Lower Silesia

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Coat of arms of Lower Silesia
(19th century)
Map of Lower Silesia by Jonas Scultetus (1645)
Information board "Lower Silesia" on the A 4

Lower Silesia ( Silesian : Niederschläsing ; Polish : Dolny Śląsk ) is the north-western part of the Silesia region . It extends around the middle reaches of the Oder . From the middle of the 14th century until 1742 it was a sub-country of the crown of Bohemia . After the transition to Prussia in 1742, it belonged to the province of Silesia from 1815 , which was divided in 1919. Then it formed the Province of Lower Silesia . As a result of the Second World War, in 1945 most of it fell to Poland, along with most of Silesia. This larger part of Lower Silesia today forms the Lower Silesian Voivodeship . The smaller part, which remained with Germany, has belonged to East Saxony since 1945 . Breslau was the capital of the historical duchies in Silesia , the Prussian province and the Breslau voivodeship that existed in the meantime . Today it is the capital of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship.


Towards the end of the Second World War , the Prussian province of Lower Silesia was occupied by the Red Army in February 1945 and shortly thereafter placed under Polish administration. Unless the residents had fled the towns and villages, they were subsequently expelled and new Polish residents settled in the region.

The expulsions took place in the part of Lower Silesia east of the Neisse . In the German-Polish border treaty of 1990, a renunciation of force was agreed in this context. When the voivodships were reorganized in 1999, the historical borders of Lower Silesia were partially taken into account again.

The Polish part of Lower Silesia is mainly divided into the Lower Silesian Voivodeships and Opole Voivodeships , while small parts belong to the Lubusz Voivodeship .

Lower Silesia is developing positively economically, and Wroclaw is particularly successful . The city and its surroundings are among the most popular investment locations in Poland. In Wrocław, a new international terminal at the Nicolaus Copernicus Airport was built until it went into operation in March 2012 .

After several district area reforms, the German part of the former province of Lower Silesia is now divided between the Saxon districts of Bautzen and Görlitz and the Brandenburg district of Oberspreewald-Lausitz .

Kromlau , Jämlitz and Tschernitz belonged to the Duchy of Sagan for centuries and were Silesian exclaves in Lusatia until they were reclassified to the province of Brandenburg after 1815 during a border adjustment . For even longer, namely until 1945, Pechern belonged to Silesia - in a corner of the Duchy of Sagan reaching over the Neisse.

Major cities

German name Polish name Silesian name Population
Beuthen on the Oder Bytom Odrzański Beuthn on the Auder 4,437
Wroclaw Wroclaw Brassel / Greetings Brassel 631.377
Bunzlau Bolesławiec Bunzel 39,992
Frankenstein Ząbkowice Śląskie Franksteen 15,904
Bald Kłodzko Glootz / Glooz / Gloatz 28,517
Glogau Głogów Glauge 69,127
Goldberg in Silesia Złotoryja Gulprich 16,447
Goerlitz Zgorzelec Gerltz 56,391
Grünberg in Silesia Zielona Góra Grienberg 119.182
Guhrau Góra Guhre 12,509
Hirschberg in the Giant Mountains Jelenia Gora Herschbrig / Herschbrich 83.097
Yeah Yes Yeah 24,150
State hat in Silesia Kamienna Góra Landshut 20,448
Lauban Luban Foliage 22,194
Liegnitz Legnica Liegnz 102,708
Lüben Lubin Dear 74,886
Löwenberg Lwówek Śląski Lamrich 9,364
Militsch Milicz Militsch 11,931
Neumarkt in Silesia Środa Śląska Neumorkt / Neumoarkt 9,239
Oils Oleśnica Oils 37,237
Ohlau Oława Ohle 32,022
East Goerlitz Zgorzelec Ust-Gerltz 32,332
Primkenau Przemków Primkenau 8,555
Polkwitz Polkowice Polkwitz 22,730
Reichenbach in the Owl Mountains Dzierżoniów Reichenboch 34,704
Sagan Żagań Sagan 26,188
Schweidnitz Świdnica Shitzerland 60.023
Sprottau Szprotawa Sprottau 21,164
Chasing Strzelin Strahla 12,589
Trebnitz Trzebnica Trepnitz 12,727
Waldenburg Wałbrzych Hipped / hipped 119.216
Wohlau Wołów Well 12,605
Zobten on the mountains Sobotka Zota 7,027

Economy and Infrastructure

Polish share

The traditional transport axis of Lower Silesia is the Oder and roads running parallel to it. Many cities have historically emerged at places where the Oder could be crossed. The Via Regia also ran from west to east . The area is crossed by the old Amber Road in a north-south direction . In 1846 the Lower Silesian-Märkische Railway was built, which connected Berlin with Breslau. In 1847 Görlitz was reached from the east from Breslau-Kohlfurt , creating a continuous connection from Breslau to Dresden . The mountainous regions in southern Silesia were opened up by the Silesian Mountain Railway, in the north important connections were created by the Breslau-Schweidnitz-Freiburg Railway Company . After the Second World War, the connections to the Polish heartland such as Łódź or alternatively via Poznan to Warsaw and the Wroclaw-Stettin connection became more important. There are also motorways and expressways such as the A4, A8 and A18. There are airports in Zielona Góra-Babimost (Grünberg-Bomst) and Breslau .

German share

The center of the German part of the former Lower Silesia is Görlitz, where the federal motorway 4 crosses the Neisse. In 1847 the Dresden – Görlitz railway line was opened. The Görlitz station is reached Poland by rail connections from Berlin, Dresden and Zittau as well as connections from the direction.

See also


in order of appearance

  • Robert Semple: Observations made on a tour from Hamburg through Berlin, Gorlitz, and Breslau, to Silberberg; and thence to Gottenburg. London 1814 ( digitized ).
  • Joseph Partsch : Silesia. A regional study for the German people. Publishing house Ferdinand Hirt, Breslau
    • Vol. 1: The whole country. 1896 ( digitized ).
    • Vol. 2: Landscapes and Settlements. 1911 ( digitized ).
  • Ernst Bahr, Kurt König: Lower Silesia under Polish administration . Metzner, Frankfurt / Main 1967.
  • Karl Martin Born: Regions in Europe and the case of Silesia . In: Europa regional , Vol. 6. Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Leipzig 1998, Issue 3, pp. 23–33.
  • Friedhelm Pelzer: Poland (= Scientific Country Customers, Volume 36). Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1991.
  • Sebastian Siebel-Achenbach: Lower Silesia 1942 to 1949. Allied diplomacy and post-war reality . Bergstadtverlag Wilhelm Gottlieb Korn, Würzburg 2006, ISBN 3-87057-274-4 .
  • Paweł Zimniak: Lower Silesia as a memory space after 1945. Literary case studies . Neisse-Verlag, Dresden 2007, ISBN 978-3-934038-97-4 .
  • Lucyna Harc et al .: Cuius Regio? Ideological and Territorial Cohesion of the Historical Region of Silesia (c. 1000-2000). Wydawnictwo eBooki.com.pl, Wrocław [Volume 3 not yet published]
  • Adrienne Bier: And suddenly we had to leave. Experience and remember the flight and expulsion from Lower Silesia in 1945 . Turris Verlag, Cochem 2018, ISBN 978-3-9817144-4-9 .