|Gmina||Oława (urban gmina)|
|• Mayor||Tomasz Frischmann|
|• Total||27.34 km2 (10.56 sq mi)|
|Elevation||122 m (400 ft)|
|• Density||1,194.2/km2 (3,093/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Oława [ɔˈwava] (German: Ohlau (help·info)) is a town in south-western Poland with 32,674 inhabitants (2016). It is situated in Lower Silesian Voivodeship (from 1975–1998 it was in the former Wrocław Voivodeship). It is the seat of Oława County, and also of the smaller administrative district of Gmina Oława (although it is not part of the territory of the latter, as the town is an urban gmina in its own right).
Oława began to develop during the early 12th century at a site that was protected by the rivers Oder and Oława. It was first mentioned as Oloua in a document of 1149 confirming its donation to the abbey of St. Vincent in Wrocław. In 1206 Oława became one of the residence towns of the dukes of the Silesian Piast dynasty, who also granted Oława the status of a town in 1234.
During its history Oława was destroyed completely three times. In 1241 it was destroyed during the Mongol invasion of Europe, in 1448 by the Hussites, and again in 1634 during the Thirty Years' War. After the Polish King Casimir III had renounced his rights on Silesia with the contract of Trenčín in 1335, Silesia became until 1806 a part of the Holy Roman Empire as a Bohemian fief. In 1526, when the Habsburgs gained the Bohemian crown, Silesia came under Austrian sovereignty. In 1527 with the Reformation High German language came in use and with it the first usage of the version of the town's name Ohlau is reported. Following the death of the last Silesian Piast duke George IV William of Legnica in 1675, Ohlau ceased to be a residence town. Together with most of Silesia, the town became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1741.
The 18th and 19th centuries were a period of economic growth and Ohlau became well known as a centre of tobacco-growing. Ethnic Polish traditions and population also remained strong in the area, with a large influx of people from nearby Congress Poland. In 1842 a railroad between Ohlau and Breslau, the first in Silesia, was opened.
The historic town of Ohlau did not suffer any damage during World War I, however, in World War II about 60% of the buildings were destroyed. On 2 September 1939, one Polish PZL.23 Karaś bomber (scout) plane did bomb a German factory within the city in the first attack on German territory during the war. After 1945, most of the population of the town fled or were expelled, as they were German, and new Polish citizens, some of whom had been expelled from the Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union, took their place. Ohlau, renamed as Oława, became a garrison town of the Red Army Northern Group of Forces and remained so until 1992.
The flag of Oława presents the Coat of Arms of Oława, on a diagonally divided white-red background.
The Coat of Arms presents a white rooster on a red-shield background, looking to the left. There are two traditional hypothesis for the origin of the Coat of Arms:
On the basis that the Coat of Arms of Oława is in relation to the Kur Coat of Arms, such hypothesis can be deemed highly agreeable. The Kur Coat of Arms can be linked to Jan of Kur, a knight of Konrad I of Głogów, being the owner of the village of Kurów Wielki in 1266, in County of Polkowice. The Coat of Arms can also be also traced back to the personage of Szyban von Der - the court adjudicator of Henry III of Głogów - erroneously equated to Szaban Tader, a castellan of the Świny Castle, mentioned in Franciszek Piekosiński's book - Heraldyka polska wieków średnich - (Heraldry of Polish Middle Ages) published in Kraków, in 1899; where the document is sealed with the town's Coat of Arms from 1300.
Oława is the centre for industry and production in the Oława County. The town's industries include the production of electronics (namely Electrolux Poland and Nardi Appliances), furniture and car parts.
Largest industries include:
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