Roman Catholicism: Polish Dioceses

(Archdioceses) Bialystok, Czestochowa, Gdansk, Gniezno (Primate), Katowice, Kraków, Lódz, Lublin, Poznan, Przemysl, Szczecin-Kamien, Warmia, Warsaw, Wroclaw,

(Dioceses) Bielsko-Zywiec, Bydgoszcz, Chelmno, Drohiczyn, Elblag, Elk, Gliwice, Kalisz, Kielce, Koszalin-Kolobrzeg, Legnica, Lomza, Lowicz, Opole, Pelplin, Plock, Janów Podlaski, Radom, Rzeszów, Sandomierz, Sejna-Augustów, Siedlce, Sosnowiec, Swidnica, Tarnów, Torun, Warsaw-Praga, Wigry, Wloclawek, Zamosc-Lubaczów, Zielona Góra-Gorzów

BIALYSTOK A city in northeastern Poland, 112 miles (180 km.) northeast of Warsaw. Established by Lithuanians in the first quarter of the 14th Century, specific chronicles regarding it appear from 1426. In 1945 the Vilnius chapter was transferred to Bialystok when Lithuania was conquered by the USSR. Advanced to the level of an Apostolic administration in 1963, the Bishopric was established following the collapse of Communist authority in 1991. In 1992 the see was raised to that of an Archbishopric.

BIELSKO-ZYWIEC Bielsko (in full, Bielsko-Biala) is a town in southern Poland, 42 miles (67 km.) southwest of Krakow and 15 miles from the Czech frontier; Zywiec, site of Poland's best-known beer brewery, is a smaller town about 12 miles (19 km.) southeast of Bielsko. A Bishopric was established here following the collapse of Communism in 1991.

BYDGOSZCZ (Ger. Bromberg) A city on the Vistula in northern Poland, 90 miles (145 km.) south of Gdansk. The Slavic settlement here was seized by the Teutonic Knights in the 13th century, and the district heavily Germanized thereafter. Polish from 1918, the place has just recently had a Bishopric settled here.

CHELM A town in eastern Poland, 40 miles (64 km.) east of Lublin and 15 miles (24 km.) west of the Ukraine frontier. A chartered town from 1233, it became Polish in 1377. Austrian from 1795 and then Russian (1815), it was reincorporated into Poland in 1918. The restored Polish state was proclaimed here in 1944.

CHELMNO (Ger. Kulm) A city on the Vistula in northern Poland, 74 miles (119 km.) south of Gdansk and 24 miles (38 km.) northeast of Bydgoszcz. This was the site of the first Christian mission to the eastern bank of the Vistula river.

CZESTOCHOWA A town in south-central Poland, 65 miles (105 km.) northwest of Krakow, it is known as a center of  Polish devotion to St. Mary.

DROHICZYN A small town in northeastern Poland on the Bug river, 72 miles (115 km.) east of Warszawa, and 23 miles (37 km.) west of the Belarus frontier.

ELBLAG (Ger. Elbing) A city in northern Poland, 35 miles (56 km.) east of Gdansk. Founded in 1237 by the Teutonic Knights, it was a member of the Hanseatic league and a major port before the silting up of the approaches to the Vistula Bay. Located just within the western edge of East Prussia, the district only reverted to Polish control in 1945.

ELK A town in Masuria, the far northeastern corner of Poland, on the eastern edge of East Prussia; it is 61 miles (100 km.) northwest of Bialystok.

GDANSK (Ger. Danzig) The primary port of Poland. First noted in 997, it achieved local autonomy in the 13th century. Granted as a Duchy to one of Napoleon's Marshals, it became a Free City between the World Wars. This area, the Danzig Corridor which gave Poland its access to the sea and thus isolated East Prussia from the rest of Germany, was the fuse that set off World War II. The City's most recent notoriety is as the home of the shipyard that spawned Solidarnosc, the trade union that ultimately toppled the communist government in Poland, and thus began the changes resulting in the end of the Cold War.

GLIWICE (Ger. Gleiwitz) A city in southern Poland, 60 miles (96 km.) west of Krakow, the westernmost urban district of the Gorny Slaska (Upper Silesia) Industrial Zone (a group of seven closely-knit heavily industrialized cities in far western Silesia). Gliwice was chartered in 1276, and served now and then as the seat for several Silesian Dukes. See also Katowice and Sosnowiec.

GNIEZNO An ancient city in west-central Poland, 35 miles (56 km.) east of Poznan. This was the the first capital of Poland when it emerged as a recognizable state in the 10th century. An early ecclesiastic center as well, the Archbishops that had established their seat here in 1000 were recognized as the Primate of all Poland c. 1414. This primacy was abolished by Prussia 1815-1918, but the dissolution was not recognised by the Papacy.

