Location within Poland
Division into counties
|• Voivode||Bohdan Paszkowski (PiS)|
|• Marshal||Artur Kosicki (PiS)|
|• Total||20,180 km2 (7,790 sq mi)|
|• Density||58/km2 (150/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||PL-20|
|HDI (2018)||0.847 |
very high · 11th
Podlasie Voivodeship or Podlasie Province : 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 oblasts 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.(Polish
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.
The voivodeship takes its name from the historic region of Poland called Podlasie .
There are two opinions regarding the origin of the region's name[ citation needed ]. People often derive it from the Slavic les or las, meaning "forest", i.e., it is an area "by the wood(s)" or an "area of forests", which would bring Podlasie close in meaning to adjacent Polesia . This theory has been questioned, as it does not properly take into consideration the vowel shifts "a" > "e" > "i" in various Slavic languages (in fact, it mixes vowels from different languages).[ citation needed ] Heavily wooded Podlasie is home to the primeval Białowieża Forest and National Park, the habitat of the European wisent bison and tarpan.
A second view holds that the term comes from the expression pod Lachem, i.e., "under the Poles" (see: Lechia). Some claim it to mean "under Polish rule", which does not seem historically sound, as the area belonged to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania until 1569, and the southern part of it—until 1795.
A better variant of the latter theory holds that the name originates from the period when the territory was within the Trakai Voivodeship of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, along the border with Mazovia Province, primarily a fief of the Poland of the Piasts, and later part of the Kingdom of Poland of the Jagiellons. Hence pod Lachem would mean "near the Poles", "along the border with Poland". The historical Lithuanian name of the region, Palenkė, has exactly this meaning.
The voivodeship was created on January 1, 1999, out of the former Białystok and Łomża Voivodeships and the eastern half of the former Suwałki Voivodeship, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998.
It has a varied landscape, shaped in the north by Baltic glaciation, the rest by Middle Poland glaciation. The highest peaks are in the north (Rowelska Top - 298 m), where the landscape is dominated by a hilly lake district. Lakeland: Zachodniosuwalskie, Wschodniosuwalskie, Ełckie) and Sandrowy lake district (Augustów Plain) in the central and southern pre-glacial plains prevail (plateaus: Kolneńska, Białystok, Wysokomazowiecka, Drohiczynska, Sokólskie Hills, Międzyrzecko łomżyński, Plain Bielsko), varied in topography with small basins and river valleys. Kurpie lies on the west edge of the outwash plains. Sand, gravel, clay, moraine, and in the valleys and basins of the rivers silt, sand and river peat predominate on the surface.
The vast forests (Białowieża, Augustów, Knyszyń, Kurpiowska), some of which are the only ones in Europe to have retained their original character, contain a unique wealth of flora and fauna. The vegetation of the region is extremely diverse, which contributes to the richness of the animal world. Visitors can also see moose, wolves, lynx and bison living in the Białowieża Forest and Knyszyń Forest.
Podlaskie has the lowest population density of the sixteen Polish voivodeships, and its largely unspoiled nature is one of its chief assets. Around 30% of the area of the voivodeship is under legal protection. The Polish part of the Białowieża Forest biosphere reserve (also a World Heritage Site) is in Podlaskie. There are four National Parks (Białowieża, Biebrza, Narew and Wigry), three Landscape Parks (Knyszyń Forest, Łomża and Suwałki), 88 nature reserves, and 15 protected landscape areas. The voivodeship constitutes a part of the ecologically clean area known as "the Green Lungs of Poland".
Podlaskie has a Warm Summer Continental or Hemiboreal climate (Dfb) according to the Köppen climate classification system, which is characterized by warm temperatures during summer and long and frosty winters. It is substantially different from most of the other Polish lowlands. The region is one of the coldest in Poland, with the average temperature in January being −5 °C (23 °F). The average temperature in a year is 7 °C (45 °F). The number of frost days ranges from 50 to 60, with frost from 110 to 138 days and the duration of snow cover from 90 to 110 days. Mean annual rainfall values oscillate around 550 millimetres (21.7 in), and the vegetation period lasts 200 to 210 days.
Podlaskie is the coldest region of Poland, located in the very northeast of the country near the border with Belarus and Lithuania. The region has a continental climate which is characterized by high temperatures during summer and long and frosty winters. The climate is affected by the cold fronts which come from Scandinavia and Siberia. The average temperature in the winter ranges from -15 °C (5 °F) to -4 °C (24.8 °F).
|Climate data for Białystok|
|Record high °C (°F)||12|
|Average high °C (°F)||−1|
|Average low °C (°F)||−6|
|Record low °C (°F)||−34|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||30|
|Average precipitation days||8||7||8||8||8||10||10||9||9||8||10||10||106|
|Average rainy days||7||7||8||9||7||8||8||7||8||9||9||6||93|
|Average snowy days||9||10||7||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||5||7||41|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||21||54||139||138||207||236||217||205||162||97||27||20||1,523|
|Source 1: Weatherbase|
|Source 2: ClimateData.eu|
Podlaskie Voivodeship is divided into 17 counties (powiats): 3 city counties and 14 land counties. These are further divided into 118 gminas.
Metropolitan Białystok was designated by the Voivodeship of the Regulation No. 52/05 of 16 May 2005 km ². For one km2, there are about 265 people. Among urban residents are more women - 192 thousand. on 100 men, 108 women on average. The municipalities adjacent to Białystok are slowly losing their agricultural character, becoming the residential suburban neighborhoods.in order to help economically develop the region. In 2006, the metropolitan area population was 450,254 inhabitants. It covers an area of 1.521
Podlaskie is the land of the confluence of cultures – Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian and Lithuanian – and is indicative of the ethnic territories limits. Eastward of Podlaskie lie historic Polish lands, which are now part of Ukraine and Belarus and Lithuania. Today, mainly Polish and Ruthenian (Ukrainian and Belarusian) are spoken in Podlaskie, while Lithuanian is preserved by the small but compact Lithuanian minority concentrated in the Sejny County.
At the end of 2009 in Podlaskie Voivodeship there were 1,189,700 inhabitants, 3.1 percent of the total population of Poland. The average density of the population, the number of the population per 1 km2, was 59. The urban population in the same period was 60.2 percent of the total number of inhabitants of the voivodeship, where the percentage of females in the total population amounted to 51.3 percent. A statistical inhabitant of Podlasie was 37.7 years old, whereas in 2008 – 37.5 years old. The latest population projection predicts a consistent decrease in the population in Podlaskie Voivodeship. In the next 26 years, it will decrease by 117 thousand persons due to the ageing population.
The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the province was around 11 billion euros in 2018, accounting for 2.2% of Polish economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was €15,200 or 50% of the EU average in the same year. The GDP per employee was 57% of the EU average. Podlaskie Voivodeship is the province with the 5th lowest GDP per capita in Poland.
Podlaskie is the most diverse of all Polish voivodships. The area has been inhabited for centuries by members of different nations and religions: Poles, Jews, Belarusians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Rusyns, Romani, Lipka Tatars and Filippians.
Many places of religious worship remain:
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The following are general economic indicators for Podlaskie Voivodeship:
According to the REGON register in the year 2002 there were around 95 thousand companies registered in the Podlaskie region (97% of them in the private sector), dealing with;
Arable land constitutes around 60% of the total area of the region – most of which is ploughland (around 40%), forests, meadows and pastures. Over 120 000 farms are registered, roughly half of which are small farms of 1–5 ha and medium-sized farms of 5–10 ha. The smaller farms prefer intensive production (gardening, orcharding), whereas the larger ones engage in cattle and crop production. The cattle-raising farms are mainly oriented towards milk production.
The natural conditions of the region are conducive to the development of organic growing, which at present is practised by around 100 farms. Over 600 farms in the region offer agritourist services.
The voivodeship's seat is the city of Białystok. Like all voivodeships, it has a government-appointed Provincial Governor : wojewoda), as well as an elected Regional Assembly (sejmik) and of the executive elected by that assembly, headed by the voivodeship marshal (marszałek województwa). Administrative powers and competences are statutorily divided between these authorities.(Polish
The voivodeship contains 40 cities and towns. These are listed below in descending order of population (according to official figures for 2019)
Białystok is the largest city in northeastern Poland and the capital of the Podlaskie Voivodeship. Białystok is the tenth-largest city in Poland, second in terms of population density, and thirteenth in area.
Łomża, in English known as Lomza, is a city in north-eastern Poland, approximately 150 kilometers to the north-east of Warsaw and 80 kilometres (50 mi) west of Białystok. It is situated alongside the Narew river as part of the Podlaskie Voivodeship since 1999. Previously, it was the capital of the Łomża Voivodeship from 1975 to 1998. It is the capital of Łomża County and has been the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Łomża since 1925.
Białystok Voivodeship was a unit of administrative division and local government in Poland from 1975 to 1998, when it was superseded by the Podlaskie Voivodeship. Its capital city was Białystok. It was formed in 1975 from part of the existing Białystok Voivodeship. The region was 10,055 km2 (3,882 sq mi), and its population in 1994, about 700 000 inhabitants. It was divided into 20 cities and 50 municipalities. It bordered with four Voivodeships: Suwałki, Łomża, Siedlce and Biała Podlaska and until 1991 with the Soviet Union, and later with Belarus.
Suwałki(listen) is a city in northeastern Poland with a population of 69,210 (2011). It is the capital of Suwałki County and one of the most important centers of commerce in the Podlaskie Voivodeship. Suwałki is the largest city and the capital of the historical Suwałki Region. Until 1999 it was the capital of Suwałki Voivodeship. Suwałki is located about 30 kilometres from the southwestern Lithuanian border and gives its name to the Polish protected area known as Suwałki Landscape Park. The Czarna Hańcza river flows through the city.
