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Pszczyna coat of arms
Pszczyna (Poland)
Basic data
State : Poland
Voivodeship : Silesia
Powiat : Pszczyna
Area : 22.00  km²
Geographic location : 49 ° 59 ′  N , 18 ° 57 ′  E Coordinates: 49 ° 59 ′ 0 ″  N , 18 ° 57 ′ 0 ″  E
Height : 262 m npm
Residents : 25,823
(Jun. 30, 2019)
Postal code : 43-200
Telephone code : (+48) 32
License plate : PLC
Economy and Transport
Street : Droga krajowa 1
Rail route : Katowice– Bohumín
Next international airport : Katowice
Gminatype: Urban and rural municipality
Surface: 174.01 km²
Residents: 52,627
(Jun. 30, 2019)
Population density : 302 inhabitants / km²
Community number  ( GUS ): 2410053
Administration (as of 2007)
Mayor : Dariusz Skrobol
Address: Rynek 2
43-200 Pszczyna
Website :

Pszczyna [ ˈpʃʧɨna ] (German Pless , also Pleß ) is a city in the Polish Voivodeship of Silesia .

Geographical location

Pszczyna is located in the Upper Silesian hill country in the lowlands of the Plessebach (Pszczynka) , a tributary of the Vistula , at 246 m above sea level. NHN , 37 kilometers south of Katowice .



See also: Principality of Pless

Castle Pless
Map of the Principality of Pless in the 18th century

A Piast fortification is said to have stood in the marshland on the Pszczynka as early as the 12th century (see Stara Wieś ). The country belonged to Lesser Poland until 1177 and then came to the Duchy of Ratibor , which was ruled by the Silesian Piasts . The membership of the diocese of Krakow , which existed until 1821, also came from this time . After the death of Duke Lestko of Ratibor in 1336 the male line of the Ratibor branch of the Silesian Piasts went extinct. As a result, it fell to the Crown of Bohemia as a settled fiefdom . In 1337 the Bohemian King John of Luxembourg again gave it as a fiefdom to the Opava Duke Nicholas II. He came from the Duchy of Opava from the Přemyslid lineage of the Troppau branch of the Přemyslids and was married to a sister Lestkos. 1384 he pledged the Plesser country to the Opole Duke Władysław II. In 1407 gave John II. Of Troppau-Ratibor the soft images of Pless, Old Berun , Myslowitz and Nikolai as jointure his wife Helena, who in 1412 also the whole area and the city Sohrau received . This created the Duchy of Pless , which ruled Duchess Helena from 1424 to her death in 1449 and her daughter-in-law Barbara Rockenberg from 1452 to 1462.

She was followed by Duke Viktorin , a son of the Bohemian King George of Podebrady . In 1480 the land came to his father-in-law, Duke Casimir II of Teschen , who released it from the fiefdom of the Crown of Bohemia in 1500 . In 1517 he sold the Allod Pless for 40,000 gold guilders to the Upper Hungarian magnate and mine owner Alexius Thurzó von Bethlenfalva. Whose brother Johann Thurzó d. J. auf Wohlau owned the rule since 1525 and sold it in 1548 to the Breslau prince-bishop Balthasar von Promnitz , to whom Ferdinand I transferred it under inheritance law. Since the mid-16th century as a civil rule referred to the Pless family remained the country to 1765 in the possession of Promnitz .

After the First Silesian War , the estate of Pless and most of Silesia fell to Prussia . It was now in the border area with Austrian Silesia , while the Przemsa formed the historical border with Poland. When the Revised Mountain Regulations for Silesia were introduced in 1769 , the rulers retained many of their privileges; would otherwise managed only the rule of Bytom . Already in 1754 the mining of hard coal had started in the forests near the Klodnitz spring . The Emanuelssegen mine was one of the first hard coal mines in Upper Silesia.

From 1705 under Erdmann II von Promnitz, his Kapellmeister Georg Philipp Telemann also worked in Pless. Johann Erdmann Reichsgraf von Promnitz , whose rule lasted from 1745 to 1765, left the rulership as a gift to his nephew (sister's son) Friedrich Erdmann, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen . He only bequeathed Jannowitz , Peterswaldau and Kreppelhof to his nephew, Count Christian Friedrich zu Stolberg-Wernigerode . The landlord Friedrich Erdmann Prince of Anhalt-Köthen-Pleß (until 1797) was followed by his son Friedrich Ferdinand (from 1818 Duke of Anhalt-Koethen) and his brothers Heinrich (from 1830 Duke of Anhalt-Koethen) and Ludwig. Since Ludwig died before Heinrich in 1841, Pless reverted to Heinrich. After Heinrich's death in 1847, his brother-in-law Hans Heinrich X. Reichsgraf von Hochberg-Fürstenstein inherited the status of the state and raised it to a principality in 1848 . The princes of Pless from the Hochberg-Fürstenstein family remained the owners of the estate until 1939. In addition to the residence in Schloss Pleß , however, the largest castle in Silesia, Schloss Fürstenstein near Waldenburg, was the headquarters of this family, who also managed their extensive possessions in Lower Silesia and their coal mines in the Waldenburger Bergland from there .

