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Katowice [katovitse] (Czech: Katovice, German: Kattowitz) is a city in Silesia in southern Poland, on the Kłodnica and Rawa rivers (tributaries of the Oder and the Vistula). Katowice is located in the Silesian Highlands, about 50 km on north from the Silesian Beskids (part of the Carpathian Mountains) and about 100 km on south-east from Sudetes Mountains. It is the central district of the Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia, with a population of 2 million. Katowice is large local center of science, culture, industry, business and transportation. Katowice is the main city in the Upper Silesian Industrial Region, and of the 2,7 million conurbation, theKatowice urban area, within a greater Silesian metropolitan area populated by about 5,294,000 people.[6] The population within the city limits is 308,724. Katowice has been the capital of Silesian Voivodeship since its formation in 1999. Previously, it was the capital of the Katowice Voivodeship, and before then, of the Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship.


The climate of the area is continental humid. The average temperature is 8.2 degrees Celsius (average -1.5°C in January and up to average 18°C in July). Yearly rainfall averages at 60.85 mm. The area's characteristic weak winds blow at about 2 m/s from the west - Moravian Gate.

Brief History


The area around Katowice in Upper Silesia has been inhabited by ethnic Silesians from its earliest documented history. It was first ruled by the PolishSilesian Piast dynasty (until its extinction). From 1335 it was a part of the Crown of Bohemia. In 1526 the territory passed to the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy after the death of King Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia. In 1742 most of Silesia was annexed from Austria by the Kingdom of Prussia during theFirst Silesian War. Katowice was founded in the 19th century and gained city status in 1865 as Kattowitz in the Prussian Province of Silesia. The city flourished due to large mineral (especially coal) deposits in the nearby mountains. Extensive city growth and prosperity depended on the coal mining and steel industries, which took off during the Industrial Revolution. Kattowitz was inhabited mainly by Germans, Silesians, Jews and Poles. Previously part of the Beuthen district, in 1873 it became the capital of the new Kattowitz district. On 1 April 1899, the city of Kattowitz was separated from the district, becoming an independent city. According to the Treaty of Versailles after World War I the Upper Silesia plebiscite was organised by the League of Nations. While in the city of Katowice the plebiscite resulted 22,774 votes to remain in Germany and 3,900 votes for Poland[8] in the voting district of Katowice overall (combined with rural areas near the city and castle area) they were 66,119 votes for Poland and 52,992 for Germany[9] and following the Silesian Uprisings (1918-21) Katowice became part of the Second Polish Republic with a certain level of autonomy (Silesian Parliament as a constituency and Silesian Voivodeship Council as the executive body). The city was occupied by Nazi Germany between 1939-1945. In 1953 the city was renamed Stalinogród ("Stalin City") by the Polish communist government. However, the new name was never accepted by the city's population and in 1956 the former name of 'Katowice' was restored. Due to economic reforms, there has been a shift away from heavy industry, and towards small businesses.

Tourism and entertainment activities

Tourist places in Katowice.

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1.Headquarter of Silesia Voivodeship
2.Pearl of Katowice
3.The Immaculate Conception Church
4.Cathedral of Christ The Lord
5.Upper Silesian Centre of Culture
6.University of Silesia
7.Silesian Theatre of Stanislaw Wyspanski
8.Silesian Museum
9.An old railway station
10.Monument of Jozef Pilsudski

Cultural aspects

Greetings We usually greet people giving one kiss or shaking the hands. Some useful expressions are: Polish-English Cześć! -Hello!

Dzień dobry -Good morning!

Dobry wieczór -Good evening!

Dziękuję /– Thank you

Przepraszam – Excuse me; I’m sorry


The most famous Silesian dishes are:

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Zymła - a well-baked bread roll, oval with a division in the middle, topped with poppy seeds, similar to Austrian Keisersemmel.

Kluski śląskie (Silesian dumplings) - round shaped dumplings served with gravy, made of mashed boiled potatoes, finely grated raw potatoes, an egg, grated onion, wheat flour and potato flour.

Rolada z modrą kapustą (rouladen with red cabbage) - best-quality beef-meat roll; stuffed with pickled vegetable, ham, and good amount of seasoning; always served with red cabbage (with fried bacon, fresh onion and allspice); traditionally eaten with kluski śląskie for Sunday dinner.

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Szałot (Silesian potato salad) - a salat made of squares of boiled potatoes, carrots, peas, ham, various sausages, pickled fish, boiled eggs, bonded with olive oil or mayonnaise.

Krupniok - kind of blood sausage made of kasha and animal blood.

żymlok - like krupniok but instead kasha there is bread roll

Wodzionka or brołtzupa (ger. brot - bread, pol. zupa - soup) - soup with garlic and squares of dried rye bread.

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Siemieniotka - soup made of hemp seed, one of main Christmas Eve meals.

Knysza - pita bread with meat and lots of cabbage.

Makiełki or moczka - traditional Christmas Eve dessert, its main ingredients are: gingerbread extract, nuts and dried fruit, strawberry compote and almonds.

Poppy seed pastry - many elaborate recipes possible; based on finely ground poppy seeds, with raisins, almonds, candied citrus peels, honey, sugar, pudding, and flavoured with rum. Decorated with fingers of crumbling.

Fitka - soup

Hauskyjza - strongly-flavored, home-made cheese

Meals The important meals are: breakfast (7-10am), lunch (13.30-14.30 pm), and dinner (19.30-21.30pm). But sometimes people have another 2 little meals: in the morning as a “second breakfast” (11-12h) and the “podwieczorek” in the afternoon (15-16pm).

How to get to Katowice?


Katowice-Pyrzowice Airport lies about 40km from the Katowice city. There is 24/7 direct bus connection from the airport to the city center (the bus stop is at the front of Katowice main Railway Station). The precise bus departure times are available under this adress: The official Airport Website:

Katowice Railway Station is located in the city center and has great train connections to the most of the Polish Cities. What's more, there are several international trains to Prague, Wien, Berlin, Budapest, Moscow. The official train connection search:

Where is the hosting and boarding?

The hosting is in the Students’ Hostel, which is within walking distance from the lecture and seminar buildings on the campus in Katowice-Ligota and most hospitals. Map of the local Campus:

Accommodation details:

  • Double and triple rooms (one double and one triple room form a segment which has a common bathroom)
  • Internet connection
  • Laundry room and drying room
  • Kitchens

Boarding: Lunch will be provided by the local cafeteria from Monday to Friday.

About the Hospital

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The main teaching hospitals that provide summer practice are: • Centralny Szpital Kliniczny and Gornoslaskie Centrum Zdrowia Dziecka lie near the Students Hostel. • Gornoslaskie Centrum Medyczne is located about 15 minutes by bus.

Hospital conditions:

  • You have to wear white coat and comfortable shoes. The stethoscope is obligatory in several medical departments.
  • The working hours for students depend on the department. The usually timetable is in the morning since 8:30am until 12:30.
  • You have to do medical practices from Monday to Friday.

About our Medical Education and School


The Medical University of Silesia in Katowice was established by the Ordinance of the Minister of Health of March 20th 1948 , as a Medical Academy consisting of one School of Medicine and one Division of Dentistry. From the very beginning, the university has enjoyed the status of a state university. Its first seat was Rokitnica Bytomska (presently, Zabrze- Rokitnica), where in the former hospital buildings of the Bracka Company, the Rector’s Office and the library as well as the basic sciences departments were installed. The first clinical sciences departments were situated in the hospitals in Zabrze and Bytom . The subsequent ones, as the university was developing, were established in various other towns of the Silesia region, i.e. Katowice , Lubliniec, Tarnowskie Góry, Chorzów, Tychy , and Sosnowiec . In the 70s of the past century, the university considerably expanded. In 1971, it eventually found its legal seat in Katowice (earlier, in 1964, the Office of the Rector had been transferred to Katowice ). In the same year, the construction of the academic campus in Katowice-Ligota was started and the School of Pharmacy in Sosnowiec was established. Three years later , the School of Nursing was established in Katowice , which was then incorporated into the 2nd School of Medicine in Katowice , established in 1975. In the recent years, the School of Health Care in Katowice (2001) and the School of Public Health in Bytom (2002) were established.

Urban Transport

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The most commonly used way of transport by the students in Katowice is bus.

Bus - there are several bus lines to/from the city center from/to Ligota: 9,12, 37,46, 912. Tickets for public transportation may be purchased at newsstands and street kiosks and from drivers. You must punch or stamp the ticket immediately on boarding. The usual bus tram fare is the same – 2,40zł for one journey within one city, 3zł within two cities and 4zł within three and more cities. There are also one-day, a few days, one-week and one-month passes available. The timetables are available here:

Taxi -the price starts about 2€ (from 8am to 23 pm) and a ride of 5 km may cost you 7-8€. Usually used by students: ufotaxi – +48 509 876 757

Social Program


Our Local Committee always tries to make your exchange in Poland as exciting and unforgettable as possible We organize interesting events and visits to different parts of Silesia and other globally known Poland tourists sites. We visit such towns as Pszczyna, Krakow, Wroclaw or Zakopane together! Local Committee with incoming students

Don’t forget!

Remember! Bring your Euro<26 Card or your ISIC (International Student Identification Card) because you’ll get important discounts in cinemas, museums, transports. Almost every museum has free access or has a student discount.

Useful phone numbers

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  • Emergency Number: 112
  • National Police: 997
  • Ambulance: 999
  • Fire Department: 998

Useful links

The official website of Silesia voivodeship:

The official website of IFMSA-Poland Department Silesia:

Links to films advertising Katowice and Silesia area:


Local Exchange Officer

Anna Bachniak; e-mail:

LEO Assistants

Natalia; e-mail:

Monika; e-mail: