The Battle of Vienna took place on this date in 1683.
The Polish King John III Sobieski, commanding the Polish-Austrian-German force, won a magnificent victory over the Turks in Vienna. Historians regard this as one of the most decisive battles in the history of the world. It saved Christian Europe from Muslim domination.
Detail from a painting depicting the Battle of Vienna. The original can be seen in the Vatican Museum.
“We came, we saw, God conquered.” – The Polish King Sobieski writing to Pope Innocent XI.
Four different views of Zorawina (former: Rothsurben / Rothbach) in Lower Silesia, c.1914.
Żórawina (German: Rothsurben / Rothbach) is a small town, with a population of around 2,400, located in Lower Silesia, south-west Poland.
A Nazi era group of locals parade through Zorawina (Rothbach), c1937.
Three things you may not know about Żórawina
- Żórawina was called Rothsurben until 1937 when it was renamed Rothbach.
- Until 1945 Zorawina was part of Germany
- It is located 15 kilometres south of Wrocław on the railway line from Wrocław to Kłodzko.
The Catholic and Protestant churches, radio mast, and railway station in Żórawina (Rothbach), c.1939.
A lithograph of the manor house in Wilczyce (Wildschutz) near Wroclaw (Breslau), c.1890.
Wilczyce is a village on the eastern edge of the city of Wroclaw in southwest Poland.
Four photographs of Wilczyce (former: Wildschuetz) in Lower Silesia, c.1930.
Three things you might know about Wilczyce
- Wilczyce was called Wildschutz until 1945 and part of Germany.
- A magnificent manor house built at the beginning of the 18th century stood until 1945. Unfortunately it was was looted and destroyed at the end of World War II.
- At the most recent census the population of Wilczyce was recorded as 1,384.
Four more images of Wilczyce (Wildschutz), near Wroclaw (Breslau), c.1930.
See also: the nearby village of Kiełczów (former: Gross Wiegelsdorf)
A thithographic picture postcard of Sobótka (Zobten) in Lower Silesia, c.1899.
Sobótka (former: Zobten a. Berge) is a small town located at the foot of the Ślęża mountain and situated around 35 kilometres southwest of the city of Wroclaw in Lower Silesia.
Another old postcard showing the mountains towering above Sobótka (Zobten am Berge), c.1912.
Potentially fascinating facts concerning Sobótka
- Sobotka is one of the oldest Polish towns settled under German law. It obtained these rights in 1221.
- Sobotka is located at the foot of the Ślęża (Zobelberg) mountain.
- Prior to 1934 Sobótka was called Zobten am Berge and part of Germany.
- In 1934 in line with the Germanization of the old Slavic names in Silesia, its name was changed to Siling.
- The town was captured by the Soviet Red Army on May 7th 1945 and following the transfer of Upper Silesia to Poland it was renamed Sobótka.
The railway station in Sobotka (Zobten am Berge) with the twin mountains behind. Posted in 1916.
The two churches in the centre of Sobótka (Zobten), near Wroclaw (Breslau), c.1928.
Other random facts about Sobotka
- Sobotka Zachodnia station on the Wrocław Główny – Świdnica – Jedlina Zdrój railway line is currently closed. But there are some plans to reopen the line.
- The population of Sobotka is currently approximately 6,800.
An old picture postcard of Swidnica street in Sobotka (Zobten a. Berge), c.1937.
Did you know that one of the earliest popular computers was invented by a Pole?
The Commodore 64, also known as the C64 or the CBM 64, is an 8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International. It has been listed in the Guinness World Records as the highest-selling single computer model of all time. The model was discontinued in 1994 and more than 10 million units were sold.
It was invented by Jacek Trzmiel, who later changed his name to Jack Tramiel. Jacek was a Polish Jew who survived being sent to the German concentration camp at Auschwitz, and emigrated to the USA after the war. While living in America he established the Commodore office equipment company, which went on to develop and produce the iconic Commodore 64 computer.
Matejki Jana (Marienstrasse) in Oleśnica (Oels), c.1939.
Four old images of the town of Oleśnica (former: Oels) in Lower Silesia (Niederschlesien) in the southwest of Poland. All photographs were taken between 1939 and 1945 when Olesnica was called Oels and part of Germany.
An archive photograph of Ulica 3 Maja in Olesnica (Oels) in what was Schesien, sometime in late 1939.
Four things you may like to know about Olesnica
- Oleśnica is approximately 29 kms northeast of Wroclaw.
- The German composer Carl Heinrich Zöllner was born in Olesnica.
- Oleśnica is famous for its 16th century Renaissance castle.
- Olesnica currently has a population of just under 40,000.
The central market square area of Olesnica (Oels) as it looked in early 1940.
Cars parked outside Bahnhofshotel on Reja Mikołaja in Olesnica (Oels), c.1941.
See also: old images of the nearby towns of Oława and Trzebnica.
An old lithographic picture postcard of Olawa (former: Ohlau) in Lower Silesia, c.1899
Four more old images from our extensive picture archive of all things Polish and Poland related! Here the town of Oława, in Lower Silesia, south west Poland.
A steam train at the small railway station (kleinbahnhof) in Olawa / Ohlau, Silesia, c.1925.
Four random facts about Oława
- Olawa (Ohlau) was once well known as a centre of tobacco-growing.
- The German explorer Hermann Eberhard was born in the town in 1852.
- Until 1945 Olawa was called Ohlau and part of Prussia, Germany.
- The population of Oława currently numbers around 32,500.
Cars outside Daze’s Hotel in the Market Square (Rynek) in Olawa (Ohlau), Lower Silesia, c.1941.
A bird eye view of the centre of Oława (Ohlau in Schlesien), c.1941.
An old and rather neglected corner of Dzierżoniów (German name: Reichenbach), in Schlesien, c.1914.
Here are a selection of pre-war images from our old picture archive of the town of Dzierżoniów (former: Reichenbach) in Lower Silesia, Poland.
An early photographic picture postcard of children in Dzierzoniow (Reichenbach) sometime in the 1920s.
Random nuggets about Dzierżoniów
- Prior to 1945. Polish priest and scientist Jan Dzierżon was named Reichenbach and part of Germany.
- Reichenbach was renamed Rychbach in 1945 and then changed again to Dzierżoniów in 1946.
- Dzierżoniów takes its name from the Polish priest and beekeeper Jan Dzierżon.
- The current population of the town is around 33,000.
An aerial photograph of the town hall and main square in Dzierzoniow / Reichenbach, Lower Silesia, c.1929.
More facts about Dzierżoniów
- The town was captured from the defending German forces by the Red Army on 8th May 1945.
- Thirteen beautiful and historic tenement houses forming the northern frontage of the market square were demolished in the late 1960s.
- The Pilawa River passes through Dzierżoniów.
- Dzierżoniów is around 60 kms south west of the city of Wrocław.
What is now ulica Świdnicka and the centre of Dzierzoniow (Reichenbach), c.1933.
See also: old images and information on the nearby vilage of Łagiewniki (Heidersdorf).
An old picture postcard from the very early years of the 20th century of Katy Wroclawskie (Canth).
The small town of Kąty Wrocławskie (former: Canth / Kanth) is located around 22 kilometres (14 miles) south-west of the city of Wrocław in Lower Silesia, Poland.
An old picture postcard showing the Catholic Church in Katy Wroclawsie (German: Canth / Kanth), c.1927.
Some totally random facts about Kąty Wrocławskie
- Katy Wrocławskie was part of Germany and known by the name Canth or Kanth until 1945.
- A German Prisoner of War camp housing around 2,000 Russian soldiers existed in Katy from 1942 to 1945.
- Kąty was taken and occupied from defending German forces by the Red Army on February 8th 1945.
- Katy has its own railway station on the Zgorzelec to Wrocław line.
Another picture postcard of the central square area of Katy Wroclawskie (Canth / Kanth), c.1929.
An aerial photograph of Katy Wroclawskie (Canth), taken in 1930.
Great Polish Inventions
I bet you didn’t realise that the first commercial bullet proof vests (jackets) were invented by two Poles, did you?
Kazimierz Żegleń (Casimir Zeglen) and Jan Szczepani came up with and patented the invention in 1897.