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With around 320,000 inhabitants, Katowice is the 10th largest city in Poland. Located on the Klodnica and Rawa rivers, the city is in Upper Silesia, or more specifically in the Silesian Highlands. At the centre of the Upper Silesian
Industrial Region, Katowice is also the capital of the Silesian Voivodeship. Although most of Silesia is located in Poland, smaller parts cross over the borders into the Czech Republic and Germany. Within 600 km (370 mi) of the city are the capitals of six European countries: Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Bratislava, Budapest and Warsaw.
Katowice first gained the status of a city in 1865 as Kattowitz and flourished due the abundance of minerals in nearby mountains. In 1873 it became the capital of the new Kattowitz district, and in 1899 it separated and became an independent city. Occupied by Nazi Germany during WWII, the city was renamed Stalinogrod to honour the passing of the Soviet dictator. The new name was never accepted and in 1956 the name Katowice was restored. The city, once a haven for heavy industry, is today rich with small businesses.