Belchatów (Polish: Bełchatów) is a city in the ód Voivodeship, in the Belchatow Powiat, located on the Rakówka River. The city was founded in the XIV century, the status of the city from 1743 to 1870 and from 1925. Belchatów is a large mining center: 10 km from the city are the Belchatów lignite quarry and the Belchatów power plant.

As of June 30, 2004, the population is 62,437 inhabitants. The area of the city is 34.63 km². The city has a football club "Belchatow" and a men's volleyball club "Skra".


The place was first mentioned in 1391. Bełchatów received its town charter in 1737. Prussia received the place in 1793 under his rule. 14 years later the place belonged to the Duchy of Warsaw and in 1815 to the Kingdom of Poland, which was linked in personal union with the Russian Empire and thus actually belonged to Russia. In the course of the 19th century, the textile industry grew into an important branch of the economy, not least due to its proximity to Łódź.

After the re-establishment of the Polish state, the place became Polish again in 1919 and in 1925 received its city charter, which had been lost in the meantime.

The city was occupied by the Wehrmacht during the German invasion of Poland on September 6, 1939. A ghetto was established in which about 5,000 Jews had to live. This was "liquidated" in August 1942; Most of the residents were taken to the Kulmhof extermination camp and murdered there.

In 1943 the city was renamed Belchental (according to the order of the Reich Governor in Warthegau from May 18, 1943). On January 19, 1945, the Red Army marched into the town. At the end of the war, Bełchatów was 50% destroyed. In 1965 the place became the seat of its own powiat. He lost this status again in 1975 during a regional reform. Due to the territorial reform in Poland in 1999, Bełchatow became a district town again. The place developed well due to the newly discovered brown coal deposits. Measured by its 5,420 megawatts of output, the Bełchatów power plant is the largest lignite and second largest coal-fired power plant in the world.

Population development
In 1860, 1,899 people lived in the city, including 1,139 Jews, 352 Polish Christians and 35 German Christians. In 1931 a different picture emerged. Here the Christians were most strongly represented with 4,160 people, but closely followed by the Jews with 3,970. 800 people were represented among German Christians.