Opole Voivodeship

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Opole Voivodeship

Województwo opolskie
Opolskie (EE,E NN,N).png
Location within Poland
Opole Voivodeship administrative map.svg
Administrative divisions
Coordinates(Opole): 50°40′N17°56′E / 50.667°N 17.933°E / 50.667; 17.933
CountryFlag of Poland.svg  Poland
Capital Opole
Counties
Government
   Voivode Adrian Czubak (PiS)
  Marshal Andrzej Buła (PO)
Area
  Total9,412.5 km2 (3,634.2 sq mi)
Population
 (2019-06-30 [1] )
  Total984,345
  Density100/km2 (270/sq mi)
   Urban
524,473
  Rural
459,872
Languages
  Languages
ISO 3166 code PL-16
Vehicle registration O
HDI (2017)0.841 [2]
very high · 11th
Website http://www.umwo.opole.pl/

Opole Voivodeship, or Opole Province [3] (Polish : województwo opolskie [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ ɔˈpɔlskʲɛ] ), 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.

Contents

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 with its headquarter in Prudnik has facilitated economic, cultural and tourist exchanges between the border areas of Poland and the Czech Republic.

History

Voivodeships between 1975 and 1998 superimposed over the current borders of the Opole Voivodeship OPna49.png
Voivodeships between 1975 and 1998 superimposed over the current borders of the Opole Voivodeship

Opole Voivodeship was created on January 1, 1999, out of the former Opole Voivodeship and parts of Częstochowa Voivodeship, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. Originally, the government, advised by prominent historians, had wanted to disestablish Opolskie and partition its territory between the more historically Polish regions of Lower Silesia and Silesian Voivodeship (eastern Upper Silesia and western Malopolska. The plan was that Brzeg and Namysłów, as the Western part of the region, were to be transferred to Lower Silesia, while the rest was to become, along with a part of the Częstochowa Voivodeship, an integral part of the new 'Silesian' region. However, the plans resulted in an outcry from the German minority population of Opole Voivodeship, who feared that should their region be abolished, they would lose all hope of regional representation (in the proposed Silesian Region, they would have formed a very small minority among a great number of ethnic Poles). To the surprise of many of the ethnic Germans in Opole however, the local Polish Silesian population and groups of ethnic Poles also rose up to oppose the planned reforms; this came about as a result of an overwhelming feeling of attachment to the voivodeships that were scheduled to be 'redrawn', as well as a fear of 'alienation' should one find themselves residing in a new, unfamiliar region.

The solution came in late 1999, when Olesno was, after 24 years apart, finally reunited with the Opole Voivodeship to form the new legally defined region. A historic moment came in 2006 when the town of Radłów changed its local laws to make German, alongside Polish, the district's second official language; thus becoming the first town in the region to achieve such a feat.

Geography

The voivodeship lies in southwestern Poland, the major part on the Silesian Lowland (Nizina Śląska). To the east, the region touches upon the Silesian Upland (Silesian Uplands, Wyżyna Śląska) with the famous Saint Anne Mountain; the Sudetes range, the Opawskie Mountains, lies to the southwest. The Oder River cuts across the middle of the voivodeship. The northern part of the voivodeship, along the Mała Panew River, is densely forested, while the southern part consists of arable land.

The region has the warmest climate in the country.

Protected areas

Protected areas in Opole Voivodeship include the following three areas designated as Landscape Parks:

Climate

Climate data for Opole
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Average high °C (°F)2
(36)
3
(37)
8
(46)
15
(59)
20
(68)
22
(72)
25
(77)
25
(77)
20
(68)
15
(59)
8
(46)
3
(37)
13.8
(56.8)
Average low °C (°F)−3
(27)
−3
(27)
0
(32)
4
(39)
8
(46)
11
(52)
14
(57)
14
(57)
10
(50)
5
(41)
1
(34)
−2
(28)
4.9
(40.8)
Source: MeteoBlue

Administrative division

Opole Voivodeship is divided into 12 counties (powiats): 1 city county and 11 land counties. These are further divided into 71 gminas.

The counties are listed in the following table (ordering is by decreasing population).

Opole, the voivodeship's capital Oppeln - Altstadt1-description.jpg
Opole, the voivodeship's capital
Nysa, the third-largest town by population in the south-west NysaRynek PiotrFuz 1280.jpg
Nysa, the third-largest town by population in the south-west
Brzeg, a popular tourist attraction for its Renaissance Town Hall and Castle SM Brzeg Ratusz (1) ID 609764.jpg
Brzeg, a popular tourist attraction for its Renaissance Town Hall and Castle
Prudnik, with its preserved medieval town centre Rynek i ratusz w Prudniku (2020) 02.jpg
Prudnik, with its preserved medieval town centre
Kluczbork serves as a key rail line junction in the north-east of the region Kluczbork - ratusz.jpg
Kluczbork serves as a key rail line junction in the north-east of the region
English and
Polish names
Area
(km2)
Population
(2019)
SeatOther townsTotal
gminas
City counties
Opole 96128,2081
Land counties
Nysa County
powiat nyski
1,224136,393 Nysa Głuchołazy, Paczków, Otmuchów, Korfantów 9
Opole County
powiat opolski
1,587123,487 Opole* Ozimek, Niemodlin, Prószków 13
Kędzierzyn-Koźle County
powiat kędzierzyńsko-kozielski
62594,135 Kędzierzyn-Koźle 6
Brzeg County
powiat brzeski
87790,054 Brzeg Grodków, Lewin Brzeski 6
Strzelce County
powiat strzelecki
74474,460 Strzelce Opolskie Zawadzkie, Kolonowskie, Leśnica, Ujazd 7
Kluczbork County
powiat kluczborski
85265,644 Kluczbork Wołczyn, Byczyna 4
Olesno County
powiat oleski
97464,411 Olesno Praszka, Dobrodzień, Gorzów Śląski 7
Krapkowice County
powiat krapkowicki
44263,857 Krapkowice Zdzieszowice, Gogolin 5
Prudnik County
powiat prudnicki
57155,325 Prudnik Głogówek, Biała Prudnicka 4
Głubczyce County
powiat głubczycki
67345,679 Głubczyce Kietrz, Baborów 4
Namysłów County
powiat namysłowski
74842,692 Namysłów 5
* seat not part of the county

Cities and towns

The voivodeship contains 36 cities and towns. These are listed below in descending order of population (as of 2019): [1]

  1. Opole (128,208)
  2. Kędzierzyn-Koźle (60,852)
  3. Nysa (43,489)
  4. Brzeg (35,890)
  5. Kluczbork (23,554)
  6. Prudnik (21,041)
  7. Strzelce Opolskie (17,900)
  8. Namysłów (16,551)
  9. Krapkowice (16,301)
  10. Głuchołazy (13,534)
  11. Głubczyce (12,552)
  12. Zdzieszowice (11,445)
  13. Olesno (9,374)
  14. Ozimek (8,657)
  15. Grodków (8,595)
  16. Praszka (7,655)
  17. Paczków (7,460)
  18. Zawadzkie (7,135)
  19. Gogolin (6,682)
  20. Otmuchów (6,581)
  21. Niemodlin (6,315)
  22. Kietrz (6,005)
  23. Wołczyn (5,907)
  24. Lewin Brzeski (5,736)
  25. Głogówek (5,592)
  26. Tułowice (4,011)
  27. Dobrodzień (3,720)
  28. Byczyna (3,582)
  29. Kolonowskie (3,309)
  30. Baborów (2,905)
  31. Prószków (2,570)
  32. Leśnica (2,556)
  33. Gorzów Śląski (2,452)
  34. Biała Prudnicka (2,426)
  35. Korfantów (1,808)
  36. Ujazd (1,763)

Demographics

The Opole Voivodeship is the smallest region in the administrative makeup of the country in terms of both area and population.

About 15% of the one million inhabitants of this voivodeship are ethnic Germans, which constitutes 90% of all ethnic Germans in Poland. Towns with particularly high concentrations of German speakers include: Strzelce Opolskie; Dobrodzien; Prudnik; Głogówek; and Gogolin. [4] As a result, many areas are officially bilingual and the German language and culture play a significant role in education in the region. Ethnic Germans first came to this region during the Late Middle Ages. [5] The area was once part of the Prussian province of Silesia.

Economy

Opole Glowne railway station is a major transportation hub through which much of the region's trade is channelled Opole - Gmach Dworca Glownego 01.jpg
Opole Główne railway station is a major transportation hub through which much of the region's trade is channelled

The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the province was 10.1 billion euros in 2018, accounting for 2.0% of Polish economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 17,000 euros or 56% of the EU27 average in the same year. The GDP per employee was 66% of the EU average. [6]

The Opole Voivodeship is an industrial as well as an agricultural region. With respect to mineral resources, of major importance are deposits of raw materials for building: limestone (Strzelce Opolskie), marl (near Opole), marble, and basalt. The favourable climate, fertile soils, and high farming culture contribute to the development of agriculture, which is among the most productive in the country.

