Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship or Warmia-Masuria Province or Warmia-Mazury Province (in Polish: Województwo warmińsko-mazurskie, [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ varˈmiɲskɔ maˈzurskʲɛ]), 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.
In the early-modern age the region was part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. After the First Partition of Poland in 1772 it was southern part of the newly created Prussian province of East Prussia. The province was divided between Poland and the Soviet Union (and hence, today Russia) after the Second World War. Following the defeat of Nazi Germany, nearly all indigenous German-speaking inhabitants were forcefully expelled by the new Soviet-appointed Polish Communist national government to what would become West and East Germany. Today, a small German-speaking minority is still present in the region.
Amongst the most visited sights is the Masurian Lake District, which contains more than 2,000 lakes, including the largest lakes of Poland, Śniardwy and Mamry. Other recognizable landmarks are the Warmian castles (Lidzbark Warmiński Castle, Pieniężno Castle, Olsztyn Castle) and the Cathedral Hill in Frombork, where Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus lived and worked. The Lidzbark Warmiński Castle was later the residence of Ignacy Krasicki, nicknamed the Prince of Polish Poets. Święta Lipka in Masuria and Gietrzwałd in Warmia are popular pilgrimage sites.
The Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship has the largest number of ethnic Ukrainians living in Poland due to forced relocations (such as Operation Vistula) carried out by the Soviet and Polish Communist authorities.
Location within Poland
Division into counties
2 cities, 19 land counties *
|• Total||24,191.8 km2 (9,340.5 sq mi)|
|• Density||60/km2 (150/sq mi)|
|Website||Official Voivodeship's website|
The Voivodeship contains 49 cities and towns. These are listed below in descending order of population (according to official figures for 2006):
The counties are listed in the following table (ordering within categories is by decreasing population).
|2,840||113,529||Olsztyn *||Dobre Miasto, Biskupiec, Olsztynek, Barczewo, Jeziorany||12|
|1,765||105,286||Ostróda||Morąg, Miłakowo, Miłomłyn||9|
|1,385||89,960||Iława||Lubawa, Susz, Kisielice, Zalewo||7|
|1,309||61,354||Bartoszyce||Górowo Iławeckie, Bisztynek, Sępopol||6|
|1,776||57,553||Pisz||Orzysz, Ruciane-Nida, Biała Piska||4|
|1,431||56,412||Elbląg *||Pasłęk, Tolkmicko, Młynary||9|
|Nowe Miasto County
|695||43,388||Nowe Miasto Lubawskie||5|
|* seat not part of the county|
The Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship is twinned with: