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Lesser Poland Voivodship

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Revision as of 06:10, 30 April 2009


Małopolskie [1], also Małopolska, Małopolskie Voivodship, Małoposka Voivodship, Lesser Poland or Lesser Poland Voivodship, is a voivodship, also written voivodeship, in Southern Poland.




Little Pearls

Other destinations

UNESCO World Heritage sites

  • Old Town and Wawel Castle in Kraków - well-preserved medieval town city and marketplace. After the ancient Kraków was destroyed by the Tatars in 1241, Boleslaus IV located the new town in the current shape with the Main Market and the straight streets. Many fine buildings, museums, theatres and restaurants are situated there, with a spectacular Wawel castle hill.
  • Wieliczka Salt Mine - the oldest still existing enterprise worldwide, founded more than 700 years ago. Once, it made the Polish kings very rich, as salt was the expensive white gold. 4.5 km of nearly 400 km of the mine can be visited. The tourist route shows the most beautiful halls and salt pieces of art made by the miners throughout the centuries.
  • Auschwitz German Nazi Concentration Camp - while occupying Poland, the German Nazis established the concentration camp in 1940 for Polish prisoners. From 1942 to 1945 it became the centre of the Holocaust on the European Jews.
  • Medieval wooden churches of southern Małopolska - rare exemplars of medieval wooden architecture. One of the most beautiful is in Dębno at Lake Czorsztyn.

National Parks

  • Pieniński National Park – national park in the Carpathian Mountains with the break-through of the Dunajec River through the Pieniny Mountains.
  • Tatrzański National Park – national park in the Tatra Mountains around the Rysy Mountain, with bears, wolves and other animals.



In acient times Malopolskie used to be part of different cultures, like the Przeworsk culture or the Celts. In the 9th century it became part of the Great Moravian Empire. Later in the early 10th century it became independant with some links to Bohemia. But allready in the early Middle Ages Małopolskie was conquered by the Piast from Wielkopolskie, which was the major part of Poland in the 10-11th centuries. However, the capital of Poland was moved from Gniezno / Poznan to Kraków in 1040 and Małopolskie became the biggest and most important region in Poland. When in 1138 the Seniorat of Poland was formed, Malopolskie became the senior region and Kraków remained the capital of the Seniorat. When Poland was reunified in 1295, Kraków became again the capital of the Kingdom of Poland. Kazimierz the Great turned Małopolskie into one of the most beautiful Gothic regions in Central Europe. Also the Italian Renaissance had a great influence on Małopolskie's architecture. When the capital was moved to Warsaw in 1596/1611 the region still was one of the most important in Poland, although more investments were made in northern Poland since the middle of the 17th century. After the First Partition of Poland in 1772 most of its territory south of the Vistula was annexed by Austria and formed Galicja-Lodomeria. Kraków and its northern part was annexed by Prussia in 1795 after the Third Partition of Poland. After the Congress of Vienna the Northern part became part of the Kingdom of Poland, ruled by the Russian Tsar while the southern part remained part of Austria. After World War I Małopolskie became part of the Second Polish Republic, but was occupied by Nazi-Germany between 1939 and 1944, when it was part of the German Generalgovernement. After World War II it again became part of Poland. Nowerdays it is situated quite in the south of the country and is the most attractive tourist region in Poland.


Get in

By plane

Some major airlines, Poland's national carriers LOT Polish Airlines [2], and a low cost airline Centralwings [3] (owned by LOT) and some other low cost airlines fly to Kraków's John Paul II Balice Airport [4] (KRK). Domestic flights operated by LOT (under Eurolot brand) connect Kraków with i.e. Warsaw's Frederic Chopin Airport [5] (WAW).

Get around






Stay safe

Get out

Małopolskie boarders three other Polish voivodships

as well as Slovakia.

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