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City HallHISTORY

HISTORY

Piekary Śląskie is a dynamic community, with a culture and tradition which has been forged during a 700 years history. At present Piekary Śląskie is a city with the status of a Polish township district and is a part of the Silesian Voivodeship. With the size (3967 ha/ 9 802,67 a) and the number of inhabitants (61 thousands) Piekary Śląskie is a medium sized city. It lies in the northern pa

The oldest mention of the city dates from the 11th century when Piekary was a servant village to the Bytom settlement. The city of Piekary Śląskie, as such, was formed in 1934 when the neighbouring communities of Piekary and Szarlej were combined. The present shape of Piekary Śląskie is only 24 years old. The administrative reform of 1975 attached the neighbouring Dąbrówka Wielka, Brzeziny Śląskie, Brzozowice-Kamień and Kozłowa Góra to Piekary Śląskie.

In the years 1303-1318 the first church was built, and the first parish formed, on the territory of Piekary Śląskie. The 15th century, together with the development of zinc and lead ore mining, marked the beginning of the development of the settlement’s evolution. In the 12th-14th centuries the city belonged to the germanised Silesian princes. Only after the brief visit of King John III Sobieski on his way to the Siege of Vienna in 1683 did the memory of the severed ties with Poland stir among the local population. In the coming years many peasant rebellions were directed at the German magnates. In 1697 King August II Wettyn came to Piekary and in its church confirmed his accession to the catholic church and vowed the pacta conventa.

The 18th century is a century of colonisation and germanization of Piekary, activities answered with a fervent defence of everything Polish. In 1842 the Piekary rector – priest Alojzy Fiecek started the construction of the St. Mary and Bartholomew church. In the church the 17th century replica of the miraculous painting of Our Lady of Piekary was placed – the original had already been sent to the Holy Cross church in Opole and would never return to Piekary.

Today, Piekary is the spiritual capital of Upper Silesia, and also the destination and meeting place of many religious pilgrimages. All the traditions are strictly bound with the miraculous picture that became famous in 1676 when in the nearby city of Tarnowskie Góry a plague broke out only to subside after the citizens vowed a yearly pilgrimage to Piekary.

In the 7th Decade of the 19th century next to the Basilica the miners and steel factory workers of the Upper Silesia raised the Calvary of Piekary, patterned on the Calvary mountain in Jerusalem.

The city of Piekary, together with a part of Silesia, returned to Poland only in 1922. On the 20th of June 1937, to mark the 250th anniversary of the Siege of Vienna and the 15th anniversary of the Polish Army entering Silesia on the Kocie Górki hills a 333 meters (1092,52 feet) high “Liberation Mound” was raised. The location of the mound marks the place where the Insurgents took an oath before the 3rd Silesian Uprising (1921). The leader of the Silesian Insurgents and the Commissary of the Upper Silesia Plebiscite Wojciech Korfanty also took part in the mound’s construction. The soil from battlefields and graveyards of the fallen heroes, from all over Poland was brought in urns to build the mound.

Piekary Śląskie is a part of Upper Silesia – in the past a place full of patriotic, publishing and singing initiatives and at present the area of great ambitions and prospects. The history and the dynamics of the present development of the city of Piekary Śląskie owes much to the resourcefulness and attitude of the past and present generations. New houses are being built and new enterprises, including both trade and service companies are constantly being opened within the boundaries of the city. Despite the strong bounds of Piekary with the mining industry the city is green – 48 ha (118,61 a) of green are under constant care of the Piekary community. The degraded territories are constantly reclaimed, the housing green is cultivated, new parks, squares and lawns are created. The location of Piekary Śląskie enables good access to the European market. The city is developing in all spheres of economic and everyday life. The Trauma Surgery Hospital in Piekary Śląskie, built in the period between the wars, is today one of the top healthcare units in Poland.