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History

Pyskowice is one of the towns In the Upper Silesia region. The first historically documented information about Pyskowice comes from 1256; it is included in a document issued by Bishop of Wrocław, Tomasz. Brothers "Lutozat" and "Lonek", sons of  "Pisco" mentioned  in this document, asked the Bishop for support for the church they had built.

The Bishop, acceding to their request, granted that St. Paul's church in "Piscowicze" tithes from a few neighbouring villages.

The document confirm that the name of the town comes from "Pisco", probably the founder of the settlement. However, the village was nominated the seat of the parish, and this is an argument for the hypothesis that the settlement was older.

 

The development of Pyskowice reached its peak when the settlement was granted the municipal status. The documents have not been preserved, but historians presume that the status was granted by Prince of Opole Władysław I. The fact could happen in 1260.

 

The word "town" was used at the German name of "Pyzenkreczem" in 1327, in the text of the feudal tribute paid to John of Luxemburg: "We, Władysław, Prince of  Koźle, hereby announce and deliver at all with this letter that we are a prince and vassal of John Esq.,

His Majesty King of the Czech and Poland and Duke of Luxemburg. We would like Him to enfeoff us with our Duchy of Koźle with the towns of Koźle, Bytom, Pyskowice and cities of Toszek and Sławięcice..."

Pyskowice as a prince's town survived until 1533, i.e. they year when Prince of Opole John died. After his death, the feud town came to the hands of the Habsburg family. On this occasion, an "ubariusz"(mortgage register) was made, which tells us that there were 34 houses on the main market square, and 63 houses at the neighbouring street. The houses were small, made of wood with straw or rush roofs. The plots were also small and very narrow. The town was surrounded by an earth embankment and moat filled with water from the Drama river. The town's fortification had two gates: Toszecka and Tarnogórska gates.

The town hall, witch initially supposed to be a wooden structure, was situated at the center of the main market square. The church and cemetery were situated closer to the embankments. The towns was ruled on behalf of the Prince by the mayor and the municipal council. Citizen were engaged in agriculture and craft. We know that the guilds of shoemakers, tailors, bakers, butchers  and joiners existed in Pyskowice in the early 15th ceuntry. The town had ca. 500 citizen at that time.

There were two annual fairs in Pyskowice: on St. Stanisław's day (7th May) and Nicolas's day (6th December). The number of fairs was growing with times as they guaranteed considerable income to the town locate at an important trade route.

 

The history of the town did not consist of peaceful events only. The first half the 15th century was a period of Hussite wars, which did not save the town.

 

Pyskowice was rebuilt very soon. There are some hypotheses that defence walls were erected after the Hussite wars, but they can only be confirmed by excavation works near the former moat. Important buildings from that period include St. Stanisław's Church at the Toszecka Gate, and the adjacent hospital.

They 30-year war brought damage to the town. The parish church burned down in 1622, and was being rebuilt for five years. In the 1620s the town was plundered by fighting armies, and in 1642 Pyskowice was taken over by the Swedish army. Records from 1680 state that injuries were promptly scarred over. The 18th century , with the disaster of hunger, epidemics and wars (2nd Silesian War and 7-year war), negatively affected the development of the town. The town recovered soon, what is proven by the number of citizen, which reached 1862 people in 1787.

 

In the late 18th and early 19th century wood coal fired metallurgical plants were established in the town. There were two pig iron furnaces. In 1808 the status of Pyskowice changed- the town was no longer private and began to change its looks.

1822 was a tragic year for the town. The towns completely destroyed by 11 fires. Over one half of all house, Town hall, Church, four-year old school and the bulk of farm buildings burned down. The town war rebuilt according to a new plan, which was consistent with the layout of Pyskowice from the 13th century. With citizens' great effort and considerable external assistance the town was re-erected. The number of citizens was growing, in 1823 the town was inhabited by 1950 people. The constructions of the railway line from Opole to Gliwice through Pyskowice in 1879 and the marshalling yard in 1898 were important events evens for the future development of the town. After that time apartments were built for railwaymen and the railway station was systematically upgraded. The period of prosperity was ceased by World War I and the subsequent events. Silesia Upraising and the plebiscite took a very sharp course in Pyskowice, which remained on the German side after the division of Silesia.

 

In the late 1920s and early  1930s the town developed spatially. This process was stimulated by the breaking-up of the Zaolszany Wielkie grange. Houses for railwaymen, and then for miners and metallurgists working away from Pyskowice, were built near the present  Żwirko and Wigura square and the neighbouring streets.

 

The town did not suffer much during World War II. Retreating Germans blasted the primary school building and one of the buildings adjacent to the post office. 32 buildings were burned after the military operations. In 1945 Pyskowice was taken over by the Polish administration. Burnt house on the market square and the neighbouring streets were rebuilt in their original architecture by the end of the 1940s. In the early 1950s a decision was made to build an apartment suite in the northern part of the town. Pyskowice became a large building site where apartment blocks ere erected for industrial workers from the Upper Silesia agglomeration.

 

Infrastructure developed witch the number of apartments. Tens of shops, four primary, six kindergartens, two day nurseries, health clinic, two pharmacies, rooms for the municipal library, water treatment plant, boiler plant, hospital and other facilities necessary to ensure normal life a town with the population of 20,000 were built. In order to solve the problem of commuting to work, the railway line connecting the Pyskowiece railway station and Pyskowice Town was built in the 1950s. In the 1960s an attempt was made to solve the women's unemployment problem by building a branch of "Polkon" Bytom Plant. "Inco" Measurement Instruments Plant, Poultry Hatchery, and the Radio Subassemblies Plant were built with the same intention. In the Early 1960s the village of Dzierżno together with the Coal Industry Railway Rolling Stock Repair Plant, was connected to Pyskowice.

The Tree and Bush Nursery was established on the land of the State-Owned Farm. Sport and recreation facilities were built by industrial plants at the lake  situated on former sand excavations in Dzierżno.

 

A number of useful projects were completed in the 1980s. CPN built a gas station at the border of the town. A new ring road took transit traffic from the streets of the old town.

A car service station and salon were built at Wielowiejska St., and privatized in the 1990s. A set of plots was designed in the southern part of the town, where single-family houses were erected. The number of plots appropriated for single-family houses has recently increased

 

Worked out by Władysław Macowicz

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