A gord is a medieval Slavic fortified wooden settlement, sometimes known as a burgwall after the German term for such sites. Gords were built during the late Bronze and early Iron Ages by the Lusatian culture, in the 8th–7th centuries CE, in what is now Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, eastern Germany, Romania/Moldova and western Ukraine; these settlements were founded on strategic sites such as hills, lake islands, or peninsulas. A typical gord was a group of wooden houses built either in rows or in circles, surrounded by one or more rings of walls made of earth and wood, a palisade, and/or moats; some gords were ring-shaped, with a round, oval, or polygonal fence or wall surrounding a hollow. Others, built on a natural hill or a man-made mound, were cone-shaped; those with a natural defense on one side, such as a river or lake, were horseshoe-shaped. Most gords were built in densely populated areas on sites that offered particular natural advantages; as Slavic tribes united to form states, gords were built for defensive purposes in less-populated border areas.
Gords in which rulers resided or that lay on trade routes expanded. Near the gord, or below it in elevation, there formed small communities of servants, merchants and others who served the higher-ranked inhabitants of the gord; each such community was known as a suburbium. Its residents could shelter within the walls of the gord in the event of danger; the suburbium acquired its own fence or wall. In the High Middle Ages, the gord evolved into a castle or citadel and the suburbium into a town; some gords did not stand the test of time and were abandoned or destroyed turning into more or less discernible mounds or rings of earth. Notable archeological sites include Poland; the term descends from the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European root ǵʰortós, enclosure. From this same root come the Germanic word elements *gard and *gart, also the names of Graz and Gartz, Germany. Cognate to these are English words such as yard, garth and court. Cognate but less related are Latin hortus, a garden, its English descendants horticulture and orchard.
Further afield, in ancient Iran, a fortified wooden settlement was called a gerd, which became jerd under Arab influence. Burugerd or Borujerd is a city in the West of Iran; the Indian suffix -garh, meaning a fort in Hindi and other Indo-Iranian languages, appears in many Indian place names. Given that both Slavic and Indo-Iranian are sub-branches of Indo-European and that there are numerous similarities in Russian vocabulary and Sanskrit vocabulary, it is plausible that garh and gorod are related, although this is contradicted by the phoneme /g/ in Indo-Iranian, which cannot be a reflex of the Indo-European palatovelar /*ǵ/; the Proto-Slavic word *gordъ differentiated into grad and gorod, etc. It is the root of various words in modern Slavic languages pertaining to fenced areas, it has evolved into words for a garden: Ukrainian город Russian огород Serbian and Macedonian градина Serbian oграда/ograda Polish ogród Slovak záhrada Czech zahradaAdditionally, it has furnished numerous modern Slavic words for a city or town: Russian gorod Ancient Pomeranian and modern Kaszubian gard Bulgarian, Croatian and Serbian град Slovak and Czech hrad or "grad" Slovene Polish gródThe names of many Central and Eastern European cities harken back to their pasts as gords.
