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Bytom (Polish pronunciation: [ˈbɨtɔm] (About this soundlisten); Silesian: Bytůń, German: Beuthen O.S.) is a city with powiat rights in southern Poland, in Silesia, in centre of Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia and Dąbrowa Basin.

From top, left to right: Silesian Opera, Historic tram (in background Main Post Office), Dworcowa Street, Market square, Szombierki Heat Power Station, High school on Władysław Sikorski Square, The church of St. Margaret
From top, left to right: Silesian Opera, Historic tram (in background Main Post Office), Dworcowa Street, Market square, Szombierki Heat Power Station, High school on Władysław Sikorski Square, The church of St. Margaret
Bytom is located in Silesian Voivodeship
Bytom is located in Poland
Coordinates: 50°20′54″N 18°54′56″E / 50.34833°N 18.91556°E / 50.34833; 18.91556
Countycity county
Established12th century
Town rights1254
 • MayorMariusz Wołosz (KO)
 • City69,44 km2 (2,681 sq mi)
Highest elevation
330 m (1,080 ft)
Lowest elevation
249 m (817 ft)
 • City168 394[1]
 • Density2,442/km2 (6,320/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Metro
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code(s)+48 32
Car platesSY

One of the oldest cities in the Upper Silesia. The former seat of the Piast dukes of the Duchy of Bytom. Until 1532 it remained in the hands of the Silesian Piasts, then it belonged to the Hohenzollern dynasty and since 1623 - The Donnersmarck family as a State country. In the years 1742-1945 the town was within the borders of Prussia and Germany and played an important role as an economic and administrative centre of the local industrial region. Until the outbreak of World War II it was the main centre of national, social, cultural and publishing organisations fighting to preserve Polish identity in Upper Silesia.

After the war, a large part of the native population emigrated or was deported to Germany as a result of the displacement of Germans (or those who were considered Germans), and men (especially miners) to the Soviet Union. In turn from Kresy numerous Poles have come here resettled from areas incorporated into the USSR. Decades of the Polish People's Republic were characterized by a constant emphasis on the development of heavy industry, leading to robbery and mining exploitation. Today, the city is an important place on the cultural, entertainment and industrial map of the region.



The bedrock of the Upland of Miechowice consists primarily of sandstones and slates. The rocks are punctuated with abundant natural resources of coal and iron ore from the Carboniferous period. In the north part of the upland, in the Bytom basin lays the broad range of the triassic rocks, from sandstones to limestones, with rich ore, zinc and lead reserves. The upper layer is composed of clay, sand and gravel.

Coat of armsEdit

One half of the coat of arms of Bytom depicts a miner mining coal, while the other half presents a yellow eagle on the blue field – the symbol of Upper Silesia.


Kosciuszko Square in the 1890s

Bytom is one of the oldest cities of Upper Silesia, originally recorded as Bitom in 1136. It received city rights from prince Władysław in 1254 with its first centrally located market square. The city of Bytom benefited economically from its location on a trade route linking Kraków with Silesia from east to west, and Hungary with Moravia and Greater Poland from north to south. The first Roman Catholic Church of the Virgin Mary was built in 1231. In 1259 Bytom was raided by the Mongols. The Duchy of Opole was split and in 1281 Bitom became a separate duchy, since 1289 under overlordship and administration of the Kingdom of Bohemia. Due to German settlers coming to the area, the city was Germanized. It came under control of the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria in 1526, which increased the influence of the German language. The city became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1742 during the Silesian Wars and part of the German Empire in 1871. In the 19th and the first part of the 20th centuries, the city rapidly grew and industrialized. Before 1939, the town, along with Gleiwitz (now Gliwice), was at the southeastern tip of German Silesia.

The Bytom Synagogue was burned down by Nazi German SS and SA troopers during the Kristallnacht on 9–10 November 1938. During World War II, the Beuthen Jewish community was liquidated via the first ever Holocaust transport to be exterminated at Auschwitz-Birkenau.[2][3][4]

In 1945 the city was transferred to Poland as a result of the Potsdam Conference. Its German population was largely expelled by the Soviet Army, and replaced by a Polish population, some of them repatriated Poles from the eastern provinces annexed by the Soviets. Some of the indigenous Silesian population remained.


Agora Bytom shopping centre

Trade is one of main pillars of the economy of Bytom. Being a city with long traditions of commercial trade, Bytom is fulfilling its new postindustrial role. In the centre of Bytom, and mainly around Station Street and the Market Square, is the largest concentration of registered merchants in the county.

In 2007, Bytom and its neighbours created the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union, the largest urban centre in Poland.

Public transportEdit

A tram in Bytom
Tenement house on Weber's Street

The tram routes are operated by Silesian Interurbans Tramwaje Śląskie S.A


Bytom is home to Polonia Bytom which has both a football and an ice hockey team (TMH Polonia Bytom). Its football team played in the Ekstraklasa most recently from 2007 to 2011, winning it twice in 1954 and in 1962. Bytom is also home to another former Polish champion Szombierki Bytom which won the title in 1980, and is one of the oldest clubs in Poland.


Bytom's cultural venues include:

Among Bytom's art galleries are: Galeria Sztuki Użytkowej Stalowe Anioły, Galeria "Rotunda" MBP, Galeria "Suplement", Galeria "Pod Czaplą", Galeria "Platforma", Galeria "Pod Szrtychem", Galeria Sztuki "Od Nowa 2", Galeria SPAP "Plastyka" – Galeria "Kolor", Galeria "Stowarzyszenia.Rewolucja.Art.Pl", and Galeria-herbaciarnia "Fanaberia".


  • Annual International Contemporary Dance Conference and Performance Festival
  • Theatromania – Theatre Festival
  • Bytom Literary Autumn
  • Festival of New Music


Kraszewski Street in Bytom
  • The list of Bytom universities includes:
  • Secondary schools:
    • I Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Jana Smolenia
    • II Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Stefana Żeromskiego
    • IV Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Bolesława Chrobrego
    • 21 other secondary schools

Confederation of SilesiaEdit

Bytom is a place from where Confederation of Silesia – Polish Bonapartists originates.[clarification needed]


Plac Akademicki - public square

Bytom/Gliwice/Zabrze constituencyEdit

Members of 2001–2005 Parliament (Sejm) elected from Bytom/Gliwice/Zabrze constituency

  • Jan Chojnacki, SLD-UP
  • Stanisław Dulias, Samoobrona
  • Andrzej Gałażewski, PO
  • Ewa Janik, SLD-UP
  • Józef Kubica, SLD-UP
  • Wacław Martyniuk, SLD-UP
  • Wiesław Okoński, SLD-UP
  • Wojciech Szarama, PiS
  • Krystyna Szumilas, PO
  • Marek Widuch, SLD-UP

Notable peopleEdit

Holy Trinity Church
St. Hyacinth's Church - an example of Neo-Romantic architecture in Bytom


  1. ^ "Wyniki badań bieżących - Baza Demografia - Główny Urząd Statystyczny" (in Polish). Retrieved 2018-05-05.
  2. ^ Jews deported from Beuthen (Bytom), list prepared in 1942 Archived 15 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Elsa Drezner, Yizkor Book Project Manager Avraham Groll, Names of Jews deported from Beuthen Archived 26 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Translations: deportation Archived 26 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^
  6. ^ DESIGN, ARF. "Bytomskie Centrum Kultury".

External linksEdit