The Pleß Castle was mainly used as a summer and hunting castle. In 1865 a breeding of bison was established under princely sovereignty . This stock gained considerable importance in the context of conservation breeding of the species threatened with extinction at the time.

Another important guest was Kaiser Wilhelm II , who chose Pleß Castle as his main headquarters during the First World War between 1915 and 1917 . The reason for this was the proximity to the Eastern Front when Gorlice broke through in spring 1915 and the fact that the Austro-Hungarian Supreme Army Command was based in nearby Teschen . The German-Austrian proclamation for the proclamation of the reign of Poland was also made on November 5, 1916.

With the transition to Poland in 1922, the Principality of Pless became extinct. After the German invasion in 1939, Prince von Pless, Hans Heinrich XVII, who was a Polish citizen and fled to London, was expropriated by the German authorities. His nephew and heir since 1975, the current Prince Bolko, did not get the property back even after the political change in 1990.

History of the city

All Saints Church, mentioned as early as 1326
Ring in Pszczyna

The first news about the civitas Plesna comes from the year 1327, it is assumed that the city was founded at the ford of the trade route from Kraków and Auschwitz to Teschen , Troppau and Ratibor through the Pszczynka around the same time as the foundation of Nikolai (1276) .

The city was surrounded in the north by the river and swamps. In the south and east it was protected by city fortifications, while in the west, under Duchess Helena, a new castle was built in place of a hunting lodge. This made it possible to defend Pless against the incursions of the Hussites .

Pless had a large market square and four city gates, the Krakauer Tor, the Auschwitzer or Polish Gate, the Sohrauer or German Gate and the Troppauer Gate. The inhabitants lived from handicrafts, trade and pond farming. Cloth making was of economic importance until the 19th century. The cloth makers' guild received its privileges as early as 1587. In 1784 124 master clothiers worked in the city, in 1860 there were just 13.

The city ​​enjoyed a good reputation as the center of carp farming ; the fish were mainly sold to Krakow. In 1536 the town had two large and two small ponds with 645 shock fish.

In 1468, 1492 and 1512 Pless received privileges for three annual fairs . In 1568 Karl von Promnitz introduced the Reformation , since the middle of the 17th century most of the residents were Catholic again and the Protestant community dissolved in 1654. In 1748 a city fire caused great damage, which also destroyed the church, built in 1746 by the re-established Protestant parish.

Since the end of the 18th century, smaller industrial settlements took place in Pless. Michael Attinger, who came from Switzerland, set up a garter factory in 1782, followed by the silk and stocking factory of the brothers Paul and Johann Schmeck in 1785. In 1805 Karl Benjamin Fiestel founded a printing company, in 1833 another was opened. Its owner, Christian Schemmel (1807–1862), who has also been mayor since 1856, published the Plesser Tagblatt , and from July 5, 1845 to 1846 the first Polish-language newspaper in Upper Silesia, entitled Tygodnik Polski Poświęcony Włościanom ( Polish weekly dedicated to the rural residents , edition approx. 500 copies). In the four-page (half sheet) magazine wrote, among others, Josef Lompa, the Catholic priest and beekeeper Johann Dzierzon , the Protestant pastor Robert Fiedler and the Protestant theologian and botanist Carl Friedrich Kotschy .

Pleß was the district town of the Prussian district of Pleß , but retained its character as a residential town . The construction of the railway line from Schoppinitz via Nikolai and Pleß to Dzieditz in 1868 only brought about industrialization in the neighboring towns. At the beginning of the 20th century, Pless had a Protestant church, a Catholic church, a synagogue , a grammar school, cigar and machine manufacturing and was the seat of a local court .

On August 16, 1919, members of the Bojówka Polska Freikorps gathered in the palace grounds for the first Polish uprising in Upper Silesia under Wojciech Korfanty, which began the next morning near Paprotzan . After the referendum in Upper Silesia , Pless was handed over to the Republic of Poland in 1922 and a military parade was held under General Stanisław Szeptycki , in which Korfanty also took part. In 1938 the railway line from Rybnik via Żory to Pszczyna was inaugurated. When the Wehrmacht marched into the city in September 1939, parts of the Kraków army offered considerable resistance. At the turn of the year 1944/1945, the death march of prisoners from the Auschwitz concentration camp led through the city. In February 1945 the occupation by the Red Army took place , whereby Pless suffered only minor damage, the city came back to Poland. After the Second World War , industrialization began. Mechanical engineering companies emerged and the number of residents doubled.


Stara Wieś (Altdorf) has been a part of Pszczyna since 1945 . Between 1975 and 1977 Wisła Wielka (Great Vistula) was part of the city; today the place belongs to the municipality Pszczyna. Goczałkowice-Zdrój (Bad Gottschalkowitz, Nieder Goczalkowitz) , which was also incorporated in 1975 , regained its independence in 1992.


