Lwów Voivodeship

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For the medieval / early modern voivodeship of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth with the capital in Lwów, see Ruthenian Voivodeship.
Lwów Voivodeship
Województwo lwowskie
Coat of arms of Lwów Voivodeship
Coat of arms
Lwów Voivodeship on the map of Poland between world wars
Lwów Voivodeship on the map of
Poland between world wars
Country Second Polish Republic
Capital Lwów
Counties 27 land counties *
with 58 cities
 • Total 28,402 km2 (10,966 sq mi)
Population (1931)
 • Total 3,126,300
 • Density 110/km2 (290/sq mi)
  • further divided into 252 village areas and thousands of futory and kolonie rural communities.

Lwów Voivodeship (Polish: Województwo lwowskie) was an administrative unit of interwar Poland (1918–1939). According to Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, it ceased to exist in September 1939, following German and Soviet aggression on Poland (see: Invasion of Poland). The Polish underground administration however, existed until August 1944.


Mother tongue in Poland, based on the 1931 Polish census

Its capital, biggest and most important city was Lwów (now: Lviv in Ukraine). It consisted of 27 powiats (counties), 58 towns and 252 villages. In 1921 it was inhabited by 2,789,000 people. Ten years later, this number rose to 3,126,300 (which made it the most populous of all Polish Voivodeships). In 1931, the population density was 110 per km². The majority of the population (57%) was Polish, especially in western counties. Ukrainians (mainly in the east and south-east) made up about 33% and Jews (mainly in towns) - around 7%. Also, there were smaller communities of Armenians, Germans and other nationalities. In 1931, the illiteracy rate of the Voivodeship's population lingering from the century of foreign rule was 23.1%, about the same as national average and, at the same time, the lowest in the Polish Eastern Borderlands.[1]

As a reaction to events in Germany, an edict of the Polish Commmonwealth (published on 10 January 1939 in the Ilustrowany Kurier Codzienny) changed the names of several villages located in Drohobycz County of Lwów Voivodeship. These villages were mostly inhabited by German settlers, who came there during Austrian rule, and Polish government decided to get rid of their German names. Josefsberg became Korośnica (now Korosnytsia), Königsau became Równe (now Rivne), Gassendorf was changed into Uliczne Małe, Ugartsberg became Wypuczko (Vypuchki), and Neudorf was changed into Polminowice (now Nove Selo).

Location and area[edit]

Administrative division of Lwów Voivodeship, 1938

The Voivodeship's area was 28,402 square kilometres (10,966 sq mi). It was located in southeastern Poland, bordering Czechoslovakia to the south, Kraków Voivodeship to the west, Lublin Voivodeship to the north and Volhynian Voivodeship, Stanisławów Voivodeship and Tarnopol Voivodeship to the east. Landscape was hilly (in the north) and mountainous (in the south, along the Czechoslovakian border, with numerous spas located there, such as Slawsko). Forest covered 23.3% of the Voivodeship area (January 1, 1937 statistics; with the national average of 22.2%).

Cities and counties[edit]

Lwów, the voivodeship's capital, was by far its biggest city, with the population of 318,000 (as of 1939). It was also the biggest city in south-eastern Poland and the third biggest city in the country (after Warsaw and Łódź), before Kraków (259,000). Other important centers in the voivodeship were: Przemyśl (in 1931 pop. 51,000), Borysław (pop. 41,500), Drohobycz (pop. 32,300), Rzeszów (pop. 27,000), Jarosław (pop. 22,200), Sambor (pop. 22,000), Sanok (pop. 14,300) and Gródek Jagielloński (pop. 12,900).

Counties of the Lwów Voivodeship
  • Bobrka county (area 891 km² pop. 97 100),
  • Brzozów county (area 684 km² pop. 83 200),
  • Dobromil county (area 994 km² pop. 94 000),
  • Drohobycz county (area 1,499 km² pop. 194 400),
  • Gródek Jagielloński county (area 889 km² pop. 85 000),
  • Jarosław county (area 1,337 km² pop. 148 000),
  • Jaworów county (area 977 km² pop. 86 800),
  • Kolbuszowa county (area 873 km² pop. 69 600),
  • Krosno county (area 934 km² pop. 113 400),
  • Lesko county (area 1,832 km² pop. 111 600),
  • Lubaczów county (area 1,146 km² 87 300),
  • city of Lwów county (powiat lwowski grodzki - area 67 km², pop. 312 200),
  • Lwów county (area 1,276 km² pop. 142 800),
  • Łańcut county (area 889 km² pop. 97 700),
  • Mościska county (area 755 km² pop. 89 500),
  • Nisko county (area 973 km² pop. 64 200),
  • Przemyśl county (area 1,002 km² pop. 162 500),
  • Przeworsk county (area 415 km² pop. 61 400),
  • Rawa Ruska county (area 1,401 km² pop. 122 100),
  • Rudki county (area 670 km² pop. 79 200),
  • Rzeszów county (area 1,270 km² pop. 185 100),
  • Sambor county (area 1,133 km² pop. 133 800),
  • Sanok county (area 1,282 km² pop. 114 200),
  • Sokal county (area 1,324 km² pop. 109 100),
  • Tarnobrzeg county (area 949 km² pop. 72 200),
  • Turka county (area 1,829 km² pop. 114 400),
  • Żółkiew county (area 1,111 km² pop. 95 500).

Railroads and industry[edit]

The interwar Poland was unofficially divided into two parts - Poland "A" (better developed) and Poland "B" (less developed). Lwów Voivodeship was located on the boundary line of these, with two main centres - the city of Lwów itself and the rich in oil southern region of Borysław and Drohobycz.

Starting in the mid-1930s, the Polish government decided to start a massive public works project, known as Centralny Okreg Przemyslowy (COP). The project covered western counties of the Voivodeship, where several factories were constructed (a steel mill in newly created city of Stalowa Wola, an aircraft engine and artillery factory in Rzeszów, as well as an armament factory in Sanok). This was a huge boost for overpopulated rural areas, where unemployment was high. Unfortunately, the COP was never finished, because of Invasion of Poland in 1939.

Railroad network was well-developed only in the area of Lwów, as the city itself was an important hub with as many as eight lines coming from it. Apart from this, some counties (like Kolbuszowa, Brzozów or Jaworów) lacked rail connections, while other (Lesko, Lubaczów, Rudki, Stary Sambor) were greatly underdeveloped. Other rail hubs were: Rawa Ruska, Rzeszów, Rozwadów, Sambor, Drohobycz, Przeworsk, Chodorów and Przemyśl.

As for January 1, 1938, total length of railroads within Voivodeship's boundaries was 1,534 kilometers, which was 5.4 km. per 100 km².


September 1939 and its aftermath[edit]

Following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and subsequent German and Soviet aggression against Poland, in late September 1939 Lwów Voivodeship was divided by the victors. The western part of the Voivodeship was annexed by Germany and added to the General Government. But the city of Lwów was occupied by the Soviets and, together with eastern part of the Voivodeship, was incorporated into Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. After July 1941, Lwow and the eastern part were occupied by Germany and also added to the General Government; the Polish underground administration existed there until August of 1944. In 1945, when eastern borders of Poland were established, western part of former Lwów Voivodeship (to the San river) was organized into freshly created Rzeszów Voivodeship—currently, the 1999-reorganized Subcarpathian Voivodeship.

The remaining eastern part became Ukraine's Lviv Oblast.


  1. ^ "Województwo lwowskie. 1920-1939". KALENDARIUM. Grodek Jagiellonski. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  • Maly rocznik statystyczny 1939, Nakladem Glownego Urzedu Statystycznego, Warszawa 1939 (Concise Statistical Year-Book of Poland, Warsaw 1939).

Coordinates: 49°50′05″N 24°01′41″E / 49.834834°N 24.027997°E / 49.834834; 24.027997