The Kiev Voivodeship (Polish: Województwo kijowskie, Ukrainian: Київське воєводство) was a unit of administrative division and local government in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania from 1471 until 1569 and of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland from 1569 until 1793, as part of Lesser Poland Province of the Polish Crown.
It was the biggest voivodeship of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, covering, among others, the land of Zaporizhian Cossacks. Under the order of King Casimir Jagiellon, it had replaced the former Principality of Kiev, ruled by Lithuanian princes from two families (House of Algirdas and Olshansky family). Its first administrative center was Kiev, but when the city was given to Imperial Russia in 1667 by Treaty of Andrusovo, the capital moved to Zhytomyr (Żytomierz), where it remained until 1793.
Zygmunt Gloger in his monumental book Historical Geography of the Lands of Old Poland provides this description of the Kijow Voivodeship:
“According to Nestor the Chronicler, the Land of Kijow by the Dniepr river was inhabited by a Slavic tribe of eastern Polans (...) In 988, Prince Vladimir the Great accepted Christianity, building first churches in Kijow. The city prospered, and was at its height, when Boleslaw Chrobry captured it in 1018 (...) After Yaroslav the Wise divided Rus among his five sons, the Land of Kijow lost its importance, and in 1240, the city was captured by the Mongols of Batu Khan. In the early 1300s, Kijow was seized by Gediminas, remaining in Lithuanian hands for many years (...) In 1471, King Kazimierz Jagiellonczyk named the first voivode of Kijow, Martynas Gostautas, turning the Duchy of Kijow into a voivodeship. Following the 1569 Union of Lublin, Kijow Voivodeship was transferred into the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, in which it remained unchanged until December 30, 1667, when in the Truce of Andrusovo, Kijow was seized by the Tsardom of Russia (...) As a result, Kijow Voivodeship lost much of its territory, including the Left-bank Ukraine (...)
The Duchy of Kijow, conquered by Gediminas, never had established and precise borders. It stretched along both banks of the Dniepr river, from the area of Mozyr in the north, almost to the Black Sea in the south. Its southern and eastern borders went through vast steppes, in areas either depopulated or sparsely inhabited. In the east, Kijow Voivodeship ended in a desert, reaching as far east as the ancient Muravsky Trail, which marked it border (...)
During Lithuanian rule, Kijow Voivodeshipwas divided into the following counties: Mozyr, Lubecz, Czarnobyl, Owrucz, Zytomierz, Kijow, Oster, Kaniow, and Czerkasy. After the Union of Lublin, only three counties were left: those of Kijow, Zytomierz and Owrucz, and remaining towns became seats of districts. Sejmiks took place at the capitals of the three counties, with six deputies elected to the Sejm, two deputies to the Lesser Poland Tribunal (...) Kijow Voivodeship had three senators: the Bishop of Kijow, the Voivode and the Castellan of Kijow. Starostas resided in several locations, such as Zytomierz, Owrucz, Biala Cerkiew, Boguslaw, Czehryn, Czerkasy, Kaniow, Korsun, Trechtymirow, and other (...) Before the year 1667, Polish Ukraine, with two voivodeships, Kijow and Braclaw, occupied the enormous area, estimated at 4,700 sq. miles, which was twice as much as Congress Poland, and three times as much as Galicia (...) Ukrainian lands were divided into three geographical provinces:
- in the far north there was Ukrainian Polesie, a swampy land of dense forests,
- in the middle there was the fertile, densely populated and rich area of Kijow and Zytomierz,
- in the south, along both banks of the Dniepr, there were vast steppes, changing into the Wild Fields, which stretched towards the Black Sea”.
The governor of the voivodeship was voivode (Polish: wojewoda kijowski, voivode of Kiev). In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth the other two major administrative positions were castellan (kasztelan kijowski) and bishop (biskup kijowski).
Voivodeship Governor (Voivode) seat
Regional council (sejmik)
Regional council (sejmik generalny) for all Ruthenian lands
Regional council (sejmik poselski i deputacki) seats
- Kijow County (Powiat kijowski), Kijów
- Owrucz County (Powiat owrucki), Owrucz
- Zytomierz County (Powiat żytomierski), Żytomierz
Counties lost under the Treaty of Andrusovo
- Liubech County (Powiat lubecki), Lubecz
- Oster County (Powiat osterski), Oster
- Czerkasy County (Powiat czerkaski), Czerkasy
- Czarnobyl County (Powiat czarnobylski), Czarnobyl
- Putywl County (Powiat putywlski), Putywl (lost after the second Muscovite–Lithuanian War)
- Mozyrz County (Powiat mozyrzki), Mozyrz (transferred to Minsk Voivodeship under the Union of Lublin)
Neighbouring Voivodeships and regions
- Bratslav Voivodeship
- Podolian Voivodeship
- Brest Litovsk Voivodeship
- Minsk Voivodeship
- Chernihiv Voivodeship
- Grand Duchy of Moscow
- Crimean Khanate
- Spisy pod red. Antoniego Gąsiorowskiego, t. III: Ziemie Ruskie, z. 4: Urzędnicy województw kijowskiego i czernihowskiego XV-XVIII wieku, opracowali Eugeniusz Janas i Witold Kłaczewski, Kórnik: Biblioteka Kórnicka. 2002. 343, ISBN 83-85213-37-6.
- Witold Bobiński. Województwo kijowskie w czasach Zygmunta III Wazy: studium osadnictwa i stosunków własności ziemskiej. Warszawa. 2000.
- Henryk Litwin. Napływ szlachty polskiej na Ukrainę 1569–1648. Semper. 2000. ISBN 83-86951-67-2 [also:] The Spatial Structure of the Kiev Voivodeship and its Impact on the Political and Social Life of the Gentry in 1569–1648. Struktura przestrzenna województwa kijowskiego i jej wpływ na życie polityczne i społeczne szlachty w latach 1569–1648.
- Michał Kulecki. Wygnańcy ze Wschodu. Egzulanci w Rzeczypospolitej w ostatnich latach panowania Jana Kazimierza i za panowania Michała Korybuta Wiśniowieckiego. Warszawa 1997. ISBN 83-7181-001-6.
- Dzieje rezydencji na dawnych kresach Rzeczypospolitej. Województwo kijowskie . OSSOLINEUM. 1997. ISBN 83-04-04369-6
- Zygmunt Gloger. Geografia historyczna ziem dawnej Polski. Kraków. 1903.
- Antoni Józef Rolle. Z przeszłości Polesia Kijowskiego. Warszawa. Red. Biblioteki Warszawskiej. 1882
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Kiev Voivodeship (1471–1793)|
- Kiev Voivodeship / Województwo kijowskie [in:] Geographical Dictionary of the Kingdom of Poland and other slavic lands
- Cossack era
- The Zaphorozian Cossacks
- Palatinatus Kioviensis Pars. Boristhenem alias Dzikie Pola. .by Joannis Janssonii. Amsterdam. 1663.
- Der königlichen Republik Polen Woiwodschaft Kiow das ist die obere Polnische Ukraine oder Klein Polens oestlicher Theil. Nor. 46 Vienna. Franz Johann Josef von Reilly 1791