Last modified: 2018-12-15 by rob raeside
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"Żory belongs to the oldest Silesian towns. Civic rights were granted
to Żory in 1272 by Vladislaus, Prince of Opole and Racibórz.
Zory was besieged many times over the centuries. It was also seriously destroyed during the Second World War.
A Mediaeval street layout around the square and some fragments of the Old Town fortifications have been preserved till today. Where the Old Town Gates used to be in Górne Przedmieście Street and Dolne Przedmieście Street, two symbols of architecture were built: a miniature Lower /leading out to Cracow/ Gate and a modern Upper /Cieszyn/ Gate.
The town arms consists of half of the Piast - dynasty eagle, that honours
the founder of the town, and a silver sword symbolizing the stronghold
character of our town. The other version says that arms were split
and the sword was added in 1384. Żory then became a member of the 22 Town
Confederation and received the right to administer justice with a sword.
The name of the town comes from a Slavonic settlement, Żar (English 'heat'), and is connected with the popular method of preparing agricultural land by burning grass and forest. However, the town's name is also associated with its history. Żory often suffered from siege and fire. For over 300 years the inhabitants of Żory have celebrated a very unique festival. On 11th May in the evening they take part in "The Fire Festival" - a procession with torches, which leaves the church of St. Philip and St. Jacob and walks along the streets of The Old Town to the Town Square. It was to protect the town from fire which used to destroy Żory in the past. The "Fire Festivalt" tradition dates back to 1702 when the bigger part of town burnt and many of its inhabitants lost their lives in the fire.
Another interesting and special event are horse fairs held every second Tuesday each month. Horse breeders from all southern Poland come to the fair located in Kleszczów." (website)
It has an excellent women handball team - MTS Żory and good baseball team - Gepardy Żory (Żory cheetahs, a typical Polish animal).
The Heraldic Commission in Warsaw (with the possible exception of Mr.Z)
disliked the bold, happy and quite psychedelic rainbow flag of the city,
considered it to be outside the norms of vexillology and the heraldic shield
as bitten by the rodents on all its corners.
Under pressure of the Commission, the City Council adopted "straightened-up" versions of Arms and flag on December 22, 2005 (resolution # 486/XLII/05).
"Arms: on the shield divided into two parts, on the right, blue field
a golden half eagle of the Upper Silesian Piasts.
On the left, red field a silver sword with golden handle, pointing down.
The renditions of the eagle and the sword were slightly modified from the previous Arms.
Flag: a rectangle in the ratio of 5:8 divided 2:1:1:2 into four horizontal
color bands. The wider, upper and lower bands are blue and yellow while
the narrower, middle bands are white and red.
Blue and yellow correspond to the colors of Upper Silesia while white and red are the national colors of Poland."
Chrystian Kretowicz, 2 Feb 2009
Żory is in Żory county; German name Sohrau, southwest of Katowice.
Gunnar Staack, 22 Oct 2000
Two days ago I sent an image of the flag of this town in Śląskie voivodship
to the list. Now it is also on the web, and proportionally it differs sufficiently
from the image made by Gunnar Staack IMO to be included in the FOTW-pages.
Jarig Bakker, 24 Oct 2000