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Middle Silesia (Polish: Śląsk środkowy, German: Mittelschlesien) was a colloquial designation for the Regierungsbezirk Breslau subdivision in the Prussian province of Silesia from 1813 to 1945. It comprised the eastern parts of the historic Lower Silesia region and the former County of Kladsko, both conquered by Prussia in 1742.
Silesia had been part of Bohemian crown lands of the Habsburg Monarchy until most of it was annexed by the Prussian king Frederick the Great in the First Silesian War, codified by the 1742 Treaty of Breslau. In 1813, the administrative Regierungsbezirk was established in Prussian Silesia, with its capital in Breslau (present-day Wrocław). The western half of Lower Silesia was incorporated into Regierungsbezirk Liegnitz (Legnica), the adjacent Upper Silesian land in the east into Regierungsbezirk Oppeln (Opole).
After in 1820 the short-lived Regierungsbezirk Reichenbach (Dzierżoniów) was dissolved, the Middle Silesian district also comprised Glatzer Land (Kłodzko Land) in the south and several districts of the former duchies of Münsterberg (Ziębice), Jauer (Jawor) and Brieg (Brzeg). It then stretched from the Greater Polish plain in the north (Grand Duchy of Posen) to the border with Bohemia along the Sudetes mountain range in the south, where Glatzer Land also bordered on Austrian Silesia in the east.
After World War I, the state of Czechoslovakia arose on the southern border, while Greater Poland in the north became part of the Second Polish Republic. At the same time, the Prussian Silesia Province was divided, whereby Regierungsbezirk Breslau formed the eastern half of the Province of Lower Silesia. Historically, most residents spoke the Czech language, German, or Polish. Upon the 1945 Potsdam Agreement, the region fell to the Republic of Poland and the German population was expelled.
The region is today the eastern part of the Polish Lower Silesian Voivodeship.
The major cities in Middle Silesia are:
- Wrocław (Czech: Vratislav; German: Breslau)
- Wałbrzych (Czech: Valbřich; German: Waldenburg)
- Świdnica (Czech: Svídnice; German: Schweidnitz)
- Kłodzko (Czech: Kladsko; German: Glatz)
- Namysłów (German: Namslau)
- Brzeg (Czech: Brzeg; German: Brieg)
Regierungsbezirk Breslau (1813-1919)
Stadtkreise (Urban districts)
Landkreise (Rural districts)
- Landkreis Breslau
- Landkreis Brieg
- Landkreis Frankenstein
- Landkreis Glatz
- Landkreis Groß Wartenberg
- Landkreis Guhrau
- Landkreis Habelschwerdt
- Landkreis Militsch
- Landkreis Namslau
- Landkreis Neumarkt
- Landkreis Oels
- Landkreis Ohlau
- Landkreis Reichenbach (im Eulengebirge)
- Landkreis Schweidnitz
- Landkreis Strehlen
- Landkreis Trebnitz
- Landkreis Waldenburg
- Landkreis Wohlau