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Bytom Coat of Arms
( Coat of arms description )
Bytom (Poland)
Basic data
State : Poland
Voivodeship : Silesia
Powiat : District-free city
Area : 69.32  km²
Geographic location : 50 ° 21 '  N , 18 ° 55'  E Coordinates: 50 ° 20 '53 "  N , 18 ° 55' 12"  E
Residents : 165,975
(Jun. 30, 2019)
Postal code : 41-900 to 41-936
Telephone code : (+48) 32
License plate : SY
Economy and Transport
Street : Wroclaw / Opole - Krakow
Rail route : Chorzów – Tarnowskie Góry
Bytom – Gliwice
Next international airport : Katowice
Gminatype: Borough
Surface: 69.32 km²
Residents: 165,975
(Jun. 30, 2019)
Population density : 2394 inhabitants / km²
Community number  ( GUS ): 2462011
Administration (as of 2015)
City President : Mariusz Wołosz
Address: ul. Parkowa 2
41-902 Bytom
Website :

Bytom [ ˈbɨtɔm ], German  Beuthen OS (earlier seldom also Oberbeuthen , Silesian Aeberbeuthn or Beuthn , Schlonsakisch Bytůń ), is an independent city in the Polish Voivodeship of Silesia .



The city is located in Upper Silesia at the origin of the Beuthener Water at 309 m above sea level. NHN , about 85 km northwest of Krakow in the Upper Silesian coal mine , one of the largest hard coal deposits in Central Europe . The predominant industry was traditionally hard coal mining , but only the Carsten-Zentrum-Grube survived the structural change .

City structure

The districts of Bytom


Bytom around 1910
The urban area on an old map: Beuthen with Schomberg and Rossberg
Aerial view of the city - In the middle of the ring
The ring in 1945
Trinity Church
Adalbertkirche (Protestant St. Nicholas Church until 1945)
Silesian Opera by night
City administration building
Upper Silesian Museum


A castle wall (gród) in the tribal area of ​​the Wislanes was created under Bolesław I. The place was first mentioned in 1136 as Bithom , shortly before the Polish particularism . The place name is derived from the personal name Bytom (compare ancient Slavonic * bytъ = "exist / be"). In 1177 or 1179, the place as well as Oświęcim was detached from the Cracow senior province (Lesser Poland) and added to the Upper Silesian Duchy of Ratibor ( united with the Duchy of Opole in 1202 ). The previous border between Silesia and Lesser Poland was largely retained between the corresponding dioceses, despite the different political border - Bytom remained in the diocese of Krakow until 1821 . From 1254 the place has German town charter. By dividing the Duchy of Opole, the city became the seat of the Duchy of Bytom in 1281 and from 1331 the seat of a Krakow deanery. Its Duke Casimir II was the first Silesian duke to submit his duchy as a fiefdom of the crown of Bohemia in 1289 , which came to the Habsburgs in 1526 . Since 1450, the city was in the Germanized form Bytom called, it was the secondary Polish form Byton .

In the Kingdom of Prussia 1742 to 1918

After the First Silesian War , Bytom and most of Silesia fell to Prussia . In 1816 the district of Beuthen was established. Due to industrialization and mining ( hard coal , zinc and lead ore deposits in the area), the city experienced a strong economic boom in the 19th century . On April 1, 1890, Beuthen was raised to a district. The first tram line was opened in 1894, the zoo in 1898 (closed in 1957), and the city library in 1899. At the beginning of the 20th century, Beuthen had five Catholic churches, a Protestant church, a synagogue , a grammar school, a secondary school, a boarding school for boys, two orphanages, calamine pits , mining on coal and brown iron stone , manufacture of marble and sandstone products , manufacture of curved ones Furniture, a brewery and other production facilities, a chamber of commerce, a Reichsbank branch and was the seat of a district court and the district office for the district of Beuthen.

1919 to 1945

In the referendum in Upper Silesia on March 20, 1921, 59.4 percent of Upper Silesians voted for Germany and 40.6 percent for Poland. In deviation from the provisions of the Versailles Treaty , the region was divided between the two states. The entire course from the end of the war to the partition was accompanied by three Polish uprisings . Beuthen, of which 75% had voted for further membership of the German Empire , remained with Germany, but became a border town to the now Polish East Upper Silesia .

In 1945, Beuthen was the administrative seat of the district of Beuthen-Tarnowitz in the administrative district of Kattowitz of the Prussian province of Upper Silesia (until 1939 in the administrative district of Opole of the Prussian province of Silesia ) of the German Empire .