Population development until 1922
year population Remarks
1782 1841
1787 2267
1816 2300
1825 2063 including 858 Evangelicals, 1101 Catholics, 104 Jews
1840 3147 thereof 1015 Evangelicals, 1883 Catholics, 249 Jews
1855 2946
1861 3154 702 Protestants, 2121 Catholics, 331 Jews
1867 3668 on December 3rd
1871 3820 including 850 Protestants, 300 Jews (2400 Poles ); According to other data, 3854 inhabitants (on December 1), of which 1039 Protestants, 2482 Catholics, 333 Jews
1890 4084 of which 1,041 Protestants, 2704 Catholics, 339 Jews
1905 5193 with the garrison (a squadron of Uhlans No. 2), thereof 1401 Evangelicals, 235 Jews
1910 5315
Number of inhabitants since 1922
year Residents Remarks
1931 7200
1961 15,340
1970 17,994
2008 25,477

From the German East Settlement until the 15th century, Pless was mainly inhabited by the German population. Since the 16th century, the border town of Pless , which still belonged to the Polish Archdiocese of Krakow , was increasingly Polonized again, so that the Polish population soon became the majority. In the 18th and 19th centuries this development was reversed and in 1910 67% of the inhabitants were German, while the rural population of the surrounding villages was mostly Polish- speaking or used the Upper Silesian dialect (water Polish) . This was also shown in the referendum in Upper Silesia on the future membership of Upper Silesia in 1921, in which 74% of the residents of the district voted for Poland, while 3,759 or 75.5% of the valid votes for Germany were cast in the city of Pless.


Town hall and Protestant church
  • Schloss Pleß , (14th – 19th centuries), neo-baroque , now a museum;
  • The neo-baroque Protestant church was built between 1905 and 1907. It was built on the site of a previous building from 1744 to 1746, which fell victim to a fire;
  • The Catholic All Saints Church was first mentioned in 1326. The current baroque church was completed in 1754, but subsequently rebuilt several times;
  • The baroque Old Guard (Brama Wybrańców) from 1687 now houses the Tourist Information Center and a café;
  • The neo-renaissance town hall was built in 1931 on the site where the town hall had stood since 1716.
  • open air museum
  • The Pheasantry (Książęca Bażantarnia) in Poremba , designed by Carl Gotthard Langhans in the 1800s
  • Princess Daisy Monument


The city is crossed by the Droga krajowa 1 state road, which runs through the border crossing Cieszyn ( Teschen ) to the Czech Republic .

local community

The urban and rural community Pszczyna covers an area of ​​174 km² with around 50,000 inhabitants. In addition to the town of Pszczyna, this includes the following districts:

  • Brzeźce (Brzestz) , 1,055 inhabitants
  • Czarków (Czarkow) , 1,887 inhabitants
  • Ćwiklice (Cwiklitz) , 2,621 inhabitants
  • Jankowice (Jankowitz) , 2,606 inhabitants
  • Łąka (Lonkau) , 2,792 inhabitants
  • Piasek (Sandau) , 3,306 inhabitants
  • Poręba (Poremba) , 979 inhabitants
  • Rudołtowice (Rudoltowitz) , 1,122 inhabitants
  • Studzionka (perennial) , 2.199 inhabitants
  • Studzienice (Studzienitz) , 1,667 inhabitants
  • Wisła Mała (German Vistula) , 1,328 inhabitants
  • Wisła Wielka (Great Vistula) , 2.128 inhabitants

Town twinning


Honorary citizen

  • Bolko Graf von Hochberg (* 1936), sixth Prince of Pless

sons and daughters of the town


  • Johann Georg Knie : Alphabetical-statistical-topographical overview of the villages, towns, cities and other places of the royal family. Preusz. Province of Silesia. 2nd Edition. Graß, Barth and Comp., Breslau 1845, pp. 896-897 .
  • Felix Triest : Topographical Handbook of Upper Silesia , Wilh. Gottl. Korn, Breslau 1865, pp. 570-576 .

Web links

Commons : Pszczyna  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

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. Yearbooks for Slavic Literature, Art and Science. 1845, p. 296 ( ).
  3. a b Meyer's Large Conversation Lexicon . 6th edition, Volume 16, Leipzig / Vienna 1908, pp. 38-39 .
  4. ^ Felix Triest : Topographisches Handbuch von Oberschlesien , Wilh. Gottl. Korn, Breslau 1865, p. 573 .
  5. ^ A b Gustav Neumann : The German Empire in geographical, statistical and topographical relation . Volume 2, GFO Müller, Berlin 1874, p. 179 .
  6. 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. 952-953 .
  7. ^ 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. 896-897 .
  8. a b Felix Triest : Topographisches Handbuch von Oberschlesien , Wilh. Gottl. Korn, Breslau 1865, p. 567, number 1 .
  9. ^ 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. 342–343, item 3 .
  10. a b 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)
  11. Główny Urząd Statystyczny, "LUDNOŚĆ - STAN I STRUKTURA W PRZEKROJU TERYTORIALNYM" (PDF), as of June 30, 2008.
  12.  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  13. ( Memento from May 10, 2008 in the Internet Archive )