BIELITZ (Czech Bilsko, Polish Bielsko), a town of Austria, in Silesia, 80 m. S.E. of Troppau by rail. Pop. (1900) 16,885, chiefly German. It is situated on the Biala river, just opposite the Galician town of Biala and possesses a fine castle belonging to the Sulkowsky family, in favour of whom the lordship of Bielitz was raised to a duchy in 1752. It has an important woollen and linen industry, and manufactures of jute and machinery, as well as an active trade, especially of woollens, to the East. The town was founded in the 13th century, and in the 15th and 16th was a fortified place.
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