From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Masovia or Mazovia (Polish: Mazowsze) is a geographic and historic region of east-central Poland. Administrative borders of the contemporary Masovian Voivodeship do not follow historical boundaries of the region. For example, a Masovian city of Łomża belongs instead to the Podlaskie Voivodeship; Skierniewice belongs to Łódź Voivodeship; while Radom, historically part of Lesser Poland, is now part of the Masovian Voivodeship. The Masovia region is spread over the Polish Masovian Plain. Its historic capitals include Płock.
Masovia became part of Poland by the reign of Mieszko I in the 10th century, the first historically known Piast duke of the Polans in the 10th century. After the death of Mieszko II in 1034, the local governor Miecław supported an anti-Christian rebellion, which was subsequently subdued by Casimir I, Duke of Poland, in 1047 with help from Ruthenian units.
Following the death of Bolesław III Wrymouth, Poland was divided into duchies, according to his testament (see fragmentation of Poland). After the death of the last Masovian Piast, Janusz III, in 1526, the province became a voivodeship of the Kingdom of Poland. In the late 16th century, importance of Masovia within borders of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth significantly grew, due to the decision of King Sigismund III Vasa, who in 1596 moved capital of the country from Kraków to Warsaw.
Masovia was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia in the 1795 Third Partition of Poland and most of it briefly administered within South Prussia and New East Prussia. The territory became part of the Duchy of Warsaw among others in 1807, during the Napoleonic Wars, but was included within Congress Poland, a protectorate in personal union with the Russian Empire in 1815.
In 1918 following World War I, Masovia was included within the newly formed Republic of Poland. During World War II, the Nazi Germany-occupied Masovia was divided between the General Government and Regierungsbezirk Zichenau in East Prussia. Between September 1939 and June 1941 (see: Operation Barbarossa), eastern Masovia, with Lomza, was occupied by the Soviet Union, who had a friendship treaty with Nazi Germany. Whole province was subsequently restored to Poland after the war.