Bielsko-Biała, Poland

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Hotels of Bielsko-Biała

A hotel in Bielsko-Biała is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Bielsko-Biała hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Bielsko-Biała are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Bielsko-Biała hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Bielsko-Biała hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Bielsko-Biała have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Bielsko-Biała
An upscale full service hotel facility in Bielsko-Biała that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Bielsko-Biała hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Bielsko-Biała
Full service Bielsko-Biała hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Bielsko-Biała
Boutique hotels of Bielsko-Biała are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Bielsko-Biała boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Bielsko-Biała may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Bielsko-Biała
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Bielsko-Biała travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Bielsko-Biała focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Bielsko-Biała
Small to medium-sized Bielsko-Biała hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Bielsko-Biała traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Bielsko-Biała hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Bielsko-Biała
A bed and breakfast in Bielsko-Biała is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Bielsko-Biała bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Bielsko-Biała B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Bielsko-Biała
Bielsko-Biała hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Bielsko-Biała hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Bielsko-Biała
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Bielsko-Biała hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Bielsko-Biała lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Bielsko-Biała
Bielsko-Biała timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Bielsko-Biała often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Bielsko-Biała on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Bielsko-Biała
A Bielsko-Biała motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Bielsko-Biała for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Bielsko-Biała motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation in Bielsko-Biała

Main city sight
Main city sight
Flag of Bielsko-Biała
Coat of arms of Bielsko-Biała
Coat of arms
Bielsko-Biała is located in Poland
Coordinates:  / 49.82250; 19.04444
Country Poland
Voivodeship Silesian
County city county
Town rights 1312 Bielsko
1723 Biała
• Mayor Jacek Krywult
• City 124.51 km (48.07 sq mi)
Highest elevation 1,117 m (3,665 ft)
Lowest elevation 262 m (860 ft)
Population (2013)
• City 173,699
• Density 1,400/km (3,600/sq mi)
• Urban 325,000
• Metro 5,294,000
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 43-300 to 43-382
Area code(s) (+48) 033
Car plates SB

Bielsko-Biała [ˈbʲɛlskɔ ˈbʲawa] (Czech: Bílsko-Bělá; German: Bielitz-Biala) is a city in Southern Poland with the population of approx. 174,000 (December 2013). The city is a centre of the approx. 325,000 large Bielsko Urban Agglomeration and is a major industrial (particularly automotive), transport and touristic hub. Neighbouring the Beskid Mountains to the south, Bielsko-Biała is composed of two former cities on opposite banks of the Biała River, Silesian Bielsko and Lesser Poland's Biała, merged in 1951.

Bielsko-Biała: History

Main article: History of Bielsko-Biała

Both city names, Bielsko and Biała refer to the Biała River, with etymology stemming from either biel or biała, which means "white" in Polish.

Bielsko-Biała: Bielsko

The remnants of a fortified settlement in what is now the Stare Bielsko (Old Bielsko) district of the city were discovered between 1933 and 1938 by a Polish archaeological team. The settlement was dated to the 12th - 14th centuries. Its dwellers manufactured iron from ore and specialized in smithery. The current centre of the town was probably developed as early as the first half of the 13th century. At that time a castle (which still survives today) was built on a hill.

In the second half of the 13th century, the Piast dukes of Opole invited German settlers to colonize the Silesian Foothills. As the dukes then also ruled over the Lesser Polish lands east of the Biała River, settlements arose on both banks like Bielitz (now Stare Bielsko), Nickelsdorf (Mikuszowice Śląskie), Kamitz (Kamienica), Batzdorf (Komorowice Śląskie) and Kurzwald in the west as well as Kunzendorf (Lipnik), Alzen (Hałcnów) and Wilmesau (Wilamowice) in the east. Nearby settlements in the mountains were Lobnitz (Wapienica) and Bistrai (Bystra).

After the partition of the Duchy of Oppeln in 1281, Bielsko passed to the Dukes of Cieszyn (Teschen). The town was first documented in 1312 when Duke Mieszko I of Cieszyn granted a town charter. The Biała again became a border river, when in 1315 the eastern Duchy of Oświęcim split off from Cieszyn as a separate under Mieszko's son Władysław. After the Dukes of Cieszyn had become vassals of the Bohemian kings in 1327 and the Duchy of Oświęcim was sold to the Polish Crown in 1457, the Biała River for centuries marked the border between the Bohemian crown land of Silesia within the Holy Roman Empire and the Lesser Polish region of the Kingdom of Poland and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

With Bohemia and the Upper Silesian Duchy of Cieszyn, Bielsko in 1526 was inherited by the Austrian House of Habsburg and incorporated into the Habsburg Monarchy. From 1560 Bielsko was held by Frederick Casimir of Cieszyn, son of Duke Wenceslaus III Adam, who due to the enormous debts his son left upon his death in 1571, had to sell it to the Promnitz noble family at Pless. With the consent of Emperor Maximilian II, the Promnitz dynasty and their Schaffgotsch successors ruled the Duchy of Bielsko as a Bohemian state country; acquired by the Austrian chancellor Count Friedrich Wilhelm von Haugwitz in 1752, the ducal status was finally confirmed by Empress Maria Theresa in 1754.

After the Prussian king Frederick the Great had invaded Silesia, Bielsko remained with the Habsburg Monarchy as part of Austrian Silesia according to the 1742 Treaty of Breslau.

In late 1849 Bielsko became a seat of political district. In 1870 it became a statutory city.

Bielsko-Biała: Biała

The opposite bank of the Biała River, again Polish since 1475, had been sparsely settled since the mid-16th century. A locality was first mentioned in a 1564 deed, it received the name Biała in 1584, and belonged at that time to Kraków Voivodeship. Its population increased during the Counter-Reformation in the Habsburg lands, when many Protestant artisans from Bielsko (which did not belong to Poland) moved across the river. Though already named a town in the 17th century, Biała officially was granted city rights by the Polish king Augustus II the Strong in 1723.

Austrian KK stamp first 1850 issue, cancelled BIALA

In the course of the First Partition of Poland in 1772, Biała was annexed by the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy and incorporated into the crownland of Galicia. The Protestant citizens received the right to establish parishes according to the 1781 Patent of Toleration by Emperor Joseph II. BIALA was head of the district with the same name, one of the 78 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in the Galicia crownland.

Bielsko-Biała: Modern times

With the dissolution of Austria–Hungary in 1918 according to the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, both cities became part of the reconstituted Polish state. The ethnic German citizens formed an aggressively anti-Polish, rabidly racist and anti-Jewish Jungdeutsche Partei sponsored financially by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Third Reich and trained in propaganda, sabotage and espionage activities against the Polish state. Its members smuggled military weapons, and waged a campaign of intimidating other members of the community to leave for Nazi Germany, with tangible incentives. A considerable number of young ethnic Germans joined the rank-and-file of the Party during the mid-1930s as a result of the Nazi indoctrination and aggressive recruitment. During World War II the city was annexed by Nazi Germany. Many of its Jewish population was sent aboard Holocaust trains to nearby Auschwitz extermination camp never to return. After the defeat of Nazism in 1945, the remaining German population fled westward or were expelled by the Soviet-installed communist government.

Two well-known Holocaust survivors from Bielsko-Biała are Roman Frister and Gerda Weissmann Klein. Both have written an autobiography about their experiences during World War II.

The combined city of Bielsko-Biała was created administratively on 1 January 1951 when the two cities of Bielsko, and Biała (known until 1951 as Biała Krakowska), were unified.

Bielsko-Biała: Geography

The city is situated on the border of historic Upper Silesia and Lesser Poland at the eastern rim of the smaller Cieszyn Silesia region, about 60 km (37 mi) south of Katowice. Administrated within Silesian Voivodeship since 1999, the city was previously capital of Bielsko-Biała Voivodeship (1975–1998).

Bielsko-Biała is one of the most important cities of the Beskidy Euroregion and the main city of the Bielsko Industrial Region (Polish: Bielski Okręg Przemysłowy), part of the Upper Silesian metropolitan area.

Bielsko-Biała: Climate

Climate data for Bielsko-Biała
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 12
Average high °C (°F) 0
Daily mean °C (°F) −1
Average low °C (°F) −3
Record low °C (°F) −23
Average precipitation mm (inches) 50
Average precipitation days 16 15 15 13 13 14 11 12 11 11 15 17 163
Source: Weatherbase

Bielsko-Biała: Economy and Industry

Locally designed and produced Margański & Mysłowski EM-11 Orka business long range small aircraft

Bielsko-Biała is one of the most business friendly medium size cities in Poland. In the 2014 ranking of the 'Most Attractive Cities for Business' published yearly by Forbes the city was ranked 3rd in the category of cities with 150,000–300,000 inhabitants. About 5% of people are unemployed (compared 9,6% for Poland). Bielsko-Biała is famous for its textile, machine-building, and especially automotive industry. Four areas in the city belong to the Katowice Special Economic Zone. The city region is a home for several manufacturers of high-performance gliders and aircraft.

Bielsko-Biała: Transport

Interior of the main railway station (of several) in Bielsko-Biała, 28 April 2006

Bielsko-Biała: Road transport

Bielsko-Biała is located within a short distance to Czech and Slovakian borders on the crossroads of two Expressways (S1 and S69) connecting Poland with Southern Europe:

  • Expressway S1 connects the city with Czech Republic via the border town Cieszyn.
  • Expressway S69 connects the city with Slovakia via the border town Zwardoń. The road is currently under construction (November 2014).

Bielsko-Biała is connected with the rest of Poland by the dual carriageway DK1 road running to Tychy where it intersects the Expressway S1 and further to Katowice where it intersects the Motorway A4.

It is planned to extend S1 north along the existing dual carriageway DK1 from Bielsko-Biała to Tychy and Katowice, thus building an expressway connection of the city with the national motorway network of Poland. National Road DK52 connects Bielsko-Biała with Kraków in the east. The most important interchange in the area is the cloverleaf north of Bielsko-Biała where S1, DK1 and DK52 meet.

Bielsko-Biała: Rail transport

Bielsko-Biała is connected by direct train services with the following large Polish cities (November 2014): Bydgoszcz, Gdańsk, Gdynia, Katowice, Kraków (Cracow), Łódź, Olsztyn, Opole, Szczecin, Toruń, Warszawa (Warsaw), Wrocław.

Bielsko-Biała: Airports

There are 3 international airports within the 90 km distance from Bielsko-Biała, all serving connections with major European cities: Katowice International Airport, Kraków John Paul II International Airport, Ostrava Leoš Janáček Airport.

Bielsko-Biała: Sights

Bielsko-Biała is a beautiful city, as are the surrounding landscapes. It is abundant in stunning Art Nouveau architecture and is often referred to as Little Vienna. It is also a vibrant student city with enjoyable nightlife, rich in both historical and natural sights, some of them listed below:

  • The Bielsko-Biała Museum, housed in the castle of the Dukes of Cieszyn from 15th century, later Castle of the Sułkowski princes
  • Bielsko-Biała City Hall built in 1897
  • Bielsko-Biała Central Railway Station built in 1888
  • BWA Bielsko-Biała Gallery of Art
  • Polish Theatre built in 1890
  • St. Nicholas Cathedral built in 1447 and rebuilt in 1909 - 1910
  • Jewish Cemetery founded in 1849
  • The House of Frogs, an Art Nouveau mansion
  • Weaver's House Museum, Dom Tkacza, reconstructed workshop of a draper
  • Szyndzielnia mountain located within the city borders and the Szyndzielnia Cable Car
  • Dębowiec ski slope

Apart from being an attractive destination itself the city is a convenient base for hiking in Silesian Beskids and Żywiec Beskids as well as for skiing in one of the most popular Polish ski resorts Szczyrk (located 18 km (11 mi) from the city centre) and in a couple of smaller nearby ski resorts.

Town Hall
Old city in Bielsko-Biala
Street in the city
Bielsko-Biała - the main post office seen from the castle

Bielsko-Biała: Boroughs

  • Aleksandrowice
  • Biała
  • Hałcnów
  • Kamienica
  • Komorowice Śląskie i Komorowice Krakowskie
  • Leszczyny
  • Lipnik
  • Mikuszowice Śląskie and Mikuszowice Krakowskie
  • Olszówka Dolna and Olszówka Górna
  • Stare Bielsko
  • Straconka
  • Wapienica

Bielsko-Biała: Education

  • University of Bielsko-Biała
  • The Academy of Computer Science and Management
  • Bielska Wyższa Szkoła im. Józefa Tyszkiewicza w Bielsku-Białej
  • The School of Administration in Bielsko-Biała
  • Bielsko-Biała School of Finances and Law
  • Wyższa Szkoła Ekonomiczno-Humanistyczna
  • Teacher Training College of Bielsko-Biała

Bielsko-Biała: Politics

Bielsko-Biała: Bielsko-Biała constituency

Senators from Bielsko-Biała constituency:

  • Sławomir Kowalski (Civic Platform)
  • Rafał Muchacki (Civic Platform)

Members of Sejm from Bielsko-Biała constituency:

  • Jacek Falfus (Law and Justice)
  • Tadeusz Kopeć (Civic Platform)
  • Bożena Kotkowska (Democratic Left Alliance)
  • Kazimierz Matuszny (Law and Justice)
  • Mirosława Nykiel (Civic Platform)
  • Stanisław Pięta (Law and Justice)
  • Stanisław Szwed (Law and Justice)
  • Tomasz Tomczykiewicz (Civic Platform)
  • Adam Wykręt (Civic Platform)

Bielsko-Biała: Municipal politics

  • Mayor - Jacek Krywult
  • Deputy Mayor - Waldemar Jędrusiński
  • Deputy Mayor - Lubomir Zawierucha
  • Deputy Mayor - Przemysław Kamiński

