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Lubuskie Voivodeship is one of the 16 voivodeships contributing to the Poland Territory. It is located in the westernmost part of the country. Zachodniopomorskie Voivodeship borders the territory to the north, Wielkopolskie Voivodeship to the east, and Dolnośląskie Voivodeship to the south. The Lubuskie Voivodeship also contributes to the Poland state border with Germany. For centuries, before the World Wars, the area was part of the German region, Brandenburg. Brandenburg's capital city is Berlin, which is in close proximity to the Polish borders. Presumably, for these historical reasons, the Lubuskie Voivodeship has two capitals rather than one. The capitals are Zielona Góra and Gorzów Wielkopolski. Lubuskie Voivodeship stretches over an area of approximately 13,987.93 square kilometers. The landscape is of primarily flat and lowland character, with richness in rivers and lakes. Some predominant rivers are, for example, the Oder, which forms a state border with Germany, Warta, and Nysa. The Lubuskie area is inhabited by approximately 1,010,177 people, which adds up to a population density of 72 people per square kilometer.
Lubuskie Voivodeship has two capitals, Zielona Góra and Gorzów Wielkopolski. The city of Zielona Góra is best known for its long tradition of wine production, as the hills around the town were covered in vines long before the city was established there. The Wine Museum, located in the city, features approximately 1,540 exhibitions, teaching about the history and traditions of winemaking. A wine fest is held annually by the city as well. Gorzów Wielkopolski, located in the northern part of the Lubuskie Voivodeship, has the status of the second capital city in the territory. One of its most predominant features is the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the 13th century.
On the western borders of the Lubuskie Voivodeship is situated the Muskau Park, neighboring the territory of Germany. Muskau Park represents the connection between natural, historical, and cultural sights. In 2004 the park was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The German part of the park features a Muskau castle, representing the shared history of those two nations throughout history. The park is the largest landscape park in Central Europe. Historical buildings together with heritage trees create a diverse landscape and serve as an attraction for a number of tourists.
In 1932 an elaborate fortification system was built in the area of Miedzyrzec, as before and during Second World War, the Lubuskie territory belonged to Germany. Hitler ordered the building of the fortification to protect Germany from Poland. The Miedzyrzecki Fortified Region includes 30 km of underground tunnels and corridors which connect the above-ground facilities. Nowadays, the tunnel system is known as Europe's largest bat hibernation site. However, the underground fortification system is open for private tours as well.
Lubuskie Voivodeship is formed by the mostly low-lying landscape, with marginal stream valleys, morainal hills, and lake basins. As a result, Lubuskie is Poland's most forested province. Trees cover 48% of the territory. Over 500 lakes and several major rivers can be found in the area, such as Oder, Warta, and Nysa. The Gorzów Plain covers the northern part of the Lubuskie Voivodeship. Gubin Heights and the Zielona Góra Rampart stretch to the south of the territory. Lubuskie Lakeland represents the central part of the territory.
The Lubuskie territory has historically been connected to wine production and grape cultivation. Thus, the area is filled with various family-owned vineyards. On the other hand, the territory features numerous national parks and preservation areas due to its considerably high forestation. One such example is the Warta River-Mouth National Park, located in close proximity to the German borders. The landscape is characterized by swamp lands, serving as a home for various bird species. Approximately 270 different bird species have been reported to inhabit the area, thus posing an attraction for bird-watching lovers.
Soils of the Lubuskie territory are sparsely fertile, with two-fifths of the land being arable. Chief crops are cereals, sugar beets, rapeseed, hops, and potatoes. Zielona Góra city is the center of wine production. Concerning the region's mineral wealth, a small amount of petroleum and natural gas are extracted in the Lubuskie Voivodeship.
Lubuskie Voivodeship has one of the mildest climates in Poland. The warmest month is August, with an average daily temperature of 22°C. January is the coldest month, with an average temperature of 0°C. The driest month is March, with an average of 32 mm of rainfall. The most precipitation falls during August, with an average of 71 mm.
The name of the Lubuskie Voivodeship is derived from "Ziemia Lubuska" meaning Lubuska Land. The original historical region was located by the course of the Oder River. The first Poles to acquire the territory were soldiers under the rule of Mieszko I. and later Bolesław I., who added surrounding regions. Lubuska's landmass became part of Poland. The capital settlement of the Lubuskie territory, Lubusz, was located on the western part of the Oder river, the territory which now belongs to Germany.
In 1226 Lubuska came under the rule of the Holy Roman Empire. Later, in the mid-1200s, the Lubuska Land was sold to Brandenburg, thus becoming part of Germany. As a result, German lords, merchants, peasants, and clergy (mainly Templars, Hospitallers, and Cistercians) flooded the territory, which was then renamed "New Margraviate." This constitution remained unchanged until the mid-1700s, when the whole of Brandenburg became part of Prussia.
Significant fights of the Second World War took place in the town of Międzyrzecz. The war line stretched from the German fortifications in Międzyrzecz to the Kostrzyn fortress, causing considerable damage to the town and cities in the region. After the overturn by Red Army in 1945, a Potsdam Conference was held. The Polish-German border was established along the Oder-Neisse line, resulting in Lubuskie Voivodeship becoming part of Poland. As a result, between the years 1945-1947, the German population was forced to relocate, and Poles resettled the territory.
Nowadays, Lubuskie Voivodeship is divided into 12 self-governing districts and two cities with district rights. The prevailing number of seats in the local parliament are occupied by a liberal, mostly left coalition.
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