Zabrze (/ˈzɑːbʒ/; Polish pronunciation: [ˈzabʐɛ] (About this soundlisten); German: 1915–1945: Hindenburg O.S., full form: Hindenburg in Oberschlesien, Silesian: Zŏbrze) is a city in Silesia in southern Poland, near Katowice. The west district of the Silesian Metropolis, a metropolis with a population of around 2 million. It is in the Silesian Highlands, on the Bytomka River, a tributary of the Oder.

Main Post Office
Main Post Office
Flag of Zabrze
Coat of arms of Zabrze
Coat of arms
Zabrze is located in Silesian Voivodeship
Zabrze is located in Poland
Coordinates: 50°18′09″N 18°46′41″E / 50.30250°N 18.77806°E / 50.30250; 18.77806
Country Poland
Voivodeship Silesian
Countycity county
Establishedthirteenth century
Town rights1922
 • MayorMałgorzata Mańka-Szulik
 • City80.40 km2 (31.04 sq mi)
 (31 December 2018)
 • City173,374 Decrease (20th)[1]
 • Urban
 • Metro
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
41-800 to 41-820
Area code(s)+48 32
Car platesSZ

Zabrze is located in the Silesian Voivodeship, which was reformulated in 1999. Before 1999 it was in Katowice Voivodeship. It is one of the cities composing the 2.7 million inhabitant conurbation referred to as the Katowice urban area, itself a major centre in the greater Silesian metropolitan area which is populated by just over five million people.[2] The population of Zabrze as of December 2018 is 173,374, down from June 2009 when the population was 188,122.[1]


Early historyEdit

A historic metallurgical building in Zabrze

Biskupice (Biskupitz), which is now a subdivision of Zabrze, was first mentioned in 1243 as Biscupici dicitur cirka Bitom[citation needed]. Zabrze (or Old Zabrze) was mentioned in 1295-1305 as Sadbre sive Cunczindorf (German for Konrad/Kunze's village; sive = "or"). In the Late Middle Ages, the local Silesian Piast dukes invited German settlers into the territory, resulting in increasing German settlement[citation needed]. The settlement was part of the Silesian duchies of fragmented Poland. Zabrze became part of the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria in 1526, and was later annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia during the Silesian Wars[citation needed]. In 1774, the Dorotheendorf settlement was founded. When the first mine in Zabrze became operational in 1790, the town became an important mining center.[citation needed] In the 19th century, new coal mines, steelworks, factories and a power plant were created. A road connecting Gliwice and Chorzów and a railway connecting Opole and Świętochłowice were led through Zabrze.

Early 20th century and interwar yearsEdit

In 1905, the Zabrze commune was formed by the former communes Alt-Zabrze, Klein-Zabrze and Dorotheendorf. The Zabrze commune was renamed Hindenburg in 1915 in honour of Generalfeldmarschall Paul von Hindenburg. The name change was approved by Emperor Wilhelm II on 21 February 1915.[3] Up till then, it was one of the few cities whose Polish name was retained during German rule.

A monument commemorating the fallen in the fight for the liberation of Silesia in the Silesian Uprisings and World War II

In 1904 the "Sokół" Polish Gymnastic Society in Zabrze was established, which was also a Polish patriotic and pro-independence organization.[4] As a result of the Prussian harassment it was liquidated in 1911, but it was reactivated twice, in 1913 and 1918.[5][4] Its members took an active part in the post-war plebiscite campaign and the Silesian uprisings.[4]

During the plebiscite held after World War I, 21,333 inhabitants (59%) of the Hindenburg commune voted to remain in Germany, while 14,873 (41%) voted for incorporation to Poland, which just regained its independence.[3] In May 1921 the Third Silesian Uprising broke out and Hindenburg was captured by Polish insurgents, who held it until the end of the uprising.[3] When Upper Silesia was divided between Poland and Germany in 1921, the Hindenburg commune remained in Germany. It received its city charter in 1922. Just five years after founding Hindenburg became the biggest city in German Upper Silesia and the second biggest City in German Silesia after Breslau. In the March 1933 elections, most of the citizens voted for the Nazi Party, followed by Zentrum and the Communist Party. Nazi politician Max Fillusch became the city's mayor and remained in the position until 1945.[6] The town's synagogue, that had stood since 1872, was destroyed in the Kristallnacht pogroms of November 1938.[7]

World War Two and aftermathEdit

During some of the time of the Nazi German control of the region, a subcamp of Auschwitz III was located here.

Following World War II, according to the Potsdam Agreement the city was handed over to Poland in 1945 and the town's name was changed to the historic Zabrze on May 19, 1945. Most of the German inhabitants were expelled.

Administrative divisionEdit

Districts of Zabrze

On 17 September 2012, the Zabrze city council decided on a new administrative division of the city. Zabrze was subsequently divided into 15 districts and 3 housing estates.[8]


The Polish A4, which is part of the European E40, has a motorway junction near Zabrze. The Drogowa Trasa Srednicowa leads through the town.


Selected historic churches, from the left: St. John the Baptist, St. Lawrence, St. Anne, Assumption, St. Joseph
Coal Mining Museum in Zabrze

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

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



Like other towns in this populous region, it is an important manufacturing centre, having coal-mines, iron, wire, glass, chemical and oil works, and local Upper Silesia Brewery, etc.

Notable peopleEdit

Wolności Street in Zabrze
A historic water tower in Zabrze

International relationsEdit

Twin towns — Sister citiesEdit

Zabrze is twinned with these cities:


  1. ^ a b "Local Data Bank". Statistics Poland. Retrieved 2 June 2019. Data for territorial unit 2478000.
  2. ^ European Spatial Planning Observation Network (ESPON) [1]
  3. ^ a b c Historia - Hindenburg at the official website of Zabrze
  4. ^ a b c "Polskie Towarzystwo Gimnastyczne „Sokół" w Zabrzu, Historia Zabrza". Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  5. ^ Encyklopedia powstań śląskich, Instytut Śląski w Opolu, Opole, 1982, p. 637
  6. ^ Stadtkreis Zabrze at Geschichte on Demand website
  7. ^ Ghetto Fighters' House archives, Photo No. 55805: a memorial monument placed by the Zabrze municipality in 1998 to commemorate its Jewish community.
  8. ^ Zestawienie liczby mieszkańców z uwzględnieniem podziału na dzielnice na dzień: 30-09-2013.
  9. ^ "The Dumplings — Free listening, videos, concerts, stats and photos at". Retrieved 19 May 2016.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 50°18′N 18°47′E / 50.300°N 18.783°E / 50.300; 18.783