TESCHEN (Polish Cieszyn), the chief town of a duchy in Austrian Silesia, is situated on the Olsa, a tributary of the Oder, 34 miles south-east of Troppau. It combines both Polish and German peculiarities in the style of its buildings, and contains five churches, the most interesting of which are the parish church, which formerly belonged to a Dominican monastery, and the Gnadenkirche, one of the Protestant churches built in terms of the treaty of Altranstadt in 1706. The only relic of the ancient castle is a square tower, dating from the 12th century. The manufacturing industry of the town is slight, and, since the construction of the railway via Oderberg, Teschen has lost much of the trade formerly commanded by its position near the borders of Silesia, Hungary, Moravia, and Galicia. A flax dressing and spinning factory, a large brewery, and several furniture factories are the chief industrial establishments in the town. The population in 1880 was 13,004.
It was at Teschen that Maria Theresa and Joseph II. signed the peace which put an end to the war of Bavarian succession in 1779. The duchy of Teschen was formerly a more or less direct apanage of the Bohemian crown. For some time it bore the name of SaxeTeschen (Sachsen-Teschen), owing to the fact that Prince Albert of Saxony, who married an archduchess of Austria, received it as part of his wife's dowry. Prince Albert bequeathed it in 1822 to the emperor of Austria, who bestowed it on the archduke Albert.