|• Total||10.41 km2 (4.02 sq mi)|
|• Density||270/km2 (700/sq mi)|
Wilamowice [vʲilamɔˈvʲit͡sɛ] (German: Wilmesau, Wymysorys: Wymysoü) is a small town in southern Poland, situated in the Bielsko County, Silesian Voivodeship (since 1999, previously in Bielsko-Biała Voivodeship, 1975–1998). The endangered language of Wymysorys is spoken here by about 70 native speakers, the majority of them elderly. The language was the main one of the town until the early communist period (1945–1956), when authorities repressed it. The inhabitants identifying themselves with the original culture are Wilamowiczanie.
Wilamowice lies in Lesser Poland, and for hundreds of years the area of the village belonged to Krakow Voivodeship. In 1772 (see Partitions of Poland) Wilamowice was part of Austrian Galicia, returning to Poland in 1918, after the establishment of the Second Polish Republic.
The town was first mentioned in 1325 as Novovilamowicz. The current place name is distinct from Antiquo-Willamowicz (now Stara Wieś). The town was settled and populated in the course of the German Ostsiedlung. The settlers came from Flanders, Friesland, Holland and Scotland. Since the 15th Century the village was known by two German names : Wilmeshau Wilmesdorf. The place name was subject to many changes until the 18th Century when the name Wilmesau prevailed. Due to endogamy and the geographical isolation of the village lying inside the Polish language area of Bielsko-Biala the local language developed as a distinct regional dialect, which was used until the Second World War in everyday life.
After the war almost all the Germans were driven out of the area and the village was renamed Wilamowice. The residents of Wilmesau / Wilamowice were allowed to stay by the Polish government because they were not of German descent. However the local language was banned and the population faced linguistic Polonization until 1956.
- Józef Bilczewski (1860–1923) - archbishop of Lwów, born in Wilamowice
- Florian Biesik (1849–1926) - writer, born in Wilamowice
- There is a TV station called Vila TV which operates 24 hours.
Twin towns – Sister cities
Wilamowice is twinned with:
- Vgl. Tomasz Wicherkiewicz: The making of a language: the case of the idiom of Wilamowice, southern Poland. 2003