-6.
- "Cieszyn - Tourism | Tourist Information - Cieszyn, Poland". Staypoland.com. Retrieved 2013-07-16.
- The legend is inscribed on the Well of the Three Brothers in Cieszyn.
- Wawreczka et al. 1999, 13.
- Wawreczka et al. 1999, 10.
- Ludwig Patryn (ed): Die Ergebnisse der Volkszählung vom 31. Dezember 1910 in Schlesien, Troppau 1912.
- "Partnerstädte der Stadt Luzern". Stadt Luzern (in German). Archived from the original on 2013-06-21. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
- Wawreczka, Henryk; Janusz Spyra and Mariusz Makowski (1999). Těšín, Český Těšín na starých pohlednicích a fotografiích / Cieszyn, Czeski Cieszyn na starych widokówkach i fotografiach. Nebory, Třinec: Wart. ISBN 80-238-4804-6.
- Długajczyk, Edward (1993). Tajny front na granicy cieszyńskiej. Wywiad i dywersja w latach 1919-1939. Katowice: Śląsk. ISBN 83-85831-03-7.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cieszyn.|
- Official website
- Museum of Cieszyn Silesia (Muzeum Śląska Cieszyńskiego)
- Jewish Community in Cieszyn on Virtual Shtetl