Kraków Voivodeship (1919–39)

Kraków Voivodeship
Województwo krakowskie
Voivodeship of Poland


Coat of arms

Location of the Kraków Voivodeship (red)
within the Second Polish Republic, 1938.
Capital Kraków
Government Voivodeship
  1921–1923 Kazimierz Junosza-Gałecki
  1937–1939 Józef Tymiński
  Established 23 December 1920
  Annexed by Germany September 1939
  1921 17,448 km2 (6,737 sq mi)
  1939 17,560 km2 (6,780 sq mi)
  1921 1,992,810 
Density 114.2 /km2  (295.8 /sq mi)
  1931 2,300,100 
Political subdivisions 18 powiats
Administrative division, 1938

Kraków Voivodeship (Polish: województwo krakowskie) - a unit of administrative division and local government in Poland in years 1919–1939. Back then, it covered a big chunk of southern part of the country, including such cities as Kraków, Jaworzno and Tarnów. Capital city: Kraków.

Location and area

In early 1939, Voivodeship's area was 17 560 square kilometers. It was located in southern Poland, bordering Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship to the west, Kielce Voivodeship to the north, Lublin Voivodeship, Lwów Voivodeship to the east and Slovakia to the south. Landscape was hilly in the northern part and mountainous in south, with the Tatra Mountains located in the very south of the area. Forests covered 20.9%, with the national average 22.2% (as for January 1, 1937).


According to the 1931 Polish census, the population was 2 300 100, with approximately 25% living in towns and cities. Poles were 91.3% of the population, Jews - 5.6% and Ukrainians - 2.5%. The Jews preferred to live in the cities and towns; in 1931 they made 19.2% of Voivodeship's city inhabitants. Illiteracy (in 1931) was 13.7%, lower than the national average of 23.1%. In early 1939, population density of the province was 130 people per sq. kilometer, which was much higher than Poland's average of 83.


Kraków Voivodeship was very divided in industrial terms. Its western part, with such cities as Jaworzno, Chrzanów or Trzebinia, was to a large degree industrialized and urbanized, with some coalmines. Also Kraków and Tarnów were big industrial centers. Eastern part, on the other hand, was backward, with little industry and underdeveloped agriculture. In mid-1930s Polish government started a huge public works program, called Centralny Okręg Przemysłowy (COP), which was a great boost to overpopulated and poor central and eastern counties.

The province was unofficially divided into three regions: southern (tourist), western (industrial), and eastern, with its developing industry of the COP. In 1938, the voivodeship was visited by 217,000 tourists. In early 1939, local government began a program of creation of three model tourist villages: Sol in Zywiec County, Tymbark in Limanowa County, and Szymbark in Gorlice County. Furthermore, regulation of the Vistula began in 1938, with levees built along its shores. The road connecting Kraków with Zakopane was to be completed by the end of 1939, after which funds were to be assigned to modernization of the main road from Kraków to Lwow. Due to the outbreak of World War Two, none of the projects were finished.

Cities and administrative divisions

In 1938, it consisted of 18 powiats (counties). These were as follows:

According to the 1931 census, biggest cities within the Voivodeship's boundaries were:


See also


Coordinates: 50°03′41″N 19°56′18″E / 50.061389°N 19.938333°E / 50.061389; 19.938333

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