Our region: Upper Silesia
Poland is an interesting country offering geographical, cultural and economic diversity. Poland’s economy is on the one hand based on agriculture, and on the other on coal, energy, metallurgical and machine industry.
The country’s most industrialized and urbanized region is the Silesian voivodeship, located in the south of Poland. The region’s over 70 cities have a total population of approximately 4.8 million people (for comparison, Polish capital city – Warsaw, has a population of approx. 1.8 million). Thanks to a well-developed road, rail, bus and tram infrastructure, commuting between cities such as Katowice (regional capital), Sosnowiec, Gliwice, Zabrze, Bytom or Ruda Śląska is cheap and easy. You can never get bored in Silesia. Although the region’s image is to a large extent shaped by industry, an abundance of forests, parks and green recreational areas ensure tranquility and contact with nature in the industrial heart of Poland.
The region’s largest city, Katowice, has a population of over 310.000 people. Located on the Rava river, the city is an administrative, economic and cultural capital of Silesia. Thanks to a thriving airport, as well as a network of throughways and motorways Silesia is one of the most attractive regions in terms of communication and transport. Regional authorities and diplomatic posts are based here, and various districts of Katowice offer an impressive number of cinemas, theatres and culture centres. Postindustrial and post-mining areas are increasingly changing and transforming into popular meeting places for young people, whom they attract thanks to numerous concerts, exhibitions and meetings with artists.
The single most characteristic facility in Katowice is the famous Spodek, which is one of the largest multipurpose arenas in Poland. Spodek has played host to many bands and performers, including such stars as Pearl Jam, Green Day, Jean Michelle Jarre, Rammstein or Leonard Cohen, who gave unforgettable concerts each attended by thousands of people. The arena is also the venue for sporting events and international matches – it has hosted, e.g. basketball, volleyball and hockey stars. Events which attract even larger audiences are held on the Silesian Stadium, located only 7 km away from the centre of Katowice. It is here that tens of thousands of people had fun at concerts by such world-famous bands as the Rolling Stones, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, U2 or Metallica.
The Silesian Stadium is located on the premises of the Silesian Culture and Recreation Park, which is one of the largest city parks in Europe (covering an area of over 600 hectares). Alongside the extensive green area, the following are located in the park: Silesian Zoological Garden, Silesian Amusement Park, Silesian Planetarium, a ropes course, a swimming pool complex, tennis courts and a paintball field. One of the most popular places among the inhabitants of Katowice is the Three Lake Valley which offers many cycle tracks. Also popular is the nearby Muchowiec Airport which is mainly used for sport purposes.
Art lovers in Silesia can visit one of a dozen or so state-owned or private museums, as well as an opera or a concert hall. There are cinemas, museums and galleries in each of the cities in the region.
For those who love night life, Katowice offers a multitude of bars, pubs, restaurants, clubs and discos playing all sorts of music. Local media regularly inform inhabitants about the most important events, exhibitions, festivals and meetings.