Cieszyn

Cieszyn

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Cieszyn AUD is a border-town and the seat of Cieszyn County
Cieszyn County
Cieszyn County is a unit of territorial administration and local government in Silesian Voivodeship, southern Poland, on the Czech and Slovak border. It came into being on January 1, 1999, as a result of the Polish local government reforms passed in 1998...

, Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship
Silesian Voivodeship, or Silesia Province , is a voivodeship, or province, in southern Poland, centering on the historic region known as Upper Silesia...

, southern Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

. It has 36,109 inhabitants (2004). Cieszyn lies on the Olza River
Olza River
is a river in Poland and the Czech Republic, the right tributary of the Oder River. It flows from the Silesian Beskids through southern Cieszyn Silesia in Poland and Frýdek-Místek and Karviná districts of the Czech Republic, often forming the border with Poland. It flows into the Oder River north...

, a tributary of the Oder
Oder
The Oder is a river in Central Europe. It rises in the Czech Republic and flows through western Poland, later forming of the border between Poland and Germany, part of the Oder-Neisse line...

 river, opposite Český Těšín
Ceský Tešín
Český Těšín is a town in the Karviná District, Moravian-Silesian Region of the Czech Republic. The town is commonly known in the region as just Těšín . It lies on the west bank of the Olza River, in the heart of the historical region of Cieszyn Silesia...

.

It is situated in the heart of the historical region of Cieszyn Silesia
Cieszyn Silesia
Cieszyn Silesia or Těšín Silesia or Teschen Silesia is a historical region in south-eastern Silesia, centered around the towns of Cieszyn and Český Těšín and bisected by the Olza River. Since 1920 it has been divided between Poland and Czechoslovakia, and later the Czech Republic...

. Until the end of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 in 1918 it was a seat of the Duchy of Teschen. In 1920 Cieszyn Silesia was divided between the two newly created states of Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 and Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

, with the smaller western suburbs of Teschen becoming part of Czechoslovakia as a new town called Český Těšín
Ceský Tešín
Český Těšín is a town in the Karviná District, Moravian-Silesian Region of the Czech Republic. The town is commonly known in the region as just Těšín . It lies on the west bank of the Olza River, in the heart of the historical region of Cieszyn Silesia...

. The larger part of the town joined Poland as Cieszyn.

The town combines both Polish and Austrian
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

 peculiarities in the style of its buildings. Because of several major fires and subsequent reconstructions (the last one in the late 18th century), the picturesque old town is sometimes called Little Vienna. The only relic of the ancient castle is a square tower, dating from the 12th century and 10th century romanesque
Romanesque architecture
Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of Medieval Europe characterised by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the beginning date of the Romanesque architecture, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the 10th century. It developed in the 12th century into the Gothic style,...

 chapel.

History


The area has been populated by Slavic peoples since at least the 7th century. According to the legend, in 810 three sons of a prince – Bolko, Leszko and Cieszko, met here after a long pilgrimage, found a spring, and decided to found a new settlement. They called it Cieszyn, from the words "cieszym się", "I'm happy". This well can be found at the ulica Trzech Braci ("Three Brothers Street"), just west of the town square.

The town was the capital of the Duchy of Teschen and shared its history throughout the ages. It was in Teschen where Maria Theresa
Maria Theresa of Austria
Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions and the last of the House of Habsburg. She was the sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands and Parma...

 and Frederick II signed on 13 May 1779, the Teschen Peace Treaty
Treaty of Teschen
The Treaty of Teschen was signed on May 13, 1779, in Cieszyn , Austrian Silesia, between Austria and Prussia, which officially ended the War of the Bavarian Succession sparked by the death of Elector Maximilian III Joseph...

, which put an end to the War of the Bavarian Succession. Teschen was known for its national, religious and cultural diversity, consisting mostly of German, Polish, Jewish and Czech communities. There was also a small but lively Hungarian community in the town consisting mostly of officers and clerks.

According to the Austrian
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

 census of 1910 the town had 22,489 inhabitants. 13,254 (61.5%) were German-speaking, 6,832 (31.7%) were Polish-speaking and 1,437 (6.7%) were Czech-speaking. Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 were not allowed to declare Yiddish
Yiddish language
Yiddish is a High German language of Ashkenazi Jewish origin, spoken throughout the world. It developed as a fusion of German dialects with Hebrew, Aramaic, Slavic languages and traces of Romance languages...

, most of them thus declared German as their native language. The most populous religious groups were Roman Catholics with 15,138 (67.3%), followed by Protestants with 5,174 (23%) and the Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 with 2,112 (9.4%).

The town was divided in July 1920, by the Spa Conference
Spa Conference
The Spa Conference was a meeting between the Supreme War Council and Weimar Republic in Spa, Belgium on 5–16 July 1920. It was the first post-war conference to include German representatives. The attendees included British and French Prime Ministers Lloyd George and Alexandre Millerand, German...

, a body formed by the Versailles Treaty, leaving a sizeable Polish community on the Czechoslovak side. Its smaller westerns suburbs became what is now the town of Český Těšín
Ceský Tešín
Český Těšín is a town in the Karviná District, Moravian-Silesian Region of the Czech Republic. The town is commonly known in the region as just Těšín . It lies on the west bank of the Olza River, in the heart of the historical region of Cieszyn Silesia...

 in the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

. Both towns were joined together again in October 1938 when Poland annexed the Zaolzie
Zaolzie
Zaolzie is the Polish name for an area now in the Czech Republic which was disputed between interwar Poland and Czechoslovakia. The name means "lands beyond the Olza River"; it is also called Śląsk zaolziański, meaning "trans-Olza Silesia". Equivalent terms in other languages include Zaolší in...

 area together with Český Těšín. In 1939 whole Cieszyn Silesia was annexed by German forces and during the World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 was a part of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

. After the war, the border between Poland and Czechoslovakia was restored to the one from 1920.

After Poland and the Czech Republic joined the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 and its passport-free Schengen zone, border controls were abolished and residents of both the Polish and Czech part can move freely across the border.

On 19 July 1970, five Polish firefighters from Cieszyn died, when a bridge they were on fell into the Olza River, due to heavy flooding.

Culture


Since the 19th century Cieszyn Silesia
Cieszyn Silesia
Cieszyn Silesia or Těšín Silesia or Teschen Silesia is a historical region in south-eastern Silesia, centered around the towns of Cieszyn and Český Těšín and bisected by the Olza River. Since 1920 it has been divided between Poland and Czechoslovakia, and later the Czech Republic...

 has been an important centre of Polish Protestantism
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

. Currently Cieszyn is also the site of the Cieszyn Summer Film Festival, one of the most influential film festival
Film festival
A film festival is an organised, extended presentation of films in one or more movie theaters or screening venues, usually in a single locality. More and more often film festivals show part of their films to the public by adding outdoor movie screenings...

s in Poland. There is also an earlier established Czech-Polish-Slovak film festival.

Industry


Cieszyn is an important centre of the electromechanical industry. It is also the site of the Olza Cieszyn sweets factory (where the famous Prince Polo
Prince Polo
Prince Polo is a Polish chocolate bar. It is sold in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania and Ukraine under the name Siesta, and is also sold in Iceland, where it is colloquially known as “Prins Póló”...

 wafer
Wafer (cooking)
In cooking, a wafer is a crisp, often sweet, very thin, flat, and dry biscuit, often used to decorate ice cream. Wafers can also be made into cookies with cream flavoring sandwiched between them. They frequently have a waffle surface pattern but may also be patterned with insignia of the food's...

s are made) and the Brackie Browar
Cieszyn Brewery
The Cieszyn Brewery is a brewery in Poland and belongs to the Żywiec Group. Żywiec Group has five main breweries: Żywiec Brewery, Elbrewery, Leżajsk Brewery, Cieszyn Brewery and Warka Brewery, and is majority owned by the Dutch Heineken Group...

, where Żywiec Porter
Zywiec (beer)
Żywiec beer is a Polish medium-light bodied pilsner beer that is popular in Poland and gaining popularity in the United States and all over the world.-History:...

 is brewed. The main source of income for many citizens is trade with the nearby Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

 and retail trade associated with transit across the two bridges over the Olza
Olza River
is a river in Poland and the Czech Republic, the right tributary of the Oder River. It flows from the Silesian Beskids through southern Cieszyn Silesia in Poland and Frýdek-Místek and Karviná districts of the Czech Republic, often forming the border with Poland. It flows into the Oder River north...

 to Český Těšín.

Sites of interest



  • Romanesque St. Nicholas' Chapel (Kaplica św. Mikołaja, a rotunda
    Rotunda (architecture)
    A rotunda is any building with a circular ground plan, sometimes covered by a dome. It can also refer to a round room within a building . The Pantheon in Rome is a famous rotunda. A Band Rotunda is a circular bandstand, usually with a dome...

     from the 11th century)
  • Remnants of the Piast dynasty castle
    • Piast Castle Tower (Wieża Piastowska, mostly 14th century)
    • Gothic
      Gothic architecture
      Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

      al St. Mary Magdalene
      Mary Magdalene
      Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus' most celebrated disciples, and the most important woman disciple in the movement of Jesus. Jesus cleansed her of "seven demons", conventionally interpreted as referring to complex illnesses...

       Church (Kościół Marii Magdaleny, 13th century)
  • Old Town Square (Rynek)
    • bourgeoisie
      Bourgeoisie
      In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture." A member of the...

       houses (15th-19th centuries)
    • Town Hall (Ratusz, early 19th century)
  • Former minting house (18th century)
  • Museum of Cieszyn Silesia
    Cieszyn Silesia
    Cieszyn Silesia or Těšín Silesia or Teschen Silesia is a historical region in south-eastern Silesia, centered around the towns of Cieszyn and Český Těšín and bisected by the Olza River. Since 1920 it has been divided between Poland and Czechoslovakia, and later the Czech Republic...

     in the former Larisch family palace (Pałac Laryszów, Muzeum Śląska Cieszyńskiego
    Muzeum Slaska Cieszynskiego
    The Muzeum Śląska Cieszyńskiego is a museum in the town of Cieszyn, Silesian Voivodeship, Poland. It was founded in 1802 by Leopold Szersznik, a Jesuit priest, and is one of the oldest public museums in Poland...

    , the first museum in Poland)
  • Castle Brewery (Browar Zamkowy, 1846)
  • The protestant Church of Jesus
    Jesus Church (Cieszyn)
    Jesus Church or Grace Church is a Lutheran Church located in Cieszyn, Poland. It is one of the largest and most important Protestant churches in Poland....

     (Kościół Jezusowy), with a baroque
    Baroque
    The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

     tower and statues of the Four Evangelists
    Four Evangelists
    In Christian tradition the Four Evangelists are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the authors attributed with the creation of the four Gospel accounts in the New Testament that bear the following titles:*Gospel according to Matthew*Gospel according to Mark...

     above the altar
    Altar
    An altar is any structure upon which offerings such as sacrifices are made for religious purposes. Altars are usually found at shrines, and they can be located in temples, churches and other places of worship...

     that liven up the plain interior.

People


  • Herbert Czaja
    Herbert Czaja
    Dr. Herbert Czaja was a German Christian Democratic politician and advocate for Germans expelled after World War II...

     (born November 5, 1914), German politician (CDU
    Christian Democratic Union (Germany)
    The Christian Democratic Union of Germany is a Christian democratic and conservative political party in Germany. It is regarded as on the centre-right of the German political spectrum...

    )
  • Magdalena Gwizdoń (born August 4, 1979), Polish female biathlete
  • Hermann Heller
    Hermann Heller
    Hermann Heller is the name of:*Hermann Heller *Hermann Heller...

     (born July 17, 1891), jurist
  • Ireneusz Jeleń
    Ireneusz Jelen
    Ireneusz Jeleń is a Polish footballer who plays as a right-winger or striker for Ligue 1 side Lille and the Polish national football team.-Club career:...

     (born April 9, 1981), Polish footballer
  • Carl Friedrich Kotschy
    Carl Friedrich Kotschy
    Carl Friedrich Kotschy was an Austrian Protestant theologian and botanist who was born in Teschen . He was the father of botanist Theodor Kotschy ....

     (born January 26, 1789), botanist and theologian
  • Inge Mahn (born 1943), German female sculptor, professor
  • Richard Pipes
    Richard Pipes
    Richard Edgar Pipes is an American academic who specializes in Russian history, particularly with respect to the Soviet Union...

      (born July 11, 1923), a Jewish-American historian
  • Rudolf Ramek
    Rudolf Ramek
    Rudolf Ramek was an Austrian politician.Ramek was born in Teschen in Austrian Silesia . A member of the Christian Social Party, he served as Chancellor of Austria from 20 November 1924 to 20 October 1926. He died in Vienna, and buried at Salzburg Municipal Cemetery....

     (born April 12, 1881), Austrian politician, Chancellor of Austria
  • Max Rostal
    Max Rostal
    Max Rostal was a violinist and a viola player. He was Austrian-born, but later took British citizenship.-Biography:Max Rostal was born in Cieszyn and studied with Carl Flesch. He won the Mendelssohn Scholarship in 1925...

     (born August 7, 1905), violinist and educator
  • Tomisław Tajner (born May 14, 1983), Polish ski jumper
  • Jiří Třanovský
    Jirí Tranovský
    Jiří Třanovský , was a hymnwriter from the Cieszyn Silesia. He was sometimes called the father of Slovak hymnody and the "Luther of the Slavs." His name is sometimes anglicized to George.Třanovský was born in Teschen, and studied at Guben and Kolberg...

     (born March 27, 1592), theologian and composer
  • Friedrich Uhl (born May 14, 1825), journalist, writer
  • Viktor Ullmann
    Viktor Ullmann
    Viktor Ullmann was a Silesia-born Austrian, later Czech composer, conductor and pianist of Jewish origin.- Biography :...

     (born January 1, 1898), a Jewish musician

Twin towns — Sister cities


Cieszyn is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with:
Český Těšín
Ceský Tešín
Český Těšín is a town in the Karviná District, Moravian-Silesian Region of the Czech Republic. The town is commonly known in the region as just Těšín . It lies on the west bank of the Olza River, in the heart of the historical region of Cieszyn Silesia...

, Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

 Genk
Genk
Genk is a city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Limburg near Hasselt. The municipality only comprises the city of Genk itself...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

Lucerne
Lucerne
Lucerne is a city in north-central Switzerland, in the German-speaking portion of that country. Lucerne is the capital of the Canton of Lucerne and the capital of the district of the same name. With a population of about 76,200 people, Lucerne is the most populous city in Central Switzerland, and...

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 Puck
Puck, Poland
Puck is a town in northwestern Poland with 11,350 inhabitants. It is in Gdańsk Pomerania on the south coast of the Baltic Sea . Previously in the Gdańsk Voivodeship , Puck has been the capital of Puck County in the Pomeranian Voivodeship since 1999.-History:The settlement became a marketplace...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

Rožňava
Rožnava
Rožňava is a town in Slovakia, approximately 71 km by road from Košice in the Košice Region, and has a population of 19,120.The town is an economic and tourist center of the Gemer. Rožňava is now a popular tourist attraction with a beautiful historic town centre. The town is an episcopal seat...

, Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

 Teuva
Teuva
Teuva is a municipality of Finland.It is located in the province of Western Finland and is part of the Southern Ostrobothnia region. The population of Teuva is and the municipality covers an area of of which is inland water...

, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...


External links