Duchy of Upper Silezia
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Civic heraldry of the Austro-Hungarian Empire
DUCHY OF OBERSCHLESIEN - UPPER SILEZIA
The Duchy Upper Silezia (German Oberschlesien, now in Poland) was part of Silezia, which became a separate duchy from Poland in 1163. Ever since the territory has been divided in many smaller duchies, provinces and principalities. First Silezia was split in Upper and Lower Silezia, which were gradually further divided. The Habsburg dynasty gradually acquired most of Silezia, which eventually was divided among Prussia and Austria. The Austrian Emperors, however held claim to the whole territory.
The golden eagle was first used by Duke Mesko (died 1211) and has been used as the arms for the area since, even though the Duchy itself did no longer exist. The eagle was also used by the German province of Oberschlesien (1921-1945) and is used by many cities in the region (f.e. Opole).
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Literature : Ströhl, 1890