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Location on the map of Poland
Location on the map of Poland
Coordinates: 52°42?N 18°33?E / 52.700°N 18.550°E / 52.700; 18.550Coordinates: 52°42?N 18°33?E / 52.700°N 18.550°E / 52.700; 18.550
Country Poland
Historical capitalsW?oc?awek, Inowroc?aw, Brze Kujawski
Largest cityBydgoszcz
 o Total5,989 km2 (2,312 sq mi)
 o Total950,000
 o Density160/km2 (410/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
Primary airportBydgoszcz Ignacy Jan Paderewski Airport
HighwaysA1-PL.svg S5-PL.svg S10-PL.svg

Kuyavia (Polish: Kujawy; German: Kujawien; Latin: Cuiavia), also referred to as Cuyavia, is a historical region in north-central Poland, situated on the left bank of Vistula, as well as east from Note? River and Lake Gop?o. It is divided into three traditional parts: north-western (with the capital in Bydgoszcz, ethnographically regarded often as non-Kuyavian), central (the capital in Inowroc?aw or Kruszwica), and south-eastern (the capital in W?oc?awek or Brze Kujawski).


The name Kuyavia first appeared in written sources in the 1136 Bull of Gniezno (Polish: Bulla Gnie?nie?ska, Latin: Ex commisso nobis) issued by Pope Innocent II, and was then mentioned in many documents from medieval times. It is also mentioned in the chronicles of Wincenty Kad?ubek.[2]


In the north, Kuyavia borders with the historic regions of Gda?sk Pomerania (Pomerelia) and Che?mno Land, in the west with proper (exact) Greater Poland, in the south with czyca Land and in the east with Masovia and Dobrzy? Land. The borders of Kuyavia stretch out on the left bank of Vistula River: from the mouth of Skrwa Lewa in the south-east, almost to the mouth of the Wda River to the north. The borders of Kuyavia spread out to the west from Koronowo and Nak?o to the Note? River where they turn south-west, cross Trl?g Lake, and on to Strzelne?ski Forest, reaching Skulski Lake and the upper Note? River. The borders also enclose Brdowski Lake, Przedecz and Lubie? Kujawski through the Skrwa Lewa, ending at the Vistula River.[3]

General description

The Kuyavian lowlands have an average elevation of 100-130 meters above sea level. It is post-glacial landscape, slightly undulating, in some places there are moraine hills and sandy gravel embankments. In deep dykes and depressions there are approximately 600 lakes larger than 1 km2. Under the glacial formations there are layers of rock-salt and potassium, and under Tertiary Period sediments there is lignite and ceramic clay. In Kuyavia there are black fertile soils, thanks to which Kuyavia is called "the granary of Poland".[4]

Capital and region

Kujavian rapeseed field. The region is famous for its rapeseed oil, an essential component of local cuisine

The episcopal see of Kuyavia was probably Kruszwica, and later W?oc?awek (after the episcopal see in the early 12th century). The capital of this Duchy, and - from the late 14th century - the residences of the Voivode governors were Inowroc?aw, Brze Kujawski, and Radziejów as the seat of the shared regional Sejmik council of the two voivodeships. Today, the biggest center of Kuyavia is Bydgoszcz.[5] Also the southern part of Toru? (Podgórz) lies in the historical region.[6]

Some ethnographers and historians, for example Oskar Kolberg and Zygmunt Gloger, count the lands of Dobrzy? and Che?mno north-east of the Vistula as parts of the Kuyavia region.


The Linear Pottery culture existed in the area.[7] The earliest solid evidence of cheese-making, dating to 5,500 BC, was found in Kuyavia.[8][9]

Middle Ages

The Romanesque churches of St. Peter and St. Paul in Kruszwica (left) and of St. Procopius in Strzelno (right) are among the oldest in Poland

The beginnings of the state in Kuyavia are connected with the tribal state of the West Slavic Goplans. The Goplans, which some researchers identify with the Mazowszanie-K?obianie or simply with the Kuyavians, had created a country with the main centers in Kruszwica on the northern shore of Lake Gop?o. During the 10th century, their territory was conquered by another West Slavic tribe, the Polans settling in the adjacent Greater Polish land around Pozna? and Gniezno and upon the death of Duke Mieszko I of Poland in 992, the Kuyavia lands were part of the early Duchy of Poland, mentioned as Civitas Schinesghe as circumscribed in the Dagome iudex papal regesta.

According to Andrzej Ba?kowski, the Polans had moved into the region of Greater Poland after they had to leave together with the Morawianie, their former Pannonian territories, conquered by the Avars. According to some sources, during the war with the Goplans, the Polans were supported by a Great Moravian army. As a result of occupation of the Goplans' territory, the lands of Kuyavia were under the strong influence of the Pannonian culture and they lost their primary Masovian spirit.

When the name Cuiavia arose for the first time in the 1136 Bull of Gniezno, it referred to the lands east of Greater Poland around Kruszwica and W?oc?awek, bordering with the Vistula river. The bull confirmed the position of the Bishopric of Kuyavia at W?oc?awek as a suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Gniezno.

In the times of the Polish fragmentation upon the 1138 Testament of Boles?aw III Krzywousty, Kuyavia at first became part of the Duchy of Masovia under Boles?aw IV the Curly and his son Leszek; it was claimed by the Polish High Duke Casimir II the Just in 1186, contested by his elder brother Mieszko III the Old and his son Boles?aw. Casimir's son Duke Konrad I of Masovia in 1233 created the Duchy of Kuyavia for his second son Casimir I. When Casimir's elder brother Duke Boles?aw I of Masovia died in 1248, he took the occasion and took Dobrzy? Land east of the Vistula River from the heritage of his younger brother Siemowit I. Upon Casimir's death 1267, the Duchy of Kuyavia was divided by his sons Leszek II the Black (d. 1288), Ziemomys? (d. 1287) and W?adys?aw I the Elbow-high into the two separate duchies of Inowroc?aw and Brze Kujawski.[10]

Map of Kuyavia in the 15th-17th centuries

In 1306 Ziemomys?'s son Casimir II swore allegiance to his uncle W?adys?aw I, who began to re-unite the Lands of the Polish Crown under his rule. The duchy was devastated during the Polish-Teutonic War of 1326-32, culminating in the 1331 Battle of P?owce, but was finally restored to Poland by the Teutonic Knights in the 1343 Treaty of Kalisz. With the death of Casimir's son W?adys?aw the White in 1388, the Kuyavian line of the Piast dynasty became extinct. After the reunification of Polish lands in the 14th century, the division into provinces and counties was introduced. That division finalized in the 15th century, existed until the dissolution of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795. Kuyavia was divided into the two administrative divisions of Brze Kujawski Voivodeship and Inowroc?aw Voivodeship. The Brze Kujawski Voivodeship was further divided into five powiats (counties): Brze, Kowal, Kruszwica, Przedecz and Radziejów, while the Inowroc?aw Voivodeship was divided into the Bydgoszcz and Inowroc?aw powiats and Dobrzy? Land east of the Vistula.[11] Both voivodeships formed part of the larger Greater Poland Province of the Kingdom of Poland and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Battle of Koronowo of the Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic War was fought in the region on 10 October 1410, and ended in a Polish victory.

Partitions of Poland

As a result of the First Partition of Poland in 1772 the Kingdom of Prussia took a considerable part of Inowroc?aw Voivodeship and the western part of Brze Kujawski Voivodeship, and included it within its newly formed Netze District. After the Second Partition of 1793 the whole of Kuyavia was taken by Prussia and incorporated into the newly formed province of South Prussia. Upon the 1807 Treaties of Tilsit, it was part of the Napoleonic Duchy of Warsaw and administrated within the Bydgoszcz Department.

