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Gliwice ( ) is a city in Upper Silesia in southern Polandmarker, near Katowicemarker. Gliwice is the west district of the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Unionmarker – a metropolis with a population of 2 million. The city is located in the Silesian Highlands, on the Kłodnica river (a tributary of the Oder).

Situated in the Silesian Voivodeshipmarker since its formation in 1999, Gliwice was previously in Katowice Voivodeship. Gliwice is one of the cities of a 2.7 million conurbation known as the Katowice urban area and is within the larger Silesian metropolitan area, which has a population of about 5,294,000 people. The population of the city is 197,393 (2008).


Late Middle Ages

Gleiwitz was first mentioned as a town in 1276 and was ruled during the Middle Ages by the Silesian Piast dukes. It became a possession of the Bohemia crown in 1335, passing with that crown to the Austrianmarker Habsburgs as Gleiwitz in 1526.

Early Modern Age

Because of the vast expenses incurred by the Habsburg Monarchy during their 16 century wars against the Ottoman Empire, Gleiwitz was leased to Friedrich Zettritz for the meager amount of 14,000 thalers. Although the original lease was for a duration of 18 years, it was renewed in 1580 for 10 years and in 1589 for an additional 18 years.

During the mid 18th century Silesian Wars, Gliwice was taken from Austria by the Kingdom of Prussiamarker along with the majority of Silesia. After the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Gleiwitz was administered in the Prussian district of Tost-Gleiwitz within the Province of Silesiamarker in 1816. The city was incorporated with Prussia into the German Empiremarker in 1871 during the unification of Germany. In 1897 Gleiwitz became its own Stadtkreis, or urban district.


Gleiwitz began to develop into a major city through industrialization during the 19th century. The town's ironworks fostered the growth of other industrial fields in the area. During the late 19th century Gleiwitz had: 14 distilleries, 2 breweries, 5 mills, 7 brick factories, 3 sawmills, a shingle factory, 8 chalk factories and 2 glassworks.

Other features of the 19th century industrialized Gleiwitz were a gasworks, a furnace factory, a beer bottling company, and a plant for asphalt and paste. Economically, Gleiwitz opened several banks, Savings and loan associations, and bond centers. Its tram system was completed in 1892, while its theater was opened in 1899; until World War II, Gleiwitz' theatre featured actors from through Europe and was one of the most famous theatres of entire Germanymarker. The city's population in 1875 was 14,156.

20th century

Main street – Zwycięstwa
According to the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, Gleiwitz's population in 1905 was 61,324. By 1911 it had two Protestant and four Roman Catholic churches, a synagogue, a mining school, a convent, a hospital, two orphanages, and a barracks. Gleiwitz was the center of the mining industry of Upper Silesia. It possessed a royal foundry, with which were connected machine factories and boilerworks. Other industrialized areas of the city had other foundries, meal mills, and factories producing wire, gas pipes, cement, and paper.

After the end of World War I, clashes between Poles and Germans occurred during the Silesian Uprisings. Ethnically Polish inhabitants of Upper Silesia wanted to incorporate the city not into Germany, but into the Second Polish Republicmarker. The differences between Germans and Poles led to the First & Second Silesian Uprisings, and German resistance against them. Seeking a peaceful solution to the conflict, the League of Nations held a plebiscite on March 20, 1921 to determine which country the city should belong to. In Gleiwitz, 32,029 votes (78.7% of given votes) were for remaining in Germany, Poland received 8,558 (21.0%) votes, and 113 (0.3%) votes were declared invalid. The total voter turnout was listed as 97.0%. This prompted the Third Silesian Uprising, which then forced the League of Nations to arbitrate. It determined that three Silesian towns: Gleiwitz/Gliwice, Hindenburg/Zabrze and Beuthen/Bytom would remain in Germany, and the rest of Upper Silesia with its main town of Katowice marker would join restored Poland.

An attack on a radio stationmarker in Gleiwitz on August 31, 1939, staged by the German secret police, served as a pretext for Nazi Germany to invade Poland, which marked the start of the Second World War. The city was placed under Polish administration according to the 1945 Potsdam Conference and thus part of the Silesian-Dabrowa Voivodeship. Most of the German population was expelled to Germany as stated by the Potsdam Conference and replaced with Poles.

Gliwice – Wszystkich Świętych Church.
Castle in Gliwice.
Radio station Gliwice wooden tower

Higher education and science

Gliwice is a major applied science hub for the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Unionmarker. Gliwice is a seat of:



Bytom/Gliwice/Zabrze constituency

Members of Parliament (Sejm) elected from Bytom/Gliwice/Zabrze constituency
  • Brzeziński Jacek, PO
  • Chłopek Aleksander, PiS
  • Gałażewski Andrzej, PO
  • Głogowski Tomasz, PO
  • Kaźmierczak Jan, PO
  • Martyniuk Wacław, LiD
  • Religa Zbigniew, PiS
  • Sekuła Mirosław, PO
  • Szarama Wojciech, PiS
  • Szumilas Krystyna, PO

Municipal politics

President of city (Mayor) – Zygmunt Frankiewicz


  • The Gliwice Radio Towermarker of Radiostacja Gliwicka ("Radio Station Gliwice") in Szobiszowice is the only remaining radio tower of wood construction in the world, and with a height of 118 metres, is perhaps the tallest remaining construction made out of wood in the world.

  • Gliwice Trynek narrow-gauge station is a protected monument. The narrow-gauge line to Raciborz via Rudy closed in 1991 although a short section still remains as a museum line.

International relations

Twin towns—Sister cities

Gliwice is twinned with the following cities:

Famous people



  • Max Lamla: Merkwürdiges aus meinem Leben (1917-1999), Saarbrücken 2006, ISBN 3-00-018964-5
  • Boleslaw Domanski (2000) "The Impact of Spatial and Social Qualities on the Reproduction of Local Economic Success: The Case of the Path Dependent Development of Gliwice", in: Prace Geograficne, zesyt 106, Cracow, pp 35–54.
  • B. Nietsche, Geschichte der Stadt Gleiwitz (1886)
  • Seidel, Die königliche Eisengiesserei zu Gleiwitz (Berlin, 1896)


  • – Travel Guide

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