Patronage settlements and colonies of Silesia
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl
Patronage settlements and colonies of Silesia

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Patronage settlements and colonies of Silesia

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Patronage settlements and colonies of Silesia

Most of the patronage settlements and colonies were erected between 1890 and 1914. Their beginnings are mainly connected with the industrialisation of Upper Silesia, which caused a dynamic development of this region. As a result, an increased demand for workforce arose. The houses erected for the workers of mines and ironworks were located in their immediate vicinity. The names of the settlements usually refer to the original names of the works.

These complexes are characterised by a high diversity, both in terms of spatial planning and the form of the buildings. The oldest complexes were built in the second half of the 19th century. Initially, the colonies were small and consisted of a several houses of a low standard. Gradually, they grew intro self-sufficient organisms, which apart of tens of houses contained schools, churches, or hospitals. Usually the settlements were tightly built-up, and the buildings were distributed in geometrical, regular layouts. Each house had an outbuilding and a plot of arable land. The houses exhibited a diverse composition of the form. One of the basic types was a multi-family house, on a rectangular floor plan with a gable roof, also called a familok. At the beginning of the 20th century, houses with a form closer to the villa architecture started appearing. Some of the buildings were also a modified version of the English "cottage" style by combining brick and skeletal structure, among others.

Some of the settlements are to this day complexes with high urban and architectural qualities. The oldest complex is preserved in Chorzów at the Teodor Kalidi street, founded in 1798 for the workers of the Royal Ironworks. One of the more intriguing examples of such complexes is Nikiszowiec, a settlement for the workers of "Giesche" mine, designed by architects Emil and Georg Zillman. Another noteworthy patronage settlement is Giszowiec, an example of implementation of the garden-town idea.

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