For the village in Pomerania, see Łęsko. For the author, see Matthew Lesko.

Coat of arms
Coordinates: 49°28′28″N 22°19′44″E / 49.47444°N 22.32889°E / 49.47444; 22.32889
Country  Poland
Voivodeship Subcarpathian
County Lesko County
Gmina Gmina Lesko
Established 14th century
Town rights before 1470
  Mayor Barbara Jankiewicz
  Total 15.09 km2 (5.83 sq mi)
Population (2006)
  Total 5,864
  Density 390/km2 (1,000/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 38-600
Area code(s) +48 13
Car plates RLS
Website http://www.lesko.pl

Lesko [ˈlɛskɔ] (or Lisko until 1926; Latin: Lescow, alias Olesco Lescovium; Yiddish: לינסק-Linsk) is a town in south-eastern Poland with a population of 5,755 (02.06.2009).[1] situated in the Bieszczady mountains. It is located in the heartland of the Doły (Pits), and its average altitude is 390 metres (1,280 feet) above sea level, although there are some hills located within the confines of the city. Since 2002 it has been the capital of Lesko County.

Lesko is situated in the Subcarpathian Voivodeship (since 1999); previously it was in Krosno Voivodeship (1975–1998).


Lesko was probably founded in the fourteenth century; records first mention it in 1436. It was granted its town charter in approximately 1469, when it was owned by the Kmita family. In the seventeenth century, the town was quite an important centre of trade and craftsmanship, with approximately 1,500 inhabitants. Its heyday ended in 1704, when it was looted by the Swedish troops during the Great Northern War.

In 1772, following the First Partition of Poland, the town was located in the Austrian Empire (from 1867 Austria-Hungary) until Poland regained its independence in 1918. In 1872 a railway line passing just 3 kilometres (2 miles) north of the town was built.

Trade House.

In 1890 the Jewish population of Lesko was 2,425.[2]

In September 1939, following the territorial division of Poland by the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, the border between German and Soviet occupation zones ran along the river San in the area of Lesko. Thus the town ended up in the Soviet zone, as it was located on the eastern bank of the river. In 1940-1941, as part of the construction of the Molotov Line along the new border, the Soviets constructed a line of bunkers along the river to defend the river crossings, some of them right in the town. During Operation Barbarossa the Germans destroyed the bunkers in the initial days of their invasion (their ruins exist to this day).[3] The town was liberated from the Germans by the Red Army in September, 1944. In 1945 the border between Poland and the Soviet Union was moved somewhat eastwards from the San river, so Lesko ended up in Poland following the postwar territorial rearrangements. Nevertheless, it remained very close to the Soviet border until the 1951 Polish–Soviet territorial exchange which moved the border further eastward.

During the war, after the town was occupied by Nazi Germany in 1941, its Jewish community (about 60% of the town's population) perished in the Holocaust.

In the immediate postwar years the area was the scene of the fighting between Polish military forces and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. The fighting ended after the Ukrainian population was expelled in the course of Operation Vistula in 1947. The city and its economy only started to recover in the 1950s, after a government program encouraging people from other areas of Poland to settle there.

Currently Lesko is a gateway to the Bieszczady Mountains. The city has numerous outdoor recreational clubs.

Sites of interest


Hiking trails

The European walking route E8



  1. "Population. Size and structure by territorial division" (PDF). © 1995-2009 Central Statistical Office 00-925 Warsaw, Al. Niepodległości 208. 2009-06-02. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 26, 2011. Retrieved 2009-06-22. External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. JewishGen.org
  3. "Bieszczady twój serwis informaczjny, noclegi w Bieszczadach, agroturystyka, pensjonaty, domki wypoczynkowe, agroturystyka w Bieszczadach. Bieszczady: aktualności, zdjęcia, kalendarz wydarzeń". Bieszczady.info.pl. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
  4. "Urząd Miasta i Gminy Lesko". Lesko.pl. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lesko.

Coordinates: 49°28′N 22°20′E / 49.467°N 22.333°E / 49.467; 22.333

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