Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia

Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia
Górnośląski Związek Metropolitalny
Katowice Financial Center
Nickname(s): Upper Silesia Metroplex
Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia is located in Poland
Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia
Coordinates: 50°15′N 19°0′E / 50.25°N 19°E / 50.25; 19
Country Poland
Voivodship Silesia
Council Zarząd GZM
 – Head of Council Piotr Uszok
 – City 1,218 km2 (470.3 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 – City 1,978,479
 – Density 1,624.4/km2 (4,207.1/sq mi)
 – Urban 2,746,000
 – Metro 5,294,000
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 – Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Area code(s) +48 32
Car Plates SD, SG, SH, SI, SJ, SK, SL, SM, SO, ST, SW, SY, SZ, SBE, SGL, SPI, SRS
Economy service industries, business
Highway E40 / A4:
E75 / A1:
Airport Katowice International Airport

The Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia (Polish: Górnośląski Związek Metropolitalny) or Upper Silesia Metroplex,[1][dead link][2][dead link][3][dead link][4][dead link][5][dead link] (Polish: Metropolia Górnośląska)[6] Silesia Metroplex / Silesia Metroplex[7] (Polish: Metropolia Silesia)[8] is a union of 14 adjacent cities in the Polish province of Silesia.

The Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia lies within the largest urban area in Poland. Its population is 2,039,454 (2008),[9] within a conurbation of 2.7 million[10] - the Katowice urban area. It is also part of the wider Silesian metropolitan area, with the population of 5,294,000.[11] The union's share of Poland's Gross Domestic Product is 8% and the combined budget of the union's participants exceeds 6 billion PLN.[citation needed]

It was created by a local initiative, and participation was voluntary; a majority of the local population supported the formation of the union.[citation needed] The intent to form the union was formally stated by the mayors of the participating cities, who signed a declaration to this effect on January 9, 2006 in Świętochłowice.[citation needed] The Union's registration was signed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration of the Republic of Poland (Polish: MSWiA) on 8 June 2007 with the city of Katowice.[12]

In 2006 and 2007, the union planned to unite these cities into one entity, "Silesia".

The aim of the union is the creation of a strong metropolitan center with pooled resources, an internationally competitive profile and unified management of common infrastructure.



Aerial photograph of Katowice at night
Katowice at night

The main goals of the union include the following:

  • Arriving at a common development strategy for the cities of the union, in accordance with the current law governing planning and land use
  • Implementing projects joined by a common development strategy of the cities
  • Obtaining financing from domestic and foreign funding sources
  • Managing the roadways transferred to the union by its constituent cities
  • Obtaining aid from the European Union
  • Stimulating the job market throughout the constituent cities
  • Supporting innovative economic programs, increasing the competitive standing of the cities
  • Influencing legislative and decision-making processes in matters important to the union and affecting the union's activities

The effects of the union's activity include: improvement in managing the consortium, strengthening its economic muscle and increasing the competitive standing of the cities of the MAUS, coordination of public relations and promoting the member cities, and underscoring the importance of the region.



The Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia spans urban communities in the historical regions of Upper Silesia (the southern part of Silesia) as well as Lesser Poland's Zagłębie Dąbrowskie, Silesian Voivodeship in southern Poland, within the northern portion of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin between the Vistula and Oder rivers. Nine million people live within 100 km of Silesian Stadium at the MAUS center. Six European capitals are located within 600 kilometres from MAUS: Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Bratislava, Budapest and Warsaw.


Outside of the area, the formation of the union appears to have less support than within it.[citation needed] Originally 17 cities were to enter into the union; due to technicalities in Polish law which could have prevented its legalization, only 14 of the 17 cities (that is, those with the legal status of an urban county) proceeded with forming the union.[citation needed]

Map of district of Upper Silesia Metroplex

The constituent cities in decreasing order by population are as follows (data of 2008)[9]:

District Population Area Density
Katowice 312,201 164.67 km² 1,896/km²
Sosnowiec 222,586 91.06 km² 2,444/km²
Gliwice 197,393 133.88 km² 1,474/km²
Zabrze 189,062 80.40 km² 2,352/km²
Bytom 184,765 69.44 km² 2,661/km²
Ruda Śląska 144,584 77.73 km² 1,860/km²
Tychy 129,776 81.64 km² 1,590/km²
Dąbrowa Górnicza 128,795 188.73 km² 682/km²
Chorzów 113,678 33.24 km² 3,420/km²
Jaworzno 95,520 152.67 km² 626/km²
Mysłowice 74,912 65.75 km² 1,139/km²
Siemianowice Śląskie 71,621 25.5 km² 2,809/km²
Piekary Śląskie 59,061 39.98 km² 1,477/km²
Świętochłowice 54,525 13.31 km² 4,097/km²
Total 1,978,479 1,218 km² 1,624.4/km²

