Member of the Polish National Network
Kalety is a town which lies in the south of Poland, in Upper Silesia, and is part of the Silesian province and Tarnowskie Góry district. The town spreads in a vast, flat valley, on the Małapanew river. It is situated on an important railway route connecting Silesia with the Coast. Within the town there are the following several boroughs: Drutarnia, Jędrysek, Kuczów, Miotek, Mokrus, Truszczyca, Zielona and forest hamlet Lubocz.
The total area of the town is 76.68 km2 and about 85% of it is covered by forests. Hence the promotional slogan - "Forest Nook of Silesia". In Kalety there are 8 895 inhabitants. The beginnings of settlement there are closely associated with the rise of steel industry in Upper Silesia. The first written record referring to the forge - a bloomery in this area - appeared in documents dated 1365. Metallurgical traditions had been cultivated until the nineteenth century when the widespread use of coking coal in newly built factories made steel production in forest forges unprofitable.
At the end of the eighteenth century, John Koulhaas - an industrialist, innovator and owner of several plants producing steel - arrived at Kuczów, which was the biggest borough then. Koulhaas bought the local forge, and later, in 1789, in the so-called "Pustkowie Lubszeckie" (Lubszecki Desolation), west of Kuczów, he founded a new plant of files, spoons, knives, forks and buttons. The plant and the nearby located sawmill, which were bought then in the mid-nineteenth century by the Counts von Donnersmarck from Świerklaniec, became the nucleus of a new business that Kalety was famous for almost the entire twentieth century - The Pulp and Paper Factory.
In 1922, after the Silesian Uprisings and the plebiscite, the town was taken over by Polish administration. Work in the factory gradually attracted new residents. The surrounding smaller administrative units were joined to Kalety. After World War II, in 1951, Kalety received municipal rights. The factory ceased its activity in 1994. The town itself has begun a new era in its history and by enhancing and promoting the values and advantages of the picturesque location it has become "Forest Nook of Silesia".
Today, there are no major industrial plants in Kalety and the local economy is driven by small family businesses mainly. Several of them have been established in the deaths of The Pulp and Paper Factory. The city has two elementary schools, two grammar schools and two kindergartens (in Miotek there is a school complex). A branch office of the Society of Friends of Children functions in old school buildings in Drutarnia. Health care is especially well developed and there are three health centres and an emergency station. Also, two residential homes will open soon.
The beautiful location among forests attracts quite a lot of tourists. They can take advantage of offers of three recreation centres on the lakes in Zielona. With the guests and their inhabitants in view, the town is steadily and constantly increasing its attractiveness by cultivating parks, paving and marking biking routes and lanes for jogging and Nordic-walking. For this same purpose, in the current year, the sports stadium has been renovated and the stadium's infrastructure has been significantly enriched. In cooperation with five neighbouring municipalities, in 2013 there was opened a trail called "Leśno Rajza" (Forest Tour) which is 150 kilometres long. Cycling tours and cross-country events are regularly organised there.
Kalety has two partner towns: Vitkov (in The Czech Republic) and Ustroń. In 2013, the town started a procedure for accession to the International Cittaslow Association. Official membership certificate was given to the town at VII General Assembly in Netherlands, on 21 June 2014.