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Lublin (pronounce: Missing image

['lublin]) is the biggest city in eastern Poland and the capital of Lublin Voivodship with a population of 355,954 (2004).

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The first permanent settlement on the site of Lublin was located in the present suburbs of Czwartek and Dziesiąta between the 6th century and 7th century. In the 10th century and 11th century the Czwartek settlement developed into an important trade centre. In the 12th century a fortified settlement was established, to protect Polish lands from eastern invasions. It was at that time that the name Lublin first began to be used. The oldest historical document mentioning the name Lublin dates from 1198.

The city was a target of attacks by Tatars, Ruthenes, Yotvingians and Lithuanians and was destroyed a number of times. It received a city charter in 1317. Casimir the Great, appreciating the strategic importance of the site, built a masonry castle in 1341 and encircled the city with defensive walls.

In 1392 the city received an important trade privilege from king Władysław Jagiełło, and with the coming of the peace between Poland and Lithuania developed into a great trade centre carrying a large portion of commerce between the two countries. In 1474 the area around Lublin was combined to form the Lublin Voivodship. In the 15th century and 16th century the town grew rapidly. In Lublin the biggest trade fairs of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth were held. During the 16th century the noble parliaments (sejm) were held in Lublin a number of times. On June 26, 1569, one of them proclaimed the Polish-Lithuanian Union (Lublin Union).

Some of the artists and writers of the Polish renaissance lived and worked in Lublin, including Sebastian Klonowic and Jan Kochanowski, who died in the city in 1584. In 1578 the Crown Tribunal was established in the city, this being the highest court of the Lesser Poland (Małopolska) region.

Since the second half of the 16th century Reformation movements developed in Lublin, and a large congregation of Polish Brethren was present in the city. One of Poland's most important Jewish communities was also established in Lublin around this time. It continued to be a vital part of the city's life until the community ceased to exist during the Nazi Holocaust. Between 1580 and 1764 the Jewish Council of Four Lands Arba Aracot (Sejm of 4 countries) was held in Lublin. 70 delegates of Jewish local kahals met to discuss issue of taxations and other important for Jewish communities issues.

Students came to Lublin from all over Europe to study at the yeshiva there. The yeshiva became a centre of learning of both Talmud and Kaballah. The great scholarship of those who studied there led to the city being named the "Jewish Oxford"; the Rosh yeshiva received the title of rector and equal rights to those in Polish universities with the permission of the King in 1567.

In the 17th century, the town suffered a decline due to the Swedish invasion during the Northern Wars. After the Third of the Partitions of Poland in 1795 Lublin was located in Austrian Empire, then since 1809 in the Duchy of Warsaw, and then since 1815 in the Congress Poland under Russian rule. At the beginning of the 19th century a number of modern urban developments took place, with new squares, streets, and public buildings coming into existence. In 1877 a railway connection to Warsaw and Kovel was built, which spurred industrial development in the city. Lublin's population grew from 28,900 in 1873 to 50,150 in 1897.

The Russian rule ended in 1915, when the city was occupied by German and Austro-Hungarian armies. After the defeat of the Central Powers in 1918, the first government of independent Poland operated in Lublin for a short time. In the inter war years, the city continued to develop, its population grew, and important industrial enterprises were established, including the first aviation factory in Poland. The Catholic University of Lublin was founded in 1918. The city contained a vibrant Jewish community which formed around 40% of Lublin's population.

After the 1939 German invasion of Poland the city found itself in the General Government. During the German occupation the city's population was a target of various repressions by the occupiers, with a particularly grim fate reserved for the Jewish inhabitants. The city served as a German headquarters for Operation Reinhardt, the main German effort to exterminate the Jews in occupied Poland. Lublin's Jewish population was forced into the Lublin ghetto established around the area of Podzamcze. The majority of the ghetto's inhabitants, about 26,000 people, were deported to the Bełżec death camp between 17 March and 11 April, 1942. The remainder were moved to facilities around Majdanek, a large concentration camp established at the outskirts of the city. Most of them were killed by the the war's end. After the war the few Jews which survived in hiding or by escaping to Soviet territory reestablished a small Jewish community in the city, but it quickly shrank to insignificance as most Jews left Poland for Israel and the West in the immediate postwar years. The Majdanek camp, together with the prison established in the Lublin castle, also served as a major centre of terror measures aimed at the non-Jewish population of Lublin and the surrounding district.

In 1944 the city was "liberated" (this definition is open to interpretation) by the Soviet Army and became the first postwar Polish capital, with a Soviet-sponsored Polish Committee of National Liberation (PKWN in Polish) established in the city. The capital was moved to Warsaw once that city was liberated in January, 1945. In the postwar years Lublin continued to grow, tripling its population and greatly expanding in area. A considerable scientific and research base was established around the newly founded Maria Curie-Sklodowska University. A large automobile factory was established in the city.

