Katowice

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Katowice

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GPS N50.264892°,E19.023782°
Katowice is the capital city of Silesian Vojvodship. It lies in the south-west part of Poland on the rivers Klodica and Rawa. It is the main city of Upper Silesian Industrial Area and the most populous city of Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union as well as one of the most growing Polish Metropolises.

The city was established in the 16th century. However, the area around Katowice had been inhabited from the earliest times. First, it was ruled by the Polish Silesian Piasts dynasty. In 1335 it became a part of Czech land and since 1526 it was being ruled by the Habsburg dynasty. Katowice got the city rights in 1865. There were several Silesian Uprisings between 1918 and 1921 and thereupon Katowice became part of the Second Polish Republic. Under the communist governance in the People's Republic of Poland, Katowice was renamed to Stalinogród - "Stalin City" by Polish communists in 1953-1956.

In the past Katowice flourished due to mineral (mostly coal) deposits in the nearby mountains and steel industry. However, this damaged its natural environment a lot. Nowadays, heavy industry is being exchanged to small businesses. Katowice is reputed to be one of the most attractive investment areas in Eastern Europe.

Katowice covers the area of 164.5 square kilometers (63.5 square miles). 40 % of the area is covered by forests and greenlands including 2 nature reserves. The city itself has a population of 317,220, with the population density 1,928.38 inhabitants per square kilometer. There are 3,500,000 people living in the metropolitan area.

Katowice is a powerful academic and cultural centre on the national scale. Situated at the crossing of transport routs and due to its past, there is an impact of several cultures, i.e. the Polish, the German, the Jewish and the regional Silesian ones intermingle here. Katowice is also considered to be one of the best developed Polish cities in terms of a modern infrastructure.

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