Some of them are in countries which once were but no longer are inhabited by Slavic-speaking peoples. Examples include: Horodok Gorod Hrod Harad Hrud Horod Hrad Gard Grod Grad The Polish word for suburbium, podgrodzie means a settlement beneath a town: the gród was built at the top of a hill, the podgrodzie at its foot; the word survives in the names of several villages and town districts, as well as in the names of the German municipalities Puttgarden and Putgarten, Rügen. The fort at Cape Arkona – the Jaromarsburg Garz Castle the fort of Charenza near Venz in the municipality of Trent the Herthaburg near the Stubbenkammer in the Jasmund National Park Mecklenburg Castle in the village of Dorf Mecklenburg near Wismar the fort of Groß Raden near Sternberg the fort of Behren-Lübchin reconstructed in the Groß Raden Archaeological Open Air Museum Gädebehn Castle in the county of Mecklenburgische Seenplatte Ganschendorf Castle in the county of Mecklenburgische Seenplatte the fort of Grapenwerder in the county of Mecklenburgische Seenplatte Quadenschönfeld Castle in the county of Mecklenburgische Seenplatte Neu Nieköhr Castle in the county of Rostock the fort of Neu-Kentzlin between Demmin und Stavenhagen Mölln Castle in the county of Mecklenburgische Seenplatte Möllenhagen Castle in the county of Mecklenburgische Seenplatte
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine, located in the north-central part of the country on the Dnieper. The population in July 2015 was 2,887,974. Kiev is an important industrial, scientific and cultural center of Eastern Europe, it is home to many high-tech industries, higher education institutions, world-famous historical landmarks. The city has an extensive infrastructure and developed system of public transport, including the Kiev Metro; the city's name is said to derive from the name of one of its four legendary founders. During its history, one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, passed through several stages of great prominence and relative obscurity; the city existed as a commercial centre as early as the 5th century. A Slavic settlement on the great trade route between Scandinavia and Constantinople, Kiev was a tributary of the Khazars, until its capture by the Varangians in the mid-9th century. Under Varangian rule, the city became a capital of the first East Slavic state.
Destroyed during the Mongol invasions in 1240, the city lost most of its influence for the centuries to come. It was a provincial capital of marginal importance in the outskirts of the territories controlled by its powerful neighbours; the city prospered again during the Russian Empire's Industrial Revolution in the late 19th century. In 1917, after the Ukrainian National Republic declared independence from the Russian Empire, Kiev became its capital. From 1921 onwards Kiev was a city of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, proclaimed by the Red Army, from 1934, Kiev was its capital. During World War II, the city again suffered significant damage, but recovered in the post-war years, remaining the third largest city of the Soviet Union. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and Ukrainian independence in 1991, Kiev remained the capital of Ukraine and experienced a steady migration influx of ethnic Ukrainians from other regions of the country. During the country's transformation to a market economy and electoral democracy, Kiev has continued to be Ukraine's largest and richest city.
Kiev's armament-dependent industrial output fell after the Soviet collapse, adversely affecting science and technology. But new sectors of the economy such as services and finance facilitated Kiev's growth in salaries and investment, as well as providing continuous funding for the development of housing and urban infrastructure. Kiev emerged as the most pro-Western region of Ukraine where parties advocating tighter integration with the European Union dominate during elections. Kiev is the traditional and most used English name for the city; the Ukrainian government however uses Kyiv as the mandatory romanization where legislative and official acts are translated into English. As a prominent city with a long history, its English name was subject to gradual evolution; the early English spelling was derived from Old East Slavic form Kyjevŭ. The name is associated with that of the legendary eponymous founder of the city. Early English sources use various names, including Kiou, Kiew, Kiovia. On one of the oldest English maps of the region, Moscoviae et Tartariae published by Ortelius the name of the city is spelled Kiou.
On the 1650 map by Guillaume de Beauplan, the name of the city is Kiiow, the region was named Kÿowia. In the book Travels, by Joseph Marshall, the city is referred to as Kiovia; the form Kiev is based on Russian orthography and pronunciation, during a time when Kiev was in the Russian Empire. In English, Kiev was used in print as early as in 1804 in the John Cary's "New map of Europe, from the latest authorities" in "Cary's new universal atlas" published in London; the English travelogue titled New Russia: Journey from Riga to the Crimea by way of Kiev, by Mary Holderness was published in 1823. By 1883, the Oxford English Dictionary included Kiev in a quotation. Kyiv is the romanized version of the name of the city used in modern Ukrainian. Following independence in 1991, the Ukrainian government introduced the national rules for transliteration of geographic names from Ukrainian into English. According to the rules, the Ukrainian Київ transliterates into Kyiv; this has established the use of the spelling Kyiv in all official documents issued by the governmental authorities since October 1995.
