Lubusz Voivodeship

Coordinates: 52°11′43″N 15°20′51″E / 52.19528°N 15.34750°E / 52.19528; 15.34750
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Lubusz Voivodeship
województwo lubuskie
Location within Poland
Location within Poland
Division into counties
Division into counties
Country Poland
 • BodyVoivode,
Executive board,
 • VoivodeMarek Cebula (PO)
 • Voivodeship marshalMarcin Jabłoński (PO)
 • Chairperson of the SejmikAnna Synowiec (PO)
 • Total13,987.93 km2 (5,400.77 sq mi)
 • Total1,013,031
 • Density72/km2 (190/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Rural
 • Total€12.179 billion
 • Per capita€12,100
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codePL-08
Vehicle registrationF
HDI (2019)0.862[3]
very high · 14th
  • further divided into 83 gminas

Lubusz Voivodeship (Polish: województwo lubuskie [vɔjɛˈvut͡stfɔ luˈbuskʲɛ] ) is a voivodeship (province) in western Poland.

It was created on January 1, 1999, out of the former Gorzów Voivodeship and Zielona Góra Voivodeship, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. The province's name recalls the historic Lubusz Land[4] (Lebus or Lubus), although parts of the voivodeship belong to the historic regions of Lower Silesia, Greater Poland and Lusatia.

The functions of regional capital are shared between two cities: Gorzów Wielkopolski and Zielona Góra. Gorzów serves as the seat of the centrally-appointed voivode, or governor, and Zielona Góra is the seat of the elected regional assembly (sejmik) and the executive elected by that assembly, headed by a marshal (marszałek). In addition, the voivodeship includes a third city (Nowa Sól) and a number of towns.

The region is mainly flat, with many lakes and woodlands. In the south, around Zielona Góra, grapes are cultivated.

Lubusz Voivodeship borders West Pomeranian Voivodeship to the north, Greater Poland Voivodeship to the east, Lower Silesian Voivodeship to the south, and Germany (Brandenburg and Saxony) to the west.


Medieval town walls of Żary, one of the oldest towns in the province, first mentioned in 1007

The first leaders of the Polans, Mieszko I and especially Bolesław I the Brave added a number of surrounding territories to the newly established core Polish state, and Lubusz Land came under Polish rule. Part of the historic province was located on the western bank of the Oder River, where the main settlement Lubusz, later known as the German town of Lebus, was located. The entire territory of the present Lubusz Voivodeship was part of Poland by 1002.

Żagań with its castle was a ducal seat for several centuries

Following the fragmentation of Poland into smaller provincial duchies, various portions of the present Lubusz Voivodeship were part of various duchies, initially the duchies of Greater Poland and Silesia, and later also Legnica, Głogów, Lubusz and Żagań, ruled by various lines of the Piast dynasty. Overtime, portions of the present Lubusz Voivodeship were lost by Poland. In 1250 the Lubusz Land was acquired by the Ascanian margraves of Brandenburg. In 1319–1326 it was contested by various Polish and German rulers, before falling back to Brandenburg. After Brandenburg passed to the Bohemian Crown in 1373, Poland made a peaceful attempt to regain the northern portion of the area. In 1402, the Bohemian rulers reached an agreement with Poland in Kraków. Poland was to buy and re-incorporate the northern outskirts of the present Lubusz Voivodeship,[5] but eventually the Bohemian rulers sold the area to the Teutonic Order, who in turn sold it back to Brandenburg in 1454 to raise funds for war against Poland. The southern part of the current voivodeship remained part of the duchies of Żagań and Głogów, ruled by the houses of Piast and Jagiellon, with the Żagań duchy eventually passing to houses of foreign background, including Czech, Saxon and French, whereas other areas were gradually incorporated directly into the Kingdom of Bohemia. In 1635, most of the south-western part of the present Lubusz Voivodeship passed from Bohemia to Saxony, and from 1697 formed part of Poland-Saxony.

Wschowa was an important royal city of Poland in the 18th century, as it often hosted Polish kings and several sessions of the Polish Senate, hence being dubbed the "unofficial capital of Poland".

In 1701, the Kingdom of Prussia was established, which included Brandenburg-held Lubusz Land, and various areas were eventually gradually annexed by Prussia in the following centuries, starting with the south-eastern part of the current voivodeship in 1742, followed by eastern portions (western outskirts of Greater Poland) in 1793 (briefly regained by Poles in 1807–1815 as part of the short-lived Duchy of Warsaw), and the south-western part in 1815. Within Prussia and Germany the territory was divided between the provinces of Neumark/Brandenburg, South Prussia/Posen, and Silesia/Lower Silesia.