In July, 1980, the workers of Lublin and nearby Swidnik began the first in the wave of mass strikes aimed against the Communist regime, which eventually led to the emergence of the Solidarity movement. The first strike began on July 8 in the WSK factory in Swidnik. It then quickly spread to other factories in Lublin and the surrounding region. The railroad network and city transit came to a standstill. Ultimately 150 factories employing 50,000 workers joined the strike. The strikers used a novel tactic of staying inside their factories and occupying them, instead of marching in the streets where the authorities would have found it easy to use force against them. The workers made demands for their economic situation to be improved. They also made political demands, such as: new elections for the leadership of the trade unions, liquidation of privileges for the Communist party governing class, and the reduction of the bureaucracy in the factories.

The July strikes lasted two weeks. The Communist authorities eventually managed to bring them to an end peacefully, mainly by granting economic concessions to the workers. However, the momentum generated by the Lublin strikes quickly gave rise to a new wave of strikes in the Gdansk region in August, 1980. The workers there used similar tactics as the Lublin workers used a month before, and this time the Communist authorities had to agree to the strikers' demand to set up an independent trade union, which soon became the Solidarity.


The Lublin region has the unfortunate distinction of having the lowest per capita GDP in the entire European Union (it was 32% of EU average in 2002). It is a part of eastern Poland, which has generally benefited less from the economic transformation after 1989 than other regions of Poland located closer to Western Europe.

While the standard of living in the city of Lublin is considerably higher than in the surrounding countryside, the city's relatively poor economic performance is unavoidably tied to the poverty of its surrounding region. Poorly developed transportation infrastructure (no major highway connection to other cities, restricted and decling rail links etc.) and a widespread local unbelief in the possibilities that the region has to offer have also put a brake on the city's development.

The factories build under the Communist regime in the city have generally done poorly in the new market economy. The large car factory FSC (Fabryka Samochodw Ciężarowych) seemed to have a brighter future when acquired by the South Korean Daewoo conglomerate in the early 1990s. Unfortunately, with Daewoo's financial troubles in 1998, the production at FSC practically collapsed and the factory entered bankruptcy. Efforts to restart its van production succeeded when the engine supplier bought the company in order not to lose its prime market.

With the decline of Lublin as a regional industrial centre, the city's economy is being reoriented towards the service industries. Currently, the largest employer is the Maria Curie-Sklodowska University (UMCS).


It has six schools of higher education, including Maria Curie-Sklodowska University (UMCS) and Catholic University of Lublin (KUL).

  • Lubelska Szkoła Wyższa im. Krla Władysława Jagiełły
  • Wyższa Szkoła Ekonomii i Innowacji
  • Wyższa Szkoła Humanistyczna im. Alojzego Szubartowskiego
  • Wyższa Szkoła Nauk Społecznych
  • Wyższa Szkoła Przedsiębiorczości i Administracji
  • Wyższa Szkoła Społeczno-Przyrodnicza


Famous people


Lublin constituency

Members of Parliament (Sejm) elected from Lublin constituency

  • Zyta Gilowska, PO
  • Stanisław Głębocki, Samoobrona
  • Arkadiusz Kasznia, SLD-UP
  • Elżbieta Kruk, PiS
  • Grzegorz Kurczuk, SLD-UP
  • Robert Luśnia, LPR
  • Andrzej Mańka, PiS
  • Gabriela Masłowska, LPR
  • Wiktor Osik, SLD-UP
  • Zdzisław Podkański, PSL
  • Tadeusz Polański, PSL
  • Izabella Sierakowska, SLD-UP
  • Zygmunt Jerzy Szymański, SLD-UP
  • Leszek Świętochowski, PSL
  • Marian Widz, Samoobrona
  • Jzef Żywiec, Samoobrona

See also

External links

Flag of Poland
Voivodships of Poland
Greater Poland | Kuyavia-Pomerania | Lesser Poland | Łdź | Lower Silesia | Lublin | Lubusz | Masovia | Opole | Podlachia | Pomerania | Świętokrzyskie | Silesia | Subcarpathia | Warmia and Masuria | West Pomerania
Principal cities
Warsaw | Łdź | Krakw | Wrocław | Poznań | Gdańsk | Szczecin | Bydgoszcz | Lublin | Katowice | Białystok | Częstochowa | Gdynia | Gorzw Wlkp. | Toruń | Radom | Kielce | Rzeszw | Olsztyn

de:Lublin fr:Lublin lv:Ļubļina nl:Lublin nds:Lublin ja:ルブリン pl:Lublin sv:Lublin


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