Market Square with the town hall and St. Barbara Church
|• Mayor||Łukasz Puźniecki|
|• Total||23.75 km2 (9.17 sq mi)|
|• Density||950/km2 (2,500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Area code(s)||+48 76|
Situated in a traditional mining region, the town is part of the largest industrial copper-extraction area in Poland, with a copper-processing plant operating nearby. Nearby Polkowice Dolne is the site of a former State Agricultural Farm (PGR) and, since 1998, of a Volkswagen diesel engine plant, another major employer in the region.
The name of the town is probably derived from Slavic (Old Polish) Boleslaw, meaning "great glory", a favoured dynastic name in the Polish royal House of Piast. According to legend, The Silesian duke Bolesław I the Tall (1127–1201) had a hunting lodge erected near the later town, later called Bolkewice or, adjusted to the German pronunciation, Polkovicz (1333). In the Statuta synodalia episcoporum Wratislaviensium from 1475 the town is named Polkewicze and Polkowice. As a result of the fragmentation of Poland into smaller duchies, it became part of the Duchy of Silesia, and later on the Duchy of Głogów. Polkowice was mentioned as a town (civitas) in a 1276 deed. It remained part of the Duchy of Głogów, ruled by the Polish houses of Piast and Jagiellon, including future Polish kings John I Albert and Sigismund I the Old, until the duchy's dissolution in 1506, when it was incorporated into the Bohemian (Czech) Kingdom.
Parts of the medieval town were destroyed by a blaze in 1457, it suffered further damages during the Thirty Years' War and by a plague epidemic in 1680. After the First Silesian War in 1742, Polkwitz was annexed by Prussia and later incorporated into the Province of Silesia. Between 1871 and 1945 the town was part of Germany and was renamed Heerwegen in 1937 by German Nazi authorities during a campaign of erasing placenames of Polish origin. After Germany's defeat in World War II, the town became part of Poland. Its German-speaking population was expelled in totality.
In 2005 the neighbouring village of Polkowice Dolne was included within the town limits.
- Lower Silesian College of Enterprise and Technology (Dolnośląska Wyższa Szkoła Przedsiębiorczości i Techniki)
- Górnik Polkowice – football team, playing in the Polish third division. The team played in the country's top flight in season 2003-2004
- MKS Polkowice – women's basketball team, 3rd place in Sharp Torell Basket Liga in 2004/2005 season
- CCC Polsat Polkowice – Road Cycling Team UCI Professional Continental team
Twin towns – sister cities
- "Population. Size and structure and vital statistics in Poland by territorial divison in 2019. As of 30th June". stat.gov.pl. Statistics Poland. 2019-10-15. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
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