The spelling is used by the United Nations, European Union, all English-speaking foreign diplomatic missions, several international organizations, Encarta encyclopedia, by some media in Ukraine. In October 2006, the United States Board on Geographic Names unanimously voted to change its standard transliteration to Kyiv, effective for the entire U. S. government, although'Kiev' remains the BGN conventional name for this city. The alternate romanizations Kyyiv and Kyjiv are in use in English-language atlases. Many major English-language news sources like the BBC, The New York Times continue to prefer Kiev, but others have adopted Kyiv in their style guides, including The Economist and The Guardian. Kiev, one of the oldest cities of Eastern Europe, played a pivotal role in the development of the medieval East Slavic civilization as well as in the modern Ukrainian nation. Scholars debate as to period of the foundation of the city: some date the founding to the late 9th century, other historians
Lesser Poland known by its Polish name Małopolska, is a historical region of Poland. It should not be confused with the modern Lesser Poland Voivodeship, which covers only the south-western part of Lesser Poland. Historical Lesser Poland was much bigger than the current voivodeship, it reached from Bielsko-Biała in the south-west as far as to Siedlce in the north-east. It consisted of the three voivodeships of Sandomierz and Lublin, it comprised 60,000 km2 in area. Its landscape is hilly, with the Carpathian Mountains in the south, it has been noted for rich nobility. In the wider sense, Lesser Poland from the 14th century encompassed Red Ruthenia. From the 16th century it included Podlachia and parts of modern Ukraine. In the era of partitions, the southern part, known as Galicia, was sometimes called Lesser Poland; as a result of this long-lasting division, many inhabitants of the northern part of the pre-partition region of Poland do not recognize their Lesser Polish identity. However, while Lublin was declared an independent Voivodeship as early as 1474, it still has speakers of the Lesser Polish dialect.
In addition, it has various local traditions as well as cuisine that have been carried forward since the time of Lesser Poland. Lesser Poland lies in the area of the upper confluence of the Vistula river and covers a large upland, including the Świętokrzyskie Mountains with the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland further west, Małopolska Upland, Sandomierz Basin, Lublin Upland. Unlike other historical parts of the country, such as Kujawy, Podlachia, Pomerania, or Greater Poland, Lesser Poland is hilly, with Poland's highest peak, located within the borders of the province. Flat are northern and central areas of the province – around Tarnobrzeg, Stalowa Wola and Siedlce valleys of the main rivers – the Vistula, the Pilica, the San. Apart from Rysy, there are several other peaks located in the province – Pilsko, Babia Góra, Turbacz, as well as Łysica in the Świętokrzyskie Mountains. Southern part of the province is covered by the Carpathian Mountains, which are made of smaller ranges, such as Pieniny and Beskidy.
Whole area is located in the Vistula Basin, with the exception of western and southern parts, belonging to the Odra and Dunaj Basins. Main rivers of the province are the Vistula, upper Warta, Soła, Raba, Wisłok, Wisłoka, Wieprz, Nida, Kamienna and Pilica. Major lakes of the province are: Lake Rożnów, Lake Czchów, Lake Dobczyce, Lake Czorsztyn, Lake Czaniec, Lake Międzybrodzie, Lake Klimkówka and Żywiec Lake. Most of them are man-made reservoirs. Lesser Poland stretches from the Carpathians in the south to Liwiec rivers to the north, it borders Mazovia to the north, Podlaskie to the northeast, Red Ruthenia to the east, Slovakia to the south, Silesia to the west, Greater Poland to the northwest. The region is divided between Polish voivodeships – Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, Silesian Voivodeship, Podkarpackie Voivodeship, Masovian Voivodeship, Łódź Voivodeship, Lublin Voivodeship. In Silesian Voivodeship, the border between Silesia and Lesser Poland is easy to draw, because with few exceptions, it goes along boundaries of local counties.
