Czeladz is a place with an intriguing name and equally interesting history. This Silesian town is claimed to be one of the oldest towns of Katowice Agglomeration. It was born out of industrial and mining traditions. Although foreigners have difficulties with the pronunciation of its name, they are willing to visit Silesia and discover the beauty of Czeladz.
Czeladz is populated by approximately 33.500 people. Despite its location in the post-mining region, the town is very popular among both tourists and locals. Czeladz attracts everyone with its amazing architecture and numerous monuments. The best place to start sightseeing with is the Old Town and the market square. You may see lately discovered fragments of curtain walls there. The next point in the sightseeing tour may be the neo-Roman church of St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr with the 17th century organs, chalices and monstrances. Worthy a visit are also dwelling houses from the 18th and 19th centuries as well as the stone Arian house from the first half of the 17th century. While in Czeladz, you should also consider visiting the historic miners’ settlement in the district of Piaski. The settlement was built in between the late 19th century and 1930s. Dwelling houses were meant for miners who worked in the Czeladz mine nearby. The town may also boast of picturesque parks where you can rest and relax in the open air. The largest is the Jordan’s Park with the area of 7 ha. An important place in Czeladz is also a park near the Saturn mine, which was established in the interwar period. Within its area you will find numerous impressive natural monuments. And yet another very interesting park is Grabek, which was founded in 1960s. Within the park’s area you will find an amphitheatre and a reservoir as well as a skate park and two playgrounds.
Czeladz lies in the North East of the Silesian Voivodeship, by the Brynica river, in the centre of the Upper Silesian Industrial Region (Polish: Górnośląski Okręg Przemysłowy). Czeladz has the area of approximately 1.640 ha, which constitutes 4.5% of Bedzin County. Czeladz boarders on Bedzin (North East), Sosnowiec (South East), Katowice (South) and Siemianowice Slaskie (North West). It has also the railway connection with Wroclaw and Krakow. Such a convenient location made the town a significant transport and trade centre.
The history of Czeladz dates back to the Middle Ages. Already in the 13th century Czeladz obtained town rights. During the reigns of Dukes of Opole, it gained the bridge on the Brodnica, an inn and the curtain walls. This, however, did not protect the settlement from the Mongol Invasion of Poland in 1241. Czeladz fought until the end and fragments of its curtain walls have lasted out until now. The period from 1443 till 1790 is a time of Krakow bishops’ reigns. Czeladz was a part of the Duchy of Siewierz. At the same time it experienced economic and farming development; numerous guilds came to existence, trade was in bloom. Social life of Czeladz inhabitants was concentrated around the Town Hall and the square.
In 1790 Czeladz was joined to the Kingdom of Poland and two years later King Stanislaw August Poniatowski made Czeladz a free city. Since 1860 the town began to turn into an industrial centre and black coal extraction started. The Czeladz and Saturn mines were opened. The town began to develop and grow; workers’ estates, brick houses and tenements were built. The mining industry boosted the town’s economy. Czeladz was enriching even during the First and the Second World Wars, but an intense exploitation of coal and socio-political changes led to the economic crisis in 1970s. The industry restructuring started. Czeladz became famous for the building industry.
Large enterprises came to existence. They were Energopol Energy Company and Transbud Transport Company among others. The decay of 1980s brought the collapse of communism and liquidations of many mines and enterprises. This caused the unemployment rate rise. On the other hand, it brought more freedom in the process of Czeladz authorities’ decision making. Later an economic growth strategy and a new general spatial plan were established. The free market opened up new opportunities for Czeladz.