Earth : Europe : Central Europe : Poland : Silesia : Silesian Voivodship
In the early Middle Ages Śląskie was part of Silesia, which was part of Poland since the 10th century. When in 1138 the Seniorat of Poland was formed, Silesia was one of the Polish duchies and several Silesian duches were Seniors of Poland until the late 13th century. In the 12th and 13th centuries Silesia fall apart into several duchies of which Racibórz, Oświęcim, Siewierz and Cieszyn as well as Częstochowa are in Śląskie. In the 14th centrury Siewierz and Oświęcim again became a part of Poland, Częstochowa was also Polish, while Cieszyn and Racibórz came under Czech rule. Bohemia was ruled at this time by the German Luxembourg, later the Polish Jagiellonians and finally by the Austrian Habsburg. In 1741 Prussia annexed most of Śląskie, besides Cieszyn and Częstochowa. After the Third Partition of Poland in 1793 Częstochowa was also annexed by Prussia, but became independent as part of the Duchy of Warsaw between 1807-1815. After the Congress of Vienna, Częstochowa became part of the Kingdom of Poland, ruled by the Russian Tsar. In the 19th century coal mining developed in this region, while the Beskids in the south remained rural and unpolluted. After World War I and the Silsian Uprisings, Śląskie became largely part of the Second Polish Republic but was occupied by Nazi-Germany between 1939 and 1944. After World War II it again became part of Poland. Nowerdays it is situated quite in the south of the country.
Polish is spoken by all. Depending on who you believe, the dialect or language of Silesian is spoken here too. There is also a notable German minority presence in the region with some bi-lingual signage in both languages. As in a large part of western and northern Poland, place names exist in both Polish and German due to the area's history. Many young people study English and German.
Some major airlines, Poland's national carriers LOT Polish Airlines , and low cost airline  (KTW). Domestic flights operated by LOT (under Eurolot brand) connect Kraków with i.e. Warsaw's Frederic Chopin Airport  (WAW). Alternatively the airport of Wroclaw (WRO) offers a number of connections to Germany and the Britain and Ireland (London, Dublin), the latter by the low-cost carrier Ryanair.
Śląskie borders four other Polish voivodships: