KATOWICE IN A NUTSHELL...
Even though the first mention of Katowice was made in the records of one of the visiting priests in the 16th century, the history of the city dates back to earlier times and 14-16th century settlements and iron forges, which promoted the development of industry in these forested and marshy regions. Since the end of the 16th century, at today’s location of Katowice there was a farmhouse village and iron forge settlement. In the 19th century, the village of Katowice underwent a development process following a decision of the Upper Silesian Railway Association to open a railway route between the cities of Wrocław and Mysłowice. Soon thereafter, Katowice became connected by railway with Kraków, Warsaw, Berlin and Vienna, among others. Rapid industrialisation and the expansion of the transport network brought forth an influx of inhabitants. On 11th September 1865, King William I of Prussia granted city rights to Katowice.
This marked the beginning of a period of heavy urbanisation, expansion of the city, and the establishment of institutions that shaped the development of the new economic centre that Katowice has become. Culture and social life flourished. The subsequent fate of the city was shaped by history: the two world wars, and the Silesian uprisings between them, occupation by the Red Army following the Second World War (for a few years the name of the city was changed to Stalinogród as a praise to Joseph Stalin), and, in the 1980s, strikes at the Baildon steelworks and at mining plants. Despite those, the city continued to expand and develop. Katowice became the capital of Silesia as early as in 1920, and in 1992 was made the centre of the Katowice Metropolis.
Today, Katowice is the leader in investments both within the region and in Poland.