West Pomeranian Voivodeship
|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Polish Wikipedia. (June 2012)|
|West Pomeranian Voivodeship
|— Voivodeship —|
|Coordinates (Szczecin): Coordinates:|
|• Total||22,896 km2 (8,840 sq mi)|
|• Density||74/km2 ( 190/sq mi)|
|Website||Zachodniopomorski Urząd Wojewódzki w Szczecinie|
|* further divided into 114 gminas|
West Pomeranian Voivodeship or West Pomerania Province (in Polish, województwo zachodniopomorskie [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ zaˈxɔdɲɔ pɔˈmɔrskʲɛ]), is a voivodeship in northwestern Poland. It borders on Pomeranian Voivodeship to the east, Greater Poland Voivodeship to the southeast, Lubusz Voivodeship to the south, the German federal-states of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and Brandenburg to the west, and the Baltic Sea to the north. Its capital and largest city is Szczecin.
It was established on January 1, 1999, out of the former Szczecin and Koszalin Voivodeships and parts of other neighboring voivodeships, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. It is named for the historical region of Pomerania (Polish: Pomorze). In spite of the name ("West Pomeranian"), the voivoideship does not include the most westerly parts of historical Pomerania, which lie in Germany's Vorpommern (see Western Pomerania).
Geography and tourism 
West Pomeranian Voivodeship is the fifth largest voivodeship of Poland in terms of area. Among the largest cities, of the region, are the capital Szczecin, as well as Koszalin, Stargard Szczeciński, and Świnoujście.
This is a picturesque region of the Baltic Sea coast, with many beaches, lakes and woodlands. Szczecin, Świnoujście and Police are important ports. Other major seaside towns include Międzyzdroje, Dziwnów, Kołobrzeg, and Mielno.
West Pomerania is considered one of the greenest regions of Poland, and one of the most attractive for tourists. It is characterized by incredible diversity of the landscape: beaches, hundreds of lakes, and forests full of wildlife (e.g. Wkrzanska Forest), spreading mainly up the hills of the glacial lakes areas. West Pomerania is also rich in various forms and styles of architecture that were built during the Middle Ages as well as the Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance periods. There is a diverse repertoire of theaters, festivals, museums and galleries. During a few-day long annual Sea Festival in Szczecin, a number of free open air concerts take place. In Świnoujście during the summer, the FAMA Academic Youth Arts Festival takes place – an event with several years of tradition, which attracts not only young people but also older alumni. In Międzyzdroje, there is a Festival Of The Stars, which draws many popular actors. In Wolin, a Viking Festival takes place, which draws "Vikings" from all across Europe.
Another draw to the area is a wide array of health resorts. Brine and peloid, discovered in the 19th century, together with geothermal water resources, are popular attractions in Świnoujście, Kamień Pomorski and Połczyn Zdrój.
Cities and towns 
The voivodeship contains 64 cities and towns. These are listed below in descending order of population (according to official figures for 2006 ):
Administrative division 
The counties are listed in the following table (ordering within categories is by decreasing population).