Bielsko-Biała: Sports

Locally designed and produced S-1 Swift glider, a prominent player in the world's aerobatic gliders' market

Bielsko-Biała: Major teams and athletes

  • TS Podbeskidzie Bielsko-Biała - men's football team playing in Polish I liga.
  • Rekord Bielsko-Biała - men's futsal team playing in Polish Futsal Ekstraklasa, Polish Champions 2013/2014, Polish Cup and Supercup winners 2012/2013.
  • BKS Stal Bielsko-Biała - women's volleyball team playing in Polish ORLEN Liga, Polish Champions 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1996, 2003, 2004, 2010; Polish Cup winners 1955, 1979, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2004, 2006, 2009.
  • BBTS Siatkarz Original Bielsko-Biała - men's volleyball team playing in Polish Plus Liga.
  • Sebastian Kawa, member of the local aeroclub, is the eight times World Champion, World's most accomplished glider competition pilot in history, World's (FAI) leading glider competition pilot (currently number two in the world rankings of the FAI Gliding Commission) and the current World Champion in Standard Class and 15m Class.
  • Trauda (Gertruda) Dawidowicz married Fuchs, pre-war multichampion swimmer free-style.

Bielsko-Biała: International relations

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Poland

Bielsko-Biała: Twin towns - Sister cities

Bielsko-Biała is twinned with the following cities:

  • Israel Acre in Israel
  • Romania Baia Mare in Romania
  • France Besançon in France
  • Ukraine Berdiansk in Ukraine
  • Czech Republic Frýdek-Místek in Czech Republic
  • United States Grand Rapids in United States
  • United Kingdom Kirklees in United Kingdom
  • Serbia Kragujevac in Serbia
  • Germany Lilienthal in Germany
  • Italy Monreale in Italy
  • Poland Olsztyn in Poland
  • Chile Rancagua in Chile
  • China Shijiazhuang in China
  • Netherlands Stadskanaal in Netherlands
  • Hungary Szolnok in Hungary
  • Belgium Tienen in Belgium
  • Czech Republic Třinec in Czech Republic
  • Poland Ustka in Poland
  • Germany Wolfsburg in Germany
  • Slovakia Žilina in Slovakia

Bielsko-Biała: Notable residents

Zaneta Wille - formerly of Bielsko-Biala

Further information: Category:People from Bielsko-Biała

Bielsko-Biała: See also

  • Bielsko-Biała Museum
  • Bolek and Lolek
  • Sfera shopping mall
  • Silesian Metropolitan Area

Bielsko-Biała: References

  1. GUS Central Statistical Office, Polish cities with the largest populations
  2. Die postalischen Abstempelungen auf den österreichischen Postwertzeichen-Ausgaben 1867, 1883 und 1890, Wilhelm KLEIN, 1967
  3. Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax (August 24, 1939). "The British War Bluebook". 2008 Lillian Goldman Law Library. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  4. Wacław Uruszczak (2012). Krakowskie Studia z Historii Państwa i Prawa Vol. 5. Wydawnictwo UJ. p. 339. ISBN 8323388687.
  5. Karol Grünberg (1963). Nazi Front Schlesien: niemieckie organizacje polityczne w województwie Śląskim w latach 1933-1939. Wydawnictwo Śląsk, Katowice. Retrieved 11 September 2014. Historic photos.
  6. "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Bielsko-Biala, Slaskie, Poland". Weatherbase.
  7. WP.PL, Ranking miast najlepszych do inwestowania. „Forbes” i Centralny Ośrodek Informacji Gospodarczych (COIG).
  8. BBOSiR Bielsko-Biała Municipal Centre of Sports and Leisure, Dębowiec Resort official website
  9. University of Bielsko-Biała official website in English
  10. The School of Administration in Bielsko-Biała official website in English
  11. Bielsko-Biała School of Finances and Law official website in English
  12. Current FAI ranking of Sebastian Kawa, retrieved on: August 22, 2012
  13. Statue in the swimming pool
  14. "Bielsko-Biała - Partner Cities". Urzędu Miejskiego w Bielsku-Białej. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
  15. "Kragujevac Twin Cities". ©2009 Information service of Kragujevac City. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
  16. "Žilina - oficiálne stránky mesta: Partnerské mestá Žiliny (Žilina: Official Partner Cities)". © 2008 MaM Multimedia, s.r.o.. Retrieved 2009-07-08.
  • Bielsko-Biała - Municipal website
  • Bielsko - Aerial photos
  • Bielsko-Biała Museum
  • Jewish Community in Bielsko-Biała on Virtual Shtetl

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