Voivodeship

A voivodeship /ˈvɔɪˌvoʊdˌʃɪp/ is the area administered by a voivode (Governor) in several countries of central and eastern Europe. Voivodeships have existed since medieval times in Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, Russia and Serbia. The area of extent of voivodeship resembles that of a duchy in western medieval states, much as the title of voivode was equivalent to that of a duke. Other roughly equivalent titles and areas in medieval Eastern Europe included ban (bojan, vojin or bayan) and banate.

In a modern context, the word normally refers to one of the provinces (województwa) of Poland. Poland as of 2017 has 16 voivodeships.

Voivodeships of Poland
Polish voivodeships since 1999
Vojvodina map02
Map of Serbian Vojvodina

Terminology

A voi(e)vod(e) (literally, "leader of warriors" or "war leader", equivalent to the Latin "Dux Exercituum" and the German "Herzog") was originally a military commander who stood, in a state's structure, next to the ruler. Later the word came to denote an administrative official.

Words for "voivodeship" in various languages include the Polish: województwo; the Romanian: voievodat; the Serbian: vojvodina (војводина), vojvodstvo (војводство) or vojvodovina (војводовина); the Hungarian: vajdaság; the Belarusian: ваяводства (vajаvodstva); the Lithuanian: vaivadija. Some of these words, or variants of them, may also be used in English.

Named for the word for "voivodeship" is the autonomous Serbian province of Vojvodina.

Though the word "voivodeship" (other spellings are "voievodship" and "voivodship") appears in English dictionaries such as the OED and Webster's, it is not in common general usage, and voivodeships in Poland and elsewhere are frequently referred to as "provinces".[1] Depending on context, historic voivodeships may also be referred to as "duchies", "palatinates" (the Latin word "palatinatus" was used for a voivodeship in Poland), "administrative districts" or "regions".

Current Polish voivodeships

Since 1999, Poland has been divided into the following 16 voivodeships or provinces (for more information see Administrative divisions of Poland and Voivodeships of Poland):

Historical voivodeships

Outside Poland

Romania 1600-mod
Principality of Transylvania and the voivodeships of Wallachia and Moldavia ruled by Mihai Viteazul in 1600
Vojvodina03
Serbian Voivodina (1848–1849)

In the territory of modern Romania and Moldova, the regions of Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania were formerly voivodeships.

Historical voivodeships in the territory of modern Serbia include the Voivodeship of Salan (9th–10th centuries), Voivodeship of Sermon (11th century) and Voivodeship of Syrmia of Radoslav Čelnik (1527–1530). A voivodeship called Serbian Vojvodina was established in 1848–1849; this was transformed into the Voivodeship of Serbia and Temes Banat, a land within the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1849 to 1860. This is the origin of the name of the present-day Serbian autonomous province of Vojvodina.

In Poland and Lithuania

For more information about the divisions of Polish lands in particular periods, see Administrative divisions of Poland ("Historical").

Voivodeships in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569–1795):

Poland administrative division 1922 literki
Voivodeships of Poland, 1921–1939

Voivodeships of Poland, 1921–1939:

Voivodeships of Poland, 1945–1975:

Voivodeships of Poland, 1975–1998:

References

  1. ^ "Jednostki podziału administracyjnego Polski tłumaczymy tak: województwo—province..." ("Polish administrative units are translated as follows: województwoprovince..."). Arkadiusz Belczyk,"Tłumaczenie polskich nazw geograficznych na język angielski" ("Translation of Polish Geographical Names into English"), 2002-2006. For examples see New Provinces of Poland (1998); Map of Poland; English names of Polish provinces.
Greater Poland Voivodeship

Greater Poland Voivodeship (in Polish: Województwo Wielkopolskie [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ vjɛlkɔˈpɔlskʲɛ]), also known as Wielkopolska Voivodeship, Wielkopolska Province, or Greater Poland Province, is a voivodeship, or province, in west-central Poland. It was created on 1 January 1999 out of the former Poznań, Kalisz, Konin, Piła and Leszno Voivodeships, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. The province is named after the region called Greater Poland or Wielkopolska [vjɛlkɔˈpɔlska] (listen). The modern province includes most of this historic region, except for some south-western parts.