Old Town and Market Square in Bydgoszcz, the largest city of Kuyavia. The Cathedral of St. Martin and St. Nicholas can be seen in the background

In 1815 under the provisions of the Congress of Vienna, Kuyavia was divided between the Kingdom of Poland (Congress Poland remaining in a personal union with the Russian Empire) and the Kingdom of Prussia. While the Brze Kujawski province (counties: Aleksandrów, Radziejów and W?oc?awek) remained with the Masovia Governorate of Congress Poland, Inowroc?aw (Hohensalza) was incorporated into the Prussian Grand Duchy of Posen. The Polish population resisted anti-Polish policies, which included forced Germanisation and Russification, and took part in several uprisings incl. the Greater Poland uprising of 1848 and January Uprising of 1863-1864. That division outlasted the 1871 unification of Germany until the end of World War I.[12]

Republic of Poland

Following World War I, Poland regained independence and control of the region. Within the Second Polish Republic, from 1918, the western part of Kuyavia belonged to Pozna? Voivodeship, and the eastern part belonged to the Warsaw Voivodeship. In 1938 almost all Kuyavia became a part of Pomeranian Voivodeship. In 1934 the Muzeum Nadgopla?skie in Kruszwica was built. It was opened in 1939, and it had valuable collection of ethnographical objects, inter alia: furniture and clothing.

Monument in the Valley of Death in Bydgoszcz

Following the joint German-Soviet invasion of Poland, which started World War II in September 1939, it was occupied by Nazi Germany. During the occupation, almost all of Kuyavia was annexed into the newly formed province of Reichsgau Wartheland,[13] except the northwestern part with the city of Bydgoszcz that was annexed to the newly formed province of Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia. The Polish population was subjected to various crimes, such as mass arrests, imprisonment, slave labor, expulsions, kidnapping of children, deportations to Nazi concentration camps and extermination, incl. the Intelligenzaktion. Major sites of massacres of Poles in the region included Gniewkowo, Fordon, Otorowo, Buszkowo, Tryszczyn, Odolion and Borówno.[14] The Germans also operated subcamps of the Potulice and Stutthof concentration camps in Bydgoszcz, and the large Stalag XX-A prisoner-of-war camp for Polish, British, French, Australian and Soviet POWs in southern Toru?.[15] In 1945, the German occupation ended and the region was restored to Poland.

In the years 1945-1975 Kuyavia was in the borders of Bydgoszcz Voivodeship. The W?oc?awek Voivodeship was created in 1975, and the western part of Kuyavia remained in the Bydgoszcz Voivodeship. In 1999 almost the whole of Kuyavia was joined to the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship. Furthermore, small parts of the region were included in the borders of the Masovian Voivodeship (regions between the border of the province and Skrwa Lewa River) and Greater Poland Voivodeship (Przedecz, Wierzbinek).

Main cities and towns

City Population (2015)[16] Voivodeship in 1750 Voivodeship in 2016 City rights Additional information
1. POL Bydgoszcz COA.svg Bydgoszcz 359,428 POL województwo brzeskokujawskie IRP COA.svg Inowroc?aw POL województwo kujawsko-pomorskie COA.svg Kuyavian-Pomeranian 1346 Former royal city of Poland, part of the Bydgoszcz-Toru? metropolitan area.
2. POL W?oc?awek COA.svg W?oc?awek 114,885 POL województwo brzeskokujawskie IRP COA.svg Brze Kujawski POL województwo kujawsko-pomorskie COA.svg Kuyavian-Pomeranian 1255 Historical capital of Kuyavia.
3. POL Inowroc?aw COA (do 2010).svg Inowroc?aw 75,001 POL województwo brzeskokujawskie IRP COA.svg Inowroc?aw POL województwo kujawsko-pomorskie COA.svg Kuyavian-Pomeranian 1237/38 Spa town, former voivodeship capital.
4. POL Solec Kujawski COA.svg Solec Kujawski 15,642 POL województwo brzeskokujawskie IRP COA.svg Inowroc?aw POL województwo kujawsko-pomorskie COA.svg Kuyavian-Pomeranian 1325 Part of the Bydgoszcz-Toru? metropolitan area.
5. POL Aleksandrów Kujawski COA.svg Aleksandrów Kujawski 12,515 POL województwo brzeskokujawskie IRP COA.svg Inowroc?aw POL województwo kujawsko-pomorskie COA.svg Kuyavian-Pomeranian 1919 Part of the Bydgoszcz-Toru? metropolitan area.
6. POL Koronowo COA.svg Koronowo 11,384 POL województwo brzeskokujawskie IRP COA.svg Inowroc?aw POL województwo kujawsko-pomorskie COA.svg Kuyavian-Pomeranian 1370
7. POL Ciechocinek COA.svg Ciechocinek 10,791 POL województwo brzeskokujawskie IRP COA.svg Inowroc?aw POL województwo kujawsko-pomorskie COA.svg Kuyavian-Pomeranian 1916 Spa town.
8. POL Kruszwica COA.svg Kruszwica 9,128 POL województwo brzeskokujawskie IRP COA.svg Brze Kujawski POL województwo kujawsko-pomorskie COA.svg Kuyavian-Pomeranian 1422
9. POL Janikowo COA.svg Janikowo 9,079 POL województwo brzeskokujawskie IRP COA.svg Inowroc?aw POL województwo kujawsko-pomorskie COA.svg Kuyavian-Pomeranian 1962
10. POL Barcin COA.svg Barcin 7,752 POL województwo brzeskokujawskie IRP COA.svg Inowroc?aw POL województwo kujawsko-pomorskie COA.svg Kuyavian-Pomeranian 1541


