Wednesday, 11 August 2010

BogatyniaBogatynia [bɔgaˈtɨɲa] ( listen) (German: Reichenau) is a town in Zgorzelec County, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, in south-western Poland, close to the tripoint of the Czech, German and Polish borders. The town lies approximately 27 kilometres (17 mi) south of Zgorzelec, and 147 kilometres (91 mi) west of the regional capital Wrocław. As of 2006 it had 19,068 inhabitants.

The settlement in the historical region of Upper Lusatia was first mentioned in a 1262 deed. Initially a possession of the Bohemian crown, Lusatia by the 1635 Peace of Prague fell to the Saxon Electorate. As Saxony had sided with Napoleon it had to cede the northeastern part of Upper Lusatia to Prussia according to the Final Act of the 1815 Vienna Congress. After the new border had been drawn, Reichenau was the only locality east of the Neisse river that belonged to the Kingdom of Saxony. With the implementation of the Oder-Neisse line at the end of World War II, it was therefore the only municipality in Poland which until 1945 was part of the Free State of Saxony. At first called Rychwald, the town was renamed in 1947.

Today Bogatynia is one of the richest towns per capita in Poland, due to its two principal enterprises: a brown coal mine (Kopalnia Węgla Brunatnego Turów SA) and the associated thermal power station (Elektrownia Turów), the third-largest of the country. The word bogaty in Polish describes a rich or wealthy person - a calque from the town's original German name, 'Reichenau' (reich: "rich").

The town used to be connected via narrow gauge railway lines to Zittau and to Frýdlant.

Notable People

  • Johann Gottfried Schicht, composer (1753-1823)
  • Ernst Friedrich Apelt, philosopher (1812-1859)
Twin Towns
  • Germany Zittau, Germany
  • Czech Republic Hrádek nad Nisou, Czech Republic

Bogatynia Map

Coordinates: 50°55′N 14°58′E


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