Sosnowiec belongs to the group of most important towns of Upper Silesia, and is situated in its eastern part. Typically for the urban areas of the region, Sosnowiec is an industrial centre with 4 mines and several factories; however, recently it has striven to develop its trade and services. Sosnowiec is mostly visited for business purposes, attracting people with its good location close to Katowice, Dabrowa Gornicza, Myslowice and other towns of the Silesian Industrial Area and its proximity to the international airport in Pyrzowice (20 km).
Almost 220,000 people live in Sosnowiec, which is predominantly an economic centre that is developing successfully due to its Special Economic Zone, but if you expect only to see grey blocks of flats and factory chimneys then you may become confused. The neatly renovated downtown includes some very interesting historical sights, such as Sielecki Castle occupied by the Sosnowiec Centre of Art, the Schoen Palace and Dietl Palace or the Orthodox church of Faith, Hope and Love.
Sosnowiec is situated in the Silesian Upland, in the Black Przemsza River basin and on its confluence the Brynica River. Often associated with the Upper Silesian Industrial Area it actually belongs to Dabrowskie Coal Fields (Zaglebie Dabrowskie) rather than Silesia, and its history is different from Silesia’s.
Sosnowiec grew from a number of smaller settlements, some of them dating back to the Middle Ages. The first mention of the town comes from the year 1727 when it was mentioned in the books of the Myslowice church, which described it as a milling and farming area. In the Middle Ages these lands belonged to Silesian Dukes.