A total of nineteen industries are represented in the voivodeship. The most important are cement and lime, furniture, food, car manufacturing, and chemical industries. In 1997, the biggest production growth in the area was in companies producing wood and wood products, electrical equipment, machinery and appliances, as well as cellulose and paper products. In 1997, the top company in the region was Zakłady Azotowe S.A. in Kędzierzyn-Koźle, whose income was over PLN 860 million. The voivodship's economy consists of more than 53,000 businesses, mostly small and medium-sized, employing over 332,000 people. Manufacturing companies employ over 89,000 people; 95.7% of all the region's business operate in the private sector.

Tourism

Moszna Castle, near Opole 3Kat Boch.JPG
Moszna Castle, near Opole

The Opole Voivodeship is a green region with three large lakes: Turawskie, Nyskie, and Otmuchów (the latter two are connected). The Opawskie Mountains between Prudnik and Głuchołazy are extremely popular. The region also includes the castle in Brzeg, built during the reign of the Piast dynasty—pearl of the Silesian Renaissance, the Franciscan monastery on top of Saint Anne Mountain, as well as the medieval defence fortifications in Paczków (referred to as the Upper Silesian Carcassonne).

International tourism

According to the Central Statistical Office of Poland, Opole Voivodeship is most frequently visited by international tourists from countries located in Europe (94.6%). The rank was followed by tourists from Asia, compromising 2.4% of the total international tourist figure, followed by that of North America at 1.8%. The general composition of international tourists visiting the Opole Voivodeship remains unchanged, with 46.2% of tourists heading from Germany.

International tourists visiting Opole Voivodeship with an overnight stay according to country of permanent residence: [7]

Overnight international tourists in Opole Voivodeship (2015)
CountryInternational tourists (change from 2010)
Austria
600(+33.3%)
Belgium
450(+6.6%)
Czech Republic
2,200(+41.9%)
Denmark
370(+2.7%)
France
1,400(+33.3%)
Hungary
375(+7.1%)
Italy
910(+13.7%)
Netherlands
1,220(-43.4%)
Norway
450(+33.3%)
Romania
450(+44.4%)
Russia
320(-46.0%)
Slovakia
1,000(+40.0%)
Spain
520(+28.9%)
Sweden
320(-12.5%)
United Kingdom
950(-24.2%)
United States of America
600(+25.0%)
Overnight international tourists in Opole Voivodeship (2015)
CountryInternational tourists (change from 2010)
Germany
18,100(+8.5%)
Ukraine
5,200(+26.9%)

In 2015, a total of c. 90,800 overnight stays were hosted for international tourists, a figure making up 12.4% of the total amount of overnight stays for Opole Voivodeship. The majority (44.7%) of international overnight stays were hosted in the city of Opole, followed by Kędzierzyn-Koźle County (9.9%) and Nysa County at (9.4%). [7]

Transportation

The transport route from Germany to Ukraine, the A4, runs through Opole. The region has four border crossings, and direct rail connections to all important Polish cities, as well as to Frankfurt, Munich, Budapest, Kiev, and the Baltic ports.

Universities

There are three state-run universities in the region: the Opole University, the Opole University of Technology, and the Public Higher Medical Professional School in Opole. All of them are based in the voivodeship's capital. Among the region's private schools, the Opole School of Management and Administration has been certified as a degree-granting institution by the Ministry of National Education.

Surnames

Most popular surnames in Opole Voivodeship:

  1. Nowak: 5,538
  2. Wieczorek: 2,654
  3. Mazur: 2,512

Former Opole voivodeships

Opole Voivodeship (1975-1999)

Opole Voivodeship 1975-1999. Opole Voivodship 1975.png
Opole Voivodeship 1975–1999.

Opole Voivodeship was also a unit of administrative division and local government in Poland between 1975 and 1998.

Major cities and towns (population in 1995):

Opole Voivodeship (1950–1975)

This administrative region of the People's Republic of Poland (1950–1975) was created as a result of the partition of Katowice Voivodeship in 1950.

See also

Related Research Articles

Upper Silesia Historical region in Poland and Czech Republic

Upper Silesia is the southeastern part of the historical and geographical region of Silesia, located mostly in Poland, with small parts in the Czech Republic.

Kędzierzyn-Koźle Place in Opole Voivodeship, Poland

Kędzierzyn-Koźle(listen) is a town in southern Poland, the administrative center of Kędzierzyn-Koźle County. With 54,872 inhabitants as of 2020, it is the second most-populous town in the Opole Voivodeship.

Brzeg Place in Opole Voivodeship, Poland

Brzeg is a town in southwestern Poland with 35,890 inhabitants (2017) and the capital of Brzeg County. It is situated in Silesia in the Opole Voivodeship on the left bank of the Oder river.