The most successful and popular sports clubs in the region include motorcycle speedway team Polonia Bydgoszcz, basketball teams Anwil W?oc?awek (men) and Basket 25 Bydgoszcz (women) and volleyball teams Chemik Bydgoszcz (men) and Pa?ac Bydgoszcz (women).


See also


  1. ^ Jakubiak, Sylwia (2014). "Legendy Kujaw.: Kujawy". legendykujaw.blogspot.com.au.
  2. ^ "Interklasa".
  3. ^ "Strugi, rzeki, kana?y". www.nasze.kujawsko-pomorskie.pl.
  4. ^ "Interklasa".
  5. ^ "Kujawy atrakcje turystyczne Kujaw. Ciekawe miejsca w Kujawach, mapa, zdj?cia, zabytki i wycieczki Polskie Szlaki". www.polskieszlaki.pl. 30 May 2016.
  6. ^ "DIALEKTOLOGIA POLSKA". www.dialektologia.uw.edu.pl.
  7. ^ Pyzel, Joanna (March 23, 2013). "Afterlife of Early Neolithic houses in the Polish lowlands". Past Horizons.
  8. ^ Briggs, Hannah (12 December 2012). "Evidence of world's 'oldest' cheese-making found". BBC News.
  9. ^ Stromberg, Joseph (December 12, 2012). "New Discovery of 7000-Year-Old Cheese Puts Your Trader Joe's Aged Gouda to Shame". Smithsonian Mag.
  10. ^ marek.weckwerth@pomorska.pl, Marek Weckwerth. "W gnie?dzie ?okietka - Brze Kujawski". pomorska.pl.
  11. ^ Administrator. "Kujawy". www.nasze.kujawsko-pomorskie.pl.
  12. ^ "zabór pruski - Informatorium - Page 2". informatorium.ksiaznica.torun.pl.
  13. ^ Roztoki, Wojtek Z. (2017). "Wojtek z Roztoki. : Kujawy". madrosciwojtka.blogspot.com.au.
  14. ^ Wardzy?ska, Maria (2009). By? rok 1939. Operacja niemieckiej policji bezpiecze?stwa w Polsce. Intelligenzaktion (in Polish). Warszawa: IPN. pp. 158-161, 208-209.
  15. ^ Bukowska, Hanna (2013). "Obóz jeniecki Stalag XXA w Toruniu 1939-1945". Rocznik Toru?ski (in Polish). Vol. 40. Towarzystwo Mi?o?ników Torunia, Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Miko?aja Kopernika. p. 104. ISSN 0557-2177.
  16. ^ "Lista miast w Polsce (spis miast, mapa miast, liczba ludno?ci, powierzchnia, wyszukiwarka)". polskawliczbach.pl.

External links

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