Silesian VoivodshipThe Silesian Voivodship (in Polish województwo slaskie) is an administrative region or voivodship in the south of Poland.
2) An administrative region established in 1999 out of Katowice, Czestochowa and Bielsko-Biala voivodships as a result of Local Goverment Act of 1998.
The Silesian voivodship lies in the south of Poland and is bordered by Czechia and Slovakia. The Silesian Upland (Wyzyna Slaska) is situated in the central and the north western part, with the hills of the Krakowsko-Czestochowska Upland (Wyzyna Krakowsko-Czestochowska) in the north-eastern area. The southern border is formed by the scenic Beskid Mountains (Beskid Slaski and Beskid Zywiecki). Strong links of the present Silesian voivodship (comprising area known as the Upper Silesia) with the Opole and Lower Silesian Voivodships is justified and motivated by historical identity of the Duchy of Silesia (Ksiestwo Slaskie) divided in the 13th century into the Upper and Lower Silesia.
The Silesian voivodship has the highest population density in the country (398 people, as compared to the national average of 124 people, per square kilometre). The region's considerable industrialisation contributes to the lowest national unemployment rate of 6.2%. The Silesian region is the most industrialised, but also considered the greatest environmental hazard among all Polish voivodships (acid rains and mining damage). It is also the most urbanised region and that is why it has the largest number of towns with county status. Katowice airport is used for domestic and international flights and the Silesian agglomeration railway network has the largest concentration in the country. The voivodship capital enjoys good railway and road connections with Cracow (highway), Wroclaw, Lodz and Warsaw. It is also the crossing point for many international routes like the one connecting Berlin, Dresden, Wroclaw, Cracow and Kiev and the other from Gdansk to the Balkans. A relatively short distance to Vienna facilitates cross-border co-operation and may positively influence the process of European integration.
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The Silesian voivodship is predominantly an industrial region. Most of the
mining is derived from one of the world's largest bituminous coalfields of the
Upper Silesian Industrial District (Gornoslaski Okreg Przemyslowy) and the
Rybnik Coal District (Rybnicki Okreg Weglowy) with its major cities Rybnik, Jastrzebie Zdroj, Zory and Wodzislaw Slaski. Lead and zinc can be found near
Bytom, Zawiercie and Tarnowskie Gory; iron ore and raw materials for building -
near Czestochowa. The most important regional industries are: mining, iron,
lead and zinc metallurgy, power industry, engineering, automobile, chemical,
building materials and textile. In the past, the Silesian economy was
determined by coal mining. Now, considering the investment volume, car
manufacturing is becoming more and more important. The most profitable company
in the region is Fiat Auto-Poland S.A. in Bielsko-Biala with a revenue of PLN
6,2 billion in 1997. Recently a new car factory has been opened by GM Opel in
Gliwice. There are two Special Economic Zones in the area: Katowice and
Czestochowa. The voivodship's economy consists of about 323,000, mostly small
and medium-sized, enterprises employing over 3 million people. The mining
industry is the most distinctive employer in the region. 160 mining companies
employ almost 558,000 employees. 97.5% of all firms operating in the region
belong to the private sector. The greatest challenge facing Silesia is to
restructure the area with the largest in Poland concentration of traditional
industries and transform it into a modern, multifunctional region competitive
under the market economy conditions. The biggest Polish steel-works "Huta Katowice" is situated in Dabrowa Gornicza
There are eleven public universities in the voivodship. The biggest university
is the Silesian University in Katowice, with 37,000 students. The region's
capital boasts the Medical Academy, the Economic Academy, the Musical Academy,
the Physical Education Academy and a branch of the Krakow Academy of Fine
Arts. Czestochowa is the seat of the Czestochowa Technical University and
Pedagogic University. The Silesian Technical University in Gliwice is
nationally renowned. Bielsko-Biala is home to a branch of the Lodz Technical
University. In addition, 17 new private schools have been established in the
Voivodships of Poland:
Both northern and southern Silesia is surrounded by a pollution-free green
belt. Bielsko-Biala is enveloped by the magnificent Beskidy Mountains which
are particularly popular with winter sports fans. This genuine skier's paradise
offers over 150 ski lifts and 200 kilometres of ski routes. More and more
slopes are illuminated and equipped with artificial snow generators. Szczyrk, Brenna,
Wisla and Ustron are the most popular winter mountain resorts. Rock climbing
sites can be found in admirable corners of Jura Krakowsko-Czestochowska. The
ruins of castles forming the trail of Eagle Nests are a famous attraction of
the region. While in Silesia, one cannot miss the Black Madonna's Jasna Gora
Sanctuary in Czestochowa - the annual destination of over 4 million
pilgrims from all over the world.
Greater Poland Voivodship | Kujavian-Pomeranian Voivodship | Lesser Poland Voivodship | Lodz Voivodship | Lower Silesian Voivodship | Lublin Voivodship | Lubusz Voivodship | Masovian Voivodship | Opole Voivodship | Subcarpathian Voivodship | Podlasie Voivodship | Pomeranian Voivodship | Swietokrzyskie Voivodship | Silesian Voivodship | Warmian-Masurian Voivodship | West Pomeranian Voivodship
There are eleven public universities in the voivodship. The biggest university is the Silesian University in Katowice, with 37,000 students. The region's capital boasts the Medical Academy, the Economic Academy, the Musical Academy, the Physical Education Academy and a branch of the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts. Czestochowa is the seat of the Czestochowa Technical University and Pedagogic University. The Silesian Technical University in Gliwice is nationally renowned. Bielsko-Biala is home to a branch of the Lodz Technical University. In addition, 17 new private schools have been established in the region.
Voivodships of Poland: