before 1740 Prussian annexation
Prussian Silesia, 1871
Oder riverBasemap shows modern national borders.
|• Total||40,000 km2 (20,000 sq mi)|
|• Density||200/km2 (520/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Silesia ( /
Polish is a West Slavic language of the Lechitic group. It is spoken primarily in Poland and serves as the native language of the Poles. In addition to being an official language of Poland, it is also used by Polish minorities in other countries. There are over 50 million Polish language speakers around the world and it is one of the official languages of the European Union.
Czech, historically also Bohemian, is a West Slavic language of the Czech–Slovak group. Spoken by over 10 million people, it serves as the official language of the Czech Republic. Czech is closely related to Slovak, to the point of mutual intelligibility to a very high degree. Like other Slavic languages, Czech is a fusional language with a rich system of morphology and relatively flexible word order. Its vocabulary has been extensively influenced by Latin and German.
German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.
The region is rich in mineral and natural resources, and includes several important industrial areas. Silesia's largest city and historical capital is Wrocław. The biggest metropolitan area is the Upper Silesian metropolitan area, the centre of which is Katowice. Parts of the Czech city of Ostrava fall within the borders of Silesia.
Wrocław is a city in western Poland and the largest city in the historical region of Silesia. It lies on the banks of the River Oder in the Silesian Lowlands of Central Europe, roughly 350 kilometres (220 mi) from the Baltic Sea to the north and 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the Sudeten Mountains to the south. The population of Wrocław in 2018 was 639,258, making it the fourth-largest city in Poland and the main city of Wrocław agglomeration.
The Upper Silesian metropolitan area is a metropolitan area in southern Poland and northeast Czech Republic, centered on the cities of Katowice and Ostrava in Silesia. Located in the three administrative units : mainly Silesian Voivodeship, a small western part of Lesser Poland Voivodeship and a small east part of Moravian-Silesian Region.
Katowice is a city in southern Poland, with a city-proper population of 297,197 making it the eleventh-largest city in Poland as of 2017 and is the center of the Katowice metropolitan area, which has approximately 2 million people.
Silesia's borders and national affiliation have changed over time, both when it was a hereditary possession of noble houses and after the rise of modern nation-states. The first known states to hold power there were probably those of Greater Moravia at the end of the 9th century and Bohemia early in the 10th century. In the 10th century, Silesia was incorporated into the early Polish state, and after its division in the 12th century became a Piast duchy. In the 14th century, it became a constituent part of the Bohemian Crown Lands under the Holy Roman Empire, which passed to the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy in 1526.
Feudalism was a combination of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour. Although derived from the Latin word feodum or feudum (fief), then in use, the term feudalism and the system it describes were not conceived of as a formal political system by the people living in the Middle Ages. In its classic definition, by François-Louis Ganshof (1944), feudalism describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility revolving around the three key concepts of lords, vassals and fiefs.
The Duchy of Bohemia, also referred to as the Czech Duchy, was a monarchy and a principality of the Holy Roman Empire in Central Europe during the Early and High Middle Ages. It was formed around 870 by Czechs as part of the Great Moravian realm. The Bohemian lands separated from disintegrating Moravia after Duke Spytihněv swore fidelity to the East Frankish king Arnulf in 895.
The Duchies of Silesia were the more than twenty divisions of the region of Silesia formed between the 12th and 14th centuries by the breakup of the Duchy of Silesia, then part of the Kingdom of Poland. In 1335, the duchies were ceded to the Kingdom of Bohemia under the Treaty of Trentschin. Thereafter until 1742, Silesia was one of the Bohemian crown lands and lay within the Holy Roman Empire. Most of Silesia was annexed by the King of Prussia under the Treaty of Berlin in 1742. Only the Duchy of Teschen, the Duchy of Troppau and the Duchy of Nysa remained under the control of the Bohemian crown and as such were known as the Duchy of Upper and Lower Silesia until 1918.
Most of Silesia was conquered by Prussia in 1742 and transferred from Austria to Prussia in the Treaty of Berlin. Later, Silesia became, as a province of Prussia, a part of the German Empire and the subsequent Weimar Republic. The varied history with changing aristocratic possessions resulted in an abundance of castles in Silesia, especially in the Jelenia Góra valley. After World War I, the easternmost part of this region, i.e. an eastern strip of Upper Silesia, was awarded to Poland by the Entente Powers after insurrections by Poles and the Upper Silesian plebiscite. The remaining former Austrian parts of Silesia were partitioned to Czechoslovakia, forming part of Czechoslovakia's German-settled Sudetenland region, and are today part of the Czech Republic. In 1945, after World War II, the bulk of Silesia was transferred, on demands of the Polish delegation, to Polish jurisdiction by the Potsdam Agreement of the victorious Allied Powers and became part of Poland. The small Lusatian strip west of the Oder–Neisse line, which had belonged to Silesia since 1815, remained in Germany. The largest town and cultural centre of this region is Görlitz.
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom that constituted the state of Prussia between 1701 and 1918. It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, where its capital was Berlin.
The Treaty of Berlin between the Habsburg archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria, who was also Queen of Bohemia, and the Prussian king Frederick the Great was signed on 28 July 1742 in Berlin. It was the formal peace treaty that confirmed the preliminary agreement achieved with English mediation by the 11 June Treaty of Breslau, and officially ended the First Silesian War.
The German Empire, also known as Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918.
Most inhabitants of Silesia today speak the national languages of their respective countries, while before the population shifts after 1945, the majority of Silesia's population spoke German. The population of Upper Silesia is native (with some immigrants from Poland who came in the 19th to 20th centuries), while Lower Silesia was settled by a German-speaking population before 1945. An ongoing debate exists whether Silesian speech should be considered a dialect of Polish or a separate language.[ citation needed ] Also, a Lower Silesian German dialect is used, although today it is almost extinct.[ citation needed ] It is used by expellees who relocated to the remaining parts of Germany, as well as by Germans who stayed in their Lower Silesian home.
Lower Silesia is the northwestern part of the historical and geographical region of Silesia; Upper Silesia is to the southeast.
Silesian or Upper Silesian is a West Slavic lect of the Lechitic group. Its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by Central German due to the existence of numerous Silesian German speakers in the area prior to World War II and after.
The names of Silesia in the different languages most likely share their etymology—Latin and English: Silesia; Polish: Śląsk; Old Polish: Ślążsk[o]; Silesian: Ślůnsk; German: Schlesien; Silesian German: Schläsing; Czech: Slezsko; Slovak: Sliezsko; Kashubian: Sląsk; Upper Sorbian: Šleska; Lower Sorbian: Šlazyńska. The names all relate to the name of a river (now Ślęza) and mountain (Mount Ślęża) in mid-southern Silesia. The mountain served as a cultic place.
Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets, and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.
English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca. Named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Great Britain that would later take their name, England, both names ultimately deriving from the Anglia peninsula in the Baltic Sea. It is closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, and its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Norse, and to a greater extent Latin and French.
Silesian, Silesian German or Lower Silesian is a nearly extinct German dialect spoken in Silesia. It is part of the East Central German language area with some West Slavic influences. Silesian German emerged as the result of Late Medieval German immigration to Silesia, which had been inhabited by Lechitic Slavic peoples in the Early Middle Ages. Variations of the dialect until 1945 were spoken by about seven million people. After World War II, local communist authorities forbade the use of the language, after the expulsion of the Germans the province of Silesia was incorporated into Poland, with small portions remaining in northeastern Czech Republic and in eastern Germany. Silesian German continued to be spoken only by individual families expelled to the remaining territory of Germany and in cultural gatherings mainly in West Germany. Most descendants of the Silesian Germans expelled to West and East Germany no longer learned the dialect, and the cultural gatherings were less and less frequented.
Ślęża is listed as one of the numerous Pre-Indo-European topographic names in the region (see old European hydronymy).
According to some Polish Slavists, the name Ślęża [ˈɕlɛ̃ʐa] or Ślęż [ˈɕlɛ̃ʐ] is directly related to the Old Slavic words ślęg [ˈɕlɛ̃ɡ] or śląg [ˈɕlɔ̃ɡ] , which means dampness, moisture, or humidity. They disagree with the hypothesis of an origin for the name Śląsk [ˈɕlɔ̃sk] from the name of the Silings tribe, an etymology preferred by some German authors.
In the fourth century BC, Celts entered Silesia, settling around Mount Ślęża near modern Wrocław, Oława, and Strzelin. [ citation needed ] Slavic peoples arrived in the region around the 7th century, and by the early ninth century, their settlements had stabilized. Local Slavs started to erect boundary structures like the Silesian Przesieka and the Silesia Walls. The eastern border of Silesian settlement was situated to the west of the Bytom, and east from Racibórz and Cieszyn. East of this line dwelt a closely related Slav tribe, the Vistulans. Their northern border was in the valley of the Barycz River, north of which lived the Polans.Germanic Lugii tribes were first recorded within Silesia in the 1st century.
The first known states in Silesia were Greater Moravia and Bohemia. In the 10th century, the Polish ruler Mieszko I of the Piast dynasty incorporated Silesia into the Polish state. During the Fragmentation of Poland, Silesia and the rest of the country were divided among many independent duchies ruled by various Silesian dukes. During this time, German cultural and ethnic influence increased as a result of immigration from German-speaking parts of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1178, parts of the Duchy of Kraków around Bytom, Oświęcim, Chrzanów, and Siewierz were transferred to the Silesian Piasts, although their population was primarily Vistulan and not of Silesian descent.
Between 1289 and 1292, Bohemian king Wenceslaus II became suzerain of some of the Upper Silesian duchies. Polish kings had not renounced their hereditary rights to Silesia until 1335.The province became part of the Bohemian Crown under the Holy Roman Empire, and passed with that crown to the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria in 1526.
In the 15th century, several changes were made to Silesia's borders. Parts of the territories which had been transferred to the Silesian Piasts in 1178 were bought by the Polish kings in the second half of the 15th century (the Duchy of Oświęcim in 1457; the Duchy of Zator in 1494). The Bytom area remained in the possession of the Silesian Piasts, though it was a part of the Diocese of Kraków.The Duchy of Crossen was inherited by the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1476, and with the renunciation of King Ferdinand I and the estates of Bohemia in 1538, became an integral part of Brandenburg.
In 1742, most of Silesia was seized by King Frederick the Great of Prussia in the War of the Austrian Succession, eventually becoming the Prussian Province of Silesia in 1815; consequently, Silesia became part of the German Empire when it was proclaimed in 1871.
After World War I, a part of Silesia, Upper Silesia, was contested by Germany and the newly independent Second Polish Republic. The League of Nations organized a plebiscite to decide the issue in 1921. It resulted in 60% of votes being cast for Germany and 40% for Poland.[ citation needed ] Following the third Silesian Uprising (1921), however, the easternmost portion of Upper Silesia (including Katowice), with a majority ethnic Polish population, was awarded to Poland, becoming the Silesian Voivodeship. The Prussian Province of Silesia within Germany was then divided into the provinces of Lower Silesia and Upper Silesia. Meanwhile, Austrian Silesia, the small portion of Silesia retained by Austria after the Silesian Wars, was mostly awarded to the new Czechoslovakia (becoming known as Czech Silesia), although most of Cieszyn and territory to the east of it went to Poland as Zaolzie.
Polish Silesia was among the first regions invaded during Germany's 1939 attack on Poland. One of the claimed goals of Nazi occupation, particularly in Upper Silesia, was the extermination of those whom Nazis viewed as subhuman, namely Jews and ethnic Poles. The Polish and Jewish population of the then Polish part of Silesia was subjected to genocide involving ethnic cleansing and mass murder, while German colonists were settled in pursuit of Lebensraum.Two thousand Polish intellectuals, politicians, and businessmen were murdered in the Intelligenzaktion Schlesien in 1940 as part of a Poland-wide Germanization program. Silesia also housed one of the two main wartime centers where medical experiments were conducted on kidnapped Polish children by Nazis.
The Potsdam Conference of 1945 defined the Oder-Neisse line as the border between Germany and Poland. Millions of Germans in Silesia either fled or were expelled, and were replaced by Polish population forcibly re-settled by the Soviet Union from other regions. After 1945 and in 1946, nearly all of the 4.5 million Silesians of German descent fled, or were interned in camps and forcibly expelled, including some thousand German Jews who survived the Holocaust and had returned to Silesia; 634,106 Silesians died in the expulsion,[ citation needed ] nearly 14% of the population. The newly formed Polish United Workers' Party created a Ministry of the Recovered Territories that claimed half of the available arable land for state-run collectivized farms. Many of the new Polish Silesians who resented the Germans for their invasion in 1939 and brutality in occupation now resented the newly formed Polish communist government for their population shifting and interference in agricultural and industrial affairs.
The administrative division of Silesia within Poland has changed several times since 1945. Since 1999, it has been divided between Lubusz Voivodeship, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Opole Voivodeship, and Silesian Voivodeship. Czech Silesia is now part of the Czech Republic, forming the Moravian-Silesian Region and the northern part of the Olomouc Region. Germany retains the Silesia-Lusatia region (Niederschlesien-Oberlausitz or Schlesische Oberlausitz) west of the Neisse, which is part of the federal state of Saxony.
Most of Silesia is relatively flat, although its southern border is generally mountainous. It is primarily located in a swath running along both banks of the upper and middle Oder (Odra) River, but it extends eastwards to the upper Vistula River. The region also includes many tributaries of the Oder, including the Bóbr (and its tributary the Kwisa), the Barycz and the Nysa Kłodzka. The Sudeten Mountains run along most of the southern edge of the region, though at its south-eastern extreme it reaches the Silesian Beskids and Moravian-Silesian Beskids, which belong to the Carpathian Mountains range.
Historically, Silesia was bounded to the west by the Kwisa and Bóbr Rivers, while the territory west of the Kwisa was in Upper Lusatia (earlier Milsko). However, because part of Upper Lusatia was included in the Province of Silesia in 1815, in Germany Görlitz, Niederschlesischer Oberlausitzkreis and neighbouring areas are considered parts of historical Silesia. Those districts, along with Poland's Lower Silesian Voivodeship and parts of Lubusz Voivodeship, make up the geographic region of Lower Silesia.
Silesia has undergone a similar notional extension at its eastern extreme. Historically, it extended only as far as the Brynica River, which separates it from Zagłębie Dąbrowskie in the Lesser Poland region. However, to many Poles today, Silesia (Śląsk) is understood to cover all of the area around Katowice, including Zagłębie. This interpretation is given official sanction in the use of the name Silesian Voivodeship (województwo śląskie) for the province covering this area. In fact, the word Śląsk in Polish (when used without qualification) now commonly refers exclusively to this area (also called Górny Śląsk or Upper Silesia).
As well as the Katowice area, historical Upper Silesia also includes the Opole region (Poland's Opole Voivodeship) and Czech Silesia. Czech Silesia consists of a part of the Moravian-Silesian Region and the Jeseník District in the Olomouc Region.
Silesia is a resource-rich and populous region.
Since the middle of the 18th century, coal has been mined. The industry had grown while Silesia was part of Germany, and peaked in the 1970s under the People's Republic of Poland. During this period, Silesia became one of the world's largest producers of coal, with a record tonnage in 1979.Coal mining declined during the next two decades, but has increased again following the end of Communist rule.
The 41 coal mines in Silesia are mostly part of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin, which lies in the Silesian Upland. The coalfield has an area of about 4,500 km2. Deposits in Lower Silesia have proven to be difficult to exploit and the area's unprofitable mines were closed in 2000. In 2008, an estimated 35 billion tonnes of lignite reserves were found near Legnica, making them some of the largest in the world.
From the fourth century BC, iron ore has been mined in the upland areas of Silesia.The same period had lead, copper, silver, and gold mining. Zinc, cadmium, arsenic, and uranium have also been mined in the region. Lower Silesia features large copper mining and processing between the cities of Legnica, Głogów, Lubin, and Polkowice.
The region is known for stone quarryingto produce limestone, marl, marble, and basalt.
|Mineral Name||Production (tonnes)||Reference|
The region also has a thriving agricultural sector, which produces cereals (wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn), potatoes, rapeseed, sugar beets and others. Milk production is well developed. The Opole Silesia has for decades occupied the top spot in Poland for their indices of effectiveness of agricultural land use.
Mountainous parts of southern Silesia feature many significant and attractive tourism destinations (e.g., Karpacz, Szczyrk, Wisła). Silesia is generally well forested. This is because greenness is generally highly desirable by the local population, particularly in the highly industrialized parts of Silesia.
Silesia has been historically diverse in every aspect. Nowadays, the largest part of Silesia is located in Poland; it is often cited as one of the most diverse regions in that country.
United States Immigration Commission in its "Dictionary of races or peoples" (published in 1911, during the period of intense immigration from Silesia to the USA) considered Silesian as a geographical (not ethnic) term, denoting the inhabitants of Silesia. It is also mentioned the existence of both Polish Silesian and German Silesian dialects in that region.
Modern Silesia is inhabited by Poles, Silesians, Germans, and Czechs. Germans first came to Silesia during the Late Medieval Ostsiedlung.The last Polish census of 2002 showed that the Silesians are the largest national minority in Poland, Germans being the second; both groups are located mostly in Upper Silesia. The Czech part of Silesia is inhabited by Czechs, Moravians, Silesians, and Poles.
Before the Second World War, Silesia was inhabited mostly by Germans and Poles, with a Czech and Jewish minority. In 1905, a census showed that 75% of the population were Germans and 25% were Poles.[ citation needed ] The German population tended to be based in the urban centres and in the rural areas to the north and west, whilst the Polish population was generally rural and could be found in the east and in the south.
|Ethnic group||acc. G. Hassel||%||acc. S. Plater||%||acc. T. Ładogórski||%|
|Population||ca. 2.1 million||100||ca. 2.2 million||100||ca. 1.8 million||100|
Historically, Silesia was about equally split between Protestants (overwhelmingly Lutherans) and Roman Catholics. In an 1890 census taken in the German part, Roman Catholics made up a slight majority of 53%, while the remaining 47% were almost entirely Lutheran.Geographically speaking, Lower Silesia was mostly Lutheran except for the Glatzer Land (now Kłodzko County). Upper Silesia was mostly Roman Catholic except for some of its northwestern parts, which were predominantly Lutheran. Generally speaking, the population was mostly Protestant in the western parts, and it tended to be more Roman Catholic the further east one went. In Upper Silesia, Protestants were concentrated in larger cities and often identified as German. After World War II, the religious demographics changed drastically as Germans, who constituted the bulk of the Protestant population, fled or were forcibly expelled. Poles, who were mostly Roman Catholic, were resettled in their place. Today, Silesia remains predominantly Roman Catholic.
Existing since the 12th century,Silesia's Jewish community was concentrated around Wrocław and Upper Silesia, and numbered 48,003 (1.1% of the population) in 1890, decreasing to 44,985 persons (0.9%) by 1910. In Polish East Upper Silesia, the number of Jews was around 90,000–100,000. Historically the community had suffered a number of localised expulsions such as their 1453 expulsion from Wrocław. From 1712 to 1820 a succession of men held the title Chief Rabbi of Silesia ("Landesrabbiner"): Naphtali ha-Kohen (1712–16); Samuel ben Naphtali (1716–22); Ḥayyim Jonah Te'omim (1722–1727); Baruch b. Reuben Gomperz (1733–54); Joseph Jonas Fränkel (1754–93); Jeremiah Löw Berliner (1793–99); Lewin Saul Fränkel (1800–7); Aaron Karfunkel (1807–16); and Abraham ben Gedaliah Tiktin (1816–20).
After the German invasion of Poland in 1939, following Nazi racial policy, the Jewish population of Silesia was subjected to Nazi genocide with executions performed by Einsatzgruppe z. B.V. led by Udo von Woyrsch and Einsatzgruppe I led by Bruno Streckenbach,imprisonment in ghettos and ethnic cleansing to the General Government. In their efforts to exterminate the Jews through murder and ethnic cleansing Nazi established in Silesia province the Auschwitz and Gross-Rosen camps. Expulsions were carried out openly and reported in the local press. Those sent to ghettos would from 1942 be expelled to concentration and work camps. Between 5 May and 17 June, 20,000 Silesian Jews were sent to Birkenau to gas chambers and during August 1942, 10,000 to 13,000 Silesian Jews were murdered by gassing at Auschwitz. Most Jews in Silesia were exterminated by the Nazis. After the war Silesia became a major centre for repatriation of Jewish population in Poland which survived Nazi German extermination and in autumn 1945, 15,000 Jews were in Lower Silesia, mostly Polish Jews returned from territories now belonging to Soviet Union, rising in 1946 to seventy thousand as Jewish survivors from other regions in Poland were relocated.
The majority of Germans fled or were expelled from the present-day Polish and Czech parts of Silesia during and after World War II. From June 1945 to January 1947, 1.77 million Germans were expelled from Lower Silesia, and 310,000 from Upper Silesia. [ citation needed ] One of its most notable but controversial spokesmen was the Christian Democratic Union politician Herbert Hupka.Today, most German Silesians and their descendants live in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany, many of them in the Ruhr area working as miners, like their ancestors in Silesia. To smooth their integration into West German society after 1945, they were placed into officially recognized organizations, like the Landsmannschaft Schlesien, with financing from the federal West German budget.
The expulsion of Germans led to widespread underpopulation. The population of the town of Glogau fell from 33,500 to 5,000, and from 1939 to 1966 the population of Wrocław fell by 25%.Attempts to repopulate Silesia proved unsuccessful in the 1940s and 1950s, and Silesia's population did not reach pre-war levels until the late 1970s. The Polish settlers who repopulated Silesia were mainly from the former Polish Eastern Borderlands, which was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1939. The former German city of Breslau was repopulated with refugees from the formerly Polish city of Lwów.
The following table lists the cities in Silesia with a population greater than 30,000 (2015).
|1||Wrocław||632,067||293 km2 (113 sq mi)||Lower Silesia|
|2||Katowice||304,362||165 km2 (64 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|3||Ostrava *||302,968||214 km2 (83 sq mi)||Czech Silesia/Moravia|
|4||Gliwice||185,450||134 km2 (52 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|5||Zabrze||178,357||80 km2 (31 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|6||Bielsko-Biała *||173,699||125 km2 (48 sq mi)||Upper Silesia/Lesser Poland|
|7||Bytom||173,439||69 km2 (27 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|8||Ruda Śląska||141,521||78 km2 (30 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|9||Rybnik||140,173||148 km2 (57 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|10||Tychy||128,799||82 km2 (32 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|11||Opole||120,146||97 km2 (37 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|12||Zielona Góra||118,405||58 km2 (22 sq mi)||Lower Silesia|
|13||Wałbrzych||117,926||85 km2 (33 sq mi)||Lower Silesia|
|14||Chorzów||110,761||33 km2 (13 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|15||Legnica||101,992||56 km2 (22 sq mi)||Lower Silesia|
|16||Jastrzębie-Zdrój||91,235||85 km2 (33 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|17||Jelenia Góra||81,985||109 km2 (42 sq mi)||Lower Silesia|
|18||Havířov||76,381||32 km2 (12 sq mi)||Czech Silesia|
|19||Mysłowice||75,129||66 km2 (25 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|20||Lubin||74,053||41 km2 (16 sq mi)||Lower Silesia|
|21||Głogów||68,997||35 km2 (14 sq mi)||Lower Silesia|
|22||Siemianowice Śląskie||68,844||25 km2 (10 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|23||Kędzierzyn-Koźle||63,194||124 km2 (48 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|24||Żory||62,038||65 km2 (25 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|25||Tarnowskie Góry||60,957||84 km2 (32 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|26||Świdnica||59,182||22 km2 (8 sq mi)||Lower Silesia|
|27||Opava||57,676||91 km2 (35 sq mi)||Czech Silesia|
|28||Piekary Śląskie||57,148||40 km2 (15 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|29||Frýdek-Místek *||56,945||52 km2 (20 sq mi)||Czech Silesia/Moravia|
|30||Karviná||55,985||57 km2 (22 sq mi)||Czech Silesia|
|31||Racibórz||55,930||75 km2 (29 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|32||Görlitz **||55,255||68 km2 (26 sq mi)||Historically part of Lusatia, Görlitz was considered part of Lower Silesia in years 1319–1329 and 1815–1945|
|33||Świętochłowice||51,824||13 km2 (5 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|34||Wodzisław Śląski||48,731||50 km2 (19 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|35||Nysa||44,899||27 km2 (10 sq mi)||Lower Silesia|
|36||Mikołów||39,776||79 km2 (31 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|37||Nowa Sól||39,721||22 km2 (8 sq mi)||Lower Silesia|
|38||Bolesławiec||39,603||24 km2 (9 sq mi)||Lower Silesia|
|39||Knurów||39,090||34 km2 (13 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|40||Oleśnica||37,303||21 km2 (8 sq mi)||Lower Silesia|
|41||Brzeg||36,980||15 km2 (6 sq mi)||Lower Silesia|
|42||Cieszyn||35,918||29 km2 (11 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|43||Třinec||35,884||85 km2 (33 sq mi)||Czech Silesia|
|44||Czechowice-Dziedzice||35,684||33 km2 (13 sq mi)||Upper Silesia|
|45||Dzierżoniów||34,428||20 km2 (8 sq mi)||Lower Silesia|
|46||Hoyerswerda/Wojerecy **||33,843||96 km2 (37 sq mi)||Historically part of Lusatia, Hoyerswerda was considered part of Lower Silesia in years 1825–1945|
|47||Oława||32,240||27 km2 (10 sq mi)||Lower Silesia|
|48||Zgorzelec **||31,890||16 km2 (6 sq mi)||Historically part of Lusatia, Zgorzelec was considered part of Lower Silesia in years 1319–1329 and 1815–1945|
|49||Bielawa||31,186||36 km2 (14 sq mi)||Lower Silesia|
* Only part in Silesia
The emblems of Lower Silesia and Upper Silesia originate from the emblems of the Piasts of Lower Silesia and Upper Silesia. The coat of arms of Upper Silesia depicts the golden eagle on the blue shield. The coat of arms of Lower Silesia depicts a black eagle on a golden (yellow) shield.
Flags with their colors refer to the coat of arms of Silesia.
Da die Silingen offensichtlich ihren Namen im mittelalterlichen pagus silensis und dem mons slenz – möglicherweise mit dem Zobten gleichzusetzen [...] – hinterließen und damit einer ganzen Landschaft – Schlesien – den Namen gaben [...]
Silesian Voivodeship, or Silesia Province, German: Woiwodschaft Schlesien, Czech: Slezské vojvodství) is a voivodeship, or province, in southern Poland, centered on the historic region known as Upper Silesia, with Katowice serving as its capital.
