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    SILESIA’S HISTORY

    The Dąb district of Katowice, where Silesia City Center is located, is the oldest district of the city. Its origins date back to 1299. This date is seen in the document issued by Duke Casimir of Bytom, in which he donated Chorzów and Krasny Dąb to the Order of the Holy Sepulchre in Miechów.
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    FIRST MINE

    The site was strongly present on the historical map as early as the 17th century, where mining business began to develop in Katowice. The first mine in town – „Arthur” – was set up exactly in Dęb.

    Photo: Museum of Katowice History
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    ZINC SMELTING PLANT

    The district saw its renaissance in the 19th century when metallurgy developed in Katowice. The Friden Zinc Smelting Plant was set up by John Baildon in the neighborhood of today’s Silesia Center. The smelting boom caused an increasing demand for coal, and so the Waterloo coal mine, also owned by John Baildon, opened in 1838.

    Photo: Museum of Katowice History
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    19TH-CENTURY INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

    The 2nd half of the 19th century and industrial revolution made the Dąb district a major centre on Silesia’s industrial map. Next to Arthur and Waterloo coal mines, Agnes and Baildon zinc smelting plants were put in operation. The settlement had its own school, farms, two mills and, last but not least, two taverns.

    Photo: Museum of Katowice History
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    BIG MINING BUSINESS

    1907 was a breakthrough year. The Eminencja coal mine (German: Eminenzgrube) started operation – exactly on the site of today’s Silesia. Not without a certain turmoil, it merged with the Waterloo coal mine. The mining business was in full swing. In 1928, the Pokój Steelworks took the coal mine in lease. Then the mine was passed to successive owners and in 1931 found itself under the shelter of the Ruda Coal Miners’ Guild.

    Photo: Museum of Katowice History
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    WWII

    The years of WWII were hard times for the Eminencja coal mine. Under the Nazi occupation, the Germans sent forced labourers from the Załęże labour camp to work in the mine. The situation changed with the liberation in 1945.

    Photo: State Archive in Katowice
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    THE MINE IN THE TIMES OF POLISH PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC

    The name Eminencja disappeared in 1953. From then the mine’s name was Gottwald, in honour of the Czechoslovak Prime Minister Klement Gottwald. Mining output grew up to the record-breaking 2.5 million tons a year! The mine was not spared economic upheavals in the People’s Republic of Poland. Gottwald was merged with the Kleofas mine. This duo continued until the 1990s until the mine closed.

    Photo: State Archive in Katowice
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    BUILDING SILESIA CITY CENTER

    The new chapter began in 2004, when the Hungarian investor decided to revitalize the postindustrial area of the former mine and to build Silesia’s largest shopping centre - Silesia City Center. It was the first investment project in the region aimed to redevelop a post-mine area. Silesia opened in November 2005.
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    SACRED AND PROFANE

    Also in 2004, the first chapel in Poland next to a shopping centre was opened near Silesia. The idea was to combine the sacred and the profane. In this way the investor thanked the residents of the Dąb district.

    The symbol of Silesia is the Jerzy shaft, a surviving structure of the former mine. The shaft, over 30 metres high, towers over Silesia and the entire Dąb district.
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    SILESIA TODAY

    In 2010, the Center developed, acquiring a new part. Its architecture was inspired by containers in which miners carried coal underground. This part of the Center opened in October 2011, hosting Paris Hilton as a guest star. Throughout the years of its operation, Silesia has become the region’s major centre of commerce, joining the group prominent centres promoting Silesian culture and tradition.

    Today Silesia consists of over 300 shops on the area of 86 thousand sqm. The Center is visited by 14 million of people from all over Poland a year.
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    SILESIA CITY CENTER

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