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Piekary Śląskie, Poland

February 27th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Piekary Śląskie (German: Deutsch Piekar) is a town in south Poland, situated in the Silesian Voivodship since 1999 (previously in the Katowice Voivodship from 1975). Piekary is a spiritual centre of Upper Silesia, a place of St. Mary's veneration, a pilgrimage site for thousands of the faithful, and a mining town. It was the stage for patriotic Polish demonstration and one of the centers of Silesian Uprisings and in 1922 was ceded to the Second Polish Republic by Germany as 86 % of the population voted for joining the re-established Polish state.

In fact, Piekary Śląskie was created in 1934 by joining the communes of Szarlej and Wielkie Piekary. In 1975 the administrative reform led to joining the neatby towns: Dąbrówka Wielka, Brzeziny Śląskie, Brzozowice, Kamień and Kozłowa Góra.

Between 1303 and 1318, the first church and independent parish were created there. In the 15th zinc and lead mining industries developed and the process of settlement evolution begun.

In the 12th and 14th centuries, the germanised Silesian dukes governed the town, but a short visit of the King Jan III Sobieski rushing to relief Vienna in 1683 cause that memory about the Polish origin livened among them. The next years brought several peasant revolts against the German magnates. In 1697, Augustus II the Strong visited Piekary. He converted himself into Catholic religion in the local church and at the same time he sworn the pacta conventa.

In the 18th, colonisation and germanisation of Piekary Śląskie got stronger. The result was a strong movement towards maintaining the Polish origins if the land. In 1842, Piekary's rector, priest Alojzy Ficek started to build new, neo-romanesque temple according to the Daniel Grötschel's design. The miraculous painting of the Virgin Mary was placed there.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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