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(byĕl`skô byä`lä), Ger. Bielitz, city (1993 est. pop. 185,000), Śląskie prov., S Poland, on the Biała River, a tributary of the Vistula. The city is a railway junction and has a noted woolen textile industry. Other manufactures include machines for the mining and chemical industries. It is also a tourist and winter sports center. Founded in the 13th cent., the city passed to Austria in 1772 and was returned to Poland in 1919. It was called Bielsko until 1950, when it joined the town of Biała, across the river, to form a single city.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city in southern Poland, in Katowice Province, on the Biala River (a tributary of the Vistula), in the Carpathian foothills. Population, 87,000 (1968).

Bielsko-Biała is a railroad junction; it is also the center of the oldest textile region in the country (mostly, the wool and flax industries). The main branches of industry are electrical engineering, textile machine building, and the production of automobile motors and lifting cranes. Bielsko-Biala was constituted in 1950 from the two cities of Bielsko (founded in the 14th century) and Biala.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a town in S Poland: created in 1951 by the union of Bielsko and Biala Krakowska; a leading textile centre since the 16th century. Pop.: 356 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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Mr Zbigniew Michniowski, the Deputy Mayor of Bielsko-Biala, is seen presenting the Christmas szopka, or crib.
SWITCH TOWNS A family from historic Bielsko-Biala (above) will give up their house to a family from Kirklees and come over here to see the sights in Huddersfield (below) as part of a TV reality show