Masovian Voivodeship or Mazovia Province (Polish: województwo mazowieckie [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ mazɔˈvʲɛtskʲɛ]), is the largest and most populous of the sixteen Polish provinces, or voivodeships, created in 1999. It occupies 35,579 square kilometres (13,737 sq mi) of east-central Poland, and has 5,324,500 inhabitants. Its principal cities are Warsaw (1.749 million) in the centre of the Warsaw metropolitan area, Radom (226,000) in the south, Płock (127,000) in the west, Siedlce (77,000) in the east, and Ostrołęka (55,000) in the north. The capital of the voivodeship is the national capital, Warsaw.
The province was created on January 1, 1999, out of the former Warsaw, Płock, Ciechanów, Ostrołęka, Siedlce and Radom Voivodeships, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. The province's name recalls the traditional name of the region, Mazowsze (sometimes rendered in English as "Masovia"), with which it is roughly coterminous. However, southern part of the voivodeship, with Radom, historically belongs to Lesser Poland, while Łomża and its surroundings, even though historically part of Masovia, now is part of Podlaskie Voivodeship.
It is bordered by six other voivodeships: Warmian-Masurian to the north, Podlaskie to the north-east, Lublin to the south-east, Świętokrzyskie to the south, Łódź to the south-west, and Kuyavian-Pomeranian to the north-west.
Masovia is the centre of science, research, education, industry and infrastructure in the country. It currently has the lowest unemployment rate in Poland and is classified as a very high income province. Moreover, it is popular among holidaymakers due to the number of historical monuments and greenery; forests cover over 20% of the voivodeship's area, where pines and oaks predominate in the regional landscape. Additionally, the Kampinos National Park located within Masovia is a UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve.
Masovian Voivodeship is divided into 42 counties (powiats): 5 city counties (miasto na prawach powiatu) and 37 "land counties" (powiat ziemski). These are subdivided into 314 gminas, which include 85 "urban gminas".The counties, shown on the numbered map, are described in the table below.
The voivodeship contains 85 cities and towns. These are listed below in descending order of population (according to official figures for 2006):
Protected areas in Masovian Voivodeship include one National Park and nine Landscape Parks. These are listed below.Kampinos National Park (a UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve)
Bolimów Landscape Park (partly in Łódź Voivodeship)
Brudzeń Landscape Park
Bug Landscape Park
Chojnów Landscape Park
Górzno-Lidzbark Landscape Park (partly in Kuyavian-Pomeranian and Warmian-Masurian Voivodeships)
Gostynin-Włocławek Landscape Park (partly in Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship)
Kozienice Landscape Park
Masovian Landscape Park
Podlaskie Bug Gorge Landscape Park (partly in Lublin Voivodeship)
- Kowalski: 26,270
- Wiśniewski: 21,940
- Kowalczyk: 21,586
- Lukasik: 15,562
- Mazurkiewicz: Founding of Masovia Name.
Masovia Voivodeship, 1526–1795 (Polish: Województwo Mazowieckie) was an administrative region of the Kingdom of Poland, and of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, from the 15th century until the partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1795). Together with Płock and Rawa Voivodeships, it formed the province (prowincja) of Masovia.
Masovian Voivodeship was one of the voivodeships of Congress Poland. It was formed from Warsaw Department, and transformed into Masovia Governorate.
There are three main road routes that pass through the voivodship: Cork–Berlin–Poznań–Warszawa–Minsk–Moscow–Omsk, Prague–Wrocław–Warsaw–Białystok–Helsinki and Pskov–Gdańsk–Warsaw–Kraków–Budapest.
Currently there are only small stretches of autostrada in the area. However, the A2 autostrada, upon its completion, will be the first autostrada to connect the region, and therefore the capital city, with the rest of Europe. The autostrada will pass directly through the voivodship from east to west connecting it with Belarus and Germany.
The railroad system is based on Koleje Mazowieckie and PKP Intercity.
The main international airport in the region is Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport.
Masovian Voivodeship is the wealthiest province in Poland. It produces 22% of Polish GDP, and GDP per capita is 160% of country average.