During World War II, the Oflag II-C, Stalag III-C, Stalag VIII-C and Stalag Luft III major German prisoner-of-war camps for Polish, French, British, Belgian, Canadian, Serbian, Italian, American, Australian, New Zealander, Soviet, Norwegian, Czech, Slovak, South African, Dutch, Greek, Yugoslav, Senegalese, Algerian and Moroccan POWs were operated in the territory. The latter was the site of the "Great Escape" in 1944. There are museums at the site of the camps in Dobiegniew and Żagań, and there is a memorial to the victims of the Stalag Luft III murders in Żagań. Particularly infamous camps in the region were the Oderblick labor education camp in Świecko and the Sonnenburg concentration camp in Słońsk, in which Polish, Belgian, French, Bulgarian, Dutch, Yugoslav, Russian, Italian, Ukrainian, Luxembourgish, Danish, Norwegian, Czech, Slovak and other prisoners were held, and many died.[6][7] There were also ten subcamps of the Gross-Rosen concentration camp.[8]

Under the terms laid down by Joseph Stalin in the Potsdam Agreement, the borders of Poland and Germany were redrawn and the area of the Lubusz Voivodeship fell within the new borders of Poland.

Historical regions in present-day Lubusz Voivodeship and in Poland

In 1998, the government of Jerzy Buzek decided to introduce an administrative reform, with its principles including the restoration of counties and a steep reduction in the number of voivodeships. A general consensus existed among scholars that the local administration exercised through the 49 existing voivodeships established in 1975 was inefficient, anachronistic, impractical, detrimental to maintaining regional identity, and untenable. However, the reform draft accepted by the government surprised the public and caused widespread outcry, as its authors foresaw creation of only 12 large voivodships, thus going much further than the widely expected reconstitution of the 17 voivodeships existing prior to the 1975 reform. As a consequence, the original draft made no provision for a separate Lubusz voivodeship – Gorzów was to become along with Kostrzyn, Strzelce Krajeńskie and Drezdenko a part of West Pomeranian Voivodeship, Zielona Góra was to be included along with Krosno, Nowa Sól, Żagań, Gubin and Żary in the Lower Silesian Voivodeship, while a narrow horizontal strip encompassing Międzyrzecz, Sulęcin, Świebodzin, Słubice and Sulechów was to be assigned to the Greater Poland Voivodeship as a bizarre sort-of corridor to the German border. However, mass protests broke out as a result in the cities such as Bydgoszcz, Koszalin, Opole or Kielce. Many of the people opposing the draft reform initially demanded retaining as many as 25 voivodeships (including the 2 ones seated in Gorzów and Zielona Góra), a number nevertheless widely regarded as a demand intentionally excessive to serve as an initial negotiating bargain, actually aiming to restore the 17 voivodeships existing prior to 1975 as an ultimate compromise. As Poland was at the time governed under political cohabitation, the opposition party constituting the political background of the President decided to capitalize on the popular discontent which erupted against the government on an unanticipated scale; the most obvious mean readily available for the opposition was a presidential veto, which in fact ensued. In order to salvage the reform from being killed altogether, the government was, in the face of lacking the supermajority required to overturn the veto at the time, forced to reconsider the original shape of the reform and to reconcile it with the reservations of the President and his political background, with the result of a compromise adjustment increasing the number of voivodeships to 16, with Lubusz Voivodeship included among the four additional ones created according to the agreement.

The path leading to such and outcome was far from smooth. The government made an effort to highlight and exploit the decades-long animosity between the approximately same-size two principal cities, spreading scare against its inevitable re-ignition and explosion in any of these two cities after designating the other one as the voivodeship capital, and hoping to use the engineered scare as the main argument in the ongoing discussions against creating the Lubusz voivodeship, The animosity, existing indeed between the cities, has been historically rooted in a widespread perception among Gorzów inhabitants that the 1950 decision to designate Zielona Góra as the voivodeship capital instead of their larger and more populous city, was taken by the anticlerical communist government due to a hidden motivation of punishing Gorzów for becoming the see of the newly established Roman Catholic apostolic administration governing the majority of the Recovered Territories, with the ensuing discrimination of the city by the voivodeship authorities in the years 1950-1975 in terms of establishing any new public cultural and educational institutions, other public investments or public funds allocations, in vivid contrast to the unjust favoring of their own seat, the city of Zielona Góra; a sentiment reinforced further by the surprise relocation of the see of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gorzów to Zielona Góra in 1992, renamed as a result the Roman Catholic Diocese of Zielona Góra-Gorzów, and finally and perhaps most importantly, by the historical, perpetual and almost sacred rivalry between the motorcycle speedway clubs located in both cities. The objective of the local elites in Zielona Góra was in turn to become a single capital centre, reverting to the situation before 1975, while any prospect of sharing the governing institutions was for a long time treated with their hostility. In spite of that, the looming threat of a "everybody lose" scenario set to materialize in case of a possible implementation of the original reform draft, paved the way for neutralizing this argument through forcing both rival sides into the breakthrough reconciliation accord known as the Paradyż Agreement, brokered by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Zielona Góra-Gorzów and formalized in a document signed during a highly publicized local summit in the Gościkowo-Paradyż Abbey on 13 March 1998. This compromise agreement, was negotiated and concluded between the delegations of both rival cities, composed of the respectively aligned most powerful local and national scene politicians and business people, with its most important provision being the unusual arrangement to divide and distribute the governing institutions of the voivodeship more or less equally between the two cities. On the basis of this broadly supported agreement, an effective public pressure endorsed jointly by the two centers was successfully exerted on the central government which ultimately acquiesced to the demand of establishing Lubusz Voivodeship.[9]

A2 autostrada with view towards west in the Voivodeship

Nevertheless, creating any new type of public institution at voivodeship level in Poland continues to ignite almost automatically a fierce battle in the Lubusz Voivodeship regarding the seat of the institution. There have also been numerous attempts to relocate some of the existing public institutions under various pretexts from one city to another, in some cases successful, as well as of merging a pair of equal institutions of a type existing in both cities, in order to make one of them a branch of the other, with obscure or no justification in most cases for such merger. Nevertheless, a general local majority consensus prevails that the compromise, although unsatisfactory for any of the two cities, spared both of them the fate of a number of cities which lost in 1999 entirely the status of a voivodeship capital and all voivodeship-level institutions, along with the associated attractiveness and prestige of the city as a place to live, crucial for its growth, with the ensuing profoundly detrimental phenomena.


The Lubusz Voivodeship is a land of forests and lakes; forests cover 48% of the area. The river Oder, flowing through the voivodeship, is one of the few large European rivers retaining broadleaved and riparian forests. Areas with the highest natural values are protected as national parks (Drawa National Park and Warta Mouth National Park), landscape parks and wildlife reserves. The 19th century Muskau Park, located on both sides of the Polish–German border, has entered the UNESCO World Heritage List. The voivodeship abounds in lakes, especially in its central and northern parts; around those lakes numerous bathing resorts, holiday centres and farms offering tourist services have been established.[10]


The voivodeship, especially its northern part, is a notable for production of honey, with several varieties listed as traditional foods by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland, and the Saint Michael's Honey Fair held annually in Gorzów Wielkopolski.

The southern part of the voivodeship with Zielona Góra is one of the leading winemaking regions of Poland, and other traditional beverages from the voivodeship are beer, mead, nalewki and vodka.

Various types of traditional Polish kiełbasa, also designated as traditional foods by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland, are produced in the Nowa Sól, Wschowa, Zielona Góra, Żagań and Żary counties in the southern part of the Lubusz Voivodeship, whereas Siedlisko, Nowa Sól County produces a variety of traditional cheeses and quarks.

Cities and towns[edit]

Zielona Góra is the seat of the provincial assembly
Gorzów Wielkopolski is the seat of the voivodeship governor
Nowa Sól is part of historic Lower Silesia

The voivodeship contains 3 cities and 40 towns. These are listed below in descending order of population (as of 2021):[1]

Cities (governed by a city mayor or prezydent miasta):
  1. Zielona Góra (140,708)
  2. Gorzów Wielkopolski (121,714)
  3. Nowa Sól (37,931)


  1. Żary (36,783)
  2. Żagań (25,110)
  3. Świebodzin (21,428)
  4. Kostrzyn nad Odrą (17,656)
  5. Międzyrzecz (17,580)
  6. Słubice (16,510)
  7. Sulechów (16,477)
  8. Gubin (16,427)
  9. Lubsko (13,647)
  10. Wschowa (13,635)
  11. Szprotawa (11,447)
  12. Krosno Odrzańskie (11,079)
  13. Sulęcin (9,930)
  14. Drezdenko (9,883)
  15. Strzelce Krajeńskie (9,771)
  16. Skwierzyna (9,412)
  17. Kożuchów (9,231)
  18. Witnica (6,640)
  19. Rzepin (6,454)
  20. Nowogród Bobrzański (5,033)
  21. Zbąszynek (4,980)
  22. Sława (4,242)
  23. Bytom Odrzański (4,219)
  24. Jasień (4,188)
  25. Czerwieńsk (3,911)
  26. Ośno Lubuskie (3,884)
  27. Babimost (3,859)
  28. Iłowa (3,831)
  29. Kargowa (3,762)
  30. Małomice (3,499)
  31. Dobiegniew (3,011)
  32. Gozdnica (2,941)
  33. Cybinka (2,764)
  34. Nowe Miasteczko (2,710)
  35. Torzym (2,521)
  36. Łęknica (2,382)
  37. Trzciel (2,330)
  38. Lubniewice (2,078)
  39. Otyń (1,657)
  40. Szlichtyngowa (1,268)
  41. Brody

Administrative division[edit]

Lubusz Voivodeship is divided into 14 counties (powiats): 2 city counties and 12 land counties. These are further divided into 82 gminas.

The counties are listed in the following table (ordering within categories is by decreasing population).

English and
Polish names
Seat Other towns Total
Cities with powiat rights
Zielona Góra 279 140,871 1
Gorzów Wielkopolski 86 123,691 1
Land counties
Żary County
powiat żarski
1,393 96,496 Żary Lubsko, Jasień, Łęknica 10
Nowa Sól County
powiat nowosolski
771 86,284 Nowa Sól Kożuchów, Bytom Odrzański, Nowe Miasteczko 8
Żagań County
powiat żagański
1,131 79,297 Żagań Szprotawa, Iłowa, Małomice, Gozdnica 9
Zielona Góra County
powiat zielonogórski
1,350 75,626 Zielona Góra* Sulechów, Nowogród Bobrzański, Babimost, Czerwieńsk, Kargowa 9
Gorzów County
powiat gorzowski
1,213 71,669 Gorzów Wielkopolski* Kostrzyn nad Odrą, Witnica 7
Międzyrzecz County
powiat międzyrzecki
1,388 57,851 Międzyrzecz Skwierzyna, Trzciel 6
Świebodzin County
powiat świebodziński
937 55,753 Świebodzin Zbąszynek 6
Krosno Odrzańskie County
powiat krośnieński
1,390 55,018 Krosno Odrzańskie Gubin 7
Strzelce-Drezdenko County
powiat strzelecko-drezdenecki
1,248 49,156 Strzelce Krajeńskie Drezdenko, Dobiegniew 5
Słubice County
powiat słubicki
1,000 47,018 Słubice Rzepin, Ośno Lubuskie, Cybinka 5
Wschowa County
powiat wschowski
625 38,960 Wschowa Sława, Szlichtyngowa 3
Sulęcin County
powiat sulęciński
1,177 35,238 Sulęcin Torzym, Lubniewice 5
* seat not part of the county


The gross domestic product (GDP) of the province was 10.8 billion euros in 2018, accounting for 2.2% of Polish economic output. The GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 17,600 euros or 58% of the EU27 average in the same year. The GDP per employee was 67% of the EU average.[11]


The sole airport in the voivodeship is the Zielona Góra Airport. The A2, A18 and S3 highways pass through the province.

Protected areas[edit]

Drawa National Park
Potok Sucha, a protected nature reserve in the Szprotawa Commune

Protected areas in Lubusz Voivodeship include two national parks and eight landscape parks. These are listed below.

Sights and tourism[edit]

There are four Historic Monuments of Poland and one World Heritage Site in the voivodeship

Furthermore, there are several preserved old towns with historic town halls and market squares (i.e. Zielona Góra, Wschowa, Świebodzin and Bytom Odrzański). Of the historic town halls, the one in Kargowa was the site of a unique event, an armed defense against the annexation by Prussia in the Second Partition of Poland in 1793. Several towns contain entirely or partly preserved medieval town walls with towers and gates, i.e. Kożuchów, Strzelce Krajeńskie, Gorzów Wielkopolski, Wschowa. There are multiple castles and palaces throughout the region, including Piast Royal and Ducal castles in Krosno Odrzańskie, Kożuchów, Międzyrzecz and Żagań. There are also numerous palaces, including at Brody, Dąbrówka Wielkopolska, Glisno, Jędrzychowice, Kalsk, Mierzęcin, Trzebiechów, Żary. The picturesque village of Łagów, which hosted the Knights Templar and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in the past, contains the Castle of the Order of St. John, and several other medieval structures.