Greater Poland Voivodeship is second in area and third in population among Poland's sixteen voivodeships, with an area of 29,826 square kilometres (11,516 sq mi) and a population of close to 3.5 million. Its capital city is Poznań; other important cities include Kalisz, Konin, Piła, Ostrów Wielkopolski, Gniezno (an early capital of Poland) and Leszno. It is bordered by seven other voivodeships: West Pomeranian to the northwest, Pomeranian to the north, Kuyavian-Pomeranian to the north-east, Łódź to the south-east, Opole to the south, Lower Silesian to the southwest and Lubusz to the west.

The city of Poznań has international twinning arrangements with the English county of Nottinghamshire.

Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship

Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, also known as Cuiavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship or simply Kujawsko-Pomorskie, or Kujawy-Pomerania Province (Polish: województwo kujawsko-pomorskie [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ kuˈjafskɔ pɔˈmɔrskʲɛ]), is one of the 16 voivodeships (provinces) into which Poland is divided. It was created on 1 January 1999 and is situated in mid-northern Poland, on the boundary between the two historic regions from which it takes its name: Kuyavia (Polish: Kujawy) and Pomerania (Polish: Pomorze). Its two chief cities, serving as the province's joint capitals, are Bydgoszcz and Toruń.

Lesser Poland Voivodeship

Lesser Poland Voivodeship or Lesser Poland Province (in Polish: województwo małopolskie [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ mawɔˈpɔlskʲɛ]), also known as Małopolska Voivodeship or Małopolska Province, is a voivodeship (province), in southern Poland. It has an area of 15,108 square kilometres (5,833 sq mi), and a population of 3,267,731 (2006).

It was created on 1 January 1999 out of the former Kraków, Tarnów, Nowy Sącz and parts of Bielsko-Biała, Katowice, Kielce and Krosno Voivodeships, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. The province's name recalls the traditional name of a historic Polish region, Lesser Poland, or in Polish: Małopolska. Current Lesser Poland Voivodeship, however, covers only a small part of the broader ancient Małopolska region which, together with Greater Poland (Wielkopolska) and Silesia (Śląsk), formed the early medieval Polish state. Historic Lesser Poland is much larger than the current province. It stretches far north, to Radom, and Siedlce, also including such cities, as Stalowa Wola, Lublin, Kielce, Częstochowa, and Sosnowiec.

The province is bounded on the north by the Świętokrzyskie Mountains (Góry Świętokrzyskie), on the west by Jura Krakowsko-Częstochowska (a broad range of hills stretching from Kraków to Częstochowa), and on the south by the Tatra,

Pieniny and Beskidy Mountains. Politically it is bordered by Silesian Voivodeship to the west, Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship to the north, Subcarpathian Voivodeship to the east, and Slovakia (Prešov Region and Žilina Regions) to the south.

Almost all of Lesser Poland lies in the Vistula River catchment area. The city of Kraków was one of the European Cities of Culture in 2000. Kraków has railway and road connections with Katowice (expressway), Warsaw, Wrocław and Rzeszów. It lies at the crossroads of major international routes linking Dresden with Kiev, and Gdańsk with Budapest. Located here is the second largest international airport in Poland (after Warsaw's), the John Paul II International Airport.

Lower Silesian Voivodeship

Lower Silesian Voivodeship, or Lower Silesia Province (Polish: województwo dolnośląskie [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ dɔlnɔˈɕlɔ̃skʲɛ]), in southwestern Poland, is one of the 16 voivodeships (provinces) into which Poland is divided.

The history of the region dates back over a thousand years and Lower Silesia was once part of Medieval Poland, Bohemia, Austria, Prussia, Germany and modern Poland after 1945. At its foundation the territory was under the rule of the Piast dynasty and became a duchy. It was divided into small realms reigned by Piast princes after the testament of Bolesław III Wrymouth in 1138. During this time, cultural and ethnic Germanic influence prospered due to immigrants from the German-speaking areas of the Holy Roman Empire. Lower Silesia was also a leading Polish cultural center. The Book of Henryków, which contains the earliest known sentence written in the Polish language, as well as a document which contains the oldest printed text in Polish, were both created here. Złotoryja, Poland's first town, was granted municipal privileges according to German Magdeburg rights by Henry the Bearded. Over the next centuries, Lower Silesia has experienced epochal events such as the Protestant Reformation, the Silesian Wars, industrialisation and the two World Wars.

Lower Silesia is one of the richest provinces in Poland as it has valuable natural resources such as copper, brown coal and rock materials, which are exploited by the biggest enterprises. Its well developed and varied industries attract both domestic and foreign investors.Its capital and largest city is Wrocław, situated on the Odra River. It is one of Poland's largest and most dynamic cities with a rapidly growing international profile, and is regarded as one of the most important commercial, educational and tourist sites in the whole country. Burial sites of Polish monarchs and consorts are located in Wrocław and Trzebnica. Furthermore, the voivodeship is famous for its many castles and palaces and is one of Poland's most visited regions by tourists.

Lublin Voivodeship

Lublin Voivodeship, or Lublin Province (in Polish, województwo lubelskie [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ luˈbɛlskʲɛ]), is a voivodeship, or province, located in southeastern Poland. It was created on January 1, 1999, out of the former Lublin, Chełm, Zamość, Biała Podlaska and (partially) Tarnobrzeg and Siedlce Voivodeships, pursuant to Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. The province is named after its largest city and regional capital, Lublin, and its territory is made of four historical lands: the western part of the voivodeship, with Lublin itself, belongs to Lesser Poland, the eastern part of Lublin Area belongs to Red Ruthenia, and the northeast belongs to Polesie and Podlasie.

Lublin Voivodeship borders Subcarpathian Voivodeship to the south, Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship to the south-west, Masovian Voivodeship to the west and north, Podlaskie Voivodeship along a short boundary to the north, Belarus (Brest Region) and Ukraine (Lviv Oblast and Volyn Oblasts) to the east. The province's population as of 2006 was 2,175,251. It covers an area of 25,155 square kilometres (9,712 sq mi).

Lubusz Voivodeship

Lubusz Voivodeship, or Lubusz Province (Polish: województwo lubuskie [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ luˈbuskʲɛ], German: Woiwodschaft Lebus), is a voivodeship (province) in western Poland.

It was created on January 1, 1999, out of the former Gorzów Wielkopolski and Zielona Góra Voivodeships, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. The province's name recalls the historic Lubusz Land (Lebus or Lubus), although parts of the voivodeship belong to the historic regions of Silesia, Greater Poland and Lusatia. Until 1945, it mainly formed the Neumark within the Prussian Province of Brandenburg and was home of a German-speaking population.

The functions of regional capital are shared between two cities: Gorzów Wielkopolski and Zielona Góra. Gorzów serves as the seat of the centrally appointed voivode or governor, while Zielona Góra is the seat of the elected regional assembly (sejmik) and the executive elected by that assembly, headed by a marshal (marszałek).

The region is mainly flat, with many lakes and woodlands. In the south, around Zielona Góra, grapes are cultivated.

Lubusz Voivodeship borders West Pomeranian Voivodeship to the north, Greater Poland Voivodeship to the east, Lower Silesian Voivodeship to the south, and Germany (Brandenburg and Saxony) to the west.

Masovian Voivodeship

Mazovian Voivodeship or Mazovia Province (Polish: województwo mazowieckie [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ mazɔˈvʲɛtskʲɛ]) is the largest and most populous of the 16 Polish provinces, or voivodeships, created in 1999. It occupies 35,579 square kilometres (13,737 sq mi) of east-central Poland, and has 5,324,500 inhabitants. Its principal cities are Warsaw (1.749 million) in the centre of the Warsaw metropolitan area, Radom (226,000) in the south, Płock (127,000) in the west, Siedlce (77,000) in the east, and Ostrołęka (55,000) in the north. The capital of the voivodeship is the national capital, Warsaw.

The province was created on January 1, 1999, out of the former Warsaw, Płock, Ciechanów, Ostrołęka, Siedlce and Radom Voivodeships, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. The province's name recalls the traditional name of the region, Mazowsze (sometimes rendered in English as "Mazovia"), with which it is roughly coterminous. However, southern part of the voivodeship, with Radom, historically belongs to Lesser Poland, while Łomża and its surroundings, even though historically part of Mazovia, now is part of Podlaskie Voivodeship.

