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Lubelskie Voivodeship is one of the 16 Polish voivodeships located on the state's eastern borders. The voivodeship is bordered by Mazowieckie Voivodeship to the northwest, Podlaskie to the north, Podkarpackie Voivodeship to the south and Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship to the west. The Lubelskie voivodeship also contributes to the Polish state border with Belarus and Ukraine to the east. The 25,155 square kilometers area, which represents the region, is located in the Vistula basin. Some predominant hills are the Lublin Uplands in the central part and Roztocze Hills to the east. The region is inhabited by approximately 2,112,216 people, adding up to a population density of 84 per square kilometer. The most significant agglomeration is the capital city, Lublin, located in the central part of the territory.
Lublin, the capital city of Lubelskie Voivodeship, can be characterized by a significant accumulation of cultural and historical sights. The city is historically significant, as it was located on important trade routes. One of the predominant sites in the city is the Lublin castle, situated on the confluence of Bystrzyca and Czechówka. The castle was built in the 14th century and was the place where the Polish-Lithuanian union was signed. The Castle Tower is the oldest building on the castle hill, a circular stone-brick tower from the 13th century. Among other sites located in the city is the State Museum in Majdanek, the oldest museum in Europe commemorating the Second World War victims.
Not only Lublin but other cities of the Lubelskie Voivodeship are rich in attractions and cultural landmarks. One such example is the city of Zamość. The Old City of Zamość is inscribed on the UNESCO Heritage List as one of the 16th-century Central European towns designed and built in accordance with Italian Renaissance theories. The city was founded by the chancellor Jan Zamoysky and modeled by an architect Bernando Morando.
Wola Okrzejska, a village located in the north-western part of the Lubelskie Voivodeship, is the birthplace of one of the world-renowned Nobel Prize winners in literature, Henryk Sienkiewicz. In Poland, Sienkiewicz is best known for his "Trilogy" of historical novels. However, Quo Vadis is his most famous piece internationally. Nowadays, his birth house is open for visitors as a museum, commemorating his life and work.
Two national parks known as Roztocze National Park and Polesie National Park are a couple of notable natural attractions in the region. The Roztocze National Park is located in the central part of the Lubelskie Voivodeship. The park features various types of endangered and protected species, such as the European bullhead and Polish Pony, whose ancestor was the tarpan - an extinct species of a forest horse. Polesie National Park is known for its extensive touristic trails. A number of former peat-bog preserves cover the area, namely, Durne Marsh, Moszne Lake, Długie Lake, and Orłowskie Peatland.
Lubelskie Voivodeship bears an Arabian horse breeding tradition. One such stud farm, with 200 years of tradition, is located in the Janów Podlaski village. The stud holds various sports events and features a hotel for tourists.
Lubelskie Voivodeship stretches over various geographical areas. The central geographical regions contributing to the Lubelskie area are Południowopodlaska Lowland and Pripet Marshes to the north. The Lublin Uplands represent the central part of the territory, while the Roztocze Hills form the southern borders of the area. Most of the Lubelskie territory is part of the mega-region of Non-Alpine Central Europe. The relief is composed of primarily old glacial lowlands, limestone and loess highlands, and Subcarpathian basins. The highest peak in the region, Krągłego Goraj, located in the Roztocze Hills, has an altitude of 388.7 m above sea level. The whole territory is situated in the Vistula river basin, with the Vistula as the predominant river of the voivodeship. Some other regionally significant rivers are Bug, Wieprz, Krzna, Bystrzyca, and Huczwa.
The territory of the Lubelskie Voivodeship is one of the least developed in Poland. A significant part of the region is covered in peat bogs and marshlands. One-fourth of the province's territory is covered in forests, while seven-tenths of the entire territory is used for agriculture, with the most cultivated crops being cereals, potatoes, sugar beets, fodder, tobacco, hops, fruit, and vegetables. Pig, cattle, and horse breeding are of importance as well. A world-famous horse breeding farm is located in Janów Podlaski, where Arabian horses are bred. Polesie National Park and Roztocze National Park are the predominant protected areas.
Concerning the climatic conditions of the Lubelskie Voivodeship, the climate is generally continental, characteristic of its warm summers and snowy winters. July is the warmest month, with an average daily temperature of 23°C, while January is the coldest month, with an average temperature of -1°C. The driest month is February, with an average of 23.0 mm of rainfall. On average the most precipitation falls during June, with usually 83.0 mm of rainfall. The sunniest month is July, with an average of 237 hours of sunshine.
Lubelskie Voivodeship, then called Lublin Land, became part of the Polish state in the 10th century when incorporated by Mieszko I. The area later endured Tatar, Russian, and Lithuanian invasions. The Voivodeship was situated on the frequented Kraków-Lviv trade route, which caused growth in economic and business development to a significant extent.
In the 16th century, the capital city, Lublin, prospered economically, artistically, and culturally. In 1569 was in Lublin established a Polish-Lithuanian Union, which defined the political shape of the county for the future centuries. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth constituted of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania until the partitions of Poland.
During the 17th century, Lubelskie Voivodeship territory was alternately invaded by Cossacks, Swedes, and Russians. The invasions were usually followed by epidemics, which led to economic and humanitarian depressions. Between the years 1772 and 1795, the various partitions of Poland occurred. The last partition to take place was that Poland would cease to exist as an autonomic country. The area was divided between Russia, Prussia, and Austria. The Lubelskie Voivodeship territory belonged to the Austria Monarchy at that time.
By 1815, the territory was annexed to the Kingdom of Poland, which was under Russian rule. During the Second World War, Germans established over 200 concentration and labor camps in the area of the Lubelskie Voivodeship. However, Lublin and the territory became sites of the significant anti-nazi resistance. The Lubelskie territory, with approximately 45,000 Jewish prisoners, was one of the biggest forced labor centers in occupied Europe. After the war, most of the surviving Jews left the area.
Nowadays, the voivodeship seeks to restore important historical Jewish sites, as a considerable number of Jews visit the area in an attempt to view their families' historical roots. In general, the Lubelskie Voivodeship is considered to be one of the most religiously diverse regions in Poland. Due to its eastern location, the territory is the place where the culture of Eastern and Western Christianity meets. For these reasons, various inter-religious events occur in Lublin and other surrounding cities. Eastern parts of the territory are inhabited mainly by the Ukrainian minority.
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