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Lower Silesia

Lower Silesia (Polish Dolny Śląsk, German Niederschlesien) is the north-western part of the historical and geographical region of Silesia in present-day Poland, located along the middle Odra river and organized into Lower Silesian Voivodship (capital Wroclaw) and partly Lubusz Voivodship (capital Zielona Gora).

Table of contents
1 Major cities and towns
2 History
3 See also

Major cities and towns

(population in 1995):


Early history

Early documents mention a couple of tribes most probably living in Lower Silesia: Bavarian Geographer (ca. 845): Slenzanie, Dziadoshanie; and a document of Prague bishopric (1086): Zlasane, Trebovane, Poborane, Dedositze. At the same time the Upper Silesia was inhabited by Opolanie, Lupiglaa, Golenshitse. In the 9th and 10th centuries the territory was subject to the Moravian and then Bohemian rulers of the neighbouring area covered by today's Czech Republic to the south. In 990 Silesia was incorporated into Poland by Mieszko I

Feudal fragmentation of Poland

Silesia was split into Lower and Upper parts in 1172 during the period of Poland's feudal fragmentation, when the land was divided between two sons of Ladislaus the Exile (Władysław Wygnaniec): Bolesław the Tall ruling over the Lower Silesia with the capital in Wroclaw and Mieszko Plątonogi ruling over Upper Silesia with the capital in Opole.

Later Silesia was divided into upto 17 duchies.

Duchies of Lower Silesia in XIV century:

Under Bohemian crown and Austria (1348-1742)

Since the 14th century most of the Silesian duchies were ruled by the Piast dukes under the feudal overlordship of Bohemian kings, including the Polish-Lithuanian Jagiellons (1490-1526) and the Austrian Habsburgs (since 1526).

Part of Prussian state (1742-1945)

Most of Silesia became Prussian in 1742 after the First Silesian War and turned into the Silesian province, divided into the districts of Lower Silesia (Legnica), Middle Silesia (Wroclaw), and Upper Silesia (Opole). After World War I, Silesia was divided between Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia. The German portion was reoganized into two provinces: Lower Silsia and Upper Silesia.

Back in Poland (after 1945)

After World War II most of Lower Silesia was annexed by Poland and reorganized into Wroclaw Voivodship (1945-1975). The German population were forcefully expelled. As a result of Local Government Reorganisation Act (1975) Poland's administration was regoragnized into 49 voivodships, 4 of them in Lower Silesia: Jelenia Gora Voivodship, Legnica Voivodship, Walbrzych Voivodship and Wroclaw Voivodship (1975-1998). As a result of Local Government Reorganisation Act of 1998, these 4 provinces were joined into the Lower Silesian Voivodship (effective 1 January 1999), with capital in Wroclaw.

See also