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 A short history of Zabrze

Nowadays Zabrze is situated in an area of 80 km2 and is populated  by 200 thousand citizens.

It is the city in the west part of Upper Silesia region in  the Upper Silesian Industrial Region (GOP) and borders from the north with Zbrosławice, Tarnowskie Góry  and Bytom, from the west with Gliwice, from the south with Gierałtowice and from the east with Ruda ¦l±ska.

There are some rivers which flow through the city. Their names are Bytomka, Kłodnica, Czarniawka, Potok Żernicki. The city was founded because of joining together some colonies, which origins date back to the Middle Ages. The oldest district of Zabrze is Biskupice, which was written about for the first time in the XIII century.



Interesting historical places in Zabrze

About 1300 in the neighbourhood of Biskupice, on the other side of the river Bytomka, the new settlement was founded. People called that place “Sadbre”  which means the village “at the bank”. There is another hypothesis which says that the original name “Sadbre” was used to describe its position relative to the different terrain object, namely “debra”, “debrz”, in old Polish “precipitous, steep overgrown hills, where the stream flows”, so it is the place behind debra.

At that time in  the south-east direction from Zabrze, on the other side of  woods, another village was founded, called Zaborze ( Saboria), where exactly the Lower Secondary School No 9 is situated. Present  city - Zabrze was formed  by primary settlements called: Grzybowice, Rokitnica, Mikulczyce, Zaborze.

Very soon the villages :Grzybowice, Rokitnica, Makoszowy and Poręba were founded. Today they also exist as districts of Zabrze. The town stayed  rural for ages but then in XIX and XX century, because of rapid coal  industry development, Zabrze changed its image. When the Donnersmarcks became the owners of Zabrze, the city changed from rural to industrial.

They built the industrial plants -the coal mines “Guido” and “the Queen Luiza”, which still exist as the most important sights in Zabrze. These objects are unique not only in Poland but in Europe as well, because in Guido you can go down at the level of 320 m and Queen Luiza is getting ready to allow tourists  go along the zabrski road of the Główna Kluczowa Sztolnia Dziedziczna, which connected Chorzów and Zabrze through ¦więtochłowice and Ruda ¦l±ska, for a distance of 14 km.

Zabrze does  not only relies on tourism, it also excels in modern cardiac surgery. Zabrze also relies on sport, especially football. The football club called “Górnik Zabrze is one of the most recognizable clubs in Poland.

There is a beautiful rosarium in the city Botanical Garden.

Since 1915 till 1945 Zabrze was called Hindenburg O.S. (Oberschlesien) in honor of the field-marshal Paul von Hinderburg- Tannenberg battle’s winner.(till 1945 the city was a part of Germany)

In 1922 Zabrze received  civic rights. Although, Zabrze was called the biggest village in Europe, it was in effect growing rapidly industrial center.


Elaborated by  Monika Kassner
Based on: Jolanta Zalewska: Historia miasta Zabrze
Source: zabrze.aplus.pl