Major museums dedicated to the history of the region are located in Gorzów Wielkopolski and Zielona Góra. There are museums dedicated to Allied prisoners of war at the former German POW camps in Dobiegniew and Żagań. In Żagań, there is a memorial to the victims of the Stalag Luft III murders of Allied POWs, perpetrated by Nazi Germany in World War II.

One of the world's tallest Christ statues, the Christ the King Statue is located in Świebodzin, whereas Słubice hosts the Wikipedia Monument.


Motorcycle speedway enjoys a large following in the province with the Stal Gorzów Wielkopolski and Falubaz Zielona Góra clubs being among the most accomplished in the sport in the country. The teams contest the Lubusz Voivodeship Derby, one of the fiercest speedway rivalries.

Professional sports teams
Club Sport League Trophies
Stal Gorzów Wielkopolski Speedway Ekstraliga 9 Polish Championships
Falubaz Zielona Góra Speedway Ekstraliga 7 Polish Championships
Zastal Zielona Góra Basketball (men's) Polish Basketball League 5 Polish Championships
3 Polish Cups (2015, 2017, 2021)
AZS AJP Gorzów Wielkopolski Basketball (women's) Basket Liga Kobiet 0
Stal Gorzów Wielkopolski Handball (men's) Liga Centralna (2nd tier) 0
Astra Nowa Sól Volleyball (men's) I liga (2nd tier) 0
Olimpia Sulęcin Volleyball (men's) I liga (2nd tier) 0

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Population. Size and structure and vital statistics in Poland by territorial division in 2019. As of 30th June". Statistics Poland. 2019-10-15. Retrieved 2020-03-25.
  2. ^ "EU regions by GDP, Eurostat". Retrieved 18 September 2023.
  3. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Subnational HDI - Global Data Lab". Radboud University Nijmegen. Retrieved 2021-12-13.
  4. ^ It is likely that it was a response to the names of some German military units; they have been named after lands that since at least 1945 belong to Poland and the very city of Lubusz is located just outside the Polish border in Germany.
  5. ^ Rogalski, Leon (1846). Dzieje Krzyżaków oraz ich stosunki z Polską, Litwą i Prussami, poprzedzone rysem dziejów wojen krzyżowych. Tom II (in Polish). Warszawa. pp. 59–60.
  6. ^ "Świecko (Lager Schwetig): Odnaleziono szczątki 21 osób". Instytut Pamięci Narodowej (in Polish). Retrieved 17 May 2024.
  7. ^ "Słońsk: 73. rocznica zagłady więźniów niemieckiego obozu Sonnenburg". (in Polish). Retrieved 17 May 2024.
  8. ^ "Subcamps of KL Gross- Rosen". Gross-Rosen Museum in Rogoźnica. Retrieved 17 May 2024.
  9. ^ "Warto było? Oni tworzyli nasze województwo | Łącznik Zielonogórski".
  10. ^ Związek Województw Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej (Union of the Voivodeships of the Republic of Poland) (2010). Polska — Rozwój Regionów.
  11. ^ "Regional GDP per capita ranged from 30% to 263% of the EU average in 2018". Eurostat.
  12. ^ Rozporządzenie Prezydenta Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej z dnia 14 kwietnia 2004 r. w sprawie uznania za pomnik historii, Dz. U. z 2004 r. Nr 102, poz. 1059
  13. ^ Rozporządzenie Prezydenta Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej z dnia 22 listopada 2017 r. w sprawie uznania za pomnik historii "Gościkowo-Paradyż - pocysterski zespół klasztorny", Dz. U. z 2017 r. poz. 2256
  14. ^ Rozporządzenie Prezydenta Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej z dnia 15 marca 2017 r. w sprawie uznania za pomnik historii "Klępsk - kościół pod wezwaniem Nawiedzenia Najświętszej Maryi Panny", Dz. U. z 2017 r. poz. 688
  15. ^ Rozporządzenie Prezydenta Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej z dnia 28 lutego 2011 r. w sprawie uznania za pomnik historii "Żagań - poaugustiański zespół klasztorny", Dz. U. z 2011 r. Nr 54, poz. 280

External links[edit]

52°11′43″N 15°20′51″E / 52.19528°N 15.34750°E / 52.19528; 15.34750