Bielsko-Biała byĕl´skô byä´lä [key], Ger. Bielitz, city (1993 est. pop. 185,000), Śląskie prov., S Poland, on the Biała River, a tributary of the Vistula. The city is a railway junction and has a noted woolen textile industry. Other manufactures include machines for the mining and chemical industries. It is also a tourist and winter sports center. Founded in the 13th cent., the city passed to Austria in 1772 and was returned to Poland in 1919. It was called Bielsko until 1950, when it joined the town of Biała, across the river, to form a single city.
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