Bielsk Podlaski(listen) is a town in northeastern Poland, in the Bielsk County in the Podlaskie Voivodeship. It is one of the historically most important towns in the region of Podlachia.
Łapy is a town in north-eastern Poland, in Białystok County (powiat), Podlaskie Voivodeship; the administrative centre of the urban-rural gmina Łapy. It is situated in the North Podlasie Lowland, on the river Narew.
Tykocin is a small town in north-eastern Poland, with 2,010 inhabitants (2012), located on the Narew river. Tykocin has been situated in the Podlaskie Voivodeship since 1999. Previously, it belonged to Białystok Voivodeship (1975-1998). It is one of the oldest settlements in the region.
Brańsk is an Urban Gmina (Town) in Bielsk County, Podlaskie Voivodeship. It is located north-eastern Poland.
Podlachia or Podlasie, is a historical region in the eastern part of Poland. Between 1513 and 1795 it was a voivodeship with the capital in Drohiczyn. Now the part north of the Bug River is included in the modern Podlaskie Voivodeship with the capital in Białystok.
Kolno County is a unit of territorial administration and local government (powiat) in Podlaskie Voivodeship, north-eastern 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 Kolno, which lies 89 kilometres (55 mi) west of the regional capital Białystok. The only other town in the county is Stawiski, lying 16 km (10 mi) east of Kolno.
Bielsk County is a unit of territorial administration and local government (powiat) in Podlaskie Voivodeship, north-eastern Poland. It came into being on 1 January 1999, as a result of the Polish local government reforms passed in 1998. Its administrative seat and largest town is Bielsk Podlaski, which lies 39 kilometres (24 mi) south of the regional capital Białystok. The only other town in the county is Brańsk, lying 25 km (16 mi) west of Bielsk Podlaski.
The Podlaskie Voivodeship was formed in 1513 by Sigismund I the Old as a voivodeship in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, from a split off part of the Trakai Voivodeship. After Lithuania's union with the Kingdom of Poland in 1569 and formation of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the voivodeship was transferred to the Polish Crown, where it belonged to the Lesser Poland Province of the Polish Crown.
Białystok Voivodeship was a unit of administrative division and local government in Poland from 1944 to 1975, when its purview was separated into eastern Suwałki Voivodeship, Łomża Voivodeship and Białystok Voivodeship (1975–1998). Its capital city was Białystok. The establishment of Podlaskie Voivodeship in 1999 was essentially a reunion of the areas of Białystok Voivodeship (1945–1975).
Suwałki Governorate was a governorate of Congress Poland which had its seat in the city of Suwałki. It covered a territory of about 12,300 km².
Białystok is, and has been for centuries, the main hub of transportation for the Podlaskie Voivodeship and the entire northeastern section of Poland. It is a major city on the European Union roadways and railways to the Baltic Republics and Finland. It is also a main gateway of trade with Belarus due to its proximity to the border and its current and longstanding relationship with Hrodno, Belarus. Passenger trains do connect from Suwałki, Hrodno and Lithuania to Warsaw and the rest of the European passenger network. An extensive public transportation system is provided within the city by three bus services, but no tram or subway exists.
Throughout its early history, the area comprising the current day Podlaskie Voivodeship was inhabited by various tribes of different ethnic roots. In the 9th and 10th centuries, the area was likely inhabited by Lechitic tribes in the south, Baltic (Yotvingian) tribes in the north, and Ruthenian tribes in the east. Between the 10th and 13th centuries, the area was part of the Ruthenian principalities. The area became a part of the Medieval Slavic cities union of Cherven cities. Until the 14th century the area was part of pro-Kyivan Ruthenian states, and was later annexed by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1569, after the Union of Lublin, the western part of Podlaskie was ceded to the Kingdom of Poland.
Białystok is, and has been for centuries, the main hub of transportation for the Podlaskie Voivodeship and the entire northeastern section of Poland. It is a major city on the European Union roadways and railways to the Baltic Republics and Finland. It is also a main gateway of trade with Belarus due to its proximity to the border and its current and longstanding relationship with Hrodno, Belarus. Passenger trains do connect from Suvalki, Hrodno and Lithuania to Warsaw and the rest of the European passenger network. An extensive public transportation system is provided within the city by three bus services, but no tram or subway exists.
Białystok constituency is a Polish parliamentary constituency that is coterminous with the Podlaskie Voivodeship. It elects fourteen members of the Sejm.
Bielsk Land, was an administrative unit (ziemia) of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Kingdom of Poland and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Created in 1413, it originally belonged to the Lithuanian Trakai Voivodeship. In 1513, it became part of newly created Podlasie Voivodeship, and from 1569 until 1795, it belonged to the Kingdom of Poland.
Podlaskie Museum in Białystok is a museum which is based in Białystok the capital of Podlaskie Voivodeship in north-eastern Poland with affiliates in Bielsk-Podlaski.