|1,520||119,402||Stargard Szczeciński||Chociwel, Dobrzany, Ińsko, Suchań||10|
|1,870||82,813||Gryfino||Chojna, Mieszkowice, Trzcińsko-Zdrój, Cedynia, Moryń||9|
|1,765||77,232||Szczecinek||Borne Sulinowo, Barwice, Biały Bór||6|
|1,669||64,087||Koszalin *||Sianów, Bobolice, Polanów||8|
|1,764||58,073||Drawsko Pomorskie||Złocieniec, Czaplinek, Kalisz Pomorski||6|
|1,415||54,639||Wałcz||Mirosławiec, Człopa, Tuczno||5|
|1,328||50,066||Choszczno||Recz, Pełczyce, Drawno||6|
|1,007||47,604||Kamień Pomorski||Międzyzdroje, Wolin, Dziwnów, Golczewo||6|
|1,066||38,232||Łobez||Resko, Węgorzyno, Dobra||5|
|NOTE: * seat not part of the county|
Protected areas 
- Drawno National Park (partly in Lubusz and Greater Poland Voivodeships)
- Wolin National Park
- Barlinek-Gorzów Landscape Park (partly in Lubusz Voivodeship)
- Cedynia Landscape Park
- Drawsko Landscape Park
- Ińsko Landscape Park
- Lower Odra Valley Landscape Park
- Szczecin Landscape Park
- Ujście Warty Landscape Park (partly in Lubusz Voivodeship)
Most popular surnames in the region 
Education and science 
- University of Szczecin (Polish Uniwersytet Szczeciński) with 35,000 students
- Technical University in Koszalin with 14,000 students (Politechnika Koszalińska)
- West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin with 15,300 students (Zachodniopomorski Uniwersytet Technologiczny), formed as a result of merger of Szczecin University of Technology (Politechnika Szczecińska) and University of Agriculture in Szczecin (Akademia Rolnicza w Szczecinie)
- Pomeranian Medical University with 4,000 students (Pomorska Akademia Medyczna)
- The Szczecin Academy of Arts (Akademia Sztuki w Szczecinie)
- Maritime University of Szczecin (Akademia Morska w Szczecinie)
- The West Pomeranian Business School with 3,000 students (Zachodniopomorska Szkoła Biznesu)
- Szczeciński Park Naukowo-Technologiczny (science park in Szczecin)
Industrial, science and technology parks 
- Goleniowski Park Przemysłowy (industrial park in Goleniów)
- Infrapark Police (industrial park in Police, Poland)
- Stargardzki Park Przemysłowy (industrial park in Stargard Szczeciński)
- Szczeciński Park Naukowo-Technologiczny (science park in Szczecin)
Main railways in the province are line no. 351 Szczecin-Poznań, line no. 273 Szczecin-Wrocław (so-called “Odra railway”), line no. 202 Stargard Szczeciński-Gdańsk, line no. 401 Szczecin-Świnoujście and line no. 404 Kołobrzeg-Szczecinek. The main railway stations of the province are Szczecin main station, Stargard Szczeciński and Koszalin. The stations are served by fast PKP Intercity trains which connect them with the capital Warsaw, as well as other major Polish cities. In addition to these fast express services, inter-regional trains and intra-regional trains are operated by the firm Przewozy Regionalne. Szczecin main station possesses international train connections with Berlin, Schwerin and Lübeck (operated by DB Regio). Świnoujście has a direct train connection with Stralsund, which is operated by Usedomer Bäderbahn.
The only domestic and international airport in West Pomeranian Voivodeship is Szczecin-Goleniów "Solidarność" Airport. Also, part of the runway of an abandoned airport in Bagicz (near Kołobrzeg) was converted to an airport licensed to service planes carrying not more than 20 passengers on board.
Lapidarium with remains of an old German cemetery in Motaniec, Poland
Gosań cliff, Wolin National Park
Lighthouse in Kołobrzeg
Pomeranian Dukes' Castle in Darłowo
Dendrological garden in Przelewice
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Kamień Pomorski
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: West Pomeranian Voivodeship|
- Pomeranian (disambiguation)
- Dukes of Pomerania
- History of Pomerania
- Prussia's Province of Pomerania
- Province of Pomerania (1653-1815)
- Arkadiusz Belczyk, Tłumaczenie polskich nazw geograficznych na język angielski [Translation of Polish Geographical Names into English], 2002-2006.
- "Błąd 404. Strona o podanym adresie nie istnieje" (in (Polish)). Stat.gov.pl. Retrieved 2012-03-12.
- Westpomeranian System of Tourist Information
- The Parliament of the Westpomeranian Voivodeship
- Marshal's Office of the Westpomeranian Voivodeship
- Voivode's Office of the Westpomeranian Voivodeship
- Zrot : Official Tourism Site (Polish, English, German)
- Zart : Good Tourism Site (Polish, English, German)