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Geographical area. Prudnik town covering 2 048 ha and inhabited by 20 804 people is situated at the height of about 265 m above sea level, in the south of the Opolskie Province at the foothills of the Sudety Mountains. It is a borderland of two geographic regions: the Głubczycki Plateau – a part of Silesian Plain and the Opawskie Mountains – a part the Eastern Sudety Mountains. It directly borders the Czech Republic. Two peaks constitute the south background against which the town appears, namely: Biskupia Kopa (890 m above sea level) – the highest peak of the Opawskie Mountains and Pradziad (1491 m above sea level) located within the range of Jeseniki on the Czech side. The town is located about 120 km from two airports (Wrocław or Katowice) with direct connections to two national roads (nr 40 and 41) and the town is an ideal base for the trips into the Scenic Park of the Opawskie Mountains and for the trips to its Czech part.
Waters of the Prudnik river and flowing into it Zloty Potok with its sources in the Czech Republic flow around the town on its three sides.
The first human traces in the present town area are dated to the Neolithic times. In 1259 the Czech knight Wok from Rożemberg founded in the defensive bend of the Prudnik river a castle, and his son Henryk obtained the town location in 1279.
At the first time Prudnik formed a part of Bohemia, since 1280 it was within the Opawskie Duchy ruled by the Przemyśl dynasty, since 1318 counted among Silesian duchies. In 1337 it was purchased by Opole princes (since 1328 a feud of the Czech Crown). In 1526 the town was seized by the Austrian Habsburg family and after the death of the last Opole Piast prince, it was directly ruled by the Germans. The town developed as an important centre of handcraft, particularly cloth manufacturing and shoe-making. In 1742 the town was incorporated into Prussia. Its former German name read Polnisch Neustadt, in 1708 -1945 Neustadt in Oberschlesien. In old Polish sources the town was referred to as Prądnik. In the 19th centuries factories continuing traditions of local handicraft arose here: a flax weaving plant and a shoe factory. In 1945 Prudnik was incorporated into Poland. It is one of more beautiful and abundant in historic monuments towns in Silesia.
Today, there are 4 major industrial plants in Prudnik which are employing more than 100 workers (Steinpol Central Services – furniture industry, Artech Polska Sp. z o.o. – printing cartridges industry, Spółdzielnia Pionier – auto parts industry, Okręgowa Spółdzielnia Mleczarska – food industry). In addition the local economy is driven by small and medium size private businesses.
Projects already implemented among the most significative ones which express of being Cittaslow.
Multi – purpose trails: hiking, cycling, horse riding is the project already implemented among the most significative which express Prudnik as Cittaslow.
An idea to create a network of multi-purpose trails has been developing for years. The idea's implementation has begun in 2009. As a result a number of new sustainable trails have been created, producing a unique tourist attraction that expands over the region's borders.
The trails have been designed for visitors of all ability and marked according to the trial marking rules of PTTK as pedestrian, cycling and horse riding trials. Notice boards and signposts stand out thanks to placing a crest of Prudnik on them. What makes the multi-purpose trials so special is that they cover all the user's needs. Two new vantage points were created at the top of Kozia Góra and Wieszczyna. Two new high quality hostels were modernized and comfortably equipped – one in former barracks in Prudnik and one in Wieszczyna. The overall trials network of 35,6 kilometres is dotted with diners, like trout fisheries in Moszczanka, agrotourism farms, some designed specially for horse riding enthusiasts, shops, camping spots and rest areas.
Project organized together with other cities.
Prudnik has got five foreign partner towns: Krnov (Czech Republic), Bruntal (Czech Republic), Nadvirna (Ukraine), Northeim (Germany), San Giustino (Italy).
The co-operation of Prudnik with above cities started from informal, private contacts and co-operation in the field of education, culture, sports and tourism develops especially well. So far common artistic exhibition, the exchange of school youth, meetings of social communities, performances of local groups during days of our twins cities have been organized.
More than dozen of projects have been organized with ours partner towns from which the most valuable are two infrastructural projects: "Revitalization of urban parks in Prudnik and Bruntal" and "The creation of the material base of the protection of cross-border weaving tradition in Prudnik and Krnov".
Kids Rally (last weekend of May or first weekend of June) - this is a truly special event. Its history started in 1979. Ever since, every year the youngest inhabitants of the area together with their parents set off from Prudnik to Chocim via Opawskie Mountains. Many attractions await at the finish line. In 2007, to celebrate the history and huge popularity of the event, one of the promenade in Prudnik got the name of "Kids Rally Alley".
Prudnik Days (July) – these yearly celebrations attract many popular Polish artists to the market square of Prudnik.
Jazz Festival (August) – ever since 2007 Prudnik Jazz Festival has been attracting both Polish and foreign jazz celebrities. The festival gathers crowds every year and its popularity is growing.
Fairs and Markets:
Exhibition of the Folk Artist and Artistic Craftsmanship of the Polish and Czech Borderland (the first decade of June). The exhibition gathers around 300 artists every year not only from Poland. It is accompanied by a seminar on arts and crafts, various shows , tasting regional delicacies and folk dance groups performances. Above all – it is a unique opportunity to see just how diverse folk art is and hot it is made.
"INTER – REGION" fair of Enterpreneurship and Craftsmanship (middle of September) – another initiative promoting the transnational cooperation between contiguous territories of Poland and Czech Republic. The fair gives a change to local manufacturers, tradesmen and craftsmen specializing in the building trade and house and garden furnishings to present their products. The fair also offer an opportunity to purchase some of the presented merchandise and see various presentations on the region and Prudnik partners towns.
Mrs Marzena Białecka