The settlement was first recorded in 1598, and it remained a small village until 1865, when it was granted municipal rights as Kattowitz. It grew rapidly as coal mining began in the area during the 1860s. The city became part of Poland in 1922 and has since incorporated surrounding villages. Its economy is dependent on coal mining and heavy industry, and it is an important rail junction and has an airport.
Katowice is also a cultural centre and is home to the University of Silesia, the Academy of Economics, and other institutions of higher education. Two music festivals held in the city are the “Metalmania” Rock Festival and the Rawa Blues Festival.