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Ruda was first mentioned in the so-called Registrum Vyasdense, catalogue of the tithes paid to the bishop of Wrocław, compiled in 1295-1305. The village of Ruda began in the area of today’s ul. Bujoczka and Starowiejska. The settlement in the area was connected with ore output – hence the name of the location. Ruda was owned by the Rudzki family, who had bought it already in the 14th century (1396). Since then, Ruda was a private property. In 1540, it was purchased by Jan Gierałtowski of Chudów, whose family owned the village until 1622. As a result of a lawsuit, in 1643, the estate was taken over by Marianna Koniecka and her husband Aleksander Biały-Bielski. Their family were probably the last owners to live in the Ruda castle. Another significant owner, Baron Franciszek Wolfgang von Stechow, purchased Ruda in 1748. Since 1738, he also owned Pławniowice. In 1798, Ruda passes to von Stechow’s grandson – Count Karol Franciszek von Ballestrem. Since then, the majorat of Ruda, Biskupice and Pławniowice was in the care of the Ballestrem family, whose “rule” lasted until 1945, the year of Count Mikołaj’s death.

The date recognised as the establishing of the first colliery in Ruda is the passing of the act by virtue of which the majorat of Ruda, Biskupice and Pławniowice was created. This happened on 23 January 1752, following the request of baron von Stechow. In 1770, Baron Franciszek Karol von Stechow presented the Brandenburg mine, active already in the times of Austrian rule, to be registered by the Prussian Mining Office. He obtained a mining grant for it. After Stechow’s death in 1798, the majorat was inherited by Count Karol Franciszek von Ballestrem. The Ballestrem family soon gained importance as Upper Silesian industrialists, investing in various branches of industry and building one of the most developed concerns. The Ballestrems owned estates in Upper and Lower Silesia, as well as mining grants in the areas of Ruda and Biskupice. The active mines of the areas included Brandenburg, Wolfgang and Graf Franz in Ruda, and Castellengo in Rokitnica, as well as cooperating plants, namely: Mikołaj powerplant, Walenty coking plant, a Chamotte plant and a railway for transporting filling material - owned by the Borsiga concern. The Ballestrems also had a majority interest in Górnośląska Kolej Żelazna (the Upper Silesian Railway, in German: Oberschlesische Eisenbahn Bedarfs Aktiengesellschaft, or Oberbedarf). The management of Count Ballestrem Estate governed estates in Upper and Lower Silesia, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and directed industrial subsidiaries. Simultaneously with the development of industrial infrastructure, workers' estates were built for the Ballestrem concern workers. They were located, among others, in today's ul. Kościelna and Staszica, along ul. Szczęść Boże, in the area of the Carl Emanuel colony, as well as in Rudzka Kuźnica. In 1922, after the partitioning of Upper Silesia, Ballestrem’s concern underwent fundamental changes. The directors’ seat was moved from Ruda to Gliwice, on the German side. On the Polish side a company named The East-Upper-Silesian Industrial Plants of Count Mikołaj Ballestrem was established. The plants in Ruda area belonged to the newly founded company. By virtue of the 10 July 1939 act of the Silesian Parliament, Ruda was granted town privileges, which, however, did not come into effect until after World War II. It was then that Godula, Orzegów and Chebzie were incorporated into Ruda. In 1959, Ruda and Nowy Bytom were united to form a city named Ruda Śląska.





*The table includes only selected historic objects from the area of district

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