Bedzin is located in the north eastern part of the Silesia Province, at the Czarna Przemsza river, on the Silesia Uplands.
The town has an incredibly favourable location near main transportation routes (road and railway) and the Katowice International Airport in Pyrzowice, as well as the biggest interchange in Poland created by the capital of Silesian Province and other cities of the Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia.
Bedzin belongs to the oldest towns of Lesser Poland and the Silesia Province. History of this royal town is old and beautiful. People settled within the area since prehistory because of local hills. During archaeological works many traces of settlement were found there. The hill, on which now the castle is situated, was very convenient for defence. In the 9th century there was erected a wooden town changed into a stone castle in the 14th century. The name of the town is connected with a knight Benda. Another legend has it that both Bedzin and neighbouring towns were named by Polish king who travelled through these areas.
The fastest development of the town was in the 14th century when Bedzin was given civil rights in 1358 by king Casimir the Great who ordered to build a huge castle. Bedzin benefited from trade routes that crossed the town and privileges granted by the king. It was visited very willingly by guests even from distant lands and became a multicultural town for a few hundred years maintaining good traditions of Polish hospitality and tolerance.
Unfortunately, a prosperous time finished one day. Invasions and dark period of partitions had an influence on a downfall of the well-developed town. Development of the industry in the 19th century made Bedzin grow to become an important centre of industry and administration. However, prosperity finished again when World War II broke out. Apart from huge devastation of the town, the occupation finished with extermination of Jewish people who made up almost half of the population of the town.
Still, Bedzin has recovered from all misfortunes. Today it functions as a trade, economic (industry, power industry) and administration centre of Zaglebie Dabrowskie.
Bedzin is an investment-wise attractive town whose history for many decades has been inseparably connected with economy and industry. Possibilities and conditions of the town's development result to a great extent from its geographical location, the speed of market changes and establishment of a new economic profile. Among the town's assets there is its location in the eastern part of the Silesian Province within the area of the Upper Silesian Industrial District (GOP) and Katowice urban area (above 3.5 million residents) being a large market for local producers.
The town's economy is dominated by micro-, small- and medium companies. In Bedzin there are about 6.6 thousand registered economic entities, 98% out of which are considered small or medium companies. Apart from local companies many external investors have been present in Bedzin for many years (Ahold Polska LLC, Black Red White Joint-Stock Company, Centrostal Bedzin Joint-Stock Company, Kreisel LLC, Prologis Park Bedzin II), which were attracted and still being attracted by the rich offer of investment areas.
One of the main factors influencing the level of life of residents in Bedzin is the social infrastructure hence the institutions providing services for people in the scope of education, health protection and social care, culture and art as well as tourism and recreation.
Education in Bedzin is financed from the commune budget as according to the Polish law it belongs to commune's own activity.
In Bedzin there are:
2 Lower Preschools,
13 Nursery Schools,
6 Primary Schools,
2 Grammar Schools,
4 Town School Complexes consisting of a Primary School and Grammar School.
Schools mentioned above are coordinated by the town. In Bedzin, there are also 3 Secondary Schools and 2 Vocational Schools but according to Polish regulations they are coordinated by local government on higher level that is by Bedzin District Authorities.
Apart from making use of the town budget, the Department of Education of the Town Hall in Bedzin gains money from the European Union funds.
It is worth mentioning that Nursery, Primary and Grammar Schools in Bedzin actively participate in Comenius projects from Lifelong Learning Program and are open for new foreign partners.
The royal town presents proudly its cultural output. Artistic events such as the International Festival of Christmas Carols, the Celtic Music Festival “Zamek” or the Bedzin Feast of Flavours attract art enthusiasts throughout the year. Bedzin has hosted events like the Tour the Pologne, the Fan Zone during EURO 2012 and the Europe Strongmen Cup. Each year its inhabitants have a chance to take part in the town's open air events, for example Children's Day, Days of Bedzin, the open air disco, Bedzin Santa Claus Day and New Year's Eve. In Bedzin there are also five units responsible for organizing sports and cultural activities. They are Centre of Culture, Town and District Public Library, Sports and Recreation Centre, Zaglebie Museum and Zaglebie Children's Theatre.
Places of interest
It is a medieval Piast castle built in the 40s of the 14th century by Casimir the Great who turned a previously wooden court into a fortified stone stronghold. It is located on a hill on the Czarna Przemsza River in the Trail of the Eagles’ Nests.