Strzelce Opolskie Place in Opole Voivodeship, Poland

Strzelce Opolskie(listen) is a town in southern Poland with 17,900 inhabitants (2019), situated in the Opole Voivodeship. It is the capital of Strzelce County.

Głuchołazy Place in Opole Voivodeship, Poland

Głuchołazy is a historic town in southwestern Poland with approximately 13,534 inhabitants as of 2019. It is located within the Nysa County of Opole Voivodeship (province), near the border with the Czech Republic, and is the administrative seat of Gmina Głuchołazy.

Stalag VIII-B

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Krapkowice County County in Opole Voivodeship, Poland

Krapkowice County is a unit of territorial administration and local government (powiat) in Opole Voivodeship, south-western Poland. It came into being on January 1, 1999, as a result of the Polish local government reforms passed in 1998. Its administrative seat and largest town is Krapkowice, which lies 23 kilometres (14 mi) south of the regional capital Opole. The county also contains the towns of Zdzieszowice, lying 13 km (8 mi) south-east of Krapkowice, and Gogolin, 5 km (3 mi) north-east of Krapkowice.

Nysa County County in Opole Voivodeship, Poland

Nysa County is a unit of territorial administration and local government (powiat) in Opole Voivodeship, south-western Poland, on the Czech border. It came into being on January 1, 1999, as a result of the Polish local government reforms passed in 1998. Its administrative seat and largest town is Nysa, which lies 48 kilometres (30 mi) south-west of the regional capital Opole. The county contains four other towns: Głuchołazy, 18 km (11 mi) south of Nysa, Paczków, 24 km (15 mi) west of Nysa, Otmuchów, 12 km (7 mi) west of Nysa, and Korfantów, 20 km (12 mi) east of Nysa.

Strzelce County County in Opole Voivodeship, Poland

Strzelce County is a unit of territorial administration and local government (powiat) in Opole Voivodeship, south-western Poland. It came into being on January 1, 1999, as a result of the Polish local government reforms passed in 1998. Its administrative seat and largest town is Strzelce Opolskie, which lies 31 kilometres (19 mi) south-east of the regional capital Opole. The county contains four other towns: Zawadzkie, 19 km (12 mi) north-east of Strzelce Opolskie, Kolonowskie, 19 km (12 mi) north-east of Strzelce Opolskie, Leśnica, 11 km (7 mi) south-west of Strzelce Opolskie, and Ujazd, 14 km (9 mi) south-east of Strzelce Opolskie.

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Gmina Leśnica Gmina in Opole Voivodeship, Poland

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Lichynia Village in Opole Voivodeship, Poland

Lichynia is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Leśnica, within Strzelce County, Opole Voivodeship, in southern Poland. It lies approximately 3 kilometres (2 mi) south-east of Leśnica, 11 km (7 mi) south-west of Strzelce Opolskie, and 35 km (22 mi) south-east of the regional capital Opole.

Bolko V the Hussite was a Duke of Opole between 1422–1424, ruler over Głogówek and Prudnik since 1424, Duke of Strzelce and Niemodlin from 1450 and ruler over Olesno since 1455.

Jan II the Good

Jan II of Opole was a Duke of Opole-Brzeg -Strzelce-Niemodlin in 1476, ruler over Gliwice, Toszek, Niemodlin, Bytom, Koźle, and Racibórz. He belonged to the Silesian branch of the Polish Piast dynasty which was the oldest branch of the first Polish royal dynasty.

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References

  1. 1 2 "Population. Size and structure and vital statistics in Poland by territorial division in 2019. As of 30th June". stat.gov.pl. Statistics Poland. 2019-10-15. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  2. "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  3. Arkadiusz Belczyk, Tłumaczenie polskich nazw geograficznych na język angielski Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine [Translation of Polish Geographical Names into English], 2002–2006.
  4. "Klimczak.PolishAndGermanSilesia" . Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  5. Weinhold, Karl (1887). Die Verbreitung und die Herkunft der Deutschen in Schlesien [The Spread and the Origin of Germans in Silesia] (in German). Stuttgart: J. Engelhorn.
  6. "Regional GDP per capita ranged from 30% to 263% of the EU average in 2018". Eurostat.
  7. 1 2 "opole.stat.gov.pl" (PDF). TURYŚCI ZAGRANICZNI KORZYSTAJĄCY Z BAZY NOCLEGOWEJ TURYSTYKI WEDŁUG WYBRANYCH KRAJÓW STAŁEGO ZAMIESZKANIA. Retrieved 22 August 2017.

Coordinates: 50°38′54″N17°54′02″E / 50.64833°N 17.90056°E / 50.64833; 17.90056