The borders between the constituent cities have been for decades artificial, and sometimes absurd; for example, one side of a street would belong to one city and the other to another. Nationally, the union strives to address several problems including:

  • Poor recognition (often omitted from Polish maps)[13]
  • Under-investment (MAUS receives the lowest per-capita allocation of EU development funds in Poland)[14]

Bordering cities

Cities bordering directly on the Upper Silesia Metroplex (2008) are shown below.[9] Some of these cities (Będzin, Czeladź and Knurów) declared their willingness to join the Upper Silesia Metroplex, but due to legal issues canceled their candidacy.

City Population Area Density
Tarnowskie Góry 60,975 83.72 km² 728/km²
Będzin 58,639 37.37 km² 1,569/km²
Chrzanów 39,452 38.32 km² 1,030/km²
Knurów 39,449 33.95 km² 1,162/km²
Mikołów 38,698 79.20 km² 489/km²
Czeladź 34,072 16.38 km² 2,080/km²
Łaziska Górne 21,942 20.07 km² 1,093/km²
Trzebinia 20,128 31.94 km² 630/km²
Bieruń 19,464 40.67 km² 479/km²
Pyskowice 19,104 30.89 km² 618/km²
Radzionków 17,163 13.20 km² 1,300/km²
Lędziny 16,262 31.48 km² 517/km²
Wojkowice 9,368 12.79 km² 732/km²
Imielin 8,010 28.00 km² 286/km²
Sławków 6,866 36.67 km² 187/km²
Total 409,592 534.65 km² 766.1/km²
Total with MAUS 2,388,071 1752,65 km² 1195,25/km²


MAUS is the centre of the largest urban area in Poland and one of largest in the European Union; the Katowice urban area has a population of 2.7 million. The area flourished in the 19th and early 20th centuries, thanks to industry and natural resources. The conurbation consists of about 40 neighbouring cities, and the Silesian metropolitan area includes over 50 cities with a total population of 5 million. Katowice is also in the middle of a 7-million-population megalopolis,[citation needed] stretching from the Kraków region through Katowice to the Ostrava region.


The area has a humid continental climate. The average temperature is 8.2 degrees Celsius (average −1.5 °C (29 °F) in January, and 18 °C (64 °F) in July). Annual rainfall averages 608 mm. The area's characteristic light breezes blow at about 2 m/s from the west, through the Moravian Gate.

Climate data for Katowice, central district of Silesia Metroplex
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 1
Daily mean °C (°F) −1.5
Average low °C (°F) −4
Precipitation cm (inches) 3.04
Source: MSN Weather[15]


MAUS is an area of heavy concentration of industry, including coal, steel, energy, automotive, machinery and chemical. Over the last two decades, the service industry has become increasingly important.


Silesia City Center - a large shopping mall in Katowice, on the grounds of the old Gottwald coal mine

MAUS is still a prominent center of Poland's coal and metal industries, and home to about a dozen coal mines operated by Katowice Coal Holding ((Polish) Katowicki Holding Węglowy) and Coal Company ((Polish) Kompania Węglowa); several steel processing plants (Huta Baildon, Huta Ferum, Huta Batory, Huta Pokój, Huta Florian, Huta Jedność, Huta Zabrze and Huta Zgoda); a foundry of nonferrous metals (Huta Metali Nieżelaznych Szopienice); about a dozen power and generating plants (Chorzów, Halemba, Jaworzno, Łagisza, Będzin, Chorzów, EC Nowa, Katowice, Miechowice, Szombierki, Szopienice, Tychy and Zabrze); two automotive plants (FSM and General Motors Manufacturing Poland); two plants producing military vehicles (Wojskowe Zakłady Mechaniczne and Bumar Łabędy, maker of the PT-91 battle tank), several chemical companies (including fertilizers and paints) and other industrial establishments.

Katowice business centre (Katowickie Centrum Biznesowe)

Business and commerce

Katowice is a large and dynamic business and trade-fair centre. Tens of international exhibitions take place every year on the Katowice International Fairgrounds and at the Spodek arena. Katowice is also the site of the second-largest business centre in Poland (second to the Warsaw business centre). Skyscrapers are located along Chorzowska and Korfantego streets in the city centre. The newest office buildings in Katowice are the Chorzowska 50 and Altus Skyscraper. Several other large office buildings are currently under construction (as of 2011). Katowice and MAUS house the Katowice Special Economic Zone (Katowicka Specjalna Strefa Ekonomiczna).


Public Transport

Tram in Upper Silesia Metroplex

Public transportation consists of four branches. Additional services are operated by private companies and the state-owned railways (regional rail).


Silesian Interurbans - one of the largest tram systems in the world, in existence since 1894. The system extends more than 50 kilometers east-west, covering the following cities of the union and adjacent communities: Katowice, Będzin, Bytom, Chorzów, Czeladź, Dąbrowa Górnicza, Gliwice, Mysłowice, Ruda Śląska, Siemianowice Śląskie, Sosnowiec, Świętochłowice, and Zabrze.


Trolleybuses in Tychy are operated by MZK Tychy.


Buses and trams connect at the KZK GOP.


Drogowa Trasa Średnicowa (Express road S86)

The area lacks a good circular road system; most east-west and north-south traffic goes directly through the city centre.


Terminal B waiting room at Katowice International Airport

The MAUS area is served by Katowice International Airport, located some 30 km north of Katowice's centre. With over 20 international and domestic destinations, it is by far the biggest airport in Silesia (with about 2.5 million passengers served in 2008). As of 2011, it is the third-busiest airport in Poland and growing rapidly. In July 2007 Terminal B was added, increasing the airport's capacity to 3.6 million passengers per year. Besides passenger traffic, the airport is also Poland's second-largest cargo airport, limited only by the size of the existing cargo terminal. Airlines operating from the airport include: Air France, Centralwings, EuroLOT, LOT, Lufthansa and Wizz Air. There are proposals to convert the sport-aviation-serving Katowice-Muchowiec Airport into a city airport, a second international airport for lower, business-oriented traffic.


Standard gauge

Train transportation in the region is inexpensive and fairly efficient. The main railroad station is the Katowice Central Station with numerous regional, national and international passenger destinations. There are direct connections to Berlin, Hamburg, Vienna, Prague, Zilina (in Slovakia), Budapest, Kiev and Moscow. There are two other major hubs (Gliwice and Sosnowiec) and many smaller stations.

Silesian rail has a long and proud tradition, starting in 1846 when the first railroad (the Upper Silesia Railway, at that time called Oberschlesische Eisenbahn) reached the area. MAUS still contains some of the main railway nodes and exchange points of Silesia and Poland.

Broad gauge

A Broad gauge railway line, Linia Hutnicza Szerokotorowa, is notable for its ability to transport goods directly between the area covered by the Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia and the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Narrow gauge

The Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia also inhabits an area which is home to the longest network of narrow gauge railway in Europe. 785 mm (2 ft 6 9⁄10 in) lines are found only in the Upper Silesia region. Former industrial trains today provide a service for tourists from Bytom to the local 'lake district' and other attractions. A 900 mm (2 ft 11 1⁄2 in) recreational line 4.2 km long still operates in the Amusement-Recreation Park in Chorzów, Upper Silesia.

Water transport

  • The Gliwice Canal links Gliwice Harbour to the Oder River, and thus to the waterway network across much of Germany and to the Baltic Sea.
  • The Klodnica Canal is no longer used to transport goods, but is popular with leisure boaters.


University of Silesia Department of Law and Administration
Silesian Library in Katowice

The area is the second-largest academic centre in Poland (after Warsaw).[16] It is home to seven major universities and many smaller schools of higher education. The most important institutions of post-secondary education are:


Katowice, Silesian Theatre


  • Silesian Theatre (Teatr Śląski)
  • Rialto Cinetheater
  • Ateneum Theatre
  • Korez Theatre
  • Cogitatur Theatre
  • GuGalander Theatre
  • New Theatre
  • Locus Theatre
  • Small Theatre
  • Silesian Theatre of Dance


Bytom, Silesian Opera
  • Silesian Philharmonic (Filharmonia Śląska)
  • Zabrze Philharmonic (Filharmonia Zabrzańska)
  • Silesian Opera (Opera Śląska)
  • Silesian Music Stage (Estrada Śląska)
  • GuGalander Music Stage (Scena GuGalander)
  • National Symphonic Orchestra of Polish Radio



