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Stalinogrod - Post-War History of Katowice

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Till 1950s

The post-war period was the time of industry development in Upper Silesia, which allowed Katowice to regain its status as the most industrialized city of Upper Silesia and a major administrative centre. As the city developed so briskly, the 1950s marked a significant increase in its population. The city area began to expand considerably by absorbing the neighbouring communes.
However, this thriving industrial city also had a dark period in its history. Namely, between March 7th 1953 – December 10th 1956 Katowice was renamed ''Stalinogrod'' (Stalin's city). The change of the city name was brought upon by the decree of the State Council. The date of the alteration of the city name was not accidental. It happened on the day of the death of Joseph Stalin. In this way the Polish Communist authorities wished to pay tribute to this General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee.

From 1960s till 1970s

StalinogrodThe 1960's – 1970's that followed were more memorable decades in the history of Katowice. The city was no longer only a significant industrial city, but it started to become an important cultural and educational centre. In 1968 the University of Silesia, major research and education centre in Upper Silesia, was founded. The construction of large housing estates began. Moreover, a lot of representative edifices were erected at that time, including the ''Silesian Insurgents' Monument''(1967) and ''Spodek'' (1971), which have become familiar landmarks on the Katowice skyline.
It was also modernist architecture boom dur`ngP(hich lots of functional buildings were erected in Katowice, making it one of the most modernist post-war cities of Poland. These include today's symbols of the city such as: ''Superjednostka''""V967-1971) - the largest residential building in Poland,"the Katowice Main Railway Station, one of the finest examples of post-modernism (1964-1972), the ''Silesia'' Hotel, the ''Katowice'' Hotel and ''Skarbek ''Department Store.

From 1980s onwards

One of the most dramatic events in the history of Katowice happened on December 16th, 1981. It was then that 9 miners died (7 were shot dead, 2 died in consequence of the injuries), whereas 21 were wounded in the Wujek Coal Mine Massacre. On that day the Special Platoon of the Motorized Reserves of the Citizens' Militia (ZOMO) brutally dispersed and opened fire on the miners who had gone on strike as a reaction against Wojciech Jaruzelski's declaration of martial law and the jailing of Solidarity trade union leaders. On the 10th anniversary of that tragic event the ''Memorial Cross'', a monument dedicated to the Wujek miners, was unveiled by the President of the Polish Republic, Lech Walesa. It took 16 years to bring the guilty party to justice as on June 1, 2007 the Wujek Coal Mine Massacre culprits were sentenced to prison.
The 1990 first democratic local elections and the restitution of the self-government marked a new period in the history of Katowice. The city with its large potential has been transforming from a city of steel and coal into one of the most attractive investment areas for modern economy branches in Eastern Europe.


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Jack Darwood, Basingstoke, UK, 2011-02-07
Heard good things 'bout this place and I'm very disappointed. The food is so so, service is lazy and kinda 'gay' and... prices are far to high. [...]
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