In the south, it goes along western boundary of ancient Duchy of Teschen, with the borderline along the Biała river, where Zwardoń, Milówka, Rajcza are in Lesser Poland. Bielsko-Biała is a city made of two parts – Lesser Poland's Biala, makes eastern half of the city, only in 1951 it merged with Silesian Bielsko. Further north, the border goes along western boundaries of cities of Jaworzno, Sosnowiec, along the Przemsza and Brynica rivers, it goes northwest, leaving Czeladź, Koziegłowy, Blachownia, Kłobuck and Krzepice within Lesser Poland. From Krzepice, the border goes eastwards, towards Koniecpol, along the Pilica river, with such towns as Przedborz, Drzewica, Białobrzegi, Kozienice within Lesser Poland. East of Białobrzegi, the boundary goes along the Radomka river, to the Vistula. East of the Vistula, the boundary goes north of Łaskarzew and Żelechów, south of Mazovian town of Garwolin, turning northwest. Extreme northern point of the province is marked by the Liwiec river, with both Siedlce, Łuków being part of Lesser Poland.
The line goes south, with Miedzyrzec Podlaski being part of historical Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Radzyń Podlaski as well as Parczew left in Lesser Poland. Between the Vistula and the Bug Rivers, eastern border of Lesser Poland goes west of Leczna, but east of Krasnystaw and Szczebrzeszyn, both of which belong to Red Ruthenia. Further south, Lesser Poland includes Frampol, Biłgoraj, which lies in the southeastern corner on Lesser Poland's historical Lublin Voivodeship, close to the border with Red Ruthenia; the border goes west of Biłgoraj, turning south, towards Leżajsk. Boundary between Lesser Poland and Red Ruthenia was described by Ukrainian historian and geographer Myron Korduba along the line Dukla – Krosno – Domaradz – Czudec – Krzeszów nad Sanem. Lesser Poland border towns were: Rudnik, Ropczyce, Sędziszów Małopolski, Strzyżów, Jasło, Biecz
The Oder is a river in Central Europe and Poland's third-longest river after the Vistula and Warta. It rises in the Czech Republic and flows 742 kilometres through western Poland forming 187 kilometres of the border between Poland and Germany as part of the Oder–Neisse line; the river flows into the Szczecin Lagoon north of Szczecin and into three branches that empty into the Bay of Pomerania of the Baltic Sea. The Oder is known by several names in different languages, but the modern ones are similar: English and German: Oder. Ptolemy knew the modern Oder as the Συήβος, a name derived from the Suebi, a Germanic people. While he refers to an outlet in the area as the Οὐιαδούα Ouiadoua, this was the modern Wieprz, as it was said to be a third of the distance between the Suebos and Vistula; the name Suebos may be preserved in the modern name of the Świna river, an outlet from the Szczecin Lagoon to the Baltic. In the Old Church Slavonic language, the name of the river is Vjodr; the Oder is 840 kilometres long: 112 km in the Czech Republic, 726 km in Poland and is the third longest river located within Poland, second longest river overall taking into account its total length, including parts in neighbouring countries.
It drains a basin of 119,074 square kilometres, 106,043 km2 of which are in Poland, 7,246 km2 in the Czech Republic, 5,587 km2 in Germany. Channels connect it to the Havel, Vistula system and Kłodnica, it flows through Silesian, Lower Silesian and West Pomeranian voivodeships of Poland and the states of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany. The main branch empties into the Szczecin Lagoon near Poland; the Szczecin Lagoon is bordered on the north by the islands of Wolin. Between these two islands, there is only a narrow channel going to the Bay of Pomerania, which forms a part of the Baltic Sea; the largest city on the Oder is Wrocław, in Lower Silesia. The Oder is navigable over a large part of its total length, as far upstream as the town of Koźle, where the river connects to the Gliwice Canal; the upstream part of the river is canalized and permits larger barges to navigate between the industrial sites around the Wrocław area. Further downstream the river is free flowing, passing the towns of Eisenhüttenstadt and Frankfurt upon Oder.
Downstream of Frankfurt the river Warta forms a navigable connection with Poznań and Bydgoszcz for smaller vessels. At Hohensaaten the Oder–Havel Canal connects with the Berlin waterways again. Near its mouth the Oder reaches the city of a major maritime port; the river reaches the Baltic Sea through the Szczecin Lagoon and the river mouth at Świnoujście. Under Germania Magna the river was known to the Romans as the Viadrus or Viadua in Classical Latin, as it was a branch of the Amber Road from the Baltic Sea to the Roman Empire. In Germanic languages, including English, it was and still is called the Oder, written in medieval Latin documents as Odera or Oddera. Most notably, it was mentioned in the Dagome iudex, which described territory of the Duchy of Poland under Duke Mieszko I in A. D. 990, as a part of duchy's western frontier. Before Slavs settled along its banks, the Oder was an important trade route and towns in Germania were documented along with many tribes living between the rivers Albis and Vistula.
Centuries after Germanic tribes, the Bavarian Geographer specified the following West Slavic peoples: Sleenzane, Opolanie and Golensizi in Silesia and Wolinians with Pyrzycans in Western Pomerania. A document of the Bishopric of Prague mentions Zlasane, Trebovyane and Dedositze in Silesia. In the 13th century, the first dams were built to protect agricultural lands; the Finow Canal, first built in 1605, connects the Havel. After completion of the more straight Oder–Havel Canal in 1914, its economic relevance decreased; the earliest important undertaking with a view to improving the waterway was initiated by Frederick the Great, who recommended diverting the river into a new and straight channel in the swampy tract known as Oderbruch near Küstrin. The work was carried out in the years 1746–53, a large tract of marshland being brought under cultivation, a considerable detour cut off and the main stream confined to a canal. In the late 19th century, three additional alterations were made to the waterway: The canalization of the main stream at Breslau, from the confluence of the Glatzer Neisse to the mouth of the Klodnitz Canal, a distance of over 50 miles.
These engineering works were completed in 1896. During 1887–91 the Oder–Spree Canal was made to connect the two rivers; the deepening and regulation of the mouth and lower course of the stream. By the Treaty of Versailles, navigation on the Oder became subject to International Commission of the Oder. Following the articles 363 and 364 of the Treaty Czechoslovakia was entitled to lease in Stettin its own section in the harbour called Tschechoslowakische Zone im Hafen Stettin; the contract of lease between Czechoslovakia and German
Poznań is a city on the Warta River in west-central Poland, in the Greater Poland region and is the fifth-largest city in Poland. It is best known for its renaissance Old Ostrów Tumski Cathedral. Today, Poznań is an important cultural and business centre and one of Poland's most populous regions with many regional customs such as Saint John's Fair, traditional Saint Martin's croissants and a local dialect. Poznań is among the largest cities in Poland; the city's population is 538,633, while the continuous conurbation with Poznań County and several other communities is inhabited by 1.1 million people. The Larger Poznań Metropolitan Area is inhabited by 1.3–1.4 million people and extends to such satellite towns as Nowy Tomyśl, Gniezno and Września, making it the fourth largest metropolitan area in Poland. It is the historical capital of the Greater Poland region and is the administrative capital of the province called Greater Poland Voivodeship. Poznań is a centre of trade, education and tourism.
It is an important academic site, with about 130,000 students and the Adam Mickiewicz University - the third largest Polish university. Poznań is the seat of the oldest Polish diocese, now being one of the most populous archdioceses in the country; the city hosts the Poznań International Fair – the biggest industrial fair in Poland and one of the largest fairs in Europe. The city's most renowned landmarks include Poznań Town Hall, the National Museum, Grand Theatre, Poznań Cathedral and the Imperial Castle. Poznań is classified as a Gamma - global city by World Cities Research Network, it has topped rankings as a city with high quality of education and a high standard of living. It ranks in safety and healthcare quality; the city of Poznań has many times, won the prize awarded by "Superbrands" for a high quality city brand. In 2012, the Poznań's Art and Business Center "Stary Browar" won a competition organised by National Geographic Traveller and was given the first prize as one of the seven "New Polish Wonders".
