Lesser Poland Voivodeship

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Lesser Poland Voivodeship (also known as Małopolska Province, or by its Polish name województwo małopolskie [vɔjɛˈvut​͡stfɔ mawɔˈpɔlskʲɛ] or simply Małopolskie) is a voivodeship, or province, in southern Poland. It has an area of 15,108 square kilometres (5,833 sq mi), and a population of 3,267,731 (2006).

It was created on 1 January 1999 out of the former Kraków, Tarnów, Nowy Sącz and parts of Bielsko-Biała,[citation needed] Katowice, Kielce and Krosno Voivodeships, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. The province's name recalls the region's traditional name, Małopolska or Lesser Poland.

The province is bounded on the north by the Świętokrzyskie Mountains (Góry Świętokrzyskie), on the west by Jura Krakowsko-Częstochowska (a broad range of hills stretching from Kraków to Częstochowa), and on the south by the Tatra, Pieniny and Beskidy Mountains. Politically it is bordered by Silesian Voivodeship to the west, Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship to the north, Subcarpathian Voivodeship to the east, and Slovakia to the south.

Malopolska Province is part of the broader ancient Małopolska region which, together with Greater Poland (Wielkopolska) and Silesia (Śląsk), formed the early medieval Polish state.

Almost all of Lesser Poland lies in the Vistula River catchment area. The city of Kraków was one of the European Cities of Culture in 2000. Kraków has railway and road connections with Katowice (expressway), Warsaw, Wrocław and Rzeszów. It lies at the crossroads of major international routes linking Dresden with Kiev, and Gdańsk with Budapest. Located here is the second largest international airport in Poland (after Warsaw's), the John Paul II International Airport.

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