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Katowice(kätôvē`tsĕ), Ger. Kattowitz, city (1993 est. pop. 366,200), capital of Śląskie prov., S Poland. One of the chief mining and industrial centers of Poland, it has industries producing heavy machinery and chemicals; mines in the region yield coal, iron, zinc, and lead. The city was chartered in 1865 and passed from Germany to Poland in 1921. Katowice is also an important educational and cultural center.
a city in southern Poland, administrative center of Katowice Województwo. Population, 302, 000 (1970).
Katowice is the most important city in the Upper Silesian conurbation. It is a railroad junction and an important industrial center, with 83, 000 people employed in industry. The city’s industry includes coal mining (Upper Silesian Coal Basin), ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy (including the production of zinc, lead, and rolled nonferrous metals), machine building (mining, hoisting and transport machines, and electrical equipment), the chemical industry (including superphosphates), porcelain production, food processing, and printing. The city has a university, founded in 1968, a higher school of economics, and an academy of the arts.
The city is mentioned in sources with the name of Katowice for the first time in 1598. Under Prussian rule beginning in 1742, it received German town rights in 1865 and was subjected to intense Germanization. Between 1919 and 1921, Katowice was a center of armed actions of the Polish population of Upper Silesia for national and social liberation. On Jan. 20, 1922, the League of Nations adopted a resolution returning the city to Poland. In 1923, Katowice became the most important center of a general strike of Silesian miners that had been organized by the united-front Committee of 21, which was elected by representatives of 46 of the mines and plants of Upper Silesia. The city was occupied by fascist German troops in September 1939 and liberated by troops of the First Ukrainian Front on Jan. 28, 1945.
The district of Śródmiescie, the historical nucleus of Katowice, has a central square, the Rynek, and a gridlike street plan. Katowice has been growing rapidly since 1945. A new city center and public and residential buildings have been constructed since 1958. The new structures include the Zenit department store (1962), the Kosmos motion picture theater (1959–65), a sports hall (1960’s), and multistory houses in the districts of Koszutka and Marchlewski. A monument to the Silesian insurgents has been erected on Armia Radziecka Street (stone, 1960’s; sculptor, G. Zemla; architect, W. Zablocki). Another monument to the Silesian rebels has been erected not far from the city (stone, 1949–52; sculptor, K. Dunikowski).