The official patron saints of Poznań are Saint Peter and Paul of Tarsus, the patrons of the cathedral. Martin of Tours – the patron of the main street Święty Marcin is regarded as one of the patron saints of the city; the name Poznań comes from a personal name and would mean "Poznan's town". It is possible that the name comes directly from the verb poznać, which means "to get to know" or "to recognize," so it may mean "known town"; the earliest surviving references to the city are found in the chronicles of Thietmar of Merseburg, written between 1012 and 1018: episcopus Posnaniensis and ab urbe Posnani. The city's name appears in documents in the Latin nominative case as Posnania in 1236 and Poznania in 1247; the phrase in Poznan appears in 1146 and 1244. The city's full official name is Stołeczne Miasto Poznań, in reference to its role as a centre of political power in the early Polish state. Poznań is known as Posen in German, was called Haupt- und Residenzstadt Posen between 20 August 1910 and 28 November 1918.
The Latin names of the city are Civitas Posnaniensis. Its Yiddish name is Poyzn. In Polish, the city name has masculine grammatical gender. For centuries before the Christianization of Poland, Poznań was an important cultural and political centre of the Polan tribe. Mieszko I, the first recorded ruler of the Polans, of the early Polish state which they dominated, built one of his main stable headquarters in Poznań. Mieszko's baptism of 966, seen as a defining moment in the Christianization of the Polish state, may have taken place in Poznań. Following the baptism, construction began of the first in Poland. Poznań was the main seat of the first missionary bishop sent to Poland, Bishop Jordan; the Congress of Gniezno in 1000 led to the country's first permanent archbishopric being established in Gniezno, although Poznań continued to have independent bishops of its own. Poznań's cathedral was the place of burial of the early Piast monarchs, of Przemysł I and King Przemysł II; the pagan reaction that followed Mieszko II's death in 1034 left the region weak, in 1038, Duke Bretislaus I of Bohemia sacked and destroyed both Poznań and Gniezno.
Poland was reunited under Casimir I the Restorer in 1039, but the capital was moved to Kraków, unaffected by the troubles. In 1138, by the testament of Bolesław III, Poland was divided into separate duchies under the late king's sons, Poznań and its surroundings became the domain of Mieszko III the Old, the first of the Dukes of Greater Poland; this period of fragmentation lasted until 1320. Duchies changed hands. In about 1249, Duke Przemysł I began constructing what would become the Royal Castle on a hill on the left bank of the Warta. In 1253 Przemysł issued a charter to Thomas of Guben for the founding of a town under Magdeburg law, between the castle and the river. Thomas brought a large number of German settlers to aid in
Mazovia is a historical region in mid-north-eastern Poland. It spans the North European Plain between Lodz and Bialystok, with Warsaw being the unofficial capital and largest city. Throughout the centuries, Mazovia developed a separate sub-culture featuring diverse folk songs, architecture and traditions different to those of other Poles. Historical Mazovia existed from the Middle Ages until the partitions of Poland and consisted of three voivodeships with the capitals in Warsaw, Płock and Rawa; the main city of the region was Płock, however, in the Early Modern Times it lost its importance to Warsaw, which became the capital of Poland. From 1138, Mazovia was governed by a separate branch of the Piast dynasty and when the last ruler of the independent Duchy of Mazovia died, it was incorporated to the Polish Crown in 1526. During the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth over 20% of Mazovian population was categorized as petty nobility. Between 1816 and 1844, the Mazovian Governorate was established, which encompassed the south of the region along with Łęczyca Land and south-eastern Kuyavia.
The former inhabitants of Mazovia are the Masurians, who, as Protestants, took refuge in neighboring East Prussia in the so-called region of Masuria. The borders of contemporary Mazovian Voivodeship, created in 1999, do not reflect its original size as they don't include the Mazovian cities of Łomża and Łowicz, but include the Lesser Polish Radom and Siedlce. Mazovia has a landscape without lakes, it is spread over the Mazovian Lowland, on both sides of the Vistula river and its confluence with Narew and Bug. Forests cover one-fifth of the region, with the large Kampinos Forest, Puszcza Biała and Puszcza Zielona. In the north Mazovia borders on the Masurian subregion of former Prussia, in the east on Podlachia, in the south on Lesser Poland and in the west on Greater Poland; the area of Mazovia is 33,500 km2. It has population of 5 million; when the Slavs came to this region from the surrounding area of Polesie, they mingled with the descendants of Vistula Veneti and with other people who had settled here such as the Wielbark people.
This created a Lechitic tribe: Mazovians. The historical region of Mazovia in the beginning encompassed only the territories on the right bank of Vistula near Płock and had strong connections with Greater Poland. In the period of the rule of the first monarchs of the Piast State, Płock was one of their seats, on the Cathedral Hill they raised palatium. In the period 1037 -- 1047 it was the capital of the Mazovian state of Masław. Between 1079 and 1138 this city was de facto the capital of Poland. Since 1075 it has been the seat of the diocese encompassing northern Mazovia. During the 9th century Mazovia was inhabited by the tribe of Mazovians, it was incorporated into the Polish state in the second half of 10th century under the Piast ruler Mieszko I. In 1138 the duchy of Mazovia was established, during the 12th and 13th centuries it joined temporarily various adjacent lands and endured invasions of Prussians and Ruthenians. To protect its northern section Conrad I of Mazovia called in the Teutonic Knights in 1226 and granted them the Chełmno Land.
After the reunification of the Polish state by Władysław I in the early 14th century, Mazovia became its fief in 1351. In the second half of 15th century western Mazovia and in 1526/1529 the main part was incorporated into the Polish state. In the 15th century the eastern part of the region was settled by the yeomanry. Mazovia was considered underdeveloped in comparison with Greater Poland and Lesser Poland, with the lowest urban population. In the Early Modern Times Mazovia was known for exporting grain and fur, it was distinct because there was no reformation here. Mazovia was divided into three voivodeships, each of them divided into lands, each of them divided into counties; the Polish-Lithuanian Union of Lublin established Mazovia as the central region of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, with Warsaw rising to prominence as the seat of the state legislature. In 1596 King Sigismund III Vasa moved the Polish capital from Kraków to Warsaw. During the 17th and 18th centuries Swedish, Transylvanian and Russian invasions wreaked havoc on the region.
In 1793 western Mazovia, two years the rest of the region became part of Prussia. In 1807 it became part of the Duchy of Warsaw. In 1815 the region was incorporated into the Congress Kingdom of Poland, dependent on Russia. In the 19th century Mazovia was the site of Polish rebellions against Russian rule. In that era pre-partition Mazovia was divided among Płock and Augustów. Since 1918 Mazovia has been a part of the resurrected Poland, being equivalent to the Warsaw Voivodeship. Under the German occupation of Warsaw during World War II, the city’s population decreased as a result of executions, the extermination of the city’s Jews, the deaths of some 200,000 inhabitants during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, the deportation of the city’s left-bank population following the uprising. Shortly after
History of Poland during the Piast dynasty
The period of rule by the Piast dynasty between the 10th and 14th centuries is the first major stage of the history of the Polish nation. The dynasty was founded by a series of dukes listed by the chronicler Gallus Anonymous in the early 12th century: Siemowit and Siemomysł, it was Mieszko I, the son of Siemomysł, now considered the proper founder of the Polish state at about 960 AD. The ruling house remained in power in the Polish lands until 1370. Mieszko converted to Christianity of the Western Latin Rite in an event known as the Baptism of Poland in 966, which established a major cultural boundary in Europe based on religion, he completed a unification of the West Slavic tribal lands, fundamental to the existence of the new country of Poland. Following the emergence of the Polish state, a series of rulers converted the population to Christianity, created a kingdom of Poland in 1025 and integrated Poland into the prevailing culture of Europe. Mieszko's son Bolesław I the Brave established a Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Gniezno, pursued territorial conquests and was crowned in 1025 as the first king of Poland.
The first Piast monarchy collapsed with the death of Mieszko II Lambert in 1034, followed by its restoration under Casimir I in 1042. In the process, the royal dignity for Polish rulers was forfeited, the state reverted to the status of a duchy. Duke Casimir's son Bolesław II the Bold revived the military assertiveness of Bolesław I, but became fatally involved in a conflict with Bishop Stanislaus of Szczepanów and was expelled from the country. Bolesław III, the last duke of the early period, succeeded in defending his country and recovering territories lost. Upon his death in 1138, Poland was divided among his sons; the resulting internal fragmentation eroded the initial Piast monarchical structure in the 12th and 13th centuries and caused fundamental and lasting changes. Konrad I of Masovia invited the Teutonic Knights to help him fight the Baltic Prussian pagans, which led to centuries of Poland's warfare with the Knights and the German Prussian state. In 1320, the kingdom was restored under Władysław I the Elbow-high strengthened and expanded by his son Casimir III the Great.
The western provinces of Silesia and Pomerania were lost after the fragmentation, Poland began expanding to the east. The period ended with the reigns of two members of the Capetian House of Anjou between 1370 and 1384; the consolidation in the 14th century laid the base for the new powerful kingdom of Poland, to follow. The tribe of the Polans in what is now Greater Poland gave rise to a tribal predecessor of the Polish state in the early part of the 10th century, with the Polans settling in the flatlands around the emerging strongholds of Giecz, Poznań, Gniezno and Ostrów Lednicki. Accelerated rebuilding of old tribal fortified settlements, construction of massive new ones and territorial expansion took place during the period ca. 920–950. The Polish state developed from these tribal roots in the second half of the century. According to the 12th-century chronicler Gallus Anonymus, the Polans were ruled at this time by the Piast dynasty. In existing sources from the 10th century, Piast ruler Mieszko I was first mentioned by Widukind of Corvey in his Res gestae saxonicae, a chronicle of events in Germany.
Widukind reported that Mieszko's forces were twice defeated in 963 by the Veleti tribes acting in cooperation with the Saxon exile Wichmann the Younger. Under Mieszko's rule, his tribal state became the Polish state; the viability of the Mieszko's emerging state was assured by the persistent territorial expansion of the early Piast rulers. Beginning with a small area around Gniezno, the Piast expansion lasted throughout most of the 10th century and resulted in a territory approximating that of present-day Poland; the Polanie tribe conquered and merged with other Slavic tribes and first formed a tribal federation later a centralized state. After the addition of Lesser Poland, the country of the Vistulans, of Silesia, Mieszko's state reached its mature form, including the main regions regarded as ethnically Polish; the Piast lands totaled about 250,000 km2 in area, with an approximate population of under one million. A pagan, Mieszko I was the first ruler of the Polans tribal union known from contemporary written sources.
A detailed account of aspects of Mieszko's early reign was given by Ibrâhîm ibn Ya`qûb, a Jewish traveler, according to whom Mieszko was one of four Slavic "kings" established in central and southern Europe in the 960s. In 965, allied with Boleslaus I, Duke of Bohemia at the time, married the duke's daughter Doubravka, a Christian princess. Mieszko's conversion to Christianity in its Western Latin Rite followed on 14 April 966, an event known as the Baptism of Poland, considered to be the founding event of the Polish state. In the aftermath of Mieszko's victory over a force of the Velunzani in 967, led by Wichmann, the first missionary bishop was appointed: Jordan, bishop of Poland; the action counteracted the intended eastern expansion of the Magdeburg Archdiocese, established at about the same time. Mieszko's state had a complex political relationship with the German Holy Roman Empire, as Mieszko was a "friend", ally and vassal of Holy Roman Emperor Otto I and paid him tribute from the western part of his lands.
Mieszko fought wars with the Polabian Slavs, the Czechs, Margrave Gero of the Saxon Eastern March in 963–964 and Margrave Odo I of the Saxon Eastern March in 972 in the Battle of Cedynia. The victories over Wichmann an