Sneha Girap

Lesser Poland Voivodeship

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Country  Poland
Area  15,108 km2
Capital  Kraków
Population  3,267,731
Colleges and Universities  Jagiellonian University
Destinations  Kraków, Nowy S?cz, Tarnów, Zakopane, O?wi?cim
Points of interest  Auschwitz concentration camp, Wieliczka Salt Mine, Tatra Mountains, Main Square - Kraków, Wawel

Lesser Poland Voivodeship (in Polish, województwo ma?opolskie [v?j??vut?stf? maw??p?lsk??, also known as Ma?opolska Voivodeship or Ma?opolska Province, is a voivodeship (province), in southern Poland. It has an area of 15,108 square kilometres (5,833 sq mi), and a population of 3,267,731 (2006).

Contents

Map of Lesser Poland Voivodeship

It was created on 1 January 1999 out of the former Kraków, Tarnów, Nowy S?cz and parts of Bielsko-Bia?a, Katowice, Kielce and Krosno Voivodeships, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. The provinces name recalls the traditional name of a historic Polish region, Lesser Poland, or in Polish: Ma?opolska. Current Lesser Poland Voivodeship, however, covers only small part of the broader ancient Ma?opolska region which, together with Greater Poland (Wielkopolska) and Silesia (?l?sk), formed the early medieval Polish state. Historic Lesser Poland is much larger than the current province. It stretches far north, to Radom, and Siedlce, also including such cities, as Stalowa Wola, Lublin, Kielce, Cz?stochowa, and Sosnowiec.

The province is bounded on the north by the ?wi?tokrzyskie Mountains (Góry ?wi?tokrzyskie), on the west by Jura Krakowsko-Cz?stochowska (a broad range of hills stretching from Kraków to Cz?stochowa), and on the south by the Tatra, Pieniny and Beskidy Mountains. Politically it is bordered by Silesian Voivodeship to the west, ?wi?tokrzyskie Voivodeship to the north, Subcarpathian Voivodeship to the east, and Slovakia to the south.

Almost all of Lesser Poland lies in the Vistula River catchment area. The city of Kraków was one of the European Cities of Culture in 2000. Kraków has railway and road connections with Katowice (expressway), Warsaw, Wroc?aw and Rzeszów. It lies at the crossroads of major international routes linking Dresden with Kiev, and Gda?sk with Budapest. Located here is the second largest international airport in Poland (after Warsaws), the John Paul II International Airport.

Economy

The regions economy includes high technology, banking, chemical and metallurgical industries, coal, ore, food processing, and spirit and tobacco industries. The most industrialized city of the voivodeship is Kraków. The largest regional enterprise operates here, the Tadeusz Sendzimir Steelworks in Nowa Huta, employing 17,500 people. Another major industrial center is located in the west, in the neighborhood of Chrzanów (chiefly the production of railway engines) and O?wi?cim (chemical works). Kraków Park Technologiczny, a Special Economic Zone, has been established within the voivodeship. There are almost 210,000 registered economic entities operating in the voivodeship, mostly small and medium-sized, of which 234 belong to the state-owned sector. Foreign investment, growing in the region, reached approximately US$18.3 billion by the end of 2006.

Tourism

Four national parks and numerous reserves have been established in the voivodeship to protect the environment of Lesser Poland. The region has areas for tourism and recreation, including Zakopane (Polands most popular winter resort) and the Tatra, Pieniny and Beskidy Mountains. The natural landscape features many historic sites. The salt mine at Wieliczka, the pilgrimage town of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, and Krakóws Old Town are ranked by UNESCO among the most precious sites of world heritage. At Wadowice, birthplace of John Paul II (50 kilometers southwest of Kraków) is a museum dedicated to the late Popes childhood. The area of O?wi?cim, with the former Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz-I and Auschwitz-II-Birkenau, is visited annually by a million people. Another tourist destination is the town of Bochnia with its salt mine, Europes oldest.

References

Lesser Poland Voivodeship Wikipedia 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