Lower Silesian Voivodeship, or Lower Silesia Province, in southwestern Poland, is one of the 16 voivodeships (provinces) into which Poland is divided.
The Province of Silesia was a province of Prussia from 1815 to 1919. The Silesia region was part of the Prussian realm since 1740 and established as an official province in 1815, then became part of the German Empire in 1871. In 1919, as part of the Free State of Prussia within Weimar Germany, Silesia was divided into the provinces of Upper Silesia and Lower Silesia. Silesia was reunified briefly from 1938 to 1941 as a province of Nazi Germany before being divided back into Upper Silesia and Lower Silesia.
Silesians is a geographical term for the inhabitants of Silesia, a historical region in Central Europe divided by the current national boundaries of Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic.
In the second half of the 2nd millennium B.C. Silesia belonged to the Lusatian culture. About 500 BC Scyths arrived, and later Celts in the South and Southwest. During the 1st century BC Silingi and other Germanic people settled in Silesia. For this period we have written reports of antique authors who included the area. Slavs arrived in this territory around the 6th century. The first known states in Silesia were those of Greater Moravia and Bohemia. In the 10th century, Mieszko I incorporated Silesia into the Polish state. It remained part of Poland until the Fragmentation of Poland. Afterwards it was divided between Piast dukes, descendants of Władysław II the Exile, High Duke of Poland.
Czech Silesia is the name given to the part of the historical region of Silesia presently located in the Czech Republic. While not today an administrative entity in itself, Czech Silesia is, together with Bohemia and Moravia, one of the three historical Czech lands. In this context, it is often mentioned as "Silesia" even though it is only around one tenth of the area of the historic land of Silesia.
The Silesian Autonomy Movement, abbreviated as RAŚ, is a movement officially declaring its support for the autonomy of Silesia as part of a unified Europe. The association was founded in January 1990 by Rudolf Kołodziejczyk and is based in the Polish part of Upper Silesia. RAŚ sees the Silesians as a "separate nation" rather than primarily as Poles, Germans or Czechs.
Austrian Silesia, officially the Duchy of Upper and Lower Silesia, was an autonomous region of the Kingdom of Bohemia and the Habsburg Monarchy. It is largely coterminous with the present-day region of Czech Silesia and was, historically, part of the larger Silesia region.
Środa Śląska is a town in Lower Silesian Voivodeship, in south-western Poland. It is the seat of Środa Śląska County, and of the smaller administrative district (gmina) called Gmina Środa Śląska. The town lies approximately 32 kilometres (20 mi) west of the regional capital Wrocław, on the Średzka Woda creek. As at 2006, the town has a population of 8,800.
Petřvald is a town in the Karviná District, Moravian-Silesian Region, Czech Republic, in the historical region of Cieszyn Silesia. As of 2017, it has a population of 7,252.
Dolní Tošanovice is a village in Frýdek-Místek District, Moravian-Silesian Region, Czech Republic. It has a population of 309 (2006). It lies in the historical region of Cieszyn Silesia.
Horní Tošanovice is a village in Frýdek-Místek District, Moravian-Silesian Region, Czech Republic. It has a population of 497 (2006). It lies in the historical region of Cieszyn Silesia.
Pruchna is a village in Gmina Strumień, Cieszyn County, Silesian Voivodeship, Poland. It has a population of 2,442 (2008).
Silesian Przesieka, literally Silesian Cutting was a densely forested, uninhabited and unpassable strip of land in the middle of Silesia, spreading from Golden Mountains in the south, along the Nysa Kłodzka to the Odra, and then along the Stobrawa, reaching the towns of Namysłów and Byczyna in northern Silesia. Originally, the Silesian Cutting was a boundary, separating territories of two Western Slavic tribes, the Slezanie and the Opolanie. In the 12th century, along the Cutting a border of Lower Silesia and Upper Silesia was established.