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Teschen (Czech: Těšín, Polish: Cieszyn) is a former principality and its capital. Teschen is considered a part of Silesia. The post-World War I border divides both the land and the city of Teschen between Poland and the Czech Republic. Polish part has 37,700 (1990) and Czech 23,400(1990).

Table of contents
1 The city
2 The duchy
3 External links

The city

In 1900 the population was 19,142, of which over half were German, 43 percent were Polish and the remainder were Czech. Teschen is situated on the Olsa, a tributary of the Oder river, and combines both Polish and German peculiarities in the style of its buildings. The only relic of the ancient castle is a square tower, dating from the I2th century.

Teschen is an old town and was the capital of the duchy of Teschen. It was at Teschen that Maria Theresa and Frederick II signed, in May 1779, the Peace, which put an end to the war of Bavarian succession.

The city was divided in 1920 by the Conference of Ambassadors, a body formed by the Versailles Treaty.

The duchy

It shared history of Silesia and after the feudal division of Poland in 1138 was ruled by Piast dukes from Silesian line. The duchy of Teschen belonged to the dukes of Upper Silesia, and since 1298 it recognized the overlordships of Kings of from Bohemian dynasty. Since 1343, when Poland acknowledged Bohemian rule over Silesia, it shared history of Bohemian Silesia.

It became a direct apanage of the Bohemian crown in 1625 at the extinction of the male line of its dukes, and since 1766 it bore the name of Saxe-Teschen, owing to the fact that Prince Albert of Saxony, who married a daughter of Maria Theresa, received it as part of his wife's dowry. In 1822, it was bestowed on the Archduke Charles, the victor of Aspern; it was inherited by his eldest son, and, at his death, in 1895 it passed into the hands of his nephew, the Archduke Frederick. At the end of XIX the population of the duchy was split between Poles, Germans and Czechs, with moles making growing majority.

After World War I local self-governments were established and divided the region basing on ethnic bases. However, Czechs attacked Polish part of the region and then forced Poland, which was then fighting in the east, to recognize new borders. Czechoslovakia received the western section (including the Karviná basin) known as "Český Těšín", while Poland received the eastern section "Cieszyn". Poland claimed the Czech section, eventually seizing it in October, 1938 after the Munich Pact. Teschen was annexed to Germany during World War II and the 1920 borders were restored in 1945.

External links