Polish Language Blog

Do you know all 16 voivodeships of Poland? Posted by on Sep 14, 2021 in Culture, History, Regulations, Travel & Geography

The voivodeship is called in Polish województwo (plural województwa). Did you know how many of these high-level administrative subdivisions are in Poland? The Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998, which went into effect on January 1st 1999, created sixteen new voivodeships. These replaced the 49 former voivodeships that had existed from July 1st. 1975.

Learning geography. Image by Mojpe from Pixabay

Today’s voivodeships are mostly named after historical and geographical regions (historyczne i geograficzne regiony), while those prior to 1998 generally took their names from the cities on which they were centered.

Image by Kasia Scontsas

Each of 16 voivodeships is made up of a number of powiaty, smaller territorial divisions comparable to counties. The powiaty in turn contain a number of gminy (municipalities) which are Poland’s smallest administrative divisions.

Województwa (vou-yeah-voo-tz-tfah) name comes from the phrase  wodzić woje , meaning “to lead warriors”. The name points to the fact that the head of a voivodeship – wojewoda, was a leading warrior back in the older days. 

Of course now, he/she doesn’t have to lead warriors. Instead his/hers job is to perform peaceful administrative functions.

Here are 16 województwa:

1. Dolnośląskie – Lower Silesian Voivodeship

Capital:  Wrocław

2. Kujawsko – Pomorskie – Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship

Capitals: Toruń and Bydgoszcz

3. Lubelskie – Lublin Voivodeship

Capital: Lublin

4. Lubuskie – Lubuskie Voivodeship

Capitals: Gorzów Wielkopolski and Zielona Góra

5. Łódzkie – Łódź Voivodeship

Capital: Łódź

6. Małopolskie – Lesser Poland Voivodeship

Capital: Kraków

7. Mazowieckie – Mazovian Voivodeship

Capital: Warsaw

8. Opolskie – Opole Voivodeship

Capital: Opole

9. Podkarpackie – Podkarpackie Voivodeship

Capital: Rzeszów

10. Podlaskie – Podlaskie Voivodeship

Capital: Białystok

11. Pomorskie – Pomeranian Voivodeship

Capital: Gdańsk

12. Śląskie – Silesian Voivodeship

Capital: Katowice

13. Świętokrzyskie – świętokrzyskie Voivodeship

Capital: Kielce

14. Warmińsko-Mazurskie – Warmian-Mazurian Voivodeship

Capital: Olsztyn

15. Wielkopolskie – Greater Poland Voivodeship

Capital: Poznań

16. Zachodniopomorskie – West Pomeranian Voivodeship

Capital: Szczecin

Here is a great website where you can practice your knowledge – It has fun, interactive worksheets!

I grew up in Województwo Lubelskie!






Keep learning Polish with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew near Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.


  1. Adelaide Dupont:

    This week I had reason to visit with the academics of the Medical University of Lublin and their work in mental health.

    So I was excited to know you had grown up there.

    And to learn all the voivodeships and their history.