Upper Silesia

Upper Silesia (a common name of the industrial area in south-central Poland, in the Silesian Voivodeship, with the cities of Katowice, Gliwice, Chorzów, Bytom, Zabrze, Ruda Śląska, Rybnik and Tarnowskie Góry) – is a special place, full of monuments. But nobody comes here for rest. The most dominating features are coal mines, steelworks and heavy industry, which made the air here always heavy of metals and impurities, and houses covered with black dirt.

Typical features for the Upper Silesian landscape are heaps (slag and coal), mine hoisting towers, chimneys, industrial buildings and “familoki” – red brick houses for workers, built in the 19th century, whose window frames were painted in red (the colour of the paint used in the coal mines). In the 70s, the epoch of intensive industrialization of the country (which ultimately led Poland to the crisis), many flimsy blocks were built as Upper Silesia needed a lot of hands for work. Today, many industrial facilities fell into disrepair, a lot of coal mines changed its function, modern shopping malls and business centers were built, the air is cleaner, but the level of degradation of the natural environment remains high.

(More on Upper Silesia we will write soon.)

Pictures were made by prof. Adam Walanus (adamwalanus.pl).

THE INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPE

Miechowice 2

Miechowice

Chorzów 2

Chorzów

Katowice 8

Katowice

hałda

A heap…

hałda Ziemowit Lędziny

Another one in Lędziny

Wilhelmina

Remains of the former metalurgy combinat “Wilhelmina”, Szopienice (Katowice)

Kochłowice

Kochłowice (Ruda Śląska)

FAMILOKI AND MODERN BLOCKS

Dieter Nowak

Painting by Dietmar Nowak

Nikiszowiec b (2)

Nikiszowiec – suburbia designed in the beginning of the 20th century by Emil and Georg Zillmann

Nowy Bytom

Nowy Bytom (Ruda Śląska)

Kochłowice 3

Kochłowice (Ruda Śląska)

Szopienice 2

Szopienice (Katowice)

Chorzów 5

Chorzów

Katowice 11

Katowice

OLD AND NEW ARCHITECTURE

Katowice 5

Katowice

Spodek 2

Sport and Show Arena “Sourcer” in Katowice (built in 1964 – 1971)

Katowice

Katowice

NEW LIFE OF OLD OBJECTS

Katowice 14

Shopping mall Silesia City Center in the ground of the coal mine “Gottwald”

Katowice 4

Silesian Museum in the former coal mine “Katowice”;
its exhibition halls are placed underground, under the glass roof seen on the left

Szyb Wilson 2

Well Wilson Gallery in a former coal mine “Wieczorek” (Katowice)

NEW UPPER SILESIA

Katowice 2

A shopping centre Gallery “Katowice” in Katowice

Katowice 12

The new railway station in Katowice, built on the site of the demolished (despite large protests) old one, referring to famous “cups” of the old building (a big proud of Poland)

nospr

NOSPR 3

Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice / design by Tomasz konior; accoustic by Yasushisa Toyota, Nagata Acousticks

And it all started in the beginning of the 19th century from something like this:

Kochłowice 4

Kochłowice (Ruda Śląska)

Silesian blues Sztajger (Coal foreman) performed by Jan “Kyks” Skrzek (in Silesian language)

Published: May 2, 2016