A garden town
Mikołów is a town full of magical places, historic architecture, unique nature and exceptional people with ideas. It is because of them that, in a town similar to a garden, so many interesting cultural, recreational and sports events take place. The uniqueness of Mikołów is also related to the fact that, as a town located within the Upper-Silesian Agglomeration, it has remained able to maintain detached from the hectic world. Life goes by more slowly and quietly in Mikołów. Is it thanks to the town's eight-century-long history - an old mixture of Polish, Czech, Habsburg or Prussian influence? Or maybe because of always friendly and smiling residents of the town by the Jamna river?
The town of Mikołów was first mentioned in the year 1222. It was then that the Castellan of Mikołów, Andrzej (comes Andreas, castellaneus de Miculov), was mentioned in a document issued by Kazimierz, the Duke of Opole. In 1336, the lands passed under the Czech reign and then became the Habsburgs' property. In 1547, Mikołów was granted its town charter. In 1742, the town passed under the Prussian sceptre. Throughout the centuries the town was struck by numerous epidemics, wars and even earthquakes. But after each disaster Mikołów came back to life stronger and prouder. In the 19th century the first railway reached the town, numerous factories were builtand the first Polish printing house in the Upper-Silesia region started operation. The Silesian Uprising and the Plebiscite sealed the fate of the town. Mikołów, along with the Pszczyna county, was incorporated into Poland on October 21, 1921. In September 1939, Polish troops fought a heroic battle against the Germans in the area of Wyry and Sośna Góra. The Red Army liberated the town in January 1945. At the moment Mikołów is a thriving economic and cultural centre of the Silesian Region.
Saint or mighty?
The town's name is presumably derived from the name Nicolas [Mikołaj]. But a dispute has been unfinished till this day whether the name comes from Saint Nicolas, to whom the town's oldest shrine is dedicated, or rather from the first owner of the hamlet called Mikula. Throughout its history the town was alternately referred to as Miculow, Mikulau and Mikulow. But the town's present name - Mikołów - first appeared in its form in the year 1760. Quite interestingly, we can find another name the town was referred to in old parish registers dating back to the first half of the 19th century - Mikułów.
The town's present emblem was chosen in September 1996. The emblem's subject matter refers to old town seals from the 15th - 18th centuries. Each seal showed a slightly different image of a knight's helmet seen from the side, with its beaver lowered and feathers. The present emblem shows a silver helmet, with its beaver raised, on a white shield, seen head-on. On its top, there are 4 modeled ostrich feathers in silver, blue, red and yellow colors. The helmet, along with a fitted breastplate, is decorated with a golden
In the Jamna Valley
Mikołów, a town located in the valley of the river Jamna, covers the area of over 81 square kilometers and has approximately 38.000 residents. It consists of the following sołectwa [the lowest units of local administration, usually comprising a single village]: Borowa Wieś, Bujaków, Mokre, Paniowy, Śmiłowice and a town district, Kamionka. The other parts of the town have typical names: Town Centre, Gniotek, Goj, Nowy Świat, Regielowiec. Since 1999, Mikołów has been the seat of a county [powiat] including the following communes [gmina]: Łaziska Górne, Ornontowice, Orzesze and Wyry. Besides the communes mentioned above, the town borders Tychy, Katowice and Ruda Śląska. Farmlands constitute 54% of the town's area and woodlands - over 27%.
Famous Mikołów residents
The list of famous residents of Mikołów and other people closely connected with the town include: Mieczysław Dzieńdziel (conductor), Adam Graczyński (senator), Paweł Krawczyk (scout campaigner), Jan Ligoń (national activist), Karol Miarka - senior (national activist), Karol Miarka - junior (publisher), Ludwik Musioł (historian), Konstanty Prus (Silesian chronicler), Rudolf Virchow (physician) and Rafał Wojaczek (poet).
Mikołów has many partner towns: Beuningen (the Netherlands - 1991), Sainte Genevieve des Bois (France - 1997) and Klimkovice (Czech Republic - 2000). Mikołów has also been maintaining friendly contacts with a German county of Neuss and with a Slovakian town of Ilava. The first contacts between the residents of Mikołów and Beuningen were established during the Martial Law in Poland. It was then that the Dutch hurried with charity help to the residents of Mikołów. Bonds of friendship established at that time have survived to this day.
A green towns
Mikołów is one of few towns in the Upper-Silesia region which do not resemble typical Silesian cities. Despite the town's significant industrial and urbanization development, it is impossible to find coal slag heaps, mineshafts or familoki [typically Silesian houses in which poor families of miners live] in its landscape. Quite contrary, the town boasts vast green-belt areas where single-family house development grows dynamically and where residents of neighboring towns look for rest and recreation. Since 1997, the construction of the Silesian Botanical Garden, with an area of over 130 ha, has been in progress in Mikołów - Mokre. The garden itself is surrounded by the 400-hectare ecological zone.
Every year in the town:
Final of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (January)
Mikołów Carol Singing (January)
Salvatorian Religious Song Festival (April /May)
Rafał Wojaczek Nationwide Poetry Contest (May)
Mikołów Music Days (May/June)
Mikołów Days (June/July)
Mikołów Impressions (July)
Mikołów Resident Rally (September)
Mikołów Antiques Fair (first Sunday of each month)
Did you know that...
one of the greatest Polish poets, Cyprian Kamil Norwid, stayed in Mikołów in 1845?
professor Rudolf Virchow (1821- 1902) was the first physician to discover how leukaemia develops?
within the town's territory there is a mass grave of 50 Auschwitz concentration camp prisoners, tortured to death by the Germans
during the so-called Death March in January 1945?
an award of the "Mikołów Resident of the Year" has been granted to individuals or organizations for promoting the town since 1997?
Experimental Coal Mine "Barbara" is the only facility of its kind in Europe?