Lower Silesia – a land situated in the south-western Poland numbered among the most beautiful and the most attractive regions of Poland and Europe. Variations, seen in almost every manifestation of life of the region, determine its attractiveness – from terrain and natural wealth to culture and economy. The centuries-old confluence of cultures and traditions of many nations is the phenomenon of Lower Silesia determining its uniqueness in this part of Europe. The region, which covers Silesian and Silesian-Lusatian Lowlands, Sudetes Foothills and the Sudetes Mountains, has been tempting with its beauty and mystery for centuries: vast mountain ranges and picturesque basins, intersected by rushing mountain streams, the currents of which gently murmur in the lowlands. This is a land with wildlife nooks abundant in many unique plants and animals, but also in beautiful cities, boasting magnificent, centuries-old monuments. The number and the rank of monuments, is what distinguishes Lower Silesia from the rest of Poland. There are trails of Piastsfi and Cistercian castles, disappearing professions, a network of underground tourist routes, frontier castles, monumental palaces, fish ponds in the vicinity of Milicz and Przemków, national parks, nature reserves, rocky labyrinths, natural climbing rocks, monuments of industrial architecture and facilities included in the list of UNESCO , the largest number of spas in Poland, skiing slopes, affordable agritourist farms, luxurious hotels, opera houses, over a hundred bridges of the City of Wrocław, deposits of gemstones, semiprecious stones and even gold. Lower Silesia has all of this. Lower Silesia is, as the name suggests, situated (for the most part) in the lowlands of Silesia – the old, historic land. Lower Silesia is the south-western part of Poland – from the west it borders with Germany on the Nysa Łużycka line, and in the south with the Czech Republic; the border here is mostly formed by the mountains and runs along the peaks of the Sudetes. The northern parts of Lower Silesia run along the vast lowland Forests of Lower Silesia and scenic moraine hills of the so-called Trzebnica Moraine and the Barycz Valley. The Silesian Lowland stretches from east to west from Opole in the east to Żary and Żagań in the west. The border line of the lowlands is the Oder River, the second longest river in Poland.
The River Oder is navigable up to the Szczecin Lagoon. The Sudetes, however, have the dominant role in the landscape of Lower Silesia – a mountain range in the southern part of the region stretching from south-east to north-west over nearly 300 km. The individual ranges of these mountains are characterized by diversity and richness of the landscape, and the different geological structures. The highest mountain group is the Karkonosze Mountains with the Śnieżka Peak, 1603 metres above the sea level. Together with the Sudetes Foothills, the Sudetes Mountains are the most interesting part of Lower Silesia, very popular among tourists. Part of the Sudetes Foothills to the south and southwest of Wroclaw is covered by Strzelińskie Hills with the largest granite quarries in Europe, and the Ślęża Massif – a mountain group mysteriously emerging among the treeless plains of the Lowland with the Ślęża Mountain visible from a distance of tens of kilometres.
The climate of the Silesian Lowland is mild, especially on the Oder River. There is the longest and the shortest summer in Poland. Winter in the Sudetes starts in October and tends to last until April. There are 12 parks, two national parks and numerous nature reserves in Lower Silesia. Lower Silesia is a corner of health. There are 11 health resorts located in the picturesque surroundings tempting with their specific microclimate and charming spas. The cities full of historic buildings, magnificent temples, castles and residences of the nobility show the glorious past of the region. There are many monuments of engineering too – the old mines, tunnels, dams and strongholds. Over the years, Lower Silesia has repeatedly changed its state affiliation. It was under the rule of the Polish dukes of the Piast dynasty, Czech and Prussian kings, as well as Austrian and German emperors.
The inhabitants of these lands have also changed over the centuries. Traces of people from as early as the Palaeolithic period have been discovered here. Celts, Vandals and Sillings lived here to the beginning of our era on large areas of Silesia, and Slavic tribes migrated here in the 6th century. German colonization began already during the reign of the Polish Piasts. As a result of World War II, the German population had to leave Lower Silesia, and Poles from different districts of Poland, particularly from the eastern frontier lands lost by the Republic of Poland, came in their place.
The present Dolnośląskie Voivodeship corresponds essentially to its historical borders. The area of Lower Silesia is 19,947.2 km2.
Population – 2,970,100. The City of Wrocław, the fourth largest city of Poland, is the capital of the voivodeship.