Siemianowice Slaskie – a former town of mines and steel mills, nowadays is a large sport and recreation centre, which attracts tourists and investors from all over Poland. Due to its numerous sport centres, Siemianowice draws in hundreds of active visitors.
Siemianowice Slaskie is famous in Poland and abroad mostly for its Burn Treatment Centre. Only a few know that the town owns one of the largest and the most beautiful sport-and-recreation complexes in Upper Silesia. The complex comprises of: a golf field, a shooting range, football and hockey fields, tennis, handball, futsal, volleyball and basketball courts as well as a few pools and a bowling court.
Moreover, Siemianowice may boast of many monuments, the most important of each are: the palace and park complex, a granary i.e. a current museum, the Zameczek palace in Michalkowice and numerous churches: St. Cross and Marthin Luther Neo-Gothic churches and Saint Michael the Archangel Neo-Roman church among others.
The palace and park complex is the largest such an object in the southern Poland. The oldest, baroque part of the palace was founded by the Mieroszewski family. A very interesting monument is also a current seat of the town’s museum. Inside the former granary we may admire permanent expositions i.e.: Traditional Culture of Upper Silesian Village, History of Siemianowice Slaskie and Silesian Apartment from the Beginning of the 20th Century. In the museum we find also a gallery, in which modern art exhibitions are organized.
In Gornik (English: a miner) park we find a building called Zameczek. For many years it served as a community centre, but nowadays it is a seat of Dom Technika (English: a technician’s house). Zameczek often holds cultural events.
Siemianowice Slaskie is quite big with a total area of 25,5 km2 and a population of 70,000. The town lies in southern Poland, approximately 20 km from Katowice Airport (Pyrzowice). Siemianowice is situated in a close proximity to Chorzow, Piekary Slaskie, Katowice, Wojkowice and Czeladz. A good connection with these cities is provided by tramways and buses.
Siemianowice was first mentioned as Sancovice village and later as Seymanoviczi. One of the most crucial dates in the history of this region is 1786, when the first black coal mine (Waldgrube) was built. From then on it was coal extraction and siderurgy that determined the region’s growth and development.
In the 19th century there occurred Laurahütte and Georgshütte settlements near Siemianowice and the first one soon obtained the status of a commune. A connection between Siemianowice and Laurahütte comprised centrally located industrial plants: mines, iron works, glass works, factories, a brewery and a few smaller workshops. The two communes were joined together in 1923, just after Siemianowice and Upper Silesia had been awarded back to Poland. Siemianowice commune obtained town rights and name Siemianowice Slaskie only in 1932. It was populated by 43 thousand people and was claimed to be the largest village in Europe.
After WW2 many new factories were built and the old ones modernised. Thousands of people from all over Poland were coming to Siemianowice to settle in. New estates were built and in 1951 Siemianowice Slaskie and Michalkowice communes were joined together.
Political changes in the turn of the 1980s occurred tragic for Siemianowice. With the government’s decision mines, which were a main workplace for the town’s inhabitants, together with cooperating companies were liquidated. A confectionery factory and the brewery were also shut down. Within 15 years more than 20 thousand workplaces were liquidated, but luckily a local self-government was announced. After the collapse of the largest companies, it was obvious that it is necessary to create such conditions that would encourage investors. Joining Siemianowice Slaskie to Katowice Special Economic Zone in 2005 occurred helpful. Special treatment, e.g. lower taxes, made numerous businesses invest in the development of the region.