TeschenTeschen (Czech: Těšín, Polish: Cieszyn) is a former principality and its capital. Teschen is considered a part of Silesia. The post-World War I border divides both the land and the city of Teschen between Poland and the Czech Republic.
In 1900 the population was 19,142, of which over half were German, 43 percent were Polish and the remainder were Czech. Teschen is situated on the Olsa, a tributary of the Oder river, and combines both Polish and German peculiarities in the style of its buildings. The only relic of the ancient castle is a square tower, dating from the I2th century.
Teschen is an old town and was the capital of the duchy of Teschen. It was at Teschen that Maria Theresa and Frederick II signed, in May 1779, the Peace, which put an end to the war of Bavarian succession. The duchy of Teschen belonged to the dukes of Upper Silesia, and since 1298 it stood under the suzerainty of Bohemia. It became a direct apanage of the Bohemian crown in 1625 at the extinction of the male line of its dukes, and since 1766 it bore the name of Saxe-Teschen, owing to the fact that Prince Albert of Saxony, who married a daughter of Maria Theresa, received it as part of his wife's dowry. In 1822, it was bestowed on the Archduke Charles, the victor of Aspern; it was inherited by his eldest son, and, at his death, in 1895 it passed into the hands of his nephew, the Archduke Frederick.
After World War I local self-governments were established and divided the region basing on ethnic bases. However, Czechs attacked Polish part of the region and then forced Poland, which was then fighting in the east, to recognize new borders. The city was divided in 1920 by the Conference of Ambassadors, a body formed by the Versailles Treaty. Czechoslovakia received the western section (including the Karviná basin) known as "Ceský Tešín", while Poland received the eastern section "Cieszyn". Poland claimed the Czech section, eventually seizing it in October, 1938 after the Munich Pact. Teschen was annexed to Germany during World War II and the 1920 borders were restored in 1945.