|Location on the map of Poland|
|Land area||5989 km²|
|Kuyavia coat of arms|
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.
In the north, Kuyavia borders with the historic regions of Prussian 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.
The Kuyavia lowlands have an average high of 100-130 meters above sea level, is post-glacial landscape, slightly undulating, in some places there are moraine hills elevations and sandy gravel embankments. In deep dykes and depressions is about 600 lakes with surface higher than 1 kilometre, under ice formation there are layers of rock-salt and potassium, under the Tertiary Period there are lignite and ceramic clay. In Kuyavia there are black fertile soils, thanks to which Kuyavia is called "the granary of Poland".
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, however it is often considered non-kujavian. Also the southern part of Toru? (Podgórz) lies in the historical region.
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 his 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-Kujawy.
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 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 union 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 voivodeship of Brze-Kujawy was further divided into five powiats: Brze, Kowal, Kruszwica, Przedecz and Radziejów, while the Inowroc?aw province was divided into the Bydgoszcz and Inowroc?aw powiats and Dobrzy? Land east of the Vistula.
As a result of the First Partition of Poland in 1772 the Kingdom of Prussia took a considerable part of Inowroc?aw and the western part of Brze-Kujawy as part of the Netze District. After the Second Partition of 1793 the whole of Kuyavia was taken by Prussia and incorporated into the South Prussia province. Upon the 1807 Treaties of Tilsit, it was part of the Napoleonic Duchy of Warsaw and administrated within the Bydgoszcz Department.
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-Kujawy 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. That division outlasted the 1871 unification of Germany until the end of World War I.
In times of Second Polish Republic, from 1918, the western part of Kuyavia belonged to Pozna?ski province, and the other part, eastern, belonged to the Warsaw province. In 1938 almost all Kuyavia became a part of Pomeranian province. 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. During World War II almost all of Kuyavia was in the borders of Warta District "Warthegau", except the region of Bydgoszcz that was joined to the Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia (German: Gau Danzig-Westpreußen).
In the years 1945-1975 Kuyavia was in the borders of Bydgoszcz province. W?oc?awek province was created in 1975, and the western part of Kuyavia remained in Bydgoszcz province. In 1999 almost the whole of Kuyavia was joined to the Kuyavian-Pomeranian province. Furthermore, small parts of the region were included in the borders of Masovia (regions between the border of the province and Skrwa Lewa River) and Greater Poland province (Przedecz, Wierzbinek).
|City||Population (2015)||Voivodeship in 1750||Voivodeship in 2016||City rights||Additional information|
|1.||Bydgoszcz||359,428||Inowroc?aw||Kuyavian-Pomeranian||1346||Former royal city of Poland, part of the Bydgoszcz-Toru? metropolitan area.|
|2.||W?oc?awek||114,885||Brze Kujawski||Kuyavian-Pomeranian||1255||Historical capital of Kuyavia.|
|3.||Inowroc?aw||75,001||Inowroc?aw||Kuyavian-Pomeranian||1237/38||Spa town, former voivodeship capital.|
|4.||Solec Kujawski||15,642||Inowroc?aw||Kuyavian-Pomeranian||1325||Part of the Bydgoszcz-Toru? metropolitan area.|
|5.||Aleksandrów Kujawski||12,515||Inowroc?aw||Kuyavian-Pomeranian||1919||Part of the Bydgoszcz-Toru? metropolitan area.|
12th-century Holy Virgin Mary church in Inowroc?aw
"The Mouse Tower" of Kruszwica castle
12th-century St. Procopus Rotunda in Strzelno