Lesser Poland (also "Little Poland", Polish: Małopolska, Latin: Polonia Minor) is one of the historical regions of Poland. It forms the southeastern corner of the country. It should not be confused with the modern Lesser Poland Voivodeship, which covers just a part of the historical region of Lesser Poland
Lesser Poland lies in the upper confluence of the Vistula river and covers a large upland, including the Świętokrzyskie Mountains, Lesser Polish Upland, Sandomierz Basin, and Lublin Upland. It stretches from the Carpathians in the south to Pilica and Wieprz rivers to the north. It borders Mazovia to the north, Podlachia to the northeast, Silesia to the west, Slovakia to the south and the border with Ukraine (Red Ruthenia) to the east. Historically, until World War II the region also included large parts of modern Ukraine (see Galicia). In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Lesser Poland Province (prowincja małopolska) consisted of Lesser Poland proper, Podlachia, Red Ruthenia, Volhynia, Podolia, Ukraine, and the Czernihów Voivodeship; capital: Kraków
Administratively, the historical area is divided into the voivodeships of Lesser Poland, Subcarpathia, Świętokrzyskie, Lublin, the eastern half of the neighbouring Upper Silesia, and southern parts of Masovia and Lodz.
The most notable cities of the region include:
as well as:
See main article: History of Poland.
Second Mongol raid, led by Nogai Khan.
Third Mongol raid, led by Talabuga.
Lesser Poland the main centre of Polish culture.
returning to Poland after regaining the independence.
German-occupied General Government.
The historical capital of Lesser Poland - Krakow - is regarded by many to be the cultural capital of Poland. In 1978, UNESCO placed Kraków on the list of World Heritage Sites. The wooden architecture (most notably, churches) of Lesser Poland are also on that list as well as the Wieliczka Salt Mine located on the outskirsts of Krakow. The following National Parks are located in Lesser Poland: