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Podlaskie Voivodeship (also known as Podlasie Province, or simply Podlaskie) is a voivodeship (province) in north-eastern Polandmarker. It was created on January 1, 1999, out of the former Białystokmarker and Łomża Voivodeshipsmarker and the eastern half of the former Suwałki Voivodeshipmarker, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. Its capital is Białystokmarker.


The voivodeship takes its name from the historical region of Podlasie. This name originates from the period when the territory was within the Trakai Voivodeship of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, along the borderline with the Mazovia province, primarily a fief of the Poland of the Piasts and later on part of the Kingdom of Poland of the Jagiellons. Hence pod Lachem would mean "near the Poles", "along the border with Poland".


Natural assets

Podlaskie has the lowest population density of the sixteen Polish voivodeships, and its largely unspoilt nature is one of its chief assets. Around 30% of the area of the voivodeship is under legal protection. The Polish part of the Białowieża Forestmarker biosphere reserve (also a World Heritage Site) is in Podlaskie. There are four National Parks (Białowieżamarker, Biebrzamarker, Narewmarker and Wigry), three Landscape Parks (Knyszyn Forest, Łomża and Suwałki), 88 nature reserves, and 15 protected landscape areas. The voivodeship constitutes a part of the ecologically clean area known as "the Green Lungs of Poland".


Podlaskie is the coldest region of Poland, located in the very northeast of the country near the border with Belarusmarker and Lithuaniamarker. The region has a continental climate which is characterized by high temperatures during summer and long and frosty winters . The climate is affected by the cold fronts which come from Scandinavia and Siberiamarker. The average temperature in the winter ranges from -15°C (5°F) to -4°C (24.8°F).

Historical units

For details about the history of the region, see Podlachia.

The following is a partial list of political subdivisions in which part or all of current day Podlaskie Voivodeship was wholly or partially contained within:

20th century

People's Republic of Poland / Third Polish Republic
World War II
Second Polish Republic
World War I

19th century

Russian Empire
Kingdom of Poland (Congress Poland)
Kingdom of Prussia

16th-18th century

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

12th-15th century

Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Kingdom of Poland

9th-11th century

Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia
Kievan Rus

Early Middle Ages


Podlaskie is the most diverse of all Polish voivodships.The area has been inhabited for centuries by members of different nations and religions: Belarusians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Russyns, Gypsies, Tatars, Jews and Filipons.

Many places of religious worship remain:
  • An eighteenth-century former Carmelite monastery on Wigry Lake
  • A former jesuit monastery complex in Drohiczynmarker
  • Christ’s Transfiguration Orthodox church on the Holy Mount of Grabarka
  • Saint Nicolaus the Miracle Worker Orthodox church in Białystokmarker
  • A seventeenth-century synagogue in Tykocinmarker
  • The oldest Polish mosque in Kruszyniany

Sites of historical significance

Major monuments of the administrative region:
  • Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel and John the Baptist in Lomza (1504–1526)
  • The ruins of a castle in Tykocin (XV century)
  • Jewish cemetery in Tykocin (XVI century)
  • Orthodox Annunciation of Our Lady in Supraślu (sixteenth to the eighteenth century)
  • Dominican Monastery of the Visitation Church of the Assumption in Sejny (1610–1619)
  • Old Parish Church in Bialystok (1617–1626)
  • Synagogue (1642) and Dom Talmudyczny in Tykocin (eighteenth century)
  • Carmelites Monastery with the church of Our Lady of Mount Caramel in Bielsk Podlaski (seventeenth century)
  • Branicki Palace in Bialystok (the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries)
  • Branicki summer residence in Choroszczy (1752–1759)
  • Holy Trinity Church in Tykocinmarker (1742–1750)
  • Church of the Assumption in Siemiatyczach (1719–1727)
  • Dominican Monastery of St. John the Baptist. & St. Stephen Martyr in Choroszczy (eighteenth century)
  • Capuchin Monastery in Lomzamarker (1770–1798)
  • Old City Hall in Bielsk Podlaskimarker
  • Sokółki Palace in Pawłowiczch near Sokółkamarker
  • Orli Synagogue
  • Bernardine monastery in Tykocinmarker (1771–1791)
  • Catholic Church. of the Nativity and St. Mary. and St. Nicholas in Bielsk Podlaskimarker (1780)
  • The Church of St. Nicholas in Bialystokmarker (1843–1846)
  • The Church of St. Anna in Kolnie (1834–1839)
  • Cathedral of St. Aleksandra in Suwalkimarker (1825)
  • The Church of St. Anthony in Sokółkamarker (1848)
  • Cathedral Cemetery in Lomzamarker
  • Lubomirski Palace in Bialystok (the second half. Nineteenth century)
  • Hasbacha Palace in Bialystok (end of the nineteenth century)
  • The Palace and park in Buchholtzów Supraślu (1892–1903)
  • Zespół fabryczny Beckera w Białymstoku (XIX/XX) Team name Becker in Bialystok (XIX / XX)
  • Benedictine Monastery in Lomza (1863)
  • Church of the Assumption in Lomza (1877)
  • Holy Trinity Church in Zambrowie (1879)
  • Holy Trinity Church in Grajewie (1882)
  • The Church of St. John the Baptist in Wysokiem Mazowiecki (1888)
  • Seminary in Lomza (1866)
  • City Hall in Lomza (1822–1823)
  • Numerous monuments Street Dwornej in Lomza
  • Manor in Wojnówce
  • Basilica of the Assumption in Bialystok (1900–1905, neo-Gothic)
  • The Church of St.Adalbert in Bialystok (1906–1912)
  • The Church of St. Rocha in Bialystok (1926–1947, modernist)
  • Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Augustow (1905–1911 eclectic)
  • The Church of Our Lady of Czestochowa and St. Casimir in Mońkach (1921–1935)
  • Saints' Church of the Apostles Peter and Paul in Łapach (1918–1927)
  • Fortress in Osowcu
  • A Polish Tatars' (Islam in Poland) wooden mosque and a Muslim cemetery in the village of Bohonikimarker


According to REGON register in the year 2002 there were around 95 thousand companies registered in Podlasie region (97 % of them in private sector), dealing with;
  • Trade and servicing – 33.2 %
  • Providing services to real estates and companies – 11.8 %
  • Construction – 10.5%
  • Industrial processing – 9.7 %
  • Transport 8.3%
  • Agriculture, hunting and forestry 4.5%


Arable land constitutes around 60% of the total area of the region – most of which is ploughland (around 40%), forests, meadows and pastures. Over 120 000 farms are registered, roughly half of which are small farms of 1–5 ha and medium-sized farms of 5–10 ha. The smaller farms prefer intensive production (gardening, orcharding), whereas the larger ones engage in cattle and crop production. The cattle-raising farms are mainly oriented towards milk production.

The natural conditions of the region are conducive to the development of organic growing, which at present is practised by around 100 farms. Over 600 farms in the region offer agritourist services.


The voivodeship's seat is the city of Białystokmarker. Like all voivodeships, it has a government-appointed Provincial Governor ( ), as well as an elected Regional Assembly (sejmik) and of the executive elected by that assembly, headed by the voivodeship marshal (marszałek województwa). Administrative powers and competences are statutorily divided between these authorities.

Cities and towns

The voivodeship contains 38 cities and towns. These are listed below in descending order of population (according to official figures for 2006 ):

Administrative division

Podlaskie Voivodeship is divided into 17 counties (powiats): 3 city counties and 14 land counties. These are further divided into 118 gminas.

The counties are shown on the numbered map and detailed in the table beside it.

English and

Polish names


Seat Other towns Total

City counties
Białystokmarker 102 295,210 1
Suwałkimarker 65 69,234 1
Łomżamarker 33 63,572 1
Land counties
Białystok Countymarker

powiat białostocki
2,985 136,797 Białystokmarker * Łapymarker, Czarna Białostockamarker, Wasilkówmarker, Choroszczmarker, Supraślmarker, Michałowomarker, Zabłudówmarker, Tykocinmarker, Surażmarker 15
Sokółka Countymarker

powiat sokólski
2,054 72,424 Sokółkamarker Dąbrowa Białostockamarker, Krynkimarker, Suchowolamarker 10
Bielsk Countymarker

powiat bielski
1,385 60,047 Bielsk Podlaskimarker Brańskmarker 8
Wysokie Mazowieckie Countymarker

powiat wysokomazowiecki
1,288 59,719 Wysokie Mazowieckiemarker Ciechanowiecmarker 10
Augustów Countymarker

powiat augustowski
1,658 58,966 Augustówmarker Lipskmarker 7
Łomża Countymarker

powiat łomżyński
1,354 50,887 Łomżamarker * Nowogródmarker, Jedwabnemarker 9
Grajewo Countymarker

powiat grajewski
967 50,120 Grajewomarker Szczuczynmarker, Rajgródmarker 6
Siemiatycze Countymarker

powiat siemiatycki
1,460 48,603 Siemiatyczemarker Drohiczynmarker 9
Hajnówka Countymarker

powiat hajnowski
1,624 48,130 Hajnówkamarker Kleszczelemarker 9
Zambrów Countymarker

powiat zambrowski
733 44,798 Zambrówmarker 5
Mońki Countymarker

powiat moniecki
1,382 42,960 Mońkimarker Knyszynmarker, Goniądzmarker 7
Kolno Countymarker

powiat kolneński
940 39,676 Kolnomarker Stawiskimarker 6
Suwałki Countymarker

powiat suwalski
1,307 35,136 Suwałkimarker * 9
Sejny Countymarker

powiat sejneński
856 21,331 Sejnymarker 5
* seat not part of the county

External links


[Image:Landscape Bohoniki Podlasie Poland.jpg|A typical Podlaskie landscape near the village of Bohoniki]

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