City of the future
|o Mayor||Janusz Kubicki (BS)|
|o Total||278.32 km2 (107.46 sq mi)|
|Elevation||71 m (233 ft)|
(30 June 2019)
|o Total||140,874 (24th)|
|o Density||498/km2 (1,290/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
65-001 to 65-950
|Area code(s)||+48 068|
Zielona Góra [?e'l?na '?ura] (German: Grünberg in Schlesien) is the largest city in Lubusz Voivodeship, in western Poland, with 140,297 inhabitants (2018). Zielona Góra has been in Lubusz Voivodeship since 1999, prior to which it was the capital of Zielona Góra Voivodeship from 1950 to 1998. It is the seat of the province's elected assembly, while the seat of the centrally appointed governor is located in the city of Gorzów Wielkopolski. Zielona Góra has a favourable geographical position, being located not far from the Polish-German border and on several international road and rail routes connecting Scandinavia with Southern Europe and Warsaw with Berlin. The region is also closely associated with vineyards and holds an annual Wine Fest.
The city's history began when Polish Duke Henry the Bearded brought first settlers to the area in 1222. In 1323 Zielona Góra was granted town privileges. The town was incorporated into the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1506. As part of Bohemia, in 1526 it became part of the Habsburg Empire and experienced a wave of witch trials in the 17th century. As a result of the First Silesian War, Zielona Góra was annexed by Prussia and, in 1871, became part of Germany, until the end of World War II in 1945. In accordance with the Potsdam Agreement, the province was handed over to Poland and resettled with Poles, most of whom came from Central Poland, but some also had been expelled from the Eastern Borderlands.
Zielona Góra is surrounded by tree-covered hills and the adjacent woodland alone makes up approximately half of the city's total area. The name of the city itself translates to 'Green Mountain' in both Polish and German. Moreover, Zielona Góra features several tourist attractions and important historical sites including the preserved medieval Old Town, 13th-century Market Square, tenements, palaces, parks and the famous Palm House on Wine Hill. Its strong connection to vineyards and grape-picking earned Zielona Góra a nickname "The City of Wine".
The first settlement in the area of Zielona Góra was built in the valley near the Z?ota cza stream during the reign of Polish ruler Mieszko I. The oldest settlement was agricultural and later developed into a trading point along routes from Pozna? to ?aga? and further to ?u?yce. The written records of the Slavic settlement date to 1222 and an increase of its population by Henry the Bearded. Other documents date the settlement to 1302.
The region received influx of German burghers in the second half of the 13th century during the medieval Ostsiedlung. The settlement became a city with Crossener Recht, a variation of Magdeburg rights, in 1323. The earliest mention of the town's coat of arms is from 1421, although it is believed to have been arranged since the beginning of the 14th century. A document in the town archive of Thorn (Toru?) dating from before 1400 used a sigil with the name GRVNINBERG, an early form of the German name Grünberg.
In 1294, Duke Henryk III of G?ogów, founded a church in honour of Saint Hedwig, patron saint of Silesia. This building, today called the konkatedra ?w. Jadwigi w Zielonej Górze, is the oldest building in the city. A wooden castle near the city, built ca. 1272, was the residence of Duke John of ?cinawa from 1358 to 1365; Janusz had ceded his lands to Duke Henry V of Iron. In 1477 the town defeated a 5,000-strong army from neighbouring Brandenburg which attempted to seize it during the succession war to the Duchy of G?ogów. In 1488, Duke John II of ?aga?, destroyed the castle to prevent his enemies from using it. The deposition of Duke John II of ?aga? in 1488 marked the end of the long rule of the Piast dynasty in the Duchy of G?ogów and the city of Zielona Góra. Later on, the duchy was ruled by future Kings of Poland John I Albert and Sigismund I the Old, before it was integrated with the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1506. The city flourished during the reign of Sigismund I the Old. In 1505 Sigismund issued a privilege allowing the sale of cloth products from Zielona Góra throughout Poland. In 1641, King W?adys?aw IV Vasa of Poland confirmed these rights. Another important branch of the city's economy was winemaking.
Grünberg converted to Lutheranism during the Protestant Reformation through the efforts of Paul Lemberg, Abbot of Sagan. The city declined during the 17th century, especially during the Thirty Years' War (1618-48) and following decades. Grünberg endured plundering, debts, emigration of burghers, and fires. In 1651 during the Counter Reformation, the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria reintroduced Roman Catholicism and suppressed Protestantism. The city was subjected to heavy Germanisation and German craftsmen banned Poles from attending any practice allowing them to work as members of guilds. A rebellion caused by conscription ended with many Poles being imprisoned.
The city was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia by the 1742 Treaty of Breslau which ended the First Silesian War. The Prussians introduced religious toleration, leading to the construction of the Protestant parish church Zum Garten Christ from 1746 to 1747; Catholic Poles were later discriminated against, however. In 1758, during the Seven Years' War, POWs brought the plague epidemic to the city. The city's textile industry was booming by the end of the 18th century, and by 1800 large parts of the city walls had been dismantled to allow the city to expand. The textile industry suffered during the 1820s while adjusting to the Industrial Revolution and an import ban by the Russian Empire. The city's economy began to recover after many clothiers emigrated to Congress Poland. Among the 19th-century industrialists of Zielona Góra there were also the English.
During industrialisation, many Germans from the countryside moved to large industrial cities and a large number of Poles came to German cities to work as well. The Polish population was pushed by Germanisation to rural villages, although some remained in the town contributed to the economic revival of the city. A Polish church remained functional until 1809 and a Polish craftsmen association (Towarzystwo Polskich Rzemie?lników) was established by Kazimierz Lisowski in 1898; it existed till 1935 when Lisowski was murdered by the Gestapo. In 1923 a branch of the Union of Poles in Germany was established. In 1932 the German authorities did not allow the establishment of a Polish school.
Since 1816 after the Napoleonic Wars, Grünberg was administered within the district Landkreis Grünberg in the Province of Silesia. In 1871 it became part of the German Empire during the unification of Germany. English industrialists purchased some of the city's textile factories during the 1870s and 1880s. By 1885, most of Grünberg's population of 14,396 were Protestants. The city was first connected to the Glogau-Grünberg-Guben railway line in 1871, followed by connections to Christianstadt in 1904, Wollstein in 1905, and a local line to Sprottau in 1911.
In 1919, Grünberg became part of the Province of Lower Silesia within Weimar Germany. On 1 April 1922 it became a district-free city, but this status was revoked on 1 October 1933 while part of Nazi Germany.
The Soviet Red Army occupied Grünberg with little fighting in February 14, 1945 during World War II. In that course, about 500 people committed suicide. The following month, according to the post-war Potsdam Agreement, the town was placed under Polish administration under territorial compensation for the territories of former Eastern Poland annexed by the Soviet Union. The remaining German inhabitants who had not fled their homes from the Eastern Front were expelled, and the town was partly resettled with Poles transferred from Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union. The city was officially renamed Zielona Góra, a new calque of the historic German name Grünberg, both meaning "Green Mountain". The 18th-century Protestant church was reconsecrated as a Catholic church (Ko?ció? Matki Boskiej Cz?stochowskiej). The city's first post-war mayor was Tomasz Sobkowiak, prisoner of the Auschwitz concentration camp during the German occupation of Poland, remembered as an efficient administrator, with a friendly attitude towards Germans.
The city has been known for its wines for centuries. It is now one of two places in Poland with wine grape cultivation mainly for white wines (the other being the wine growing region near the town of Warka in Masovia). The first wineries around the city were built in 1314. At Parady? (Paradise) Abbey near Zielona Góra, monks have been making wine since 1250. The number of vineyards at peak production is estimated at 4,000 in the region, and 2,500 in Zielona Góra itself. During the communist era wine production was reduced, but since 1990 it has recovered. Since 1852 an annual Wine Festival has taken place in the town. However, nowadays wine is no longer produced in Zielona Góra itself (the last factory was closed in the early 1990s).
Vodka Luksusowa (namely: Luxury vodka), made from potatoes rather than grain, is produced in distillery in Zielona Góra.
The climate is oceanic (Köppen: Cfb) with some humid continental characteristics (Dfb) in normals previous to 1981-2010. Despite being some distance from the sea, western standards as well as air masses are still predominant in the western than eastern, not very different from German cities near the border.
|Climate data for Zielona Gora (S?owackiego), elevation: 192 m, 1961-1990 normals and extremes|
|Record high °C (°F)||13.0
|Average high °C (°F)||0.6
|Daily mean °C (°F)||-1.8
|Average low °C (°F)||-4.1
|Record low °C (°F)||-22.2
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||36
|Average precipitation days||9.3||8.2||8.2||8.3||9.5||9.2||9.4||8.8||7.7||7.4||9.2||10.9||106.1|
The city has a university and a College of International Trade and Finance. Currently there are 18,000 students studying in the city.
Secondary education is based on the high school type of educational facility.
Zielona Góra Airport is located at Babimost, north-east of the city. It is currently the eleventh busiest airport in Poland, in terms of traffic size. Formerly a military base, it has become an important transport hub for western Poland. LOT Polish Airlines currently offers daily flights to Warsaw.
Zielona Góra has train connections to Gorzów Wielkopolski, Zb?szynek, Rzepin, Warsaw, Frankfurt (Oder) and Krakow, main cities of the surrounding regions: Pozna?, Szczecin and Wroc?aw as well as direct international connections to Berlin, Vienna.
The city is home to Basket Zielona Góra, four times champion of the Polish Basketball League and member of the European Basketball Champions League. The team plays its home games at the CRS Hall Zielona Góra. It is also home to Falubaz Zielona Góra, one of the most successful Polish speedway clubs.