Katowice is a city in southern Poland, the capital city of the Silesian Region, and a center of the Upper Silesia and Dąbrowa Basin Metropolis. With the population of 294,510, it is the eleventh-largest city in Poland. The wider Katowice urban area has the population of approximately 2 to 3 million people.
Throughout the mid-18th century, Katowice had developed into a village upon the discovery of rich coal reserves in the area. In 1742 the First Silesian War transferred Upper Silesia, including Katowice, to Prussia. Subsequently, from the second half of the 18th century, many German or Prussian craftsmen, merchants and artists began to settle in the region, which had been inhabited mostly by Poles over the past hundreds of years. Simultaneously Silesia experienced the influx of the first Jewish settlers. In the first half of the 19th century, intensive industrialization transformed local mills and farms into industrial steelworks, mines, foundries and artisan workshops. This also contributed to the establishment of companies and eventual rapid growth of the city.