Katowice is the capital city of the Silesian Voivodeship in southern Poland, and the central city of the Upper Silesian metropolitan area. It is the 11th-most populous city in Poland, while its urban area is the most populous in the country and one of the most populous in the EU.
Katowice has a population of 286,960 according to a 31 December 2021 estimate. Katowice is a central part of the Metropolis GZM, with a population of 2.3 million, and a part of a larger Upper Silesian metropolitan area that extends into the Czech Republic and has a population of 5-5.3 million people. Katowice is a centre of commerce, business, transportation, and culture in southern Poland, with numerous public companies headquartered in the city or in its suburbs, important cultural institutions such as Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, award-winning music festivals such as Off Festival and Tauron New Music, and transportation infrastructure such as Katowice Korfanty Airport. It also hosts the finals of Intel Extreme Masters, an Esports video game tournament. Katowice is also home to a few major universities, with approximately 80,000 students attending.
Throughout the mid-18th century, Katowice developed into a village following the discovery of rich coal reserves in the area. In 1742 the First Silesian War transferred Upper Silesia, including Katowice, to Prussia. In the first half of the 19th century, intensive industrialization transformed local mills and farms into industrial steelworks, mines, foundries and artisan workshops. Following Germany’s defeat in World War I and the Silesian Uprisings, Katowice and parts of Upper Silesia were reintegrated with the reborn Polish Republic.
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