Aside from the large Fiat car plant and the beer brewery brewing the famous “Tyskie” brand, Tychy is known for its numerous parks, which is somewhat surprising for a Silesian city. However, while one cannot but help notice the proliferation of ugly, big Soviet era blocks of flats, the Old Town is fairly interesting and worthy of an afternoon’s exploration. The city does actually serve as an ideal starting point to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Oswiecim, located only some 20 km west of Tychy.
Points of interest in the city include a palace and park complex from the 18th century, the Paprocka Steel Works, the St. Mary Magdalene Church and the Hunter’s Manor of the Pszczyna Princes in Promnice. You are also recommended to see the edifices housing Tyskie Browary Ksiazece (the Tychy Prince Brewery), painstakingly restored under the supervision of the local conservator of historical monuments and which now form a splendid example of the country’s industrial architecture.
Cielmice is situated south-east of the city’s downtown area and actually constitutes a part of Tychy. Due to the lack of apartment buildings and a large number of tiny houses, the area has a unique, village-like appearance.
Emblematic for the city are ancient chapels with stone figures of miscellaneous saints, as well as the roadside crucifixes that once marked Tychy’s major traffic arteries. You are sure to run across a lot of them while roaming around the city.
Apart from the many historical monuments, Tychy offers a good choice of pubs, bars and restaurants to help pass some time. One may also take advantage of the city’s cultural offerings, and amongst the many events held throughout the year are some of national importance, such as the Tychy Carolling Eves in January, Tychy Theatrical Meetings in April and the Tychy May Seminar.
A city in the Silesian Voivodship (Upper Silesia) in southern Poland, Tychy is bordered by Katowice to the north, Mikolow to the west, Bierun Stary to the east and Kobior to the south. It lies on a rail and road junction linking Warsaw with Krakow and Vienna. Tychy is situated 30 km from the Czech border and 55 km from the border with Slovakia, and has a population of roughly 129,000 inhabitants within an area of 82.63 km2.
This is an industrial city in the basin of the Vistula River. It is located within the area lying between the Oswiecimska Valley and the Slaska Upland, while nearby, only some 25 km away, stretch two minor mountain ranges – the Beskid Slaski and Beskid Zywiecki.
Tychy was originally an agricultural settlement in close proximity to the trade route connecting Oswiecim to Mikolow. The village was first mentioned in historical sources in 1467.
Tychy frequently changed hands up until the mid-19th century. Its owners were successive feudal masters, in charge of the so-called Pszczyna class state. Starting from 1548 the village belonged to the Promnice family, scions of ancient Silesian nobility. When Stanislaw Promnic took control, Tychy first began to develop economically.
By the 17th century it was already one of the wealthiest villages of Pszczyna County. The Ksiazecy Brewery, built in 1629, was operating at full capacity, crops of barley and hop were cultivated, while crafts and industry progressed. In the middle of the century a palace was erected to house the local forestry department, and then in 1870 Tychy became a stop on the railway connection to Katowice and Szopienice.
Tychy made its mark on Polish history as the place where the first Silesian Uprising began, on the night of 17 August 1919. In the Plebiscite, most voters opted for Polish membership. At about this time Tychy started to assume a more urban appearance.
After 1922, as a result of the Versailles Treaty, Tychy was given back to Poland. At that time the city’s development was at its peak. As part of the autonomous Silesian Province, the population amounted to 11,000 inhabitants, and then on 1 January 1934 it received city privileges. During this interwar period many new facilities were created, among them a hospital, a school, a post office, a fire station, a swimming pool, a bowling alley as well as a variety of shops and restaurants.
World War II did not cause much damage to the city, since most of the fighting occurred on the Mikolow-Wyry line. However, while the city structure survived the war unharmed, as many as 500,000 residents were killed by the Germans.
The decision to create Nowe Tychy (New Tychy) was taken on 4 October 1950 by the Government Executive, giving rise to a new era in the history of the city. Before long Tychy was turned into an extensive construction site. All this new construction is the reason why it is now a relatively modern city with lots of young inhabitants, many new people arriving from throughout Poland to make their homes here.