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Story 1. Chorzów from bird’s eye view

History of Chorzów

In 1257, Władysław, the Duke of Opole, allowed the Order of the Holy Sepulcher to locate the village of Chorzów under German law. At the end of the 18th century, hard coal mining began. In 1934, the town was connected with Królewska Huta, and a few years later with Hajduki, creating a contemporary form of the city.

Królewska Huta

Along with the construction of Huta Królewska””, work began on the creation of a residential colony, which eventually received the same name. In 1868, it obtained city rights, joining a number of colonies. In 1934, the town was connected with the village of Chorzów.”

(Lower and Upper) Hajduki was a typical Upper Silesian town with a complicated history. The key moment in history was the construction of the Bismarckhütte, the accompanying buildings, and from 1939, the connection to Chorzów.

The beginnings of bus transport are related to small private carriers. For example, Antoni Królek ran transports from Siemianowice to Łagiewniki. In 1931, the Silesian Bus Lines were established, offering many more connections. In 1948, the company was transformed into Śląsko-Dąbrowskie Linie Komunikacyjne, and in 1951, the Provincial Communications Company in Katowice was established. In 1991, after its transformation, the GOP Communication Union was established as the transport organizer in the agglomeration, which ceased to exist in 2018 with the establishment of the Metropolis GZM.

In 1845, the Upper Silesian Railway built a station in Świętochłowice (on the border with Hajduki), and in 1861 a station was built in the center of Królewska Huta (later rebuilt). There was a complicated system of industrial and narrow-gauge railways in the city. In 1907, battery cars of the Wittfeld system started between Bytom and Katowice.

The history of tram line twelve

In 1897, as part of the Oberschlesische Dampfstraßenbahnen company, one of the first narrow-gauge tram lines in the agglomeration was established from Królewska Huta through Węzłowiec to Targowy Square in Siemianowice. Soon after, it was electrified. From 1 January 2009, its use was discontinued, and in 2021 the last remnants of its history were liquidated.

Church of Saint Mary Magdalene

The first church in Chorzów was built at the beginning of the 14th century. After 1782 a new building was built (the old one was destroyed by a fire). The increase in the population of Chorzów soon necessitated further investments. In the years 1889–1892, the current neo-gothic building, three-nave, hall, on the plan of a Latin cross was erected according to the design of Joseph Ebers from Wrocław. After 1922, an organ by the Dürschlag company from Rybnik was installed in the church, and in 1932 a new altar with images of St. Mary Magdalene, St. Isidore and St. Florian, combining local agricultural and metallurgical traditions.

Rural buildings, St. John’s Square

Saint John’s Square creates a characteristic form of a street. The preserved buildings, built until the beginning of the 20th century by wealthy peasants from Chorzów (Sadłaków), accompanied the village meeting square. Its basic element was a rectangular, single-storey, multi-room building with a residential attic. At the back, there are farm buildings (barn, pigsties, sheds), and arable fields behind them. Next to the building, small debts (wages) were also built, i.e. houses for parents who handed over the farm to the younger generation. Later, these buildings lost their importance due to the popularization of the model of tenement houses.

Power plant in Chorzów

Local steel mills used the electricity produced in their own power plants for their operation. The excess capacity was sold to communes, such as Królewska Huta, until 1911. At the end of 1896, it was decided to build a new plant in Chorzów, owned by Schlesische Elektricitäts- und Gas AG. It was opened in 1898, with the success of planning its subsequent extensions. The modern plant provided electricity, among others to illuminate many towns and railway stations.

The Nitrogen Plant in Chorzów

During World War I, Bayerische Stickstoffwerke started building a nitrogen plant in Chorzów. In 1922, the property of the constantly expanding, modern and modernizing Poland plant was taken over by the Polish state (from 1924 as the State Factory of Nitrogen Compounds in Chorzów), and Ignacy Mościcki became its director. At that time, the technical director was Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski. In the following years, the range of production was extended, including, among others, fertilizers, distilled fatty acids or stearin.

„President” shaft

Investments carried out by the Skarboferm concern in the interwar period were aimed at, inter alia, improving the profitability of the enterprise. One of the examples of such activities was the exploitation of new mining fields. For this purpose, in the years 1929–1933 a shaft was built, later called „President”, whose single-firing reinforced concrete tower was designed by Ryszard Heileman. This modern in form (in the style of functionalism) and workmanship, the frame structure is 42 m high. The shaft was used by the „Prezydent Mościcki” mine.

Church of Saint Lawrence

In 1599, a wooden church was built in Knurów. With the expansion of the town, it became too small, and in Chorzów, as part of the concept of inventory and saving wooden architecture (promoted by Tadeusz Dobrowolski), the building found its place in the years 1935–1936. It was consecrated in 1938, and in 1978 it became the seat of the parish. „This church is a beautiful pearl of our religious culture, it transfers the spirit of ancient centuries into the rhythm and bustle of a modern, industrial city” (press).

Reden’s Mountain with the monument to Frederick Wilhelm von Reden

On August 29, 1853 in Królewska Huta, on the so-called Reden’s Mountain, with the participation of Frederick William IV, was uncovered the monument to Frederick William von Reden. It was designed by Theodor Kalide. The monument was damaged in the summer of 1939, restored in 1940, and finally destroyed in 1945. The head of the figure has been preserved in the collection of the Museum in Chorzów. In 2002, the monument was reconstructed in a different location. There was a park around the monument (from 1874) with a restaurant and meeting place for the inhabitants of Królewska Huta. Until 1945, it housed a community center, and later also a disco.

The tenement house at 1 Szabatowskiego Street, the seat of the printing house and editorial office of „Königshütter Tageblatt”

The designer of the building was the builder Fritz, who made it for Maksymilian Hutzinger, a printer. It housed the printing house and the editorial office of the daily „Königshütter Tageblatt” (several thousand copies). The building was built on the plan of an acute triangle, with the features of the Art Nouveau style. A sculpture of Jan Gutenberg by Ignacy Engelbert Blaszke was placed above the original (now bricked up) entrance.

History of Chorzów and Królewska Huta

In 1257, Władysław, the Duke of Opole, allowed the Order of the Holy Sepulcher to locate the village of Chorzów under German law. At the end of the 18th century, hard coal mining began. In 1934, the town was connected with Królewska Huta, and a few years later with Hajduki, creating a contemporary form of the city.
Along with the construction of Huta „Królewska”, work began on the creation of a residential colony, which eventually received the same name. In 1868, it obtained city rights, joining a number of colonies. In 1934, the town was connected with the village of Chorzów.

Powstańców Śląskich Square

Around contemporary Powstańców Śląskich Square, at the beginning of the 20th century, several buildings important for the community were erected. First of all, in the place of the southern part of the original metallurgical colony, a municipal market hall was built, considered a manifestation of modernity (instead of trading in squares). Its author was Gustav Zachariae – he developed an eclectic object that had the form of an almost castle. In the years 1901-1905, the buildings of the municipal slaughterhouse were built, and in 1904-1906 the municipal fire brigade.

Monument to the Silesian Insurgent

On May 10, 1896, a monument to Germania was unveiled near the market square, which was demolished during the Silesian Uprisings. On October 2, 1927, in the same place, a monument to the Silesian Insurgent was unveiled, which was demolished in 1939 by the Germans. In 1946, the Statue of the White Eagle was unveiled there. The ceremony of unveiling the rebuilt monument took place on September 1, 1971, but in a new location. The designers of the new obelisk were Henryk Goraj and Tadeusz Ślimakowski.


In 1864, the Processing Workshop was established from the transformation of the former Alvensleben departments of Huta „Królewska”. Their offer was directed primarily to rail transport, and in the following years, additional departments were separated (including wheel sets, bridge construction, and car construction). In 1917, the plant became independent. In the interwar period, he produced, among others carriages and motor car. In 1947, the factory was nationalized, creating Wytwórnia Konstrukcji Stalowych (Konstal), which produced, among others, trams and mining locomotives. In 1997, the plant was bought by Alstom.

