• A lucky chance makes history

    Katowice is perceived as an industrial city whose development cycle is determined by the boom and decline of heavy industry. The local steelworks and mines indeed generated wealth and attracted thousands of people to Katowice for long decades. However, a direct factor leading to the founding of the city was the rail, which came here by chance in the mid C19th, when Franz Winckler, owner of the village in the east of Prussia, convinced investors that the new line to connect Wrocław to the Russian border should run through his land. Many of the later unexpected turns in the history of Katowice were also a product of top-down policy decisions, rather than of any logical industrial development process. The shaky lot of the city is well demonstrated by the fact that its name changed five times in just a few decades.