Pszczyna

Article

May 28, 2022

Pština (historically also Blština or Blščina, Polish Pszczyna, German Pleß) is a town in southern Poland in the Silesian Voivodeship, the seat of the district of Pština. It lies on the river Pszczynka, a left tributary of the Vistula, in the historic territory of Upper Silesia, halfway between Katowice and Bielsko-Biała. In December 2019, 25,833 people lived here. The town belongs to the area with a high share of Silesian nationality - in the last census, 30.1% of the population of the Pštín district was identified as such.

History

The first mention of the town of Plessina dates back to 1303. Its origins are related to the existence of a castle guarding the ford across the river Pszczynka (Blština - probably from the word "glitter") in a swampy valley on an important trade route from Krakow to Moravia. Originally part of the Principality of Racibórz, of which John II. In 1407, Opavský set aside the Pštín estate, which included four towns (Pština, Beruň, Mikulov and Myslovice) and about fifty villages in the area to the south and east of the Vistula and to the north, reaching as far as Rawa, including most of today's Katowice districts. The Promnitz family owned it for the longest time, from 1548 to 1765. During the reign of Karl von Promnitz (1570–1591), Lutheranism was introduced in the Pštín region. After the First Silesian War in 1742, Pštinsko, still part of the Crown of the Kingdom of Bohemia and the Habsburg Monarchy, fell to Prussia together with most of Silesia. In 1765 it was inherited with the Promnitzi by related Ascans (Anhalt-Köthen princes), who achieved the promotion of the estate to the principality. The last owners were the Hochbergs from 1847, during whose reign the castle and the castle park were rebuilt into the current form of the Silesian Versailles. During the First World War in 1915–1917, the German army headquarters was located in Pština. For the needs of the General Staff, led by Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff, the building of the princely administration of the estate was reserved and Emperor William II moved from Berlin to the ground floor of the chateau. The headquarters of the Allied Austro-Hungarian troops at that time was located in nearby Cieszyn. In 1922, Pština and its surroundings became part of the Silesian Voivodeship (until 1939 de facto and until 1945 de jure autonomous) within the Republic of Poland. In the plebiscite held on March 20, 1921, 75% of the population of Pština voted for remaining in Germany, but in the entire district, three-quarters of the votes fell in favor of joining Poland. During the administrative reform in 1975, Goczałkowice-Zdrój and eight other villages were added to Pština: Brzeźce, Ćwiklice, Łąka, Poręba, Rudołtowice, Studzionka, Wisła Mała and Wisła Wielka. Studzionka, Wisła Mała and Wisła Wielka became independent in 1977, Goczałkowice-Zdrój in 1992 and the others in 1998.

Sights

Pszczyna Castle (Zamek Pszczyna) - originally a medieval castle and later an aristocratic residence of the Promnitz, Tuscan and Hochbergs, rebuilt into its current Neo-Baroque form in 1870–1876 according to the design of the French architect Hippolyt Destailleur. The Pština Castle Museum has been located here since 1946. Unlike many other castles and chateaux in Silesia, which were destroyed in or immediately after World War II, the Pštín chateau has preserved its original equipment and furniture, making it one of the most valuable monuments of residential architecture in Central Europe. He is nicknamed the Silesian Versailles. The rooms on the first and second floors are accessible as they were used by the Hochbergs at the beginning of the 20th century, while the exposition on the ground floor is called the Imperial Apartments and reflects the condition during the stay of Emperor William II. during the First World War. The museum also includes the Armory. Gate of the Chosen (Brama Wybrańców) - baroque entrance gate to the castle from the square