It is bordered by six other voivodeships: Warmian-Masurian to the north, Podlaskie to the north-east, Lublin to the south-east, Świętokrzyskie to the south, Łódź to the south-west, and Kuyavian-Pomeranian to the north-west.

Mazovia is the centre of science, research, education, industry and infrastructure in the country. It currently has the lowest unemployment rate in Poland and is classified as a very high income province. Moreover, it is popular among holidaymakers due to the number of historical monuments and greenery; forests cover over 20% of the voivodeship's area, where pines and oaks predominate in the regional landscape. Additionally, the Kampinos National Park located within Masovia is a UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve.

Opole Voivodeship

Opole Voivodeship, or Opole Province (Polish: województwo opolskie [vɔjɛˈvutstfɔ ɔˈpɔlskʲɛ], German: Woiwodschaft Oppeln, Czech: Opolské vojvodství), is the smallest and least populated voivodeship (province) of Poland. The province's name derives from that of the region's capital and largest city, Opole. It is part of Upper Silesia. A relatively large German minority, with representatives in the Sejm, lives in the voivodeship, and the German language is co-official in 28 communes.

Opole Voivodeship is bordered by Lower Silesian Voivodeship to the west, Greater Poland and Łódź Voivodeships to the north, Silesian Voivodeship to the east, and the Czech Republic (Olomouc Region and Moravian-Silesian Region) to the south.

Opole Province's geographic location, economic potential, and its population's level of education make it an attractive business partner for other Polish regions (especially Lower Silesian and Silesian Voivodeships) and for foreign investors. Formed in 1997, the Praděd/Pradziad Euroregion has facilitated economic, cultural and tourist exchanges between the border areas of Poland and the Czech Republic.

Podkarpackie Voivodeship

Podkarpackie Voivodeship or Podkarpackie Province (in Polish: województwo podkarpackie [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ pɔtkarˈpatskʲɛ], Slovak: Podkarpatské vojvodstvo, Ukrainian: Підкарпатське воєводство), also known as Subcarpathian Voivodeship or Subcarpathia Province, is a voivodeship, or province, in extreme-southeastern Poland. Its administrative capital and largest city is Rzeszów. Along with the Marshall, it is governed by the Subcarpathian Regional Assembly. Historically, most of the province's territory was part of the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia, the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria and the Ruthenian Voivodeship. In the interwar period, it was part of the Lwów Voivodeship.

The voivodeship was created on 1 January 1999 out of the former Rzeszów, Przemyśl, Krosno and (partially) Tarnów and Tarnobrzeg Voivodeships, pursuant to the Polish local-government reforms adopted in 1998. The name derives from the region's location near the Carpathian Mountains, and the voivodeship comprises areas of two historic regions of Eastern Europe — Lesser Poland (western and northwestern counties) and Red Ruthenia. During the interwar period (1918-1939), Subcarpathian Voivodeship belonged to "Poland B", the less-developed, more rural parts of Poland. To boost the local economy, the government of the Second Polish Republic began in the mid-1930s a massive program of industrialization, known as the Central Industrial Region. The program created several major armament factories, including PZL Mielec, PZL Rzeszów, Huta Stalowa Wola, and factories in other Subcarpathian towns such as Dębica, Nowa Dęba, Sanok, Tarnobrzeg and Nowa Sarzyna.

It is bordered by Lesser Poland Voivodeship to the west, Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship to the north-west, Lublin Voivodeship to the north, Ukraine (Lviv Oblast and Zakarpattia Oblast) to the east and Slovakia (Prešov Region) to the south. It covers an area of 17,844 square kilometres (6,890 sq mi), and has a population of 2,096,971 (as at 2006). The voivodeship is mostly hilly or mountainous (see Bieszczady, Beskidy); its northwestern corner is flat. It is one of the most wooded Polish voivodeships (35.9% of total area), within its borders there is whole Bieszczady National Park, and parts of Magura National Park.

Podlaskie Voivodeship

This is an article about a present administrative unit of Poland. For historical units, see History of Podlaskie Voivodeship.Podlaskie Voivodeship or Podlasie Province (Polish: Województwo podlaskie, [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ pɔdˈlaskʲɛ]) is a voivodeship (province) in northeastern Poland. It borders on Masovian Voivodeship to the west, Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship to the northwest, Lublin Voivodeship to the south, the Belarusian Voblasts of Grodno and Brest to the east, the Lithuanian Counties of Alytus and Marijampolė to the northeast, and the Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia to the north.

The capital of Podlasie Province is Białystok. The province was created on 1 January 1999, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998, from the former Białystok and Łomża Voivodeships and the eastern half of the former Suwałki Voivodeship.

Pomerania

Pomerania (Polish: Pomorze; German, Low German and North Germanic languages: Pommern; Kashubian: Pòmòrskô) is a historical region on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea in Central Europe, split between Germany and Poland.

The name derives from the Slavic po morze, meaning "by the sea" or "on the sea". Pomerania stretches roughly from the Recknitz and Trebel rivers in the west to the Vistula river in the east.The largest Pomeranian islands are Rügen, Usedom/Uznam and Wolin. The largest Pomeranian city is Gdańsk, or, when using a narrower definition of the region, Szczecin. Outside its urban areas, Pomerania is characterized by farmland, dotted with numerous lakes, forests, and towns. The region was strongly affected by post–World War I and II border and population shifts, with most of its pre-war inhabitants leaving or being expelled after 1945.

Pomeranian Voivodeship

Pomeranian Voivodeship, Pomorskie Region, or Pomerania Province (Polish: województwo pomorskie [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ pɔˈmɔrskʲɛ]; Kashubian Pòmòrsczé wòjewództwò), is a voivodeship, or province, in north-western Poland. The provincial capital is Gdańsk.

The voivodeship was established on January 1, 1999, out of the former voivodeships of Gdańsk, Elbląg and Słupsk, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. It is bordered by West Pomeranian Voivodeship to the west, Greater Poland and Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeships to the south, Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship to the east, and the Baltic Sea to the north. It also shares a short land border with Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast), on the Vistula Spit. The voivodeship comprises most of Pomerelia (the easternmost part of historical Pomerania), as well as an area east of the Vistula River. The western part of the province, around Słupsk, belonged historically to Farther Pomerania, while Pomerelia and the eastern bank of the Vistula belonged to the historical region of Prussia. The central parts of the province are also known as Kashubia, named after the Kashubian minority.

A province of rich cultural heritage. The Tricity urban area, consisting of Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot, is one of the main cultural, commercial and educational centres of Poland. Gdańsk and Gdynia are two of the major Polish seaports, the first erected by Mieszko I of Poland in the Middle Ages, the latter built in the interwar period. Amongst the most recognisable landmarks of the region are the historic city centre of Gdańsk filled with Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces, the Museum of the National Anthem in Będomin, located at the birthplace of Józef Wybicki, poet and politician, author of the national anthem of Poland, the largest medieval churches of Poland (the St. Mary's Church in Gdańsk and the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Pelplin) and the Malbork Castle. The voivodeship also includes the narrow Hel Peninsula and the Polish half of the Vistula Spit. Other tourist destinations include Wejherowo, Sopot, Jurata, Łeba, Władysławowo, Puck, Krynica Morska, Ustka, Jastarnia, Kuźnica, Bytów and many fishing ports and lighthouses.

The name Pomerania derives from the Slavic po more, meaning "by the sea" or "on the sea".

Silesia

Silesia (; Polish: Śląsk [ɕlɔ̃sk]; Czech: Slezsko; German: Schlesien [ˈʃleːzi̯ən]; Silesian German: Schläsing; Silesian: Ślůnsk [ɕlonsk]; Lower Sorbian: Šlazyńska; Upper Sorbian: Šleska; Latin: Silesia) is a historical region of Central Europe located mostly in Poland, with small parts in the Czech Republic and Germany. Its area is about 40,000 km2 (15,444 sq mi), and its population about 8,000,000. Silesia is located along the Oder River. It consists of Lower Silesia and Upper Silesia.

The region is rich in mineral and natural resources, and includes several important industrial areas. Silesia's largest city and historical capital is Wrocław. The biggest metropolitan area is the Upper Silesian metropolitan area, the centre of which is Katowice. Parts of the Czech city of Ostrava fall within the borders of Silesia.

