Ząbkowice Śląskie

Ząbkowice Śląskie (Zombkovitze [zɔmpkɔˈvit͡sɛ ˈɕlɔ̃skʲɛ]; German: Frankenstein in Schlesien; Silesian: Ślůnske Zůmbkowicy) is a town in Lower Silesian Voivodeship in south-western Poland. It is the seat of Ząbkowice Śląskie County and of Gmina Ząbkowice Śląskie.

Ząbkowice Śląskie
Market Square and town hall
Market Square and town hall
Coat of arms of Ząbkowice Śląskie
Ząbkowice Śląskie is located in Poland
Ząbkowice Śląskie
Ząbkowice Śląskie
Ząbkowice Śląskie is located in Lower Silesian Voivodeship
Ząbkowice Śląskie
Ząbkowice Śląskie
Coordinates: 50°35′N 16°49′E / 50.583°N 16.817°E / 50.583; 16.817Coordinates: 50°35′N 16°49′E / 50.583°N 16.817°E / 50.583; 16.817
Country Poland
VoivodeshipLower Silesian
CountyZąbkowice Śląskie
GminaZąbkowice Śląskie
 • MayorMarcin Orzeszek
 • Total13.67 km2 (5.28 sq mi)
280 m (920 ft)
 • Total15,004
 • Density1,100/km2 (2,800/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
57–200 and 57–201
Car platesDZA
National roadsDK8-PL.svg
Voivodeship roadsDW382-PL.svg DW385-PL.svg

The town lies approximately 63 kilometres (39 miles) south of the regional capital Wrocław. As of 2019, it had a population of 15,004.


Ruins of the Ducal Castle

The town was established by Duke of Silesia Henry IV Probus, of the Piast dynasty, as Frankenstein in the early 13th century, following the Mongol invasion of Poland. The town was founded in the vicinity of the old Polish settlement of Sadlno, through which ran a trade route connecting Silesia and Bohemia.[2] The town was sited on a piece of land that belonged partly to the episcopal lands of Zwrócona and partly to the Monastery at Trzebnica. The town was located exactly halfway between the sites of two previously existing towns that had failed to attract enough settlers: Frankenberg and Löwenstein, and inherited its German name from both. Its positioning on the so-called King's Road between Prague and Wrocław, not too far from the commercially important city of Kłodzko would favour the development of the town. The town received municipal rights around 1280, the first mention of civitas Frankenstein is dated 10 January 1287. At the beginning of the 14th century, the first town hall and the castle were erected.[2] The city remained under rule of the Polish Piast dynasty before it was sold to the Bohemian (Czech) King in 1351.

Frankenstein Silesia 1858 Medal Rathaus (city hall) after the fire
Frankenstein Rathaus of 1661 before the fire. Medal by G. Loos Berlin
Preserved townhouses at the Market Square

In 1428 the city was invaded by the Hussites.[2] In 1456, Bohemian King Ladislaus the Posthumous gave the city in hereditary possession to the Czech noble Podiebrad family,[2] to which it belonged until 1569. The city was heavily damaged in 1468, during the Bohemian–Hungarian War,[2] and until 1490 it belonged to the Kingdom of Hungary, before becoming again part of Bohemia. In the 16th century, the castle and defensive walls were rebuilt.[2] Trade and craft flourished.[2] In the early 17th century the plague killed about one third of the population, and it has been speculated that events at that time may have inspired the Frankenstein story.[3] The Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) ended the town's prosperity.[2] Austrian and Swedish troops marched through the city, which was severely damaged.[2] Afterwards, until the late 19th century, it remained a small town.[2] In 1742 it was annexed by Prussia.

In 1858 the town burned down and had to be rebuilt. On this occasion, the upper part of the 15th-century leaning tower was reconstructed in a straight manner. The town was a county seat from 1816 to 1945. From 1871 to 1945 it was part of Germany. In the final stages of World War II, in 1945, a German-conducted death march of thousands of prisoners of several subcamps of the Auschwitz concentration camp passed through the town towards the Gross-Rosen concentration camp.[4] The town was not destroyed during the war.[2] After Germany's defeat in World War II, the town once again became part of Poland, along with most of Silesia, and was renamed Ząbkowice Śląskie in 1946. The totality of its population was expelled in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement. Ząbkowice Śląskie was repopulated by Poles expelled from former Eastern Poland, annexed by the Soviet Union, as well as those arriving from central Poland.[2]


Main Post Office

Ząbkowice Śląskie is often called the Silesian Pisa as it is known for its Leaning Tower (Krzywa Wieża), which is one of the main attractions in this part of Poland. However, there are also tourist attractions such as the 13th-century fortifications and the ruins of a 14th-century castle.


Their football team, Orzeł Ząbkowice Śląskie, trained footballer Piotr Zieliński until he moved to Zagłębie Lubin.

Notable peopleEdit

Twin towns – sister citiesEdit

See twin towns of Gmina Ząbkowice Śląskie.


  1. ^ "Population. Size and structure and vital statistics in Poland by territorial division in 2019. As of 30th June". stat.gov.pl. Statistics Poland. 15 October 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Historia miasta". Portal informacyjny Gminy Ząbkowice Śląskie (in Polish). Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  3. ^ Website describing events which might have inspired Mary Shelley's novel
  4. ^ "The Death Marches". Sub Camps of Auschwitz. Retrieved 27 June 2021.

External linksEdit