Lesser Poland Voivodship

From Academic Kids

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The Lesser Poland Voivodship or Little Poland Voivodship (in Polish województwo małopolskie) is an administrative region or voivodship in the south of Poland that contains core areas of the historical and geographical region of Lesser Poland (Malopolska).

It was created on 1 January 1999 out of the former Kraków, Tarnów, Nowy Sacz and parly Bielsko-Biala and Katowice voivodships as a result of Local Government Reogranization Act of 1998. The voivodship's name recalls the region's traditional name of Lesser Poland (Malopolska).

It bounded by the Góry Świętokrzyskie (Holy Cross Mountains) on the north, the broad range of hills stretching down from Czestochowa to Cracow (Jura Krakowsko-Czestochowska) on the west, and the Tatra, Pieniny Mountains and Beskidy Mountains on the south.
It is an ancient region forming, together with Greater Poland (Wielkopolska) and Silesia (Slask), the early medieval Polish state. Almost all of Lesser Poland lies in the Vistula river catchment area. The structure of the Tatra Euroregion allows border co-operation between areas of Poland and Slovakia. The Lesser Poland voivodship features diversified industries, a developing advanced technology sector, great scientific and cultural potential, diversified tourist and sports areas, an active population and a business-friendly environment. The city of Cracow, the ancient capital of Poland and for centuries the residence of Polish kings, is a convenient place for meetings, conferences, as well as for trade and cultural exchanges. It is a city where two Nobel Prize winners in the field of literature, Wislawa Szymborska and Czeslaw Milosz, lived. Following the decision of the European Union's Ministers of Culture, Cracow was one of the European Cities of Culture of the year 2000.
Cracow has convenient railway and road connections with Katowice (expressway), Warsaw, Wroclaw and Rzeszow. It lies at the crossroads of major international routes linking Dresden with Kyiv, and Gdansk (German:Danzig) with Budapest. The second (after Warsaw) largest international airport in Poland - the John Paul II International Airport - is located here.

Lesser Poland voivodship flag
Lesser Poland voivodship flag


The most visible feature of the region's economy is its great diversity. All significant branches of economy are represented here - from high technologies and banking to chemical and metallurgical industries, coal, ore, food processing, spirit and tobacco industries. The most industrialised city of the voivodship is Cracow. The largest regional enterprise is operating here - the Tadeusz Sendzimir Steelworks employing 17,000 people. Another major industrial center is located in the west, in the neighbourhood of Chrzanow (production of railway engines) and Oswiecim (chemical works). Cracow Park Technologiczny, a Special Economic Zone, has been established within the voivodship. There are almost 210,000 registered economic entities operating in the voivodship, mostly small and medium-sized, of which 234 belong to the state-owned sector. Foreign investment, constantly growing in the region, reached approximately USD 1,5 billion by the end of 1997.


Cracow's scientific potential is a powerful asset. 102,000 students attend fifteen Cracow academic institutions. The Jagiellonian University, the biggest university in the city (27,000 students), was founded in 1364 and enjoys a well-deserved reputation. Nicholas Copernicus and Karol Wojtyla (the Pope, John Paul II) graduated from it. The AGH University of Science and Technology (18,700 students) is considered to be the best technical university in Poland. The Academy of Economics, the Pedagogical University, the Cracow Technical University and the Agricultural Academy are also very highly regarded. There are also the Fine Arts Academy, the State Theatre University and the Musical Academy. Nowy Sacz has become a significant scientific and educational center in the region thanks to its Higher School of Business and Administration, with an American curriculum, founded in 1992. The school, considered to be the best private educational establishment in Poland, has 2,200 students. There are also two private higher schools in Tarnów.


Four national parks and numerous sanctuaries have been established in the voivodship in order to protect and save the exceptional values of the natural environment of Lesser Poland. The region has superb tourist and recreational areas, including Zakopane (the most popular Polish winter resort) and the Tatra, Pieniny and Beskidy Mountains. The abundant natural landscape features many historical places and sites. The salt mine in Wieliczka, the pilgrimage town of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska and Cracow's Old Town are ranked by UNESCO among the most precious sites of the world heritage. In Wadowice, the birthplace of John Paul II (50 kilometres south-west from Cracow) one can visit a museum dedicated to the Pope's childhood. The area of Oswiecim, the former Nazi concentration camp (Auschwitz-Birkenau), is visited by about half a million visitors annually.

Administrative division

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Administrative division

  1. Kraków City County
  2. Nowy Sacz City County
  3. Tarnów City County
  4. Bochnia County, powiat bocheński, Bochnia
  5. Brzesko County, powiat brzeski, Brzesko
  6. Chrzanow County, powiat chrzanowski, Chrzanow
  7. Dabrowa Tarnowska County, powiat dąbrowski, Dabrowa Tarnowska
  8. Gorlice County, powiat gorlicki, Gorlice
  9. Kraków County, powiat krakowski, Kraków
  10. Limanowa County, powiat limanowski, Limanowa
  11. Miechow County, powiat miechowski, Miechow
  12. Myslenice County, powiat myślenicki, Myslenice
  13. Nowy Sacz County, powiat nowosądecki, Nowy Sacz
  14. Nowy Targ County, powiat nowotarski, Nowy Targ
  15. Olkusz County, powiat olkuski, Olkusz
  16. Oswiecim County, powiat oświęcimski, Oswiecim
  17. Proszowice County, powiat proszowicki, Proszowice
  18. Sucha Beskidzka County, powiat suski, Sucha Beskidzka
  19. Tarnów County, powiat tarnowski, Tarnów
  20. Tatra County, powiat tatrzański, Zakopane
  21. Wadowice County, powiat wadowicki, Wadowice
  22. Wieliczka County, powiat wielicki, Wieliczka

Major cities and towns

Capital city: Kraków

Major cities and towns: (population in 1995):

Most popular surnames in the region

External links:


Flag of Poland
Voivodships of Poland
Greater Poland | Kuyavia-Pomerania | Lesser Poland | Łódź | Lower Silesia | Lublin | Lubusz | Masovia | Opole | Podlachia | Pomerania | Świętokrzyskie | Silesia | Subcarpathia | Warmia and Masuria | West Pomerania
Principal cities
Warsaw | Łódź | Kraków | Wrocław | Poznań | Gdańsk | Szczecin | Bydgoszcz | Lublin | Katowice | Białystok | Częstochowa | Gdynia | Gorzów Wlkp. | Toruń | Radom | Kielce | Rzeszów | Olsztyn

de:Woiwodschaft Kleinpolen et:Väike-Poola vojevoodkond fr:Voļvodie de Petite-Pologne id:Provinsi Malopolskie ja:マウォポルスカ県 pl:Województwo małopolskie sk:Malopoľské vojvodstvo


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