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Silesia / 2007


huta f hucie : steel or iron works. foundry, smeltery.

During most of the 20th century the Upper Silesian coal basin represented the economic engine of Poland. Coal mining developed together with iron and steelmaking, while shaping a network of cities and villages centered around Katowice. Differently from western Europe similar cases, here the economic decline occurred from night to day, as soon as the communist regime collapsed. Foundries and factories turned into ruins, neighborhoods were abandoned and the unemployment rate reached dramatic levels. More than twenty years later the signs of all that are still pretty visible, despite the ongoing impressive urban and economic regeneration process.