In the city there was a synagogue opened on July 2, 1869 . It was during the Reichspogromnacht on 9/10. Burned down November 1938. The Jewish community of Beuthens was one of the first victims of the Holocaust and was completely wiped out. A memorial plaque on the former site of the synagogue today commemorates the numerous victims. On February 15, 1942 , a group of Jews was deported from here to the main camp Auschwitz and murdered immediately. The mass murder of Jews in this German concentration camp in occupied Poland begins.

Bytom since 1945

On January 27, 1945, Beuthen was occupied by the Red Army . The Beuthen town hall was destroyed. After the end of the war, the region was placed under Polish administration by the Soviet Union in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement . Then the immigration of Polish migrants began, some of whom came from areas east of the Curzon Line , where they belonged to the Polish minority. Most of the German residents of Bytom were driven out of the city by the local Polish administrative authorities after the end of the war . However, a large number of people of German origin still live in the city, which has since been known as “Bytom”.

The mining of large coal deposits under the city was ruthlessly pushed forward during the time of the People's Republic of Poland . The consequences of this mining represent the greatest problem of Bytom today. In the entire urban area, the ground and the buildings on it can suddenly sag. Such events are difficult to predict, especially as the endangered areas and the excessive coal mining are poorly documented. Due to the resulting poor investment security, very few investments are flowing into Bytom today and the number of unemployed is correspondingly high at around 30%. The building fabric throughout the city has largely fallen into disrepair, and many buildings are crooked due to the sagging soil.

Some buildings have already been renovated. In the city center, Bahnhofstrasse (Dworcowa) and the market (Rynek) are free of traffic. A large new shopping center was built in the city center.


Bytom population development
Population development until 1945
year population Remarks
1755 1040
1795 1558 |
1800 1717
1816 1976
1825 2822 including 179 Evangelicals, 38 Jews
1840 4079 thereof 282 Evangelicals, 3086 Catholics, 711 Jews
1849 5912
1855 7182 without the military
1861 9448 excluding the military, including 931 Evangelicals, 7277 Catholics, and 1240 Jews
1867 15,391 on December 3rd
1871 17,946 with the garrison (a battalion Landwehr No. 23), including 1400 Protestants, 1500 Jews (6000 Poles );
According to other data, 15,711 inhabitants (on December 1), of which 1,768 were Protestants, 12,117 Catholics, two other Christians, 1,824 Jews
1880 22,811
1885 26,484
1890 36,905 of which 3793 Protestants, 2183 Jews (9000 Poles )
1900 51,404 with the garrison (an infantry battalion No. 22), including 5622 Evangelicals, 43.163 Catholics, 2594 Jews
1905 60.273
1910 67,718 thereof 7254 Protestants, 57.819 Catholics
1919 53,238
1925 62,543 thereof 7657 Protestants, 51.898 Catholics, 34 other Christians, 3263 Jews
1933 100,584 thereof 11,478 Protestants, 85,310 Catholics, ten other Christians, 3,148 Jews
1939 101,029 thereof 10,853 Protestants, 86,918 Catholics, 554 other Christians, 1,358 Jews
Number of inhabitants since the end of the Second World War
year Residents Remarks
2004 189,535
2014 172,762


Lord Mayor and Mayor

Since 1882, the mayor of Beuthen has been named mayor . The growing tasks of the city administration made it necessary to have a second position as mayor. The incumbent mayor Georg Brüning became Beuthen's first mayor.

Lord Mayor Life dates Term of office Political party
Georg Brüning * August 12, 1851; † December 17, 1932 1882-1919
Alfred Stephan * October 18, 1884; † September 20, 1924 1919-1924 CENTER
Hubert Leeber 1924-1925
Adolf Knakrick * August 29, 1886; † November 20, 1959 1925-1933
Oskar Wackerzapp (acting) * March 12, 1883; † August 8, 1965 1933
Walther Schmieding 1933-1945 NSDAP

After the end of socialism, the following city ​​presidents were freely elected in Bytom:

City President Term of office
Janusz Paczocha 1990-1994
Józef Korpak 1994-1996
Marek Kińczyk 1996-1998
Krzysztof Wójcik 1998-2006
Piotr Koj 2006–2012
Halina Bieda (forced administration) 2012
Damian Bartyla 2012-2018
Mariusz Wołosz 2018–

At the head of the city administration is a city ​​president who is directly elected by the population. Since 2012 this has been Damian Bartyla.

