Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship

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Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship
Skyline of Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship
Flag of Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship
Coat of arms of Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship
Coat of arms
Location within Poland
Location within Poland
Division into counties
Division into counties
Coordinates (Olsztyn): 53°47′N 20°30′E / 53.783°N 20.500°E / 53.783; 20.500
Country  Poland
Capital Olsztyn
 • Total 24,191.8 km2 (9,340.5 sq mi)
Population (31-12-2014)
 • Total 1,443,967
 • Density 60/km2 (150/sq mi)
 • Urban 856,559
 • Rural 570,532
Car plates N
Website Official Voivodeship's website
  • further divided into 116 gminas

Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship or Warmia-Masuria Province[1] or Warmia-Mazury Province (in Polish: Województwo warmińsko-mazurskie, [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ varˈmiɲskɔ maˈzurskʲɛ]), is a voivodeship (province) in northeastern Poland. Its capital and largest city is Olsztyn. The voivodeship has an area of 24,192 km2 (9,341 sq mi) and a population of 1,427,091 (as of 2006).

The Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship was created on January 1, 1999, from the entire Olsztyn Voivodeship, the western half of Suwałki Voivodeship and part of Elbląg Voivodeship, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. The province's name derives from two historic regions, Warmia and Masuria.

The province borders the Podlaskie Voivodeship to the east, the Masovian Voivodeship to the south, the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship to the south-west, the Pomeranian Voivodeship to the west, the Vistula Lagoon to the northwest, and the Kaliningrad Oblast (an exclave of Russia) to the north.

In the early-modern age the region was part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. After the First Partition of Poland in 1772 it was southern part of the newly created Prussian province of East Prussia. The province was divided between Poland and the Soviet Union (and hence, today Russia) after the Second World War. Following the defeat of Nazi Germany, nearly all indigenous German-speaking inhabitants were forcefully expelled by the new Soviet-appointed Polish Communist national government to what would become West and East Germany. Today, a small German-speaking minority is still present in the region.

Amongst the most visited sights is the Masurian Lake District, which contains more than 2,000 lakes, including the largest lakes of Poland, Śniardwy and Mamry. Other recognizable landmarks are the Warmian castles (Lidzbark Warmiński Castle, Pieniężno Castle, Olsztyn Castle) and the Cathedral Hill in Frombork, where Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus lived and worked. The Lidzbark Warmiński Castle was later the residence of Ignacy Krasicki, nicknamed the Prince of Polish Poets. Święta Lipka in Masuria and Gietrzwałd in Warmia are popular pilgrimage sites.

The Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship has the largest number of ethnic Ukrainians living in Poland[2] due to forced relocations (such as Operation Vistula) carried out by the Soviet and Polish Communist authorities.

Cities and towns[edit]

Olsztyn is the capital of the Voivodeship and the largest city of Warmia
The former royal city of Elbląg is the largest city in the western part of the Voivodeship
Ełk is the largest city of Masuria
Ostróda is the largest city in the western part of Masuria
Mikołajki with its well-known marina

The Voivodeship contains 49 cities and towns. These are listed below in descending order of population (according to official figures for 2006):[3]

  1. Olsztyn (176,522)
  2. Elbląg (127,055)
  3. Ełk (56,156)
  4. Ostróda (33,419)
  5. Iława (32,326)
  6. Giżycko (29,667)
  7. Kętrzyn (28,000)
  8. Szczytno (25,680)
  9. Bartoszyce (25,423)
  10. Mrągowo (21,772)
  11. Działdowo (20,824)
  12. Pisz (19,332)
  13. Braniewo (17,875)
  14. Lidzbark Warmiński (16,390)
  15. Olecko (16,169)
  16. Nidzica (14,761)
  17. Morąg (14,497)
  18. Gołdap (13,641)
  19. Pasłęk (12,179)
  20. Węgorzewo (11,638)
  21. Nowe Miasto Lubawskie (11,036)
  22. Dobre Miasto (10,489)
  23. Biskupiec (10,348)
  24. Orneta (9,380)
  25. Lubawa (9,328)
  26. Lidzbark (8,261)
  27. Olsztynek (7,591)
  28. Barczewo (7,401)
  29. Orzysz (5,804)
  30. Susz (5,733)
  31. Reszel (5,098)
  32. Ruciane-Nida (4,894)
  33. Korsze (4,632)
  34. Górowo Iławeckie (4,554)
  35. Biała Piska (4,006)
  36. Mikołajki (3,848)
  37. Jeziorany (3,376)
  38. Ryn (3,006)
  39. Pieniężno (2,915)
  40. Tolkmicko (2,731)
  41. Miłakowo (2,665)
  42. Pasym (2,550)
  43. Frombork (2,529)
  44. Bisztynek (2,493)
  45. Miłomłyn (2,305)
  46. Kisielice (2,208)
  47. Zalewo (2,152)
  48. Sępopol (2,015)
  49. Młynary (1,837)

Administrative division[edit]

Warmian-Masurian Provincial Assembly building in Olsztyn

Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship is divided into 21 counties (powiats): 2 city counties and 19 land counties. These are further divided into 116 gminas.

The counties are listed in the following table (ordering within categories is by decreasing population).

English and
Polish names
Seat Other towns Total
City counties
Olsztyn 88 176,522 1
Elbląg 80 127,055 1
Land counties
Olsztyn County
powiat olsztyński
2,840 113,529 Olsztyn * Dobre Miasto, Biskupiec, Olsztynek, Barczewo, Jeziorany 12
Ostróda County
powiat ostródzki
1,765 105,286 Ostróda Morąg, Miłakowo, Miłomłyn 9
Iława County
powiat iławski
1,385 89,960 Iława Lubawa, Susz, Kisielice, Zalewo 7
Ełk County
powiat ełcki
1,112 84,760 Ełk 5
Szczytno County
powiat szczycieński
1,933 69,289 Szczytno Pasym 8
Kętrzyn County
powiat kętrzyński
1,213 66,165 Kętrzyn Reszel, Korsze 6
Działdowo County
powiat działdowski
953 65,110 Działdowo Lidzbark 6
Bartoszyce County
powiat bartoszycki
1,309 61,354 Bartoszyce Górowo Iławeckie, Bisztynek, Sępopol 6
Pisz County
powiat piski
1,776 57,553 Pisz Orzysz, Ruciane-Nida, Biała Piska 4
Giżycko County
powiat giżycki
1,119 56,863 Giżycko Ryn 6
Elbląg County
powiat elbląski
1,431 56,412 Elbląg * Pasłęk, Tolkmicko, Młynary 9
Mrągowo County
powiat mrągowski
1,065 50,087 Mrągowo Mikołajki 5
Braniewo County
powiat braniewski
1,205 43,781 Braniewo Pieniężno, Frombork 7
Nowe Miasto County
powiat nowomiejski
695 43,388 Nowe Miasto Lubawskie 5
Lidzbark County
powiat lidzbarski
924 43,006 Lidzbark Warmiński Orneta 5
Olecko County
powiat olecki
874 34,215 Olecko 4
Nidzica County
powiat nidzicki
961 33,955 Nidzica 4
Gołdap County
powiat gołdapski
772 26,989 Gołdap 3
Węgorzewo County
powiat węgorzewski
693 23,641 Węgorzewo 3
* seat not part of the county

Protected areas[edit]

Seksty Lake in the Masurian Landscape Park

Protected areas in Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship include eight areas designated as Landscape Parks, as listed below:

The Łuknajno Lake nature reserve (part of Masurian Landscape Park) is a protected wetland site under the Ramsar convention, as well as being designated by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

The Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship is twinned with:


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Arkadiusz Belczyk,Tłumaczenie polskich nazw geograficznych na język angielski [Translation of Polish Geographical Names into English], 2002-2006.
  2. ^ (in Polish) Mniejszości narodowe i etniczne w Polsce on the pages of Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration. Retrieved on 9 September 2007
  3. ^ Stat.gov.pl
  4. ^ "Podolsk sister cities". Translate.google.com. Retrieved 2010-04-29. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°51′N 20°50′E / 53.850°N 20.833°E / 53.850; 20.833