JANÓW PODLASKI (Podlasie) A small village on the Bug River, directly on the border with Belarus in far eastern Poland, 36 miles (58 km.) east of Siedlce. The diocese of Podlasie was abolished by the Russian Tsar in 1867, after repeated difficulties with burgeoning Polish nationalism - the Papacy acquiesced in 1889, but the See was restored when Poland once again regained it's independence in 1918.

KALISZ An ancient community in west-central Poland, 62 miles (100 km.) northeast of Wroclaw. There have been prehistoric relics found here, and Ptolemy notes the site (as Calisia) in his Geographos of the 2nd century CE. The town was the center of a partition Duchy during the Middle Ages.

KATOWICE (Ger. Kattowitz) A city in southern Poland, 45 miles (72 km.) west of Krakow, the administrative capital of the Gorny Slaska (Upper Silesia) Industrial Zone (a group of seven closely-knit heavily industrialized cities in far western Silesia). Originally a small village (first mentioned in 1598), it expanded rapidly in the 1860's with the development of coal-mining in the region. See also Gliwice and Sosnowiec.

KIELCE A city in south-central Poland, some 68 miles (110 km.) northeast of Krakow. The district was owned by the Archbishops of Krakow from the 1160's to 1789; there is an important Cistercian monastery nearby, at Wachok, some 27 miles (44 km.) to the northeast. Austrian from 1795, and part of Warsaw from 1809, it reverted to Russian control in 1815, and was returned to Poland in 1918.

KOSZALIN / KOLOBRZEG (Ger. Köslin / Kolberg) Koszalin is a large town in eastern Pomerania, about 100 miles (160 km.) west of Gdansk, 85 miles (135 km.) northeast of Szczecin, and roughly 8 miles (13 km.) from the sea. First mentioned in 1214, it became the usual seat of the Dukes of Pomerania and Bishops of Kammin in the 16th and 17th centuries. Kolobrzeg is a port directly on the Baltic shore, 23 miles (37 km.) west of Koszalin - the first Christian church in this part of Pomerania was founded here.

KRAKÓW The city has been the site of an important ecclesiastic see since the early Middle Ages. From 1443 to 1791 (and nominally until 1918), the Bishops were also secular authorities, being in possession of the Duchy of Siewierz. Krakow has always been at the forefront of Polish cultural life, and it has generally been at the head of the defence of Polish integrity and liberty as well.

LEGNICA (Ger. Liegnitz) A city in southwestern Poland, 38 miles (60 km.) west of Wroclaw. It was the seat of a Silesian Duchy from the 13th to the 17th centuries.

LODZ In central Poland, the second largest city in the nation, 75 miles (120 km.) west-southwest of Warsaw. First mentioned in the 14th century, the place remained a minor village until rapid industrialization in the mid 19th century.

LOMZA A town in northeastern Poland, 43 miles (70 km.) west of Bialystok.

LOWICZ A small city in central Poland, 48 miles (77 km.) west of Warsaw. In past times it was the summer residence of archbishops of Gniezno.

LUBLIN A large city in eastern Poland, 96 miles (154 km.) southeast of Warsaw. Dating from the 9th century, and situated more-or-less on the early frontier between Slavs and Lithuanians, it became the site of meetings between the two - the Treaty of Lublin in 1569 was the instrument of union between the two states. There is a large Catholic University located here.

OPOLE (Ger. Oppeln) In southwestern Poland on the Odra river, 50 miles (80 km.) east of Wroclaw. It was the seat of a Silesian Duchy in the 14th century.

PELPLIN A small town on the Lower Vistula, 36 miles (50 km.) south of Gdansk.

PLOCK A town in central Poland, about 60 miles (95 km.) west-northwest of Warsaw. It was the seat of a partition Duchy 1313-1495.

POZNAN (Ger. Posen) A large city in western Poland, 90 miles (145 km.) north of Wroclaw and 170 miles (274 km.) west of Warsaw. It is the site of Poland's first cathedral and, with Gniezno, was a capital of the earliest Polish Kingdom. Annexed to Prussia in 1793, to Warsaw in 1807, and returned to Prussia 1815, it expanded greatly in the later 19th century.

PRZEMYSL A town on the northern flank of the Carpathians in far southeastern Poland, 15 miles (24 km.) from the Ukrainian border and 62 miles (100 km.) west of L'vov. It was the capital of Galitzia 1054-1141, before the capital was transfered to Galich. Peremyshl was a sub-Principality (its Russian name was Peremyshl) within Galitzia, 1187-1228.

RADOM A city in east-central Poland, 62 miles (100 km.) south of Warsaw.

RZESZÓW A city in southeastern Poland, 95 miles east of Krakow and 45 miles west of the Ukrainian frontier.

SANDOMIERZ A town in southeastern Poland, on the left bank of the Vistula river, 93 miles (150 km.) northeast of Cracow. First mentioned in 1097, it developed significance as a major stopping point on trade routes between ther Black Sea and the Baltic.

SEJNY-AUGUSTÓW Sejny is a city in Masuria, northeastern Poland, 10 kilometers of the border of Lithuania. , Augustow is also in Masuria, 75 kilometres north of Bialystok.

SIEDLCE A city in eastern Poland, 57 miles (91 km.) east of Warsaw.

SOSNOWIEC  A city in southern Poland, 42 miles (67 km.) west of Krakow, the easternmost urban district of the Gorny Slaska (Upper Silesia) Industrial Zone (a group of seven closely-knit heavily industrialized cities in far western Silesia).
See also Gliwice and Katowice.

SWIDNICA (Ger. Schweidnitz) A city in southwestern Poland, 30 miles (48 km.) southwest of Wroclaw. It was the seat of a Silesian Duchyin the 14th century.

SZCZECIN / KAMIEN [Kamien Pomorsky] (Ger. Stettin / Kammin)  Szczecin is a large Baltic port at the extreme northwestern corner of Poland, situated on the west bank of the Oder estuary, 40 miles (65 km.) from the sea. There has been settlement here from prehistoric times, and it was occupied by Slavs from the 4th century CE. Part of the emerging Pomeranian Duchy of the 12th century, the region was heavily Germanized from the 13th century on, and became a part of the Holy Roman Empire c. 1225. Pomerania was eventually annexed to Brandenburg (1637), Sweden (1648), and then Prussia (1720). It was returned to Polish control in 1945. Kamien is a small town on the eastern edge of the Oder estuary, a short distance south of the Baltic coast. It is 35 miles (56 km.) north-northeast of Szczecin.

TARNÓW An industrial city 45 miles (75 km.) east of Krakow. Within Auustrian territories from the 18th century, the diocese here was established at the direction of the Austrian Emperor.

TORUN On the Vistula, in northern Poland, 95 miles (150 km.) south of Gdansk.

WARMIA (Ermland) 1992 Metropolis founded, the capitols are: Frombork (See) and Olsztyn (residence).

WARSAW (Pol. Warszawa) In east-central Poland, the largest city and capital of the state. Fairly new by European standards, Warsaw itself is probably no older than the 13th century, although there have been a succession of small market towns on or near the site since the 10th century. The city was the seat of a Partition Duchy in the 14th century, and was a Napoleonic Grand Duchy 1807-1815. From 1818 to 1830 the Archbishops claimed the Primacy of the Polish Church, replacing Gniezno - the title of Primate was abolished by Russia in 1830.

WARSZAWA-PRAGA A district in northeastern Warsaw, on the right bank of Vistula river.

WIGRY Based upon an old priory in Masuria, far northeastern Poland, a Bishopric was settled here briefly before being transferred and renamed to Sejny-Augustow.

WLOCLAWEK (Kuiavia) Kuiavia was one of the Partition Duchies of the Middle Ages, in north-central Poland. In modern times, the See was renamed to the chief residence of the Bishops, Wloclawek, a city on the Vistula some 90 miles (144 km.) west-northwest of Warsaw.

WROCLAW (Ger. Breslau) A Bishopric, and recently Archbishopric, in the largest city in Silesia. Human habitation here is of very old date - the site was a major stopping point on the Amber Road in late Classical times, being a crossroad between that trade route and the Black Sea-Rhineland route. The modern city was begun in the 900's, and fortified c. 1000. Passing to Bohemia in 1335, and from thence to the Austrian Habsburgs in 1526, it eventually became (1740) Prussian  and then German territory before reverting back to Poland in 1945. For local secular rulers (Dukes), go to Schlesien-Breslau (Slaska-Wroclaw). Note that the Bishops were also temporal Dukes of Nysa, a city 44 miles (70 km.) southeast of Wroclaw, 1290-1918.

ZAMOSC-LUBACZÓW Zamosc is a town located some 50 miles (80 km.) southeast of Lublin, while Lubaczów is a small town some 40 miles (64 km.) south of Zamosc and no more than 8 miles (13 km.) from the Ukrainian frontier. During the chaotic conditions in the region following World War II, the Lwów Chapter was transferred to Lubaczów as Lwów was occupied by the USSR. In 1992 a separate diocese of Zamosc-Lubaczów was established.

ZIELONA GÓRA-GORZÓW (Grünberg and Wielkopolski) Zielona Gora is a town in far northwestern Silesia, 71 miles (114 km.) southwest of Poznan, while Gorzów is an industrial city 53 miles (85 km.) north of Zielona Gora, in far southwestern Pomerania. In 1945 an Apostolic administration founded in Gorzów, which was raised to the level of a Bishopric in 1972. In 1992 the name was altered to include Gorzów, becoming Zielona Góra-Gorzów; the primary residence of the Bishops remains in Zielona Góra.