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Katowice (German Kattowitz, Czech Katovice) is an important city of the historical region of Upper Silesia in southern Poland on Klodnica and Rawa rivers. It is the capital of the administrative Silesian Region (Wojewodztwo slaskie) with about 354,000 inhabitants (1999).
10th-14th century within the Polish kingdom, then under the Czech rule and since 1742 until 1922 under Prussian and German rule. In 19th and 20th centuries the city growth and prosperity depended on coal mining and steel industries. But recently due to economical reforms there is a shift to other sectors of economy. Heavy industry inflicted severe damages to the natural environment but during the last decades significant progress has been done. During 1953-1956 named Stalinogród what was a kind of homage to the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin by the totalitarian, communist authorities.

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