Głogów  (German: Glogau, Czech: Hlohov, Silesian: Głogůw) is a town in Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland. Pronounced as Gwo-goev, the town is one of the oldest settlements in modern Poland, tracing its history back to the first Slavic tribes in the region. Głogów suffered immensely from the Second World War, leaving scars that remain visible to this day. Thanks to a Herculean reconstruction effort beginning near the end of communism, Głogów's Old Town has been largely rebuilt, with construction continuing into the present day, making it one of the few old towns in Poland that is still growing. The population of Głogów is nearly 70,000.
Głogów's history began with its creation by the Dziadoszanie, an ancient Slavic tribe that arrived in the region during the Migration era. The first recorded history of Głogów dates to 1010. A borderland between the Holy Roman Empire and the medieval Polish kingdom, the lands surrounding Głogów were heavily contested. At the pivotal Battle of Głogów in 1109, Polish forces under Duke Bolesław III Wrymouth successfully defended the town from a siege by Emperor Henry V of Germany. However, Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa successfully captured the town nearly fifty years later in 1157 while aiding forces loyal to Duke Władysław II the Exile of Silesia during a Piast dynasty feud. After a period of switching feudal lordships, Głogów became part of the Duchy of Silesia in 1190. During the fragmentation period of the Polish kingdom, the Duchy of Głogów was established by Konrad I in 1251. Under Konrad I, Magdeburg rights were bestowed on Głogów, giving the town a degree of autonomy away from the duchy. Głogów was subsumed briefly into the Kingdom of Bohemia under King John the Blind in 1329. Afterwards, Głogów was inherited back to the Silesian Piast dynasty.
In 1488, a Hungarian army led on by King Matthias Corvinus invaded Głogów, expelling its final Piast duke, Jan II the Mad. However, the Hungarian presence was short-lived, followed by the return to royal Polish rule afterwards, with future Polish kings John Albert and Sigismund I governing the town at the turn of the 16th century. In 1526, the town, along with all of Silesia, was inherited by the Austrian Habsburg dynasty under the name of the Bohemian crown. A hundred years later, Głogów was fought over back and forth during the devastating Thirty Years' War, becoming an imperial stronghold in 1630 before falling to Protestant forces in 1632, followed with its recapture by Holy Roman imperial troops in 1633, then ravished by Swedish soldiers in 1642. The town was subsumed back to the Habsburg realm with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. A constitute part of the Kingdom of Bohemia (itself part of the Austrian Habsburg monarchy), Głogów was captured and its lands were annexed by Prussia during the First Silesian War in 1741.
As a military fortress town, Głogów was frequently a target during the Napoleonic Wars, captured by French forces in 1806, then later subjected to a grueling siege by Allied troops between 1813 and 1814. As Głogów (now under its German name, Glogau) fell within the Kingdom of Prussia and later into the German Empire after 1871, the city's military fortifications were dismantled following a campaign by local citizens, who complained that its defences stagnated town growth and served little contemporary purpose. The last of the town's military fortifications were taken down in 1902.
During the Second World War, the Nazi regime declared Glogau a fortress city of the reich. For six weeks, the town was besieged by the Soviet Red Army during its push to Berlin. During the ensuing siege, over 90 percent of the town was destroyed. The surviving German residents of Glogau were expelled to Germany at the war's conclusion after Głogów's annexation by Poland. Reduced to rubble, the town's economy remained severely depressed until a copper foundry was constructed in 1967, beginning a quick economic recovery. The town immensely grew afterwards, surpassing its pre-war population by 1975.
Beginning slowly in the 1970s and picking up pace in the 1980s, city authorities began to reconstruct many of Głogów's former landmarks, including the town castle (completed in 1983), the town hall (completed in 2002), and the collegiate church (with its first mass since World War II held in 1999). While much of the Old Town has been rebuilt, authorities and developers are continuing to expand it into the present day, as evidenced by the number of construction materials and vehicles contemporary visitors may find when visiting the Old Town today. As such, Głogów continues to recapture its history as its tourist industry slowly takes shape.
The closest air gateway to Głogów is Wrocław–Copernicus Airport (WRO) 90 minutes to the southeast in Wrocław. Airlines that service Copernicus include Lufthansa, SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Poland's national carrier LOT together with it's daughter company Eurolot. Additional low cost airlines flying to and from Wrocław include Germanwings, Ryanair and Wizz Air. Domestic flights connect Wrocław with Warsaw, Gdańsk and Lublin.
A second option is Poznań–Ławica Airport (POZ), located around two hours to the northeast just outside of Poznań. The airport is served by LOT, Eurolot, Lufthansa, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, as well as low cost airlines Germanwings, Ryanair and Wizz Air.
A third and more distant option is Dresden Airport (DRS), situated two and a half hours away across the German border near Dresden. Airlines flying in and out of Dresden include Aeroflot, easyJet, Etihad Regional, Germanwings, InterSky, Lufthansa, Vueling, UTair Aviation and Yakutia Airlines.
National road DK12 is the most direct highway leading into and out of Głogów. National road DK3, a major north-south link for western Poland, runs just south of the town, providing access to the A4 motorway to the south and the A2 motorway to the north. At present, there are no motorways or expressways near Głogów, although the Polish government plans to extend the S3 expressway southward near the town by the end of the decade.
Głogów's train station (dworzec kolejowy) is located just northwest of the Old Town. Głogów is serviced by regional rail operator PolRegio and less frequently by national operator PKP Intercity. Both rail services offer connections from the town to cities across Lower Silesia, with the provincial capital Wrocław serving as a hub for rail transport. From Wrocław, visitors can connect to the rest of the national rail system for links across the country and for international destinations. A general rail timetable can be researched via Rozklad-PKP.
Głogów is accessible by a number of bus routes operated by several different bus companies. Routes and schedules can be accessed by e-podroznik.pl The main bus station (dworzec autobusowy) is located to the northwest of the town center near Jedności Robotniczej street.
Much of Głogów's interesting sights can easily be reached by foot. However, for more intrepid travelers wishing to have greater access to the town, tourists can use Komunikacja Miejska Spółka z.o.o. w Głogowie, better known as KM Głogów. KM Głogów's bus fleet provides access to much of the town and its surrounding environs. Its buses are easily recognizable by a white and red checker color pattern on the front of its bus fleet, modeled after the city's flag.
As Głogów is located in the north of Lower Silesia, the town is a good gateway to explore central western Poland. Located next to national road DK12, the city is accessible to the rest of the province, as well into the neighboring voivodeships of Greater Poland and Lubusz. From Głogów, the provincial capital of Wrocław is a little more than a 90 minute drive to the southeast. To the northeast, Poznań is an hour and fifty minute drive. The German border is roughly 90 minutes to the west. The German regional center of Cottbus is two hours away by car.