Lesser Poland Voivodeship, also known as Małopolska Voivodeship or Małopolska Province, is a voivodeship, in southern Poland. It has an area of, and a population of 3,267,731 .
It was created on 1 January 1999 out of the former Kraków, Tarnów, Nowy Sącz and parts of Bielsko-Biała, Katowice, Kielce and Krosno Voivodeships, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. The provinces name recalls the traditional name of a historic Polish region, Lesser Poland, or in Polish: Małopolska. Current Lesser Poland Voivodeship, however, covers only small part of the broader ancient Małopolska region which, together with Greater Poland and Silesia, formed the early medieval Polish state. Historic Lesser Poland is much larger than the current province. It stretches far north, to Radom, and Siedlce, also including such cities, as Stalowa Wola, Lublin, Kielce, Częstochowa, and Sosnowiec.
The province is bounded on the north by the Świętokrzyskie Mountains, on the west by Jura Krakowsko-Częstochowska, 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.
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, 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, the John Paul II International Airport.
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