Cieszyn [ˈt͡ɕɛʂɨn] ( listen) (Czech: Těšín, German:
Teschen, Yiddish: טעשין, Teschin, Latin: Tessin) is a
border-town in southern
Poland on the east bank of the Olza River, and
the administrative seat of
Cieszyn County, Silesian Voivodeship. The
town has about 36,100 inhabitants (as of 2013[update]), and lies
Český Těšín in the Czech Republic's
Moravian-Silesian Region. Both towns belonged to the historical region
Austrian Silesia and are the historical capital of the region of
5 Sites of interest
7 International relations
7.1 Twin towns — Sister cities
11 Further reading
12 External links
Olza River (centre) and Český Těšín
The town is situated on the Olza river, a tributary of the
which forms the border with the Czech Republic. It is located within
Silesian Foothills north of the
Silesian Beskids and Mt.
Czantoria Wielka, a popular ski resort.
Cieszyn is the heart of the
historical region of
Cieszyn Silesia, the southeasternmost part of
Upper Silesia. Until the end of
World War I
World War I in 1918 it was a seat of
the Dukes of Teschen.
Cieszyn Silesia was divided between the two newly created
Poland and Czechoslovakia, with the smaller western suburbs
of Teschen becoming part of Czechoslovakia as a new town called
Český Těšín. The larger part of the town joined
Cieszyn. Three bridges connect the twin towns. After
Poland and the
Czech Republic joined the
European Union and its passport-free
Schengen zone, border controls were abolished and residents of both
the Polish and Czech part could move freely across the border. The
combined population of Polish and Czech parts of the city is 61,201
Cieszyn is the southern terminus of the Polish National
road 1 leading to
Gdańsk on the Baltic coast.
The town combines both Polish and Old–Austrian peculiarities in the
style of its buildings. Because of several major fires and subsequent
reconstructions (the last one in the late 18th century), the
picturesque old town is sometimes called Little Vienna. The only relic
of the ancient castle is a square tower, dating from the 14th century
and 11th century romanesque chapel.
Main article: History of Cieszyn
The District Court of
Cieszyn from 1905, an ideal example of the
town's long prosperous history and its impact on architecture
The area has been populated by Slavic peoples since at least the 7th
century. According to legend, in 810 three sons of a prince – Bolko,
Leszko and Cieszko, met here after a long pilgrimage, found a spring,
and decided to found a new settlement. They called it Cieszyn, from
the words cieszym się ("I'm happy"). This well can be found at ulica
Trzech Braci ("Three Brothers Street"), just west of the town
The town was the capital of the
Duchy of Teschen
Duchy of Teschen since 1290, which was
Piast dynasty until 1653 and by the
Habsburg Dynasty of
Austria to 1918. It was in Teschen that Maria Theresa and Frederick II
on in May 1779 signed the Teschen Peace Treaty, which put an end to
the War of the Bavarian Succession. In the 19th century Teschen was
known for its ethnic, religious and cultural diversity, containing
mostly German, Polish, Jewish and Czech communities. There was also
a small Hungarian community in the town consisting mostly of officers
The town was divided in July 1920, by the Spa Conference, a body
formed by the Versailles Treaty, leaving a Polish minority on the
Czechoslovak side. Its smaller western suburbs became what is now the
Český Těšín in the Czech Republic. During the interwar
period two villages were merged into Cieszyn: Błogocice in 1923 and
Bobrek in 1932. After 1920 many ethnic Germans left the town, while
many Poles from the Czechoslovakian part of the region moved in.
According to the Polish census of 1921,
Cieszyn had 15,268
inhabitants, of whom 9,241 (60,5%) were Poles, 4,777 (31,2%) were
Germans, 1014 (6,6%) were Jews, and 195 (1,3%) were Czechs. The census
from 1931 indicated 14,707 inhabitants, of whom 12,145 (82,7%) were
Poles, while the rest consisted mostly of Germans and Jews (in 1937
estimated to be 12 and 8% respectively).
Český Těšín were merged again in October 1938 when
Poland annexed the
Zaolzie area together with Český Těšín. In
Cieszyn Silesia was occupied by German forces and during World
War II it was part of Nazi Germany. Almost the entire Jewish community
was murdered by the Nazis. After World War II, the border between
Poland and Czechoslovakia was restored to that of 1920. Most Germans
fled or were expelled and were replaced with Poles expelled from the
Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union. Signs of the former German
presence in the town were obliterated by a special committee.
On 19 July 1970, five firefighters from
Cieszyn died when a bridge
they were on fell into the Olza River, due to heavy flooding. In 1977,
Boguszowice, Gułdowy, Kalembice, Krasna, Mnisztwo, Pastwiska were
Cieszyn and Marklowice.
Since the 18th century
Cieszyn Silesia has been an important centre of
Protestantism when the Jesus Church was built as the only one
in Upper Silesia. Currently
Cieszyn is also the site of the Cieszyn
Summer Film Festival, one of the most influential film festivals in
Poland. There is also an earlier established Czech-Polish-Slovak film
Cieszyn is an important centre of the electromechanical industry. It
is also the site of the Olza
Cieszyn sweets factory (where the famous
Prince Polo wafers are made) and the Brackie Browar, where Żywiec
Porter is brewed. The main source of income for many citizens is trade
with the nearby
Czech Republic and retail trade associated with
transit across the two bridges over the Olza to Český Těšín. In
the past, the city was home to many furniture factories.
Sites of interest
Copper engraving from c. 1640 depicting the town
Romanesque St. Nicholas' Chapel (Kaplica św. Mikołaja, a rotunda
from the 11th century)
Remnants of the
Piast dynasty castle
Piast Castle Tower (Wieża Piastowska, mostly 14th century)
Mary Magdalene Church (Kościół Marii Magdaleny, 13th
Old Town Square (Rynek)
bourgeoisie houses (15th-19th centuries)
Town Hall (Ratusz, early 19th century)
Former minting house (18th century)
Cieszyn Silesia in the former Larisch family palace (Pałac
Laryszów, Muzeum Śląska Cieszyńskiego, the first museum in Poland)
Castle Brewery (Browar Zamkowy, 1846)
The protestant Church of Jesus (Kościół Jezusowy), with a baroque
tower and statues of the
Four Evangelists above the altar that liven
up the plain interior.
See also: Category:People from Cieszyn.
Jan Błachowicz (born February 24, 1983), Polish mixed martial artist
Adam Christian Agricola (born December 12, 1593), evangelical preacher
Herbert Czaja (born November 5, 1914), German politician (CDU)
Magdalena Gwizdoń (born August 4, 1979), Polish biathlete
Hermann Heller (born July 17, 1891), jurist
Ireneusz Jeleń (born April 9, 1981), Polish footballer
Carl Friedrich Kotschy
Carl Friedrich Kotschy (born January 26, 1789), botanist and
Jan Łysek (et) (born July 7, 1887), Polish writer
Inge Mahn (de) (born 1943), German sculptor, professor
Richard Pipes (born July 11, 1923), a Polish-American historian
Rudolf Ramek (born April 12, 1881), Austrian politician, Chancellor of
Max Rostal (born August 7, 1905), violinist and educator
Tomisław Tajner (born May 14, 1983), Polish ski jumper
Jiří Třanovský (born March 27, 1592), theologian and composer
Friedrich Uhl (born May 14, 1825), journalist, writer
Viktor Ullmann (born January 1, 1898), a Jewish musician
Piotr Żyła (born January 16, 1987), Polish ski jumper
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Poland
Twin towns — Sister cities
Cieszyn is twinned with:
Český Těšín, Czech Republic
Rotunda from circa 1180 / St. Nicholas Church
Statue of Saint Florian
Monastery, church, and hospital of the Sisters of Saint Elizabeth
Mary Magdalene Dominican Church, begun in late 13th century
Hunting Palace of the Habsburgs and monument commemorating Silesian
legionnaries fallen for Poland
Adam Mickiewicz Theatre
Hotel on the town square
Protestant Church of Jesus, begun in 1710
Communal Cemetery in Cieszyn
^ Edmund Jan Osmańczyk, Anthony Mango. Encyclopedia of the United
Nations and international agreements - Volume 1 A-F (2003 ed.). Taylor
& Francis. p. 382. ISBN 0-415-93921-6.
Cieszyn - Tourism Tourist Information - Cieszyn, Poland".
Staypoland.com. Retrieved 2013-07-16.
^ The legend is inscribed on the Well of the Three Brothers[permanent
dead link] in Cieszyn.
^ Wawreczka et al. 1999, 13.
^ Wawreczka et al. 1999, 10.
^ Dzieje Cieszyna..., 2010, t. III, p. 323
^ Dzieje Cieszyna..., 2010, t. III, p. 439-440
^ Teschen - Encyclopaedia Britannica. 1911. Retrieved 26 October
^ "Partnerstädte der Stadt Luzern". Stadt Luzern (in German).
Archived from the original on 2013-06-21. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
Dzieje Cieszyna od pradziejów do czasów współczesnych. Cieszyn:
Książnica Cieszyńska. 2010. ISBN 978-83-927052-6-0.
Wawreczka, Henryk; Janusz Spyra; Mariusz Makowski (1999). Těšín,
Český Těšín na starých pohlednicích a fotografiích / Cieszyn,
Cieszyn na starych widokówkach i fotografiach. Nebory,
Třinec: Wart. ISBN 80-238-4804-6.
Długajczyk, Edward (1993). Tajny front na granicy cieszyńskiej.
Wywiad i dywersja w latach 1919-1939. Katowice: Śląsk.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cieszyn.
Cieszyn Silesia (Muzeum Śląska Cieszyńskiego)
Jewish Community in
Cieszyn on Virtual Shtetl
in the Czech Republic
Mosty u Jablunkova
Petrovice u Karviné
partially in the region:
partially in the region:
Cieszyn Silesia Euroregion
Cieszyn Silesian dialect
Duchy of Teschen
Coordinates: 49°44′54.37″N 18°37′59.56″E /
49.7484361°N 18.6332111°E / 49.7