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Lesser Poland Voivodship

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Lesser Poland Voivodship

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Discussion on defining regions for Lesser Poland Voivodship is in progress. If you know the area pretty well, please share your opinion on the talk page.

For the historic region, see Lesser Poland.

Lesser Poland Voivodship (Polish: Małopolskie) [1] is a region in Poland.



  • Kraków — most popular Polish city with millions of visitors each year, it's the cultural capital and historical center of the country with countless medieval monuments and markets.

Other destinations


In ancient 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 already 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. Nowadays 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, Polish national carrier LOT Polish Airlines [2], and some low cost airlines fly to Kraków's John Paul II Balice Airport [3] (KRK). Domestic flights operated by LOT (under Eurolot brand) connect Kraków with other Polish cities.

Get around


  • Medieval wooden churches of Southern Lesser Poland - rare exemplars of medieval wooden architecture. One of the most beautiful is in Dębno at Lake Czorsztyn.

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.





Stay safe

Get out

Małopolskie boarders three other Polish voivodships

as well as Slovakia.

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