Silesia's borders and national affiliation have changed over time, both when it was a hereditary possession of noble houses and after the rise of modern nation-states. The first known states to hold power there were probably those of Greater Moravia at the end of the 9th century and Bohemia early in the 10th century. In the 10th century, Silesia was incorporated into the early Polish state, and after its division in the 12th century became a Piast duchy. In the 14th century, it became a constituent part of the Bohemian Crown Lands under the Holy Roman Empire, which passed to the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy in 1526.

Most of Silesia was conquered by Prussia in 1742 and transferred from Austria to Prussia in the Treaty of Berlin. Later, Silesia became, as a province of Prussia, a part of the German Empire and the subsequent Weimar Republic. The varied history with changing aristocratic possessions resulted in an abundance of castles in Silesia, especially in the Jelenia Góra valley. After World War I, the easternmost part of this region, i.e. an eastern strip of Upper Silesia, was awarded to Poland by the Entente Powers after insurrections by Poles and the Upper Silesian plebiscite. The remaining former Austrian parts of Silesia were partitioned to Czechoslovakia, forming part of Czechoslovakia's German-settled Sudetenland region, and are today part of the Czech Republic. In 1945, after World War II, the bulk of Silesia was transferred, on demands of the Polish delegation, to Polish jurisdiction by the Potsdam Agreement of the victorious Allied Powers and became part of Poland. The small Lusatian strip west of the Oder–Neisse line, which had belonged to Silesia since 1815, remained in Germany. The largest town and cultural centre of this region is Görlitz.

Most inhabitants of Silesia today speak the national languages of their respective countries, while before the population shifts after 1945, the majority of Silesia's population spoke German. The population of Upper Silesia is native (with some immigrants from Poland who came in the 19th to 20th centuries), while Lower Silesia was settled by a German-speaking population before 1945. An ongoing debate exists whether Silesian speech should be considered a dialect of Polish or a separate language. Also, a Lower Silesian German dialect is used, although today it is almost extinct. It is used by expellees who relocated to the remaining parts of Germany, as well as by Germans who stayed in their Lower Silesian home.

Silesian Voivodeship

Silesian Voivodeship, or Silesia Province (Polish: województwo śląskie [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ ˈɕlɔ̃skʲɛ]), German: Woiwodschaft Schlesien, Czech: Slezské vojvodství) is a voivodeship, or province, in southern Poland, centered on the historic region known as Upper Silesia (Górny Śląsk), with Katowice serving as its capital.

Despite the Silesian Voivodeship's name, most of the historic Silesia region lies outside the present Silesian Voivodeship — divided among Lubusz, Lower Silesian, and Opole Voivodeships — while the eastern half of Silesian Voivodeship (and, notably, Częstochowa in the north) was historically part of Lesser Poland.

The Voivodeship was created on 1 January 1999 out of the former Katowice, Częstochowa and Bielsko-Biała Voivodeships, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998.

It is the most densely populated voivodeship in Poland and within the area of 12,300 squared kilometres, there are almost 5 million inhabitants. It is also the largest urbanised area in Central and Eastern Europe. In relation to economy, over 13% of Poland’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is generated here, making the Silesian Voivodeship one of the wealthiest provinces in the country.

Voivodeships of Poland

A województwo ([vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ]; plural: województwa) is the highest-level administrative subdivision of Poland, corresponding to a "province" in many other countries. The term "województwo" has been in use since the 14th century, and is commonly translated in English as "province". Województwo is also rendered in English by "voivodeship" () or a variant spelling.The Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998, which went into effect on 1 January 1999, created sixteen new voivodeships. These replaced the 49 former voivodeships that had existed from 1 July 1975, and bear greater resemblance (in territory but not in name) to the voivodeships that existed between 1950 and 1975.

Today's voivodeships are mostly named after historical and geographical regions, while those prior to 1998 generally took their names from the cities on which they were centered. The new units range in area from under 10,000 km2 (3,900 sq mi) (Opole Voivodeship) to over 35,000 km2 (14,000 sq mi) (Masovian Voivodeship), and in population from one million (Lubusz Voivodeship) to over five million (Masovian Voivodeship).

Administrative authority at the voivodeship level is shared between a government-appointed governor called a voivode (wojewoda), an elected assembly called a sejmik, and an executive board (zarząd województwa) chosen by that assembly, headed by a voivodeship marshal (marszałek województwa). Voivodeships are further divided into powiats (counties) and gminas (communes or municipalities): see Administrative divisions of Poland.

Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship

Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship or Warmia-Masuria Province or Warmia-Mazury Province (in Polish: Województwo warmińsko-mazurskie, [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ varˈmiɲskɔ maˈzurskʲɛ], German: Woiwodschaft Ermland-Masuren, Russian: Варминьско-Мазурское воеводство), is a voivodeship (province) in northeastern Poland. Its capital and largest city is Olsztyn. The voivodeship has an area of 24,192 km2 (9,341 sq mi) and a population of 1,427,091 (as of 2006).

The Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship was created on January 1, 1999, from the entire Olsztyn Voivodeship, the western half of Suwałki Voivodeship and part of Elbląg Voivodeship, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. The province's name derives from two historic regions, Warmia and Masuria.

The province borders the Podlaskie Voivodeship to the east, the Masovian Voivodeship to the south, the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship to the south-west, the Pomeranian Voivodeship to the west, the Vistula Lagoon to the northwest, and the Kaliningrad Oblast (an exclave of Russia) to the north.

West Pomeranian Voivodeship

West Pomeranian Voivodeship or West Pomerania Province (in Polish, województwo zachodniopomorskie [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ zaˈxɔdɲɔ pɔˈmɔrskʲɛ]), is a voivodeship (province) in northwestern Poland. It borders on Pomeranian Voivodeship to the east, Greater Poland Voivodeship to the southeast, Lubusz Voivodeship to the south, the German federal-states of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and Brandenburg to the west, and the Baltic Sea to the north. Its capital and largest city is Szczecin.

It was established on January 1, 1999, out of the former Szczecin and Koszalin Voivodeships and parts of other neighboring voivodeships, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. It is named for the historical region of Pomerania (Polish: Pomorze). In spite of the name ("West Pomeranian"), the voivodeship does not include the most westerly parts of historical Pomerania, which lie in Germany's Vorpommern (see Western Pomerania).

The name "Pomerania" comes from the Slavic "po more", meaning "Land by the Sea".

Łódź Voivodeship

Łódź Voivodeship (also known as Łódź Province, or by its Polish name, województwo łódzkie [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ ˈwut͡skʲɛ]) is a province (voivodeship) in central Poland. It was created on 1 January 1999 out of the former Łódź Voivodeship (1975–1999) and the Sieradz, Piotrków Trybunalski and Skierniewice Voivodeships and part of Płock Voivodeship, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. The province is named after its capital and largest city, Łódź, pronounced [wut͡ɕ].

Łódź Voivodeship is bordered by six other voivodeships: Masovian to the north and east, Świętokrzyskie to the south-east, Silesian to the south, Opole to the south-west, Greater Poland to the west, and Kuyavian-Pomeranian for a short stretch to the north. Its territory belongs to three historical provinces of Poland – Masovia (in the east), Greater Poland (in the west) and Lesser Poland (in the southeast, around Opoczno).

Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship

Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, Świętokrzyskie Province, or Holy Cross Province (Polish: województwo świętokrzyskie [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ ɕfʲɛntɔˈkʂɨskʲɛ]) is one of the 16 voivodeships (provinces) into which Poland is divided. It is situated in southeastern Poland, in the historical province of Lesser Poland, and takes its name from the Świętokrzyskie (Holy Cross) mountain range. Its capital and largest city is Kielce.

Świętokrzyskie Province is bounded by six other voivodeships: Masovian to the north, Lublin to the east, Subcarpathian to the southeast, Lesser Poland to the south, Silesian to the southwest, and Łódź to the northwest.

The province was created on 1 January 1999, out of the former Kielce Voivodeship, eastern part of Częstochowa Voivodeship and western part of Tarnobrzeg Voivodeship, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. It covers an area of 11,672 square kilometres (4,507 sq mi), making it the second smallest of the voivodeships (after Opole). As at 2006, the total population of Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship is 1,281,796.

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Current
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Modern
Historical
Designations for types of administrative territorial entities

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