Huta „Kościuszko”

In 1802, Huta „Królewska” (Königshütte) was established. In the following years, the plant was expanded and modernized (including Alvensleben departments), producing, among others railways. It was the first plant on the continent to use a steam engine to drive a blower. In 1870, the plant was bought by Count von Donnersmarck, creating the Verenigte Königs- und Laurahütte Aktiengesellschaft für Bergbau und Hüttenbetrieb concern. In 1937, the steelworks was briefly named „Piłsudski”. After 1945, it was decided to name it „Kościuszko”. As a result of ownership transformations after 1989, the plant was partially privatized.

Metallurgy Museum

In 1925, Kurt Bimler proposed the creation of the Mining and Metallurgical Museum in Bytom. The Silesian Museum established in Katowice also initially collected objects related to the history of Upper Silesian industry. After the restitution in 1984, these activities returned to problems. In 1998, the Company Museum was opened in Huta „Batory”. In 2010, the city of Chorzów began efforts to establish a Metallurgical Museum in the acquired power plant Huta „Kościuszko”. It will / was opened at the end of 2021.

Combat shelter No. 5

The importance of the Upper Silesian industry contributed to the development of the idea of building by Poland a complex system of fortifications called the „Silesia” Fortified Area. The fortification center is the section „Chorzów”. The network of facilities was established in the years 1933–1938. The two-story bunker was built in 1936 as part of the “Łagiewniki” resistance point. It was intended for a maximum of 20 soldiers. It was probably not used in the military operations of 1939.

Tram depot, Łagiewniki

On December 30, 1894, tram services were started between Zaborze Królewska Huta and Piekary. As early as 1893, there was a seven-station fire station / depot in Łagiewniki, designed by Adolf Goerke from Berlin (later expanded). In 1980, the depot was closed. Recently, it served lines 11 (Katowice Wolności Square – Chebzie Pętla), 17 (Łagiewniki Targowisko-Lipiny Targowisko) and 29 (Ruda Śląska Chebzie – Zabrze Zaborze).

T. Kalide

Theodor Erdmann Kalide was born on February 8, 1801 in Królewska Huta as the son of a metallurgical inspector Gottlieb. He worked briefly at Huta „Królewska”, and later at the Królewska Odlewnia Żeliwa in Gliwice. He was educated in Berlin, receiving a scholarship from the Foundry; he also settled there. Constant cooperation ensured wide distribution of works included in the foundry’s catalog. His most famous works include The Vigilant Lion, The Bacchae in the Panther and The Boy with a Swan. His family home has survived in Chorzów to this day.

Complex of cooperative buildings designed by Franz Meister, Stalmacha 9 street

In 1908 a housing cooperative (Wohnungsbauverein für Königshütte und Umgegend) was established in Królewska Huta. Its most important achievements include the construction of a complex of 14 buildings in the years 1913–1915 (121 functional, brighter than before, well-equipped apartments) at today’s Mickiewicza Square and at Barska and Stalmacha Streets. Their designer was Fritz Meister.

Church of Saint Barbara

The first Catholic church in Królewska Huta was built in 1852 (later extended) under the invocation of st. Barbara. The local workers of the mines and steelworks were then forced to bury the dead in a simultaneous cemetery, and they made their way to the church as far as Bytom. The project by Gustav Gottgetreu was supported by, among others local evangelicals and state authorities. In the main altar there are paintings of St. Barbara, St. Florian and St. Joseph. A rectory, cemetery and St. Jadwiga.

Post office

As early as 1804, there was a post office in Królewska Huta, but it was not until 1891–1892 that it had a permanent and own building, necessary to handle the growing traffic. It was designed by postal construction counselor Richard Kux. This neo-Gothic building with a very rich gable (which is read as a reference to the Gothic architecture of Brandenburg and Pomerania) is crowned with a tower with an openwork dome (from the extension from 1911). The object is entered in the register of monuments.

„Panorama” Cinema

The first permanent cinema in Królewska Huta was opened in 1907 as the Grand-Kinematograph. Shortly before World War I, the Kammer-Lichtspiele of the Jewish Wallner family was opened at 19 Wolności Street (then Kaiserstrasse). It had a large hall – when it took the name „Apollo”, it had 1,400 seats. Later its owners were the company of W. Lawrence, R. Żok and E. Maletzki. After 1945, the cinema changed its name to „Panorama”, in 1994 it was transformed into a two-screen cinema. In 2012, the last cinema in Chorzów was closed.

Catholic Union House, 12 Chrobrego Street (47 Wolności)

In 1898 a restaurant (briefly also a hotel) „Zur Kaisergarten” was established, offering (in separate rooms) only the possibility of consuming Kulmbacher beer, hot snacks or using the huge entertainment hall (decorated with gypsum gilded sculptures with plant motifs). After numerous and minor alterations, in 1918 the building was bought by the parish of Saint Jadwiga, which ran the Catholic Union House here. In the 1930s, costume balls of Polish journalists from Chorzów were held here.

P. Gaertner’s shop, 7 Wolności Street

This building is a typical example of multiple changes that affected bourgeois tenement houses. Originally built in 1872, it was originally classicising and expanded in 1899 and later in 1904. At that time, it was Paul Gärtner’s home and had Art Nouveau balconies. In 1907, another extension added to it a photographic studio (in the roof zone), along with a darkroom and additional rooms. The owner of the building was a famous bookseller and publisher.

Oskar Schindler’s Pharmacy, 22 Wolności Street

The building in its existing form was built in 1907 according to a design by Franciszek Wieczorek. The investor was the pharmacist Oskar Schneider, who runs the “Pod Lwem” pharmacy, the oldest one in Królewska Huta. Therefore, in a three-story building with an Art Nouveau facade decoration with a flagellar ornament and a half-timbered arrangement of bay window finials, a coat of arms cartouche with the image of the Aesculapian snake was placed at the top, clearly indicating the profession of the owner. After 1923, the owner of the pharmacy was Mieczysław Estkowski.


Jews from nearby towns also belonged to the synagogue kehilla in Królewska Huta (from 1865). The synagogue, designed by Benno Leopold Grötschl in the Moorish style, strongly modeled on the Viennese realization by Ludvig von Förster from 1853, was opened in 1875. The first service was led by Dr. Daniel Fränkel from Rybnik. The building was demolished at the beginning of 1940 along with the anti-Jewish activities of the Germans during World War II.

Irys estate

In the post-war period, housing needs were most often solved by building multi-storey, small-scale housing estates, very often in prefabricated technology. An example of this can be the Irys estate, put into use in the years 1977–1983, consisting of 6 buildings. However, its construction was discussed a decade earlier. Established in the strict, historic center of the city, its size has been disturbed by its size.

Sobieskiego Street 2 (Max Steckel)

In 1895, Karl Ludwig Max Steckel started the construction of a neo-Renaissance tenement house in the center of Królewska Huta. He moved in a year later. He was born in 1870 in Frankfurt (Oder), but in 1891 he moved to Upper Silesia. He was a pioneer of industrial photography. He is the author of, among others albums Vereinigte Kӧnigs- & Laurahütte 1871–1896 and Schwarze Diamanten. Kunstblätter mit Begleittext vom Oberschlesischen Steinkohlenbergbau (also in Polish), as well as numerous documentary and nature photography.


The interwar fashion for building skyscrapers also reached Chorzów. The local Communal Savings Bank announced in 1935 a pending competition for the construction of its new headquarters. The final task was entrusted to Stanisław Tabeński. The building was erected in the place of Żwirki and Wigury Square, instead of the fountain and the monument to Dr. Wagner. The delayed construction was completed on June 1, 1937. The building contained a banking and residential section, „for your benefit / for the benefit of the city”.

Cross-city road route

In the Katowice voivodship there were the most [in Poland?] Cars (passenger cars and trucks) per capita. The complicated industrial connections required efficient transport, which the railways could not provide. At the beginning of the 1970s, a concept was put forward to build an expressway connecting the cities of the Upper Silesian Industrial District. The works in their current shape were started in 1985 and were completed (Katowice-Gliwice) in 2016.

Regional Movement Railway

The Upper Silesian Industrial District faced communication problems throughout the entire period of the Polish People’s Republic. The existing railway lines were used up to their capacity limits, and the situation was not improved by the introduction of the cyclical timetable at the end of the 1970s. Meanwhile, a few years earlier, a project to build a Regional Movement Railway was put forward. It is planned to separate a track for agglomeration traffic. The crisis stopped and then completed an investment, the implementation of which has not been returned to this day.

Barracks of the 75th Infantry Regiment

The border location of Chorzów in the interwar period resulted in the decision to deploy soldiers from the 75th Infantry Regiment here. In 1922, it was urgently necessary to find a place in the city for numerous employees of new or modernized institutions (Social Insurance Institution, court, police). The temporary deployment of the regiment’s soldiers lasted until the end of the 1920s. At that time, according to the design of Witold Czeczott, spacious barracks were built in Nomiarki, commissioned on March 17, 1933, and dedicated on June 2, 1934.

Alfons Zgrzebniok

In 1923, Królewska Huta turned out to be the place of residence of the leader of the Polish Military Organization of Upper Silesia, Alfons Zgrzebniok. For three years he became a physical education teacher at the Classical Gymnasium, later he worked briefly in the Military Office of the local magistrate. In the spring of 1928 he left the city and most probably never came back here. He lived with his wife Helena (née Woźniaków) in a tenement house at 8a Katowicka Street (demolished during the construction of the Overpass), which no longer exists.

Entertainment Theater

In 1900, Franz Oppawski erected the most representative hotel in Królewska Huta, and even in Silesia – Graf Reden, on a plot of land bought a few years earlier. Meeting rooms operated from 1896, and a theater hall from 1901. It quickly became a meeting place for political, social and sports organizations – regardless of the national colors. After 1945, the Central House of the Steelworker (1947), then the Cultural Center of Huta Kościuszko, and finally the Entertainment Theater (1984) were located here.

Villa of the director of Huta „Królewska”

In 1910, at today’s Dąbrowskiego Street (then 8 Parkowa Street), a tenement house was built for the director of Huta „Królewska”. The first user was Otto di Biasi, hence it is customary to call it „Villa di Biasi” (even on postcards from the beginning of the 20th century). The building was owned by the concern – the owner of the steelworks, and after it was taken over by the state after 1945, it began to perform other functions. It was intended for a nursery, then a kindergarten and a private primary school. In 1996, the building was acquired by the Evangelical-Augsburg parish in Chorzów.

Metallurgical pond

The ponds used in the activities of the steelworks accompanied the life of the town’s inhabitants. However, the modernization changes also included the creation of urban recreational spaces. In 1870, it was decided to transform one of the ponds (south of the market square) into a park – an artificial dam and promenade were built there, local amateur orchestras gave concerts. The northern part of the pond was filled in as early as the 20th century. Currently, there is Hutników Square.

Church of Saint Anthony

In the center of Królewska Huta, in the interwar period, there was one of the largest parishes in the Katowice diocese – St. Jadwiga. The idea of building a new church came from its pastor, Fr. Jan Gajda, who engaged the Poznań architect Antoni Ballenstedt. Built in the years 1930–1934, the thirteen-span one, formally combining Gothic ideas with modernity, being an architectural conglomerate, is one of the most interesting sacred investments in the city. The stained glass windows were designed in Poznań, and the altar in Kraków.

Monument to Fryderyk Chopin

A monument to Fryderyk Chopin was unveiled in Chorzów on October 16, 1949 in the court of the music school and secondary schools. Its author was Rajnhold Domin. This event was preceded by a series of „mass concerts”, the proceeds of which were used to finance it. The ceremony also featured the Great Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Witold Rowicki, with the participation of Tadeusz Żmudziński, 12th prize winner of the 4th Chopin Competition, born in Królewska Huta.

Classic gymnasium

The educational system in Germany in the nineteenth century included classical secondary schools, enabling the continuation of education at higher education. The establishment of such a school in Królewska Huta in 1877 was a sign of the importance of the city. At that time, it was located at the present Powstańców Street. In 1934, it was renamed the Odrowążów, three years later secondary school classes were introduced there. In 1945, the school moved to the former seat of a minority school. The building is currently occupied by the Technical School Complex named by Marian Batko.

A Boy with a Swan

In 1834, the sculpture A Boy with a Swan was presented for the first time at the exhibition of Theodor Kalide’s works in Berlin. Soon after, the Royal Iron Foundry in Gliwice introduced it to its regular offer. This contributed to the large dissemination of copies, including in Warsaw or in Central Park in New York. In Królewska Huta, it was originally located in the fountain on the market square, and from 1912 on the square at today’s Matejko’s Square.

Hospital complex of the former Bracka Company

The first hospital of the Bracka Company was established in Królewska Huta as early as 1809 (the non-existent building at 9 Moniuszki Street), later it was expanded twice. Finally, in 1866, it was moved to a new building at today’s Strzelców Bytomskich Street. Later, more buildings were built, creating one of the largest hospital complexes in Upper Silesia. At that time, it was intended primarily for miners and steel workers, members of the Company. Today it is part of the Municipal Hospital Complex in Chorzów.

Bus communication in Chorzów

The beginnings of bus transport are related to small private carriers. For example, Antoni Królek ran transports from Siemianowice to Łagiewniki. In 1931, the Silesian Bus Lines were established, offering many more connections. In 1948, the company was transformed into Śląsko-Dąbrowskie Linie Komunikacyjne, and in 1951, the Provincial Communications Company in Katowice was established. In 1991, after its transformation, the GOP Communication Union was established as the transport organizer in the agglomeration, which ceased to exist in 2018 with the establishment of the Metropolis GZM.

Music school

In 1926, a residential building was built, which, after being adapted in 1950, became the seat of the State Music School. In the 1930s, a branch of the Lower Music School in Katowice (Witold Friemann) and the People’s Music School (Feliks Sachse) operated in Królewska Huta / Chorzów. In 1978, the state school was named after Grzegorz Fitelberg.

Social Insurance Institution

In 1924, the intensification of insurance care in interwar Poland brought the commencement of construction of a building for the Social Insurance Institution in Królewska Huta. Architect Tabeński won the competition, but the building was designed by Rudolf Ziołko. The construction was divided into three stages, which significantly accelerated the work. The facility was put into operation on July 14, 1927. It was the seat of the largest insurance company (except for the Bracka company) in the then Silesian Province.

Tenement house at 68 Dąbrowskiego Street, Wohnugsbauverein für Königshütte und Umgegend

In 1910 (according to the carved date), a housing cooperative established two years earlier in Królewska Huta built another building designed by Fritz Meister. The decoratively designed form of the facade and references to the Art Nouveau forms of the building harmonize with its furnishings – including four-room flats with bathroom and toilet.

Leopold Nowak’s Printing House (corner with Hajducka Street)

The owner of the printing house located at this intersection, Leopold Nowak, from the period of the uprisings and the plebiscite, was one of the trusted printers of the Polish community (including the government – he printed the magazine „Polacy w całym świecie”, and the local government – „Głos Chorzowa” and „Informator Przetargowy”) . In 1924, he started building a facility where he could print using the convex, gravure and flat methods. In the mid-1930s, the owner even bought a four-color rotary machine that allowed him to print magazines.

Ruch Stadium

On April 20, 1920, the Ruch sports club was established in Hajduki. In this pioneering period, it did not have its own stadium, and it played matches (also at the national level) in other venues. After winning the first title of the Polish Champion, the construction of a new stadium became a priority. It was opened on September 29, 1935, and its construction, designed by local designers, engineers Nowak and Dic, was one of the most modern in Poland. The investment was supported by, among others the brewery in Tychy and the Labor Fund.

History of Hajduki

(Lower and Upper) Hajduki was a typical Upper Silesian town with a complicated history. The key moment in history was the construction of the Bismarckhütte, the accompanying buildings, and from 1939, the connection to Chorzów.

Chorzów Batory railway station

The beginnings of the railway in Królewska Huta (1845) are related to the station in Świętochłowice (but bearing the name Königshütte). The name was changed only after 1861. The modernizations and extensions carried out in the following years (including 1889, 1901) were not sufficient in view of the constantly growing needs. On October 1, 1913, after many years of efforts and long-term construction, a new station was opened in Hajduki, with a station designed by Wilhelm Freise and Kachla (now Chorzów Batory) and a passenger stop in Świętochłowice.

Hotel „Pod Zielonym Dębem” (Armii Krajowej Street)

The expansion of Hajduki and the vicinity of the steelworks increased the demand for services provided by hotels. Hence, in 1897, work began on the construction of the „Pod Zielonym Dębem” hotel, according to the design of Franciszek Wieczorek, which soon retained its name, because in 1903 it was already „Pod Żelaznym Kanclerzem”. At that time, its owner was Ludwik Goldstein. In 1922 it was called „Śląski”, but shortly thereafter unprofitable hotel activities were limited, focusing on restaurants and clubs. After the war confiscation, it began to function as a tenement house as Jewish property.

History of rail transport in Chorzów

In 1845, the Upper Silesian Railway built a station in Świętochłowice (on the border with Hajduki), and in 1861 a station was built in the center of Królewska Huta (later rebuilt). There was a complicated system of industrial and narrow-gauge railways in the city. In 1907, battery cars of the Wittfeld system started between Bytom and Katowice.

„Batory” Steelworks

Another metallurgical plant in the vicinity of Królewska Huta was „Bismarckütte”, launched in 1873 in Hajduki. An important element of its functioning was the construction of workers 'housing estates (equipped with water and gas), a workers’ hotel and auxiliary buildings. Complicated ownership transformations, specific to Upper Silesia in the interwar period, made it and Huta „Królewska” belong to one concern, and after its collapse it was taken over by the state. In 1933 the name was changed to „Batory”, keeping the existing logotype.

Municipal Cultural Center „Batory”

In 1919, the parish of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Hajduki purchased a former building of a restaurant not far from the church. A Catholic Union House was established there. The original owner (from 1887) was Ignatz Maletz, and later Hugo Schaffranek. There were, among others, a meeting room, apartments for church service, and a library. There was a concert shell in the garden. In 1947 it was leased to Huta „Batory” as a union house. Currently, it is the seat of the Municipal Cultural Center „Batory”.

Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

In the 19th century, the number of inhabitants also increased in Hajduki. Also here, the existing religious care was not sufficient, and the construction of the steelworks and residential buildings only intensified this process. In 1896, the parish priest of St. Jadwiga in Królewska Huta, he bought land, and in the years 1898–1901 a large, neo-gothic church was built according to the design of Ludwig Schneider, which could accommodate 5,000 people. The construction was carried out by Franz Wieczorek from Królewska Huta. At that time, the parish had even over 20,000 faithful.

Hajduk Town Hall

In 1903, the Bismarckhütte commune was established (connecting Dolne and Górne Hajduki). The need for efficient management of the local government resulted in the construction of a historicist town hall in 1911 with neo-baroque elements. Karl Zowe and Dominik Drescher are considered its authors. The building housed, among others tax office, registration office, police offices, runners room, writer’s room, apartments and a meeting room. During World War II there was a Police Office here; later also the civil militia and the police. After the period of private ownership, the building returned to the hands of the local government.

Tenement house, Hutnicza Street (16 Lipca Street)

The restaurant under the „Białym Orłem” offered „Dear guests, tended beers, excellent vodkas and a meeting room”. Perhaps that is why its owner, Teofil Paczyński, an active Polish activist, hosted the initiators of the Ruch football club on April 3, 1920. In 1912, there was a beer hall here, but subsequent renovations created a large guest room and three rooms. In 1932, the secretariat of the Ruch Hajduki Wielkie club was dedicated here.

Kaliny Street (the so-called Hasiok)

In January 1923 in Hajduki, Ruch merged with the Bismarckhütter Ballspiel-Club. This club had a pitch, the so-called Hasiok, who gave the team the basis for stabilization. Its name was derived from the blast gravel with which it was poured. The pitch was initially undersized, it had no fence or infrastructure. When Ruch started playing in the national league (founded in 1927), opponents complained that the advantage of „home pitch” was used too often. The professionalization of sport led to the construction of a permanent club stadium.

Former KL Auschwitz sub-camp

From September 1944 to the beginning of 1945, there was a sub-camp of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz in Bismarckütte (then the name of the present Batory district). The prisoners in it, mainly Jews, were initially forced to build it, and later worked in various departments of the „Bismarckhütte” related to armaments production. On January 19, 1945, the prisoners were evacuated deep into Germany. In 2021, a monument commemorating the victims of this place was unveiled (designed by T. Wenklar).

City Hall

In 1874, the construction of the town hall in the new town, Królewska Huta, was started, according to the design of Benno Leopold Grötschl. It was placed at the market square, but on the opposite side of the railway line from the previous city center. In the 1920s, the building was significantly rebuilt and extended, which blurred the legibility of the original form. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the Ratuhauskeller was located in its basement, selling not only beer but also subscription lunches.

Story 2. Close, the closest

The stairs that do not exist today crowned Wolności Street and along with it constituted the traditional urban layout on the axis of one street, next to which there was the town square (from the mid-19th century). The line was closed by a harp of monumental chimneys of Huta Kościuszko (formerly Königshütte, Piłsudski). Such a spatial arrangement constantly reminded us of the presence of industry in the city, but also allowed for the creation of interesting photographic and painting shots. The stairs were removed in the 1970s, when the Overpass was built over the market square in Chorzów, and the chimneys were demolished twenty years later. Although they do not exist physically, they are still present in the cultural space of the city.

The theme of stairs is intensely present in the history of painting. In paintings, it often has both symbolic and compositional meaning. Climbing the steps of the stairs refers to the way of knowing and is associated with the symbolism of the rungs of the ladder. At the top of the stairs is the unknown, and climbing up is combined with overcoming further difficulties.

Light is one of the idioms of Piotr Naliwajko’s painting. It allows us to show the psychological tensions of the characters in the paintings. In this case, it flows downstairs, from the top of the stairs. It is dawn, five in the morning, the beginning of the day … The color range of the painting is also endearing – the predominance of yellows and browns.

The painting Blisko, Najbliżej … is a story about the city and its inhabitants. The artist shows fifteen figures lined up almost in one line at the bottom of the stairs. In fact, their feet mark the first fifteen sounds of the Ode to Joy. This is one of the important symbols – the painting was created at a specific time, on the threshold of the 21st century, when Poland – including Chorzów – became part of the European Union. The heroes of the painting were captured in a short, unique moment. They are free, they can decide which way they go. The presence of each of them is not accidental, and each step taken will dispel this moment, break the melody.

The non-functional frame of the blind window in the tenement house is supported by Atlas, which symbolizes metallurgy and mining, and therefore the branches of industry thanks to which Królewska Huta was founded and developed. They are a reminder of the origins, sources that shaped this city, its history, the way of life of its inhabitants, their imaginations and fantasies. Although smelters and mines are slowly disappearing from our landscape, the legacy left by the generations of people who work in them must not be forgotten.

The non-existent chimneys of the nearby „Kościuszko” Steelworks are reflected in the stone spheres above the windows. Today they stand up only in paintings, photos, postcards and in fragile human memory. Although in the picture they are something unreal, belonging to the sphere of dreams and memories, their hard shape and destiny relate the viewer directly to mundane matters, from this world: to work, money, metal processing, pollution. The steelworks is much more than that, it is also people, their lives and everyday life, and the lack of it is a question of what is after the steelworks. An attempt to save the metallurgical heritage is the Metallurgy Museum.

One of the most characteristic buildings in Chorzów is reflected in the corner window of the tenement house – the neo-Gothic post office, erected in 1891–1892 according to the design of Johann Schubert. The openwork helmet of the tower originally housed an overhead telecommunications system.

The windows of the tenement house reflect the Overpass built in the seventies of the twentieth century above the market square in Chorzów, intended to improve communication in the city. Meanwhile, the construction of the facility was criticized, indicating that it disintegrated the traditional city center and in practice resulted in the liquidation of the market square. The artist painted exactly the part of the Overpass that replaced the old stairs. Thus, two temporal orders coexist in the painting: what has gone away and what lasts, but may go away (the Overpass in the painting bends strongly and disappears in the glass reflections).

Królewska Huta (and later Chorzów) was a large, populous and dynamically developing city. Therefore, it is not surprising that there were many different shops, bookstores, service points and craft workshops here. Today’s Wolności Street has for years been a kind of trade center, for a long time it was also the market where the market was organized. The stairs painted by Piotr Naliwajko led to the market hall, and behind it was the municipal slaughterhouse. On the other hand, the porcelain shop visible in the painting is not only a trace of memory, but also a symbol of fragility.

Cleaning lady

The elderly woman is an anonymous resident of Chorzów, known from pre-war photographs. Regardless of the passing time and the dramas of history, changes in borders, she keeps order by caring for the space closest to her. She is a silent observer of changes taking place in the city – seemingly unnoticeable, but constantly present in its space.

Child – artist

The child is Piotr Naliwajko, who in his childhood used to visit a doctor here with his father, which is also confirmed by the boy’s outfit characteristic for the 1960s.

Piotr Naliwajko has been living in Chorzów since he was born in 1960. In the years 1979–1984 he studied at the Katowice Faculty of Graphics of the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow under the supervision of Maciej Bieniasz and Jerzy Duda-Gracz. He is a co-founder of the artistic group Tercet Bloated („Tercet Nadęty”), or Quite New Wild Normal Dadaists („Całkiem Nowi Dzicy Normalni Dadaiści”) – formerly the Group of Three („Grupa Trzech”). The artist’s work reveals the features of realistic painting. He most often uses warm, illuminated colors, freely referring to both traditional art motifs and its avant-garde trends.

Because it creates reality, presents its own vision of this place. The painting shows the stairs dominating in the composition, but also the Overpass reflecting the windows of the tenement house (erected after the stairs were demolished), the reflection of the post office visible in the windows is the artist’s creation, in fact the building is located in a different place. So we look at the stairs in Chorzów, both real and imaginary, leading to the mystery of the open space of heaven.

The artistic community in Chorzów has long traditions, dating back to the interwar period, and later continued by the Chorzów Group, active in the 1960s. It was out of the artists who created it that in 1998 the Association of Artists from Chorzów Plastic Artists was established at the MM Gallery.

We are located in the attic of the Municipal Cultural Center „Batory”, where Piotr Naliwajko has an atelier. It is here that the Drawing and Painting Studio has been operating since the 1980s, where you can develop your aesthetic sense, sensitivity and artistic skills.

The Teutons

The multiplied, fair-haired female figures are Germanans, symbolizing the double affiliation of Chorzów to Germany (from the moment the city was founded by Królewska Huta to 1922 and during World War II). The administrative presence of Germans in Chorzów (but also in Silesia) is a thing of the past, so women come down the stairs, giving the impression of leaving. Nevertheless, the German (and Prussian) heritage is present in the identity of Chorzów, and a wise memory of it can be life-giving.

Chorzów is a border town where different cultures meet. At times, these meetings caused tension and drama. A reflection of this may be the „monument war” that took place at the beginning of the 20th century on the main square near the stairs. It was there that in 1896 the German monument of Germania was unveiled.

During the Silesian Uprisings, the monument was destroyed, and in 1927 a monument to the Silesian Insurgent was unveiled here – a new memorial site, one of the first symbols of the change of statehood in the city. The sign is so legible that it was destroyed shortly after the German army entered Chorzów in 1939. After the war, a monument to the White Eagle was erected here, and later a fountain. Today, the history of the monuments is commemorated by a memorial plaque on the post office building.

Watching couple

The man and the woman, walking in opposite directions, face each other, they stand very close, almost touching each other, separated, however, by the stair railing. They met unexpectedly, suddenly, here and now. These two become a metaphor for all those who, over the years, have lived through the city’s labyrinth and will experience unexpected, surprising and often fateful meetings.

The girl in a white dress

The artist’s daughter, Olga, thoughtful and looking directly at the painter, was painted in a white dress. We can recognize her in many other works by Piotr Naliwajko, but also by Marzena Naliwajko – Pola Minster, who portrays her daughter from an early age.

Looking at Germania

This character is placed in the center – on the left side there are seven more unreal characters, on the right side there are seven closer realities. He turns his head towards what is fanciful, but with the rest of his body belongs more to the order of reality. Thanks to this, it tells about an attempt to balance between these two orders, neither of which is more important or better than the latter.
A man looking with nostalgia at the multiplied Germania symbolizes the Germans living in the city and those who contribute to it, and those who long for Germany and identify with the German past of this place. The gaze seems involuntary, not fully conscious.

Mother with children

A smiling woman with two children is a metaphor for those who leave their hometown for various reasons – the boy has an image of a locomotive and the words „London” on his clothes, which are an announcement of going abroad, but he looks back and his mother shows him something, something important something that he should remember, something he might miss and come back to someday. The older girl boldly takes a step towards the top of the stairs – she is heading towards the Overpass, the unknown light.

Photographer of pigeons

A young man with a mobile phone in his hand photographs one of the most symbolic animals for both the city and Silesia – pigeons. A man is curious about his surroundings, but at the same time – which is a sign of modern times – he is separated from it by technology. On the railing, three pigeons facing the light in the corner of the painting and one standing in the highest place, contrasted with the luminous void, look at the Spectators.

The windows of the tenement house reflect the Overpass built in the seventies of the twentieth century above the market square in Chorzów, intended to improve communication in the city. Meanwhile, the construction of the facility was criticized, indicating that it disintegrated the traditional city center and in practice resulted in the liquidation of the market square. The artist painted exactly the part of the Overpass that replaced the old stairs. Thus, two temporal orders coexist in the painting: what has gone away and what lasts, but may go away (the Overpass in the painting bends strongly and disappears in the glass reflections).

Pigeon breeding was a common activity for Silesians and it was associated with free time. Pigeon flights were organized (usually on Sundays) (they were released in the distant area and waited for their return, noting the time with special clocks). For miners, they are a symbol of liberation and lightness, which contrasts with what they experience in the mine – there is darkness there, and the bird flying under the sky is in the realm of light. They are immortalized in countless pictures and photographs.

Pigeons are depicted in numerous works of art, where they are given various symbolic meanings. So we have a dove that heralds peace, but also one that delivers news on the fronts of World War I, we have pigeons called „flying rats”, but also those that guide the souls of the dead or even symbols of the souls themselves. And finally, in Christian iconography, we have a dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit.

On January 28, 2006, around 5.15 pm, there was a construction disaster at the International Katowice Fair in Chorzów, where a nationwide pigeon exhibition took place that day. As a result, 65 people were killed and over 170 were injured. Together with the people, the pigeons died, which this time did not manage to fly away, bringing peace, freedom and hope …


A proud middle-aged man looks clearly at one of the characters in the painting – an elderly man carrying Hussar wings wrapped in newspapers. He watches him to the end, beyond the picture frame. This observational attitude suggests that he is intrigued, perhaps not only emotionally but also professionally involved. He may be a historian, chronicler of past events (which can be confirmed by the fact that the painter was posed here by a historian recognized in the city). He is the one who watches the past (head turned backwards), but ponders on ways to deal with it to make the future appear bright (body facing the top of the stairs, towards the light) – are you sure that wrapping in newspapers is sufficient protection, or hussar wings are real? Or is it just a theater prop?

A man who dreams of warm islands

The young man’s dark glasses reflect warm countries and happy islands. He dreams of being there (and possibly never coming back). He slips through the city without letting his eyes stop, and his black glasses would disturb him. He doesn’t get involved, walks past others as if they did not exist and did not have anything interesting to say. He lives his dreams of travel, uninterested in the here and now.


In the lower right corner of the painting, we see a man carrying hussar feathers wrapped in a newspaper. It symbolizes a pathetic, clichéd and „godly” historical narrative, filled with more or less artificial props, in which everything is black and white, full of wonderful and glorious victories or crying out for vengeance to heaven for betrayals and defeats. Of the characters presented, he is the first to leave the painting, almost unnoticed, perhaps aware of the inadequacy of his own attitude. If the feet of all the characters form the first bars of Ode to Joy, then the last character of the narrative symbolizes the half note.

Story 3. Ruch Chorzów

VIP fans

Welcome! My name is Teofil Paczyński. I was a textile merchant and innkeeper from Śrem, who settled in 1905 in Bismarckhütte. On April 20, 1920, on my initiative, the Ruch football club was established there. I was its president twice and contributed to the development of the club’s boxing and handball sections.

Good day. Let me introduce myself: Karol Grzesik, Marshal of the Silesian Seym of the 4th term, mayor of Wielkie Hajduki and mayor of Chorzów. I participated in the Silesian Uprisings, including the commander of the Operational Group „East” and initiated the construction of a mechanical bakery „Manna” in Wielkie Hajduki. I was a Member of Parliament twice in Warsaw.

Ah hello hello! How can I help you? Maybe sew a fashionable dress or a stylish tailcoat according to patterns straight from Paris? After all, I am the most eminent tailor in Chorzów! In addition, I am happy to act as a publisher of trade magazines. Thanks to my work, you can read about the news from the world of fashion in magazines such as „Odzież”, „Nowa Odzież” or „Półrocznik Krawiecki”.

Sing, sing, sing, sing! Wait what? Ah, sorry! I like to come back to the concerts that I just gave. Zygmunt Wichary, at your service. My Jazz Group triumphed in the years 1955–1966 not only in Poland, but also in Finland, the USSR and Hungary.

Good morning! My name is Konrad Strzelczyk „Sfinks”. I come from Dolne Hajduki. During my turbulent life, I took part in the First World War, the Third Silesian Uprising and the September campaign. I organized the resistance movement in Western European countries, creating the IMOS „Sphinx” organization. I was awarded the rank of Brigadier General, and for my merits a monument was erected in the Belgian city of Ypres-Zillebeke.

Good day. Wojciech Kilar, nice to meet you. On a daily basis, I composed classical and film music. You can hear her in such works as The Cruise or Dracula. For my work, I received, among others The Order of the White Eagle and the Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta. I really liked football and my favorite club was, of course, Ruch Chorzów!

Kazimierz Kutz, nice to meet you. I was a film, television and theater director. I am responsible for the famous Silesian triptych: Salt of the Black Earth, Pearl in a Crown and Beads of One Rosary, which tell about the difficult fate of Silesians. I have received the Golden Lions twice at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia. I wrote the novel The Fifth Side of the World. I was also a deputy and senator of the Republic of Poland.

Good day. Jan Miodek. I am a member of the Linguistics Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences and a member of the Polish Language Council at the Presidium of the Polish Academy of Sciences. I created TV programs popularizing the Polish language: Ojczyzna polszczyzna or Słownik polsko@polski. Privately, I am a great supporter of Ruch Chorzów.


Ah! What a game it was! On May 3, 1934, we visited Podgórze Kraków. It was the 3rd matchday of the league. We won 13: 0! I scored 4 goals and 5 was added by „Ezi” Wilimowski. Two were won by Edmund Giemsa and one by Gerard Wodarz. Kazimierz Dzierża also scored a own goal. To this day, it is our greatest victory!

Yes, I – Gerard Cieślik – remain the top scorer of Ruch Chorzów. I scored 167 goals in 237 appearances. Neither Teodor Peterek nor Ernest Wilimowski scored as many goals for the Blues as I did, and neither of them played for so long – almost a quarter of a century – in one club!

It was at the start of the 1974/1975 season. Our series of victories began on September 21, when we defeated at Cicha Stal Mielec 2: 1. From then on, we won continuously until December 1, inclusive. A total of 10 meetings! We scored 26 goals in them, conceding only four! Beautiful times…

Good day. I am Janina Omańkowska, teacher and journalist. I fought against Germanization in Greater Poland and Upper Silesia. I got involved in insurgent activities, including organizing the action of delivering food for the insurgents. I was the senior marshal of the 1st term of the Silesian Seym and I was the first woman in the world to chair the debates of the parliament.

Nice to meet you. Maria Marcinkowa from Chorzów, who was renamed to Chorzów Stary. I was involved in national, cultural and charity activities. I actively participated in the work of the Sokół Gymnastic Society and the Society of Polish Women. In 1919, I was the first woman to be appointed to the city council in Królewska Huta.


Michal Vičan (1925–1989) – Czechoslovakian coach, and previously a very good player and representative of his country. He led Ruch Chorzów in the period 1971–1976, winning the Polish Championship twice with the Blues (1973/74 and 1974/75) and appearing in European cups (including in the quarter-final two-legged match against the French AS Saint-Étienne in the European Club Champions Cup in 1975).

Ryszard Wyrobek (1927–1998) – an excellent goalkeeper, who defended the club colors continuously in the years 1945–1962. The native haiduczan won three Polish Championships with Ruch (1952–1953 and 1960) and once the Polish Cup (1950/1951). He also made two appearances for the national team, both times against the GDR team.

Jerzy Wyrobek (1949–2013) – son of Ryszard, Ruch’s goalkeeper. In the club he played as a defender in the years 1969–1982. With the club, he won the Polish Championship three times (1973/1974, 1974/1975 and 1978/1979) and once the Polish Cup (1973/1974). He won the Golden Shoes individually in the plebiscite of Przegląd Sportowy (1970/1971). He also led the Blue team as a trainer (1987–1990, 1995–1996, 2003–2005).

Antoni Nieroba (1939–2021) – the record holder in terms of matches played in the Blue team. In the years 1956–1972 he played as a defender in 347 matches of the senior team of Ruch at the highest level of the tournament. He won the Polish Championship twice with the club (in 1960 and in the 1967–1968 season) and participated in the Intertoto and UEFA Cup competitions. He played for the national team for 8 years, making 20 appearances.

Edmund Giemsa (1912–1994) – a player of the Ruch Wielkie Hajduki (Chorzów) in the years 1932–1939. Co-founder of the club’s greatest successes, with which he won the national championship five times (in the 1933–1936 and 1938 seasons), scoring a total of 34 goals. In the years 1933–1939 he represented the national colors in 9 meetings. During World War II, he managed to get to France, and later served as a soldier in the 2nd Polish Corps during the campaign in Italy.

Zygmunt Maszczyk (1945–) – represented the Ruch’s colors in 1963–1976. During this time, he contributed to the club’s successes, which include: the three-time Polish Championship (1967/1968, 1973/1974 and 1974/1975), the Polish Cup (1973/1974) and participation in the quarter-finals: the UEFA Cup (1973/1974) and the Cup National Champions (1974/1975). With the Polish national team, he won gold at the 1972 Olympics and the silver medal at the 1974 World Championships.

Bronisław Bula (1946–) – midfielder of the Ruch team in 1958–1978. During his football career, he celebrated with the club winning the Polish Championship three times (1967/1968, 1973/1974 and 1974/1975) and winning the Polish Cup (1973/1974). In 318 games he scored 81 goals for Blue. He also played 26 games for the Polish national team, for which he scored 5 goals.

Gerard Wodarz (1913–1982) – one of the best left-winger in the history of the Blue and the Polish national team. In the interwar period, he won the championship five times with Ruch (1933–1936 and 1938), and with the national team he reached fourth place at the Olympic Games in Berlin (1936). He was also ranked among the best players of the World Cup in France (1938) according to the German magazine Die Fußball Woche. As a coach, he led Ruch in 1949 and 1961.

Eugeniusz Faber (1939–) – in the years 1959–1971 he played 284 matches for Ruch Chorzów and scored 104 goals, contributing significantly to the successes: twice the Polish Championship (seasons 1960 and 1967/1968) and winning his group in the Intertoto Cup (1967 ), in which he scored 6 out of 18 goals for Blue in 6 matches played in the group stage. For the national team, he scored 11 goals in 36 games (1959–1969).

Gerard Cieślik (1927–2013) – the club’s icon and one of the best Polish footballers in history. He defended the colors of Chorzów for 24 years (1945–1969). He celebrated with Ruch winning the Polish Championship in the 1952 and 1953 seasons and the Polish Cup (for which the championship was also awarded exceptionally) in the 1950/1951 season. In the national team, he played 45 games (1947–1958), scoring 27 goals. In 1961, he was both a player and a coach of the Ruch in 10 league games. Blue won 6 of them. He was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.

Ernest Wilimowski (1916–1997) – the most effective footballer in the history of Ruch in terms of the average number of goals scored in a match (116 goals in 85 games, average 1.36 goals per match). An outstanding striker, who twice won the crown of the king of top-class shooters in Poland (1934, 1936 – together with Teodor Peterek, 1939 – leader, but the season has not been finished due to the outbreak of the war). He won four Polish Championships with Blue (1934–1936 and in 1938). In 1934–1939 he played 22 matches for the national team, scoring 21 goals, including 4 against Brazil during the World Cup in France (1938). Polish record holder in terms of the number of goals scored in a single league match (10). In official statistics, he is ranked 15th in the world in the ranking of the best goalscorers of all time in football.

Teodor Peterek (1910–1969) – the second best striker of the Blues. In the years 1928–1939 and 1948–1949 he played 192 matches for Ruch, scoring 157 goals (approximately zero and eighty-two hundredths goal per match). With the club, he won the Polish Championship five times (1933–1936, 1938) and twice the ranking of the king of shooters (1936 – together with Ernest Wilimowski, 1938). In the Polish national team in 1931–1938 he played 9 games, scoring 6 goals.

Gallery of football pitches in Chorzów

Market square in Wielkie Hajduki – Ruch’s first „pitch” was located between today’s Farna and Wrocławska streets. Playing matches required clearing the area of traders who use it on a daily basis, and the players changed in a nearby restaurant. Uneven ground caused puddles to form after heavy rainfall, which made the game more difficult. Moreover, the area was not fenced off and the club was not allowed to sell tickets. Only voluntary donations were collected during the meetings. The matches were played on Sundays, as it was the only day off of the week at that time. This caused some complications, as some of the women going to mass shortened their way across the square. The ongoing competition was not a sufficient argument for them to change the route. Nevertheless, matches on the market square were played until 1923.

Football pitch on Kalina (the so-called Hasiok) – In 1923, the Bismarckhütter Ballspiel Club merged with Ruch Wielki Hajduki, which took over the pitch at Kaliny Street. on specially imported heavy carts (so-called rolwags).
The surface of the pitch was covered with gravel and ash from a nearby steelworks (hence the common name – Hasiok), which floated in clouds during the matches played. During breaks, the fire brigade poured water on the pitch to reduce dust rising. In 1930, it was enlarged to meet the requirements for playing in the 1st league.

On December 8, 1934, Ruch met Bayern Munich at Hasiok, which he repaid for a 1: 2 defeat 3 weeks later: on December 30, 1934, he won 0: 1 in Munich. Teodor Peterek scored goals for the Blues in both matches.

Matches were played on Kalina until 1935. Eventually, the facility was liquidated in the 1950s.

Stadion Ruchu – After the Blue team won the first title of the Polish Champion in 1933, the authorities of Wielkie Hajduki decided to build a new stadium. The facility was located at Królewskohucka Street (currently 6 Cicha Street), and was opened on September 29, 1935. The installation of the covered stand, designed by engineer Dic from Królewska Huta, was completed in 1937. At that time, the stadium was the most modern in Poland, and the stand itself – the most modern in the world.

One of the icons of the stadium is the Omega clock. Ruch received it in 1939 as a result of winning the plebiscite for the most popular Polish club. Major reconstructions at the stadium took place in 1961 (general renovation and increasing the capacity of the stands), 1968 (installation of artificial lighting), 1993 (first seats on the main stand) and in 2009 (heated turf). The record attendance is 55,000 and it was scored on August 21, 1957 during the derby match with Polonia Bytom.

AKS Stadium – It was built as a municipal stadium on Góra Redena (Wyzwolenia) in Królewska Huta in the years 1926–1927. It was a multi-functional facility. It had a football pitch with a running track and a stand, a small side pitch, a swimming pool, two swimming pools with a springboard, tennis courts, a cricket pitch, a clubhouse and a cloakroom. From 1936 its host was AKS Królewska Huta (Chorzów), which in the season of 1937 won the Polish vice-championship in football. The football field was also used by the players of Ruch until the mid-1930s. In 2004–2005, a shopping center was built on the site of the sports complex. Currently, however, there is also a street basketball court and a paddle court, and in winter there is an ice rink.

Silesian Stadium – It is the largest stadium in the Silesian Voivodeship and the second – after the National Stadium in Warsaw – such facility in Poland. It is nicknamed the Witches’ Cauldron. It was built in the years 1951–1956. It is the first stadium in the country to have artificial lighting installed (1959). The attendance record was set on September 18, 1963 during the match between Górnik Zabrze and Austria Wien, which was watched by 120,000 spectators. The stadium is multifunctional and hosts football matches, athletics, speedway competitions and concerts. Several times it hosted the teams of Ruch and Górnik Zabrze during the Great Derby of Silesia (the last time in the 2008/2009 season). Famous European teams also performed at the stadium, for example, on September 14, 2000, Inter Milan played there in the UEFA Cup, against whom faced Ruch Chorzów. The Polish national team also played many important matches, including against the USSR (2: 1 in 1957), England (2: 0 in 1973) and Portugal (2: 1 in 2006).

Stadium events (Ruch Stadium – Football section)

The match for the opening of the stadium – on September 25, 1935, the match against Warta Poznań took place. It was unique as it added splendor to the opening of the Blue’s new Stadium. About 20,000 fans sat at the stadium, and the official opening was made by Michał Grażyński, voivode. The first goal scorer at the stadium at the then ul. Królewskohucka (today ul. Cicha) was a guest player – Fryderyk Scherfke. The game ended in a 1-1 draw after Edmund Malcherk scored a point.

Unofficial victory in the Intertoto Cup – August 5, 1967. Blue faced the Austrian First Vienna. Thanks to the goals of Edward Herman and Herbert Pająk, Ruch won two to zero. As the only one in this edition of the Intertoto Cup, the team from Chorzów won all matches (goal balance 16-6), but the elimination of the knockout stage meant that no official winner was selected.

European Cup quarter-final – March 5, 1975. Ruch met with AS Saint-Étienne in the quarter-final of the European Cup. It was one of the most important cup matches in the history of the Blue team. Thanks to the great attitude of the players, the team from Chorzów was leading 3: 0 (goal scorers: Zygmunt Maszczyk, Jan Benigier and Bronisław Bula), but in the end they only won 3-2. The semi-final was within reach, but the failure in the rematch shattered the ambitious plans of the players from Cicha.

The last championship title – June 21, 1989. The blue team took up Górnik Wałbrzych in the last league round. Thanks to Mieczysław Szewczyk’s goal and Krzysztof Warzecha’s hat trick, Ruch won four to one and secured the 14th title. It was an exceptional title, because the Blues were a newcomer at the time. To this day, it is also the last championship won by the inhabitants of Chorzów.

Stadium events (Ruch Stadium – Section for other events)

International motorcycle „Grand Prix of Silesia” – on August 2, 1936 in Wielkie Hajduki, at the Ruch stadium, a competition for the motorcycle Grand Prix of Silesia took place. Several competitions were held (including the Australian race and the race of nations) with the participation of representatives of, among others, Germany, Austria and Denmark. The winner was Alfred Rumrich from Germany, and the second was a Pole – Leopold Baron. The 5th place was taken by the most exotic participant: Geni Tella from Abyssinia (currently Ethiopia).

Finish Line of Tour de Pologne 1953 – On September 24, 1953, the 10th stage of the 10th Tour de Pologne – the most important cycling race in Poland – was held from Opole to Chorzów. The finish was at the Blue’s Stadium at Cicha Street. The stage ended with the victory of Henryk Hadasik, who represented the club colors of the Ruch (then known as Unia). The player from Chorzów won a total of four stages, but he was only eighth in the general classification.

Mass for fans – After the death of Pope John Paul II, at the initiative of the supporters of the Blue’s Club, fans of the normally hostile Silesian football clubs decided to unite and honor the memory of the Holy Father. About 30,000 fans gathered for a mass on April 6, 2005 at the Ruch stadium in Chorzów. The mass was celebrated by Archbishop Damian Zimoń, and fans of many Silesian clubs were among those present at the ceremony.

The last farewell of Gerard Cieślik – The death of the Blue legend was a serious blow for many football fans. On November 7, 2013, a farewell ceremony was held at the Ruch stadium. The prayer was said by Fr. Mirosław Friedrich, and the participants of the farewell could write in the book of condolence. Gerard Cieślik was buried a day later in the cemetery in Chorzów Batory, where he came from.

Stadium events (Silesian stadium – Football section)

Great Derby of Silesia – Matches played by the two most titled Silesian clubs, that is Ruch and Górnik Zabrze, always invoke strong emotions. Out of 120 matches played so far, the Silesian Stadium has been the arena of their struggle seven times (the Blue team won four). The attendance record was set on June 23, 1968, when the clash between Ruch and Górnik was watched by 80,000 spectators, and the inhabitants of Chorzów won 3: 1 after goals of Eugeniusz Faber (twice) and Józef Gomoluch and the honorary goal of Zygryd Szołtysik.

The match Poland: USSR – on October 20, 1957, during the elimination to the World Cup in Sweden, the Polish national team took up the then Olympic champions at the Silesian Stadium – the representation of the USSR. In the presence of 100,000 fans, Poles won unexpectedly 2: 1. Gerard Cieślik scored twice for the Polish team (in 43rd and 50th minute), and for the USSR, Walerij Iwanow (in 79th minute). The goals of the Russians were guarded by one of the best goalkeepers in history – Lew Jaszyn, known as the „Black Spider”, who after the match called Cieślik „the Devil”.

The match Poland: England – The match took place on June 6, 1973 during the qualification for the World Cup in Germany. It was the twentieth game of the national team at the Silesian Stadium. The Poles defeated the former world champions 2-0 after goals from Robert Gadocha (in 7th minute) and Włodzimierz Lubański (in 47th minute).Albion’s sons finished the game with ten players after Alan Ball’s red card (in 79th minute). The visiting team was then played by, inter alia, Bobby Moore and Peter Shilton. Due to the shape of the stadium, the English press called it „The Witches’ Cauldron”.

The game Silesia: Tanzania – The duel between the national teams of Silesia and Tanzania is one of the most exotic matches played at the Silesian Stadium. It took place on July 20, 1974. The friendly meeting during the July Carnival was watched by over 10,000 fans. The national team of Silesia won 7-2, and the Ruch footballer Joachim Marx showed his hat-trick in this match. The coach of the team was the ex-player of the Blue team – Karol Jacek. This match was the last meeting of the Silesians with a foreign rival.

Stadium events (Silesian Stadium – Sports section)

Athletics Triple Match – On July 12–13, 1969, the Silesian Stadium hosted athletes from Poland, East Germany and the USSR. The competition consisted of a dozen or so competitions, which were played in smaller two-legged games: Poland – East Germany (91–121 points), Poland – USSR (89–122) and East Germany – USSR (109–102). The competition was at a very high level, as evidenced by the records set at the time: the world record in the shot put for women (Nadezhda Czyżowa from the USSR – 20.09 m) and Poland in the long jump (Andrzej Stalmach – 8.21 m).

Final of the Individual Speedway World Championships – on September 2, 1973, the best speedway riders in the world competed in the Witches’ Cauldron, representing: Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Poland, Sweden, Great Britain and the USSR. New Zealand’s Ivan Mauger (five-time world champion at the time) was the favorite, but after 20 runs he had 13 points – the same as Jerzy Szczakiel. In the additional run, Mauger fell on the second bend, and the Pole became an individual world champion for the first time. Zenon Plech was the third at that time.

Monster Jam competition – On May 30, 2009, the European route of the extremely effective Monster Jam competition was inaugurated at the Silesian Stadium. It was the first event of this type in the history of Central and Eastern Europe. In the parallel race, the Polish Verva monster truck unexpectedly won, and the legendary Grave Digger triumphed in the freestyle competition. The event was repeated in 2018. The race was then won by Monster Energy, riding on two wheels – Megalodon, and freestyle – EarthShaker.

75th Tour de Pologne – The start of the third stage of the jubilee race „around Poland” took place on August 6, 2018 from the Silesian Stadium. The section led from Chorzów to Zabrze through a significant part of the Silesian Voivodeship (bonuses on the route, among others in Rybnik – volatile bonus and mountain bonus, and Knurów – Volatile bonus). The stage was won by Colombian Álvaro Hodeg, who became the leader of the race, and Michał Paluta, who won the mountain bonus and was the leader in this classification, presented himself well.

Stadium events (Silesian Stadium – concert section)

Monsters of Rock – On August 13, 1991, the first and only concert in Poland was held as part of the Monsters of Rock festival. Queensrÿche and the legendary bands ACDC and Metallica played in front of the audience of tens of thousands of people at the Silesian Stadium. There was also a suitable setting, including an artillery salvo from 21 cannons during the song For Those About to Rock (We Salute You) ACDC.

The Rolling Stones – Exactly 7 years and 1 day after Monsters of Rock – August 14, 1998 – another exceptional concert took place in The Witches’ Cauldron: The Rolling Stones played in Poland for the first time since 1967! Chorzów was then on a European tour promoting the album Bridges To Babylon. The band played 21 songs, including Satisfaction or one of the latest compositions at that time – Flip The Switch, which was listened to by nearly 45,000 fans.

Metallica – On May 31, 2004, Metallica gave their second concert in Chorzów. The band promoted the album Saint Anger. At that time, 18 pieces were performed, including Battery and Enter Sandman and – for the first time in Poland – Blackened. The bands Vader and Slipknot performed as a support. 50,000 fans got carried away by the madness on the stage, although some Orthodox Metallica fans did not like the show given by Slipknot.

U2 – Musicians from U2 visited the album of The Witches’ Cauldron twice: on July 5, 2005, the concert as part of the Vertigo Tour gathered almost 65,000 fans. It was then that the great white and red flag created by the audience during the performance of the song New Year’s Day made history. Over 75,000 people came to Chorzów for the second performance – on August 6, 2009 during the „U2 360º” tour. It was the last concert before the modernization of the stadium, and Bono was to threaten that without the concert in Chorzów U2 would not perform in Poland at all.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Chorzów concert, which took place on July 3, 2007, was a great event for fans of Peppers all over Poland, because it was their first concert on the Vistula River. So it is not surprising that the Silesian Stadium was filled to the brim (both the slab and the stands). The musicians played, among others well-known hits (for example Californication), less known compositions (for example Emit Remmus) and a few tracks from the latest Stadium Arcadium album (including Snow (Hey Oh)).

Guns N 'Roses – The band performed on July 9, 2018 during the „Not in this lifetime Tour”. Over 30 songs were played during the concert. In total, the musicians spent 3 and a half hours on stage, thus setting a record tour. The performance went down in history as the first one performed at the Silesian Stadium after its thorough reconstruction.