It was reconstructed in 1834 and rebuilt in the years 1952-1956. There is an inn in the castle courtyard and inside the castle there is the Zaglebie Museum with a rich collection of former melee weapon, ranged weapon, firearms and armor. One can also climb the round tower to admire a beautiful panorama of Zaglebie.
Undergrounds of castle hill in Bedzin
Undergrounds of castle hill in Bedzin consist of two joined tunnels excavated in the years 1943-1944 by prisoners on orders of the German invader inside castle hill. Orogenic belt of this area is made of middle Triassic limestones and dolomites lying on Carboniferous formations. There are four chambers hammered in a rock which in the future will serve as exhibition rooms. Corridors will also function as exhibition space. An area in front of the entrance was arranged, covered with calciferous slabs and illuminated. In the vicinity there were reconstructed terrain stairs as well as a view point.
Castle hill is a friendly and well functioning place for rest. Recently a park area with street furniture has been modernized. What is more, a defensive wall has been reconstructed where a didactic path has appeared. There is also green space with a playground for children and an amphitheatre as well as 15 other places for recreation, reflection and meditation, so called “magic” places.
Holy Trinity Church
The oldest shrine in Bedzin is beautifully located on the slope of Castle Hill. It was built probably in the 14th century. The brick church was erected in Casimir the Great’s times almost simultaneously with the castle and town walls. The today’s chancel is its oldest part. It has been rebuilt many times because of serious damage and currently it has a baroque form and equipment. A main baroque altar, choir balcony with the only preserved in Będzin image of the Mieroszewski family coat of arms (night heron) as well as numerous epitaphs outside the church are worth attention. The lofty silhouette of the church used to compete with a synagogue located nearby. On its outside wall there is a plaque in Polish and Hebrew commemorating a heroic deed of priest M. Zawadzki, the Righteous Among the Nations of the World. When the Germans set fire to the synagogue in September 1938, he saved a group of Jews letting them pass through the church area.
Palace and park complex in Gzichów – the Mieroszewski Palace
It is a baroque and classical palace erected in 1702 by Kazimierz Mieroszewski as an imitation of French palaces of that time. The one-storeyed building has been redecorated and extended many times and therefore it does not have a uniform style. At the back, there is a park from the beginning of the 18th century surrounded by manorial outbuildings. There are also stone sculptures of Bacchus and Flora in the park. Nowadays the palace is a part of the Zaglebie Museum. Inside there are archaeological, ethnographic and historical collections.
Family Activity Zones
These are unusual places for the whole family. So far 4 Family Activity Zones have been built on the area of the town. Each one consists of a playground for children and facilities of open air gym available for all people interested. Additionally, in a park on Lower Syberka, next to the FAZ, there is a traffic town where the youngest Bedzin inhabitants can learn rules of behaving on a road or pass bicycle license exams.
Football pitch in Bedzin-Grodziec
It consists of a full size grass football pitch and a training pitch. Next to it, there is a sport pavilion which is the background of the pitch, inside which there are changing rooms for players, manager's office rooms, rooms for judges, sport equipment warehouses and other facilities necessary for this type of investments.
Skatepark and 2 beach volleyball pitches
The complex take 3,500 square metres. Skatepark itself, consisting of 14 facilities, has about 900 square metres. The whole area is lit, monitored and located in the Wi-Fi zone available from early morning till late evening hours.
An open air rink is located in the area of the Sports and Recreation Centre in Bedzin at 4 Sportowa Street. Skaters, apart from ice surface, have also an ice skates rental at their disposal. The greatest attraction for children is undoubtedly equipment thanks to which they can learn how to skate, so called “little penguins”, bought for the youngest town inhabitants who take their first steps on ice.
Areas of cooperation between twin-cities
The agreement on establishment of twinning relationship between the city of Bedzin (the Republic of Poland) and the city of Izhevsk (the UdmurtRepublic, the Russian Federation) was signed on June 11, 2004.
The principal areas of the cooperation:
· Cooperation between the Lyceum of Arts of the city of Izhevsk and the school №2 of the city of Bedzin;
· Exchange of students and professors between the Izhevsk State Medical Academy and the Medical Academy of the city of Katowice;
· Participation in the annual internet conference the “Day of initiatives”, devoted to students’ familiarization with the work of local self-government bodies;
· Annual exchange of schoolchildren groups during summer vacation;
· Exchange of experience of local self-government.
The additional directions of the cooperation:
· Exchange of sports delegations;
· Participation in the bike ride Izhevsk – Bedzin;
· Participation in drawing competitions;
· Cooperative participation in projects of the European Union;
· Exchange of creative teams;
· Organization of photo exhibitions.