Bydgoszcz (Photo credit: lukasz.kryger)

Former voivodship (Województwo bydgoskie) in inland northern Poland, named after its capital, which stands on the River Brda, a little way above its confluence with the Vistula.   It is northeast of Poznan and SSW of Gdañsk.

The city belonged to the medieval Polish principality of Kujavia, and was added to Prussia in 1772.   BROMBERG, as the Germans called it, was part of the Netze District, which was ceded to the Grand Duchy of Warsaw in 1807.   The Bromberg region was restored to Prussia in 1815 and included in the Grand Duchy of Posen.   In the restored Poland of 1918/19 Bydgoszcz belonged to the Poznañ voivodship, which was annexed by Germany in 1939.

After the Second World War an extensive voivodship of Bydgoszcz was created, which joined the old Kujavian lands with the southern lands of the former Prussian province of West Prussia (the latter had formed the south of the Pomorze voivodship between the wars).   In 1975 this extensive area was divided among several voivodships:   Torun (the northeast), Włocławek (the southeast), Piła (westernmost, but mostly from beyond the old Bydgoszcz) and Bydgoszcz itself with the residue.    Bydgoszcz was long north to south, fairly narrow east to west, and still combined Kujavian territory with inland Pomorze.   In 1999 Poland reverted to larger voivodships, and most of former Bydgoszcz was gathered together again (the westernmost lands stayed apart), but under the name of Kujavsko-Pomorze.

[Many Polish names look daunting to English speakers.   In the case of  Bydgoszcz, the problem arises from the Polish use of z to do the work h does in English.  Bydgoshch is awkward, but not frightening].

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