In the 2018 election, Bartyla again ran his own election committee as city president. The vote brought the following result:

  • Mariusz Wołosz ( Koalicja Obywatelska ) 30.3% of the vote
  • Damian Bartyla (Damian Bartyla Election Committee) 23.0% of the vote
  • Mariusz Janas ( Prawo i Sprawiedliwość ) 19.8% of the vote
  • Marek Michałowski (independent) 10.5% of the vote
  • Andrzej Panek (Election Committee Andrzej Panek) 7.6% of the vote
  • Andrzej Wężyk (Independent Electoral Committee) 6.6% of the vote
  • Jan Czubak ( Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej / Lewica Razem ) 2.3% of the vote

In the run-off election that was then necessary, Wołosz prevailed with 53.5% of the votes against incumbent Bartyla and became the new mayor.

City council

The city council consists of 25 members and is directly elected. The 2018 city council election led to the following result:

  • Koalicja Obywatelska (KO) 26.4% of the vote, 9 seats
  • Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS) 23.7% of the vote, 7 seats
  • Election Committee Damian Bartyla 18.9% of the vote, 6 seats
  • Election Committee Andrzej Panek 8.9% of the vote, 2 seats
  • Election committee of the association “Together for Bytom” 7.9% of the votes, 1 seat
  • Kukiz'15 6.6% of the vote, no seat
  • Independent electoral committee 5.2% of the vote, no seat
  • Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej (SLD) / Lewica Razem (Razem) 3.1% of the votes, no seat


  • Trinitatiskirche, Catholic church built between 1883 and 1886
  • Ring with buildings (Rynek = market), traffic-free
  • Upper Silesian Museum, built in 1929/1930
  • Barbarakirche, Catholic church built in 1931 according to plans by Arthur Kickton
  • The Catholic parish church of the Assumption of Mary , a Gothic hall church from the 13th and 14th centuries, was redesigned after a fire in the 16th century and re-gothic from 1851 to 1857, whereby the bell tower on the south wall was given the neo-Gothic brick addition.
  • Baroque Adalbertkirche, before 1945 served as St. Nicholas Church for the Protestant community as a place of worship
  • City park from 1870, a scrap wood church was located here until 1982
  • Headframe of the former "Hohenzollern mine", built around 1929
  • Silesian Opera (Opera Śląska), a nationally important opera house


A Catholic teachers' seminar had existed since 1906. In Beuthen, the Prussian minister of education, Adolf Grimme, opened the Pädagogische Akademie Beuthen on May 5, 1930 for elementary school teacher training for Catholic students under Hans Abmeier . Like the other Catholic educational academy in Bonn, it is open to women and men, which the Catholic Association of Teachers did not agree to. The Bishop of Osnabrück Wilhelm Berning was responsible . The training facility continued to exist during the National Socialist era as the Upper Silesian College for Teacher Training . In 1934 Abmeier had to leave like other well-known Catholics, according to the psychologist Alfred Petzelt . Josef Klövekorn represented the music and was at the same time an important choir director until 1945. Alfons Perlick represented the local history and later published a popular home book about Beuthen. Matthias Brinkmann taught biology in line with race theory. He also continued to teach as deputy head from 1941 at the Beuthen Teacher Training College , which existed until 1945.


Sports before 1945

The successful Beuthener Verein was Beuthen 09, founded in 1909 . He played in the top German football league, the Gauliga Schlesien and from 1941 in the Gauliga Oberschlesien and took part six times in the final round of the German championship.

Sports after 1945

  • Polonia Bytom (Polish soccer champion 1954 and 1962)
  • Polonia Bytom (Polish ice hockey champion 1984, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991, Polish women's ice hockey champion 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020)
  • GKS Szombierki Bytom (Polish football champion 1980)

Then there is Czarni Bytom as well as a number of martial arts clubs, including the Bytom judo club , where three-time Olympic champion Waldemar Legień comes from.

Town twinning

Bytom maintains the following cities partnerships :


Former Frankfurt P-car in Bytom
Line 38 in 2013

In the regular service there is a connection to the network of the Upper Silesian tram . Historic two-way railcars operate as line 38 on a single-track route in the middle of Piekarska Street. Modern tram trains are also used. The tram ride from Katowice to Bytom takes about 45 minutes.

In 2011 there were primarily approximately hourly connections by rail with regional trains on the Katowice – Bytom line (-Lubliniec), as well as a few other regional and long-distance trains.

