The first mention of the village of Biskupice, located in this place, dates back to 1243, when it constituted the property of the Wrocław bishops (until 1810)[1.1].In 1327, Prince Władysław Bytomski (1277-1352) rendered homage to the Bohemian King and since then the village of Zabrze remained under the Bohemian sovereignty, sharing the political fortunes of Silesia. Since 14th century, lead and iron were extracted from the local ores. Louis II Jagiellon (1506-1526), King of Hungary and Bohemia, died in 1526 without any offspring, thus the Bohemian throne was given to Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este from the Habsburg dynasty. In this way Zabrze went under the rule of the Habsburg dynasty. In 1672, 483 inhabitants lived in Zabrze.

Since 1742, Zabrze belonged to the state of Prussia. In 1774, the development of the settlements, which later became the districts of Zabrze, started. The discovery of rich bituminous coal deposits between Zaborze and Pawłów in 1790 constituted a turning point in the history of Zabrze. The discovery was made by Salomon Izaak from Brabant. The mining of the coal started in 1791. The economic development was fostered by the construction of the railway route to Wrocław and Mysłowice (1845), which facilitated rapid export of coal and goods produced in Zabrze and its vicinity, as well as import of the necessary raw materials. At the end of the 19th century the biggest in Europe bituminous coal mine operated in Zabrze (in 1893 a yearly output amounted to 3.3 million tones). The industrial development was accompanied by the development of the local villages, which gradually grew to become one large urban entity. In 1905, the Zabrze municipality was established, which was occupied by over 55 thousand inhabitants. During World War I, in December 1914, the name of the municipality was changed to Hindenburg[1.2].

During the interwar period the town of Zabrze was one of the most important centers of the Silesian uprisings (1919-21). As a result of the plebiscite of 1921, Zabrze remained within the boundaries of Germany. In 1922, Zabrze received city rights. In 1927, the city had 125 thousand inhabitants[1.3].

During the Second World War, in 1945 the Soviet Army took over Zabrze.

  • [1.1] Piotr Hnatyszyn „Zabrze. Hindenburg” Muzeum Miejskie Zabrze, Zabrze 1993
  • [1.2] „Zabrze 2001-2002” Urząd Miejski Zabrze. Kraków 2001
  • [1.3] Stefania Janicka „Ludność i stosunki społeczne w konurbacji górnośląskiej (Bytom-Chorzów-Gliwice-Zabrze)” Śląski Instytut Naukowy, Katowice 1969