Gliwice Poviat

Gliwice Poviat is located at the meeting point of Śląskie and Opolskie Voivodeships. The direct neighbourhood of Poland’s biggest agglomeration and the Upper Silesian Industrial District, including Gliwice, and the location at an intersection of the two most important Polish roads, and important in Europe – A1 and A4 motorways – make the poviat an attractive, unique place on earth. Gliwice Poviat covers 663 km², and has a population of about 112,000 people. It is divided into 8 communes – two municipal: Knurów and Pyskowice; two municipal-rural: Sośnicowice and Toszek, and four rural: Gierałtowice, Pilchowice, Rudziniec and Wielowieś.

The seat of the Poviat Starosty Office is Gliwice – a city located beyond the poviat’s administrative area and being a borough poviat. Over 52% of the poviat area is covered by agricultural land – especially in the central and northern part. A good condition of the local natural environment – unpolluted soil and clean air – creates possibilities for development of ecological farms, whereas the beauty of landscape and tourist advantages is conductive to investments in the local tourist base and development of agritourism. Such factors as closeness to the Upper Silesian agglomeration, majority of forests constituting about 33% of the poviat area, and unpolluted natural environment make most of this land and attractive place for housing estates and small housing complexes.  

In the southern part of the poviat, there are abundant deposits of gas-coking coal. Mining of these deposits had a decisive influence on the development of Knurów, which became a strongly urbanised industrial centre and now is the biggest, as regards population, commune in the poviat. One hard coal mine, „Knurów-Szczygłowice”, operate in Knurów. In the part of the Silesian Upland covered by the poviat, one can find very diversified landscape forms: the Sarnowskie Hills 300 m above sea level (in Toszek and Wielowieś communes), hilly areas in Rudziniec, Sośnicowice and Pilchowice communes, and valleys of the rivers – Drama , Bierawka and Kłodnica. The northern and western part of the poviat features forest complexes with dominant pine and deciduous woods. Near Dąbrówka village, there is the „Hubert” reserve, which is home to rare plant, amphibian, reptile, beetle and bird species. The abundance of wild animals is conductive to hunting. One can relax on man-made reservoirs Dzierżno Duże, Dzierżno Małe and Pławniowice, where numerous holiday resorts, camping sites and marinas can be found. Riding enthusiasts are invited by riding centres, srud farms and agritourist farms.

For centuries, Gliwice Poviat was the meeting point of nations, languages and religions, hence its unique cultural heritage reflected in both ecclesiastic architecture, including particularly beautiful wooden churches, and secular buildings. The oldest, 15th-century churches have been preserved in Poniszowice and Wielowieś. Numerous wayside shrines, crosses and figures of saints, frequently of significant artistic and style values, fascinate with their beauty. The most frequently visited historical residences in the poviat are: Gothic-baroque castle in Toszek, picturesque palace in Pławniowic, and ruins of the castle in Chudów. There are also lots of younger, 19th-century palaces and manors, for example in Przyszowice, Wielowieś and Wilcza.