Chorzów - with a population of slightly above one hundred thousand (approx. 117,000), Chorzow is a medium-sized city in the south of Poland, situated in the very heart of the Upper Silesian industrial conurbation.
Over the last several years, it has taken a breath-taking leap forward, shaking off the burden of heavy industry and transforming into a hotbed of high technology and a flourishing center of university education. Upon the restoration of its self-government and the subsequent renovation of its main historical street, it regained much of its past glory. The restructuring process still continues, moving step by step toward an astonishing success.
The exclusive, newly renovated Wolnosci (Liberty) Street, dating back to the mid-19th century, has again become the pride of Chorzow's authorities and citizenry. A shopping mall and a meeting place at the same time, it has in fact taken over the functions of the original market square. Culminated by the 19th-century neo-Gothic Post Office building and its illuminated tower - a genuine hallmark dominating the City's skyline - at one of its ends and the monumental Church of St Jadwiga at the other, the street brightly shines over the City's dimmed everyday facet.
Over several past decades Chorzow's most obvious association has been with industry. Indeed, more than several monuments of the industrial past still weigh heavily on the city's outlook and character. Perhaps the largest of them are Huta Batory (Batory Steel Works), named after the Polish king Stefan Batory, and Krolewska Huta, now called Huta Kosciuszko (Kosciuszko Steel Works - after a Polish national hero), along with the whole section of the city which took its name from it.
Not so many people know that today's city grew out of a medieval settlement founded by the Order of Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, and that it was first mentioned around the half of the 13th century. However, it took it ages to become a chartered town; it did not receive a charter until 1868.
The city of Chorzow as we now know it is, like many cities, a conglomerate of towns and villages each of which once trod its individual path and has a rich history of its own.