Katowice, Silesian Museum
Bytom, Upper Silesian Museum
  • Silesian Museum (Muzeum Śląskie)
  • Muzeum Historii Katowic (Katowice History Museum)
  • Muzeum Górnośląskie (Upper Silesia Museum)
  • Muzeum Zamek Piastowski
  • Muzeum Archidiecezjalne
  • Muzeum Misyjne OO. Franciszkanów (Museum of Misyjne OO. The Franciscan Monk)
  • Muzeum Biograficzne P. Stellera
  • Muzeum Prawa i Prawników Polskich
  • Muzeum Najmniejszych Książek Świata Zygmunta Szkocnego
  • Muzeum Górnictwa Węglowego


  • TVP 3 Katowice
  • TVS
  • TVN24 - Katowice branch (TVN24 - oddział Katowice)
  • Radio Katowice
  • Radio Flash
  • Radio eM
  • Radio Roxy FM
  • Radio Planeta
  • Dziennik Zachodni
  • Gazeta Wyborcza - Katowice office
Spodek in Katowice

Performance series

  • Rawa Blues Festiwal - Spodek
  • Metalmania - Spodek
  • Mayday - Spodek
  • International Competition of Conductors by Fitelberg
  • International Festival of Military Orchestras
  • International Exhibition of Graphic Arts (Intergrafia)
  • All-Polish Festival of Directors
  • Ars Cameralis Silesiae Superioris
  • International Theatrical Festival (APART)
  • International Conference of Dance, Festival of Dancing Art

Art galleries

  • Galeria Sztuki Współczesnej BWA (Al. Korfantego 6)
  • Galeria Sztuki Współczesnej Parnas (ul. Kochanowskiego 10)
  • Galeria Sztuki Atelier 2 (ul. Batorego 2)
  • Galeria Związku Polskich Artystów Plastyków (ul. Dworcowa 13)
  • Galeria Architektury SARP (ul. Dyrekcyjna 9)
  • Galeria Art-Deco (pl. Andrzeja 4)
  • Galeria Fra Angelico (ul. Jordana 39)
  • Galeria Akwarela (ul. Mikołowska 26)
  • Galeria Marmurowa (ul. Mikołowska 26)
  • Galeria Piętro Wyżej
  • Galeria Sektor I
  • Galeria Szyb Wilson

Nature and recreation


Dinosaur Valley, Silesian Zoological Garden in Silesian Central Park (reconstructions of prehistoric reptiles)
  • Silesian Central Park (Wojewódzki Park Kultury i Wypoczynku)
  • Kościuszko Park (Park im. Tadeusza Kościuszki)
  • Forest Park of Katowice (Katowicki Park Leśny)
  • Valley Three Ponds (Dolina Trzech Stawów)
  • Zadole Park
  • Bolina Park
  • Skałka
  • Dolomity Sportowa Dolina

Nature preserves

  • Bagna Nature Reserve (Rezerwat przyrody Bagna)
  • Dilina Żabnika Nature Reserve (Rezerwat przyrody Dolina Żabnika)
  • Las Dąbrowa Nature Reserve (Rezerwat przyrody Las Dąbrowa)
  • Las Murckowski Nature Reserve (Rezerwat przyrody Las Murckowski)
  • Ochojec Nature Reserve (Rezerwat przyrody Ochojec)
  • Oles Nature Reserve (Rezerwat przyrody Oles)
  • Płone Bagno Nature Reserve (Rezerwat przyrody Płone Bagno)
  • Sasanka Nature Reserve (Rezerwat przyrody Sasanka)
  • Segiet Nature Reserve (Rezerwat przyrody Segiet)
  • "Żabie Doły" Nature Preserve


Castles and palaces

  • Castle in Gliwice (Zamek w Gliwicach)
  • Castle in Ruda Śląska (Zamek w Rudzie Śląskiej)
  • Castle in Tarnowice (Zamek w Tarnowicach)
  • Sielecki Castle (Zamek Sielecki)
  • Goldstein Palace (Pałac Goldsteinów)
  • Godula Palace (Pałac Goduli)
  • Dietl Palace (Pałac Dietla)
  • Ciechanowski's Palace (Pałac Ciechanowskich)
  • Mieroszewski's Palace in Sosnowiec (Dwór Mieroszewskich w Sosnowcu)
  • Mieroszewski's Palace in Będzin (Pałac Mieroszewskich)
  • Rheinbaben Palace (Pałac Rheinbabenów)
  • Wilhelm Palace (Pałac Wilhelma)
  • Winckler Palace (Pałac Wincklerów)
  • Schöen Palace in Sosnowiec (Pałac Schöena w Sosnowcu)

Historical churches

Cathedral in Katowice


Best-known clubs

Other clubs

Notable residents


See also

External links


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