EUCYS 2024


The symbol of Silesia is coal, or rather ‘black gold’. The mining tradition remains an important part of the identity of Katowice and neighbouring cities, even though few people still work in the mines.

A mine shaft

A mine shaft in Katowice | Photo: Radosław Kaźmierczak, UM Katowice


Post-industrial landscape

Since the beginning of the 19th century, when a hard coal mine was established in Brynów, Upper Silesia has been an area of great industrial interest due to its rich deposits of hard coal and other resources. Although the first mines were established even earlier (in 1769 in Murcki), it was the increased demand for coal in the first half of the 19th century that spurred the rapid development of Katowice.

The Culture Zone in Katowice | Photo: UM Katowice

The second intensively developing industry was zinc metallurgy – in 1863, there were as many as 12 steelworks of this type operating in the Katowice area. At the same time, investments were made in iron metallurgy – the first such steelworks was established in 1823 on the border of the Dąb and Załęże districts.

The mining and metallurgical industry was the basis of the city’s economy until the political transformation in 1989. Between 1995 and 2006, the share of people employed in heavy industry in Katowice decreased by almost half. Many mines, steelworks and industrial plants were also closed down.

The post-industrial landscape is full of traces of transformed industrial areas, the best example of which is the Zone of Culture located on the site of the former ‘Katowice’ mine. The industrial heritage of the region is promoted by the Industrial Monuments Route of the Silesian Voivodeship, which consists of forty objects related to the tradition of mining, metallurgy, energy, railways, textiles, water production and the food industry. Exploring even a few places on the Route will allow you to become familiar with local history and provide unforgettable experiences. Workers’ housing estates, the Tychy Brewery Museum, the Historic Silver Mine, the Queen Luiza Adit, the Gliwice Radio Station and the Museum of Match Manufacturing are just a small part of the fascinating points along the Route:


As part of the Industrial Monuments Route, INDUSTRIADA, the largest industrial heritage festival in Poland and the second in Europe, is organised every year. In the fifteen-year history of the festival, over 5,000 events were organised in 29 cities, attended by almost a million participants.

Illuminations of the hoist towers of KWK Polska in Świętochłowice, Industriada 2016
Photo by EwkaC, CC BY-SA 4.0