Olza River

Olza River

Infobox River
river_name = Olza

caption = Olza River as seen from the bridge connecting Český Těšín and Cieszyn during winter.
origin = Silesian Beskids, Cieszyn Silesia
mouth = Oder River
basin_countries = Poland, Czech Republic
length = 99 km (16 km in Poland, 83 km in the Czech Republic) Cicha et al 2000, 18.]
elevation =
discharge = 10 m³/s near estuary
watershed = 1 118 km² (479 km² in Poland)

Audio|Olza.ogg|Olza ( _cs. Olše or "Olza", _de. Olsa) is a river in Poland and the Czech Republic, the right tributary of the Oder River. It flows from the Silesian Beskids through southern Cieszyn Silesia in Poland and Frýdek-Místek and Karviná districts of the Czech Republic, often forming the border with Poland. It flows into the Oder River north of Bohumín. The Olza-Oder confluence also forms a border.

It is a symbol of the Zaolzie (Polish: "Trans-Olza River") region, which lies on its west bank, constituting a part of the western half of Cieszyn Silesia. The unofficial anthem of this region and local Poles, "Płyniesz Olzo po dolinie" (You flow Olza, down the valley), written by Jan Kubisz, is centered around the river.

Olza inspired many other artists. Writers who wrote about the river include Adolf Fierla, Pola Gojawiczyńska, Emanuel Grim, Julian Przyboś, Vladislav Vančura, Adam Wawrosz. Singer Jaromír Nohavica used the motive of Olza in several of his songs.


The first historical mention dates back to 1290, when the river is mentioned as "Olza" [Mieszko, Duke of Cieszyn then wrote: "...dictorum mansorum super fluvium Olzam libere possideat..."] . The river was then mentioned in a written document in 1611 as "Oldza".Cicha et al 2000, 21.] At the end of the 19th century, together with the rise of mass nationalism both Polish and Czech activists claimed the name "Olza" is too little Polish and Czech, respectively.Gawrecki 1993, 13.] Some Polish activists proposed the name "Olsza", Czech activists "Olše". Czech linguist and writer Vincenc Prasek found out in 1900 that the name "Olza" is not Polish, nor Czech but has Old Slavic origin. This revelation was confirmed by various etymological studies in the 20th century. The form "Olza" used on this territory is derived from the ancient "Oldza". German "Olsa" is derived from "Olza". Local people always used the "Olza" form, regardless of their national or ethnic origin. Even the Germanized form "Olsa" reads as "Olza". However, central administration in Prague saw "Olza" as a Polish name and when most of the river became a part of Czechoslovakia in 1920 it tried to change its name to the Czech form of "Olše". However, till the 1960s still some dualism in the naming existed which was eventually suppressed by the Central State Administration of Geodesy and Cartography. [Gawrecki 1993, 15.] Since then, the only official form in the Czech Republic is "Olše", however locals from both sides of the border, from both nationalities, still call it "Olza".

Towns and villages on the river

"(from source to the mouth)"
* Istebna (PL)
* Bukovec
* Písek
* Jablunkov
* Návsí
* Hrádek
* Bystřice
* Vendryně
* Lyžbice
* Třinec
* Konská
* Ropice
* Český Těšín / Cieszyn (PL)
* Chotěbuz
* Pogwizdów (PL)
* Louky nad Olší
* Kaczyce (PL)
* Darkov
* Fryštát
* Karviná
* Dětmarovice
* Závada
* Godów (PL)
* Věřňovice
* Kopytov
* Olza (PL)



* cite book
last = Cicha
first = Irena
coauthors = Kazimierz Jaworski, Bronisław Ondraszek, Barbara Stalmach and Jan Stalmach
title = Olza od pramene po ujście
publisher = Region Silesia
year = 2000
location = Český Těšín
pages =
doi =
isbn = 80-238-6081-X

* cite journal
quotes =
last = Gawrecki
first = Dan
authorlink =
coauthors =
date =
year = 1993
month =
title = Olza a Olše
journal = Těšínsko
volume = 36
issue = 2
pages = 13–15
publisher =
issn =
doi =
oclc =
id =

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