In 1930 the train journey from the capital of Berlin to “Beuthen” took eight to nine hours by express train from Charlottenburg station . The rail route was 520 km long. At that time, Beuthen was considered a border town in the south-easternmost tip of the empire.

City personalities

sons and daughters of the town

Known residents


The Beuthener Straße in Nuremberg is named after the place.


  • Felix Triest : Topographical Handbook of Upper Silesia , Wilh. Gottl. Korn, Breslau 1865, pp. 320–326 .
  • F. Gramer: Chronicle of the city of Beuthen in Upper Silesia. With 24 woodcuts printed in the text . Beuthen 1863 ( e-copy )
  • Karl August Müller: Patriotic images, or history and description of all castles and knight palaces in Silesia and the county of Glatz. Second edition, Glogau 1844, pp. 160–161.
  • Alfons Perlick : Beuthen O / S - A home book of the Beuthener country. Laumann, Dülmen 1982, ISBN 3-87466-044-3 .

Web links

Commons : Bytom  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Bytom  - Travel Guide
Wiktionary: Bytom  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b population. Size and Structure by Territorial Division. As of June 30, 2019. Główny Urząd Statystyczny (GUS) (PDF files; 0.99 MiB), accessed December 24, 2019 .
  2. a b Kazimierz Rymut , Barbara Czopek-Kopciuch: Nazwy miejscowe Polski: historia, pochodzenie, zmiany . 1 (AB). Polska Akademia Nauk . Instytut Języka Polskiego, Kraków 2004, p. 481 (Polish, online ).
  3. a b Meyer's Large Conversation Lexicon . 6th edition, Volume 2, Leipzig / Vienna 1905, p. 796 .
  4. ↑ Place name sign "Beuthen O / S (customs border district) Stadtkreis Reg. Bez. Oppeln" in the archive of German newsreels
  5. ... Neither the number of the deporteees from Beuthen, nor any of their names, seem to be known, only the fact of their destruction. " Martin Gilbert describes it in: Holocaust Journey (translation: Neither the number of those deported from Bytom, not a single name seems to be known today - only the fact that they were destroyed)
  6. a b Felix Triest : Topographisches Handbuch von Oberschlesien , Wilh. Gottl. Korn, Breslau 1865, p. 322 .
  7. ^ A b Gustav Neumann : The German Empire in geographical, statistical and topographical relation . Volume 2, GFO Müller, Berlin 1874, p. 176 .
  8. Johann Georg Knie : Alphabetical-statistical-topographical overview of the villages, spots, cities and other places of the royal family. Prussia. Province of Silesia, including the Margraviate of Upper Lusatia, which now belongs entirely to the province, and the County of Glatz; together with the attached evidence of the division of the country into the various branches of civil administration. Melcher, Breslau 1830, pp. 898-899 .
  9. ^ Johann Georg Knie : Alphabetical-statistical-topographical overview of the villages, spots, cities and other places of the royal family. Preusz. Province of Silesia. 2nd Edition. Graß, Barth and Comp., Breslau 1845, pp. 786-787 .
  10. a b Felix Triest : Topographisches Handbuch von Oberschlesien , Wilh. Gottl. Korn, Breslau 1865, p. 318, number 1 .
  11. ^ A b Royal Statistical Bureau: The municipalities and manor districts of the province of Silesia and their population. Based on the original materials of the general census of December 1, 1871. Berlin 1874, pp. 336–337, item 1 .
  12. a b c d e f g h i j k M. Rademacher: German administrative history from the unification of the empire in 1871 to the reunification in 1990. (Online material for the dissertation, Osnabrück 2006)
  13. population. Size and Structure by Territorial Division. As of June 30, 2014. ( Memento of December 7, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Główny Urząd Statystyczny (GUS) (PDF), accessed on February 8, 2015
  14. Przemysław Nadolski: Georg Brüning - wielce zasłużony nadburmistrz , (Polish)
  15. ^ Result on the website of the election commission, accessed on August 1, 2020.
  16. ^ Result on the website of the election commission, accessed on August 1, 2020.
  17. ^ Birgit Sack: Between religious ties and modern society . Waxmann, Münster 1998, ISBN 3-89325-593-1 , p. 131-135 .
  18. Herder Inst. Image catalog
  19. ^ Paul Schneeberger: A journey through time in the Polish coal mining area. Neue Zürcher Zeitung, June 11, 2015, accessed on June 12, 2015 .
  20. On both sides of the rail route , Berlin – Beuthen edition from 1930, p. 5