Lower Silesian Voivodeship

Lower Silesian Voivodeship
Województwo dolnośląskie
Voivodeship
Flag of Lower Silesian Voivodeship
Flag
Coat of arms of Lower Silesian Voivodeship
Coat of arms
Location within Poland
Location within Poland
Division into counties
Division into counties
Coordinates (Wrocław): 51°07′N 17°02′E / 51°07′N 17°02′E / 51.117; 17.033
Country Poland
CapitalWrocław
Counties*
Area
 • Total19,946.74 km2 (7,701.48 sq mi)
Population (30-06-2014)
 • Total2,908,457
 • Density150/km2 (380/sq mi)
 • Urban2,047,151
 • Rural837,097
Car platesD
Websitehttp://www.umwd.pl/
  • further divided into 169 gminas

Lower Silesian Voivodeship, or Lower Silesia Province[1] (Polish: województwo dolnośląskie [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ dɔlnɔˈɕlɔ̃skʲɛ]), in southwestern Poland, is one of the 16 voivodeships (provinces) into which Poland is divided.

Lower Silesia was part of Medieval Poland during the Piast dynasty. After the testament of Bolesław III Wrymouth in 1138, Poland entered a period of fragmentation. Silesia became a province of Poland as a duchy, which later on became divided into many small duchies reigned by dukes and princes of the Piast dynasty. During this time, cultural and ethnic Germanic influence prospered due to immigrants from the German-speaking areas of the Holy Roman Empire. This also impacted on the local architecture as well as traditions and cuisine. At the same time, Lower Silesia was a leading Polish cultural center. The Book of Henryków, which contains the earliest known sentence written in the Polish language, as well as Statuta synodalia Episcoporum Wratislaviensis, which contains the oldest printed text in Polish, were both created here. Both texts can be seen in Wrocław. Złotoryja, Poland's first town, was granted municipal privileges by Henry the Bearded. Over the 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.[2]

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.

History and geography

The voivodeship was created on 1 January 1999 out of the former Wrocław, Legnica, Wałbrzych and Jelenia Góra Voivodeships, following the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. It covers an area of 19,946 square kilometres (7,701 sq mi), and as of 2013 has a total population of 2 914 362.

Although much of the region is relatively low-lying it also includes Sudeten Foreland and part of the Sudetes mountain range running along the Polish/Czech border. Popular ski resorts in Lower Silesian Voivodeship include Karpacz and Szklarska Poręba in the Karkonosze mountains. Other important tourist destinations in the voivodeship include the chief city, Wrocław, as well as the towns of Jelenia Góra and Legnica. The town of Boleslawiec is famed for its pottery.

The voivodeship has the largest number of spa towns in Poland: Cieplice Śląskie-Zdrój, Długopole-Zdrój, Duszniki-Zdrój, Jedlina-Zdrój, Kudowa-Zdrój, Lądek-Zdrój, Polanica-Zdrój, Przerzeczyn-Zdrój, Szczawno-Zdrój, Świeradów-Zdrój.

Lower Silesian Voivodeship is bordered by Lubusz Voivodeship to the north-west, Greater Poland Voivodeship to the north-east, Opole Voivodeship to the south-east, the Czech Republic to the south, and Germany (the State of Saxony) to the west.

Other Languages
Bân-lâm-gú: Dolnośląskie Séng
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Ніжнесылескае ваяводзтва
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Dolnośląskie
Bahasa Indonesia: Provinsi Dolnośląskie
lumbaart: Dolnośląskie
Bahasa Melayu: Wilayah Lower Silesian
Tiếng Việt: Dolnośląskie