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Polesian Landscape (1884), by Iwan Schischkin
Polesia (erroneously marked as Podlesia on the map ) with the center Pinsk

Polesia ( "the or Polesia", Belarusian Палессе Paleśsie , Ukrainian Полісся Polissia , Russian Полесье Polesje , Polish Polesie , Lithuanian Polese , German and Polesia ) is a historical region in Poland , Belarus , the Ukraine and Russia - such as West-East -Looked for direction. It is not to be confused with the similar sounding Podlachia (Podlasia) .

Geographical location

The area

Polesia is a strip of lowland between the Bug and Prypiat river basins , which continues east of the Dnieper into Russia. The most important cities are Brest and Pinsk in the west, and Homel in the east of the region . The most important rivers are the Pripyat and the Horyn .

Landscape and melting snow

In terms of landscape, the area is a vast, wooded river valley ; it is dominated mainly south of the Pripyat the Pinsk Marshes , the square kilometers with about 90,000 area the largest swamp area in Europe are. As the snow melts, the Pripyat and its tributaries transform the lowlands into a wilderness of lakes, swamps and forest islands.


Since the Middle Ages, Polesia was part of the Kievan Rus . After the Mongol storm of 1241, the area came under the influence of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and became part of Poland-Lithuania in the course of the Lublin Union of 1569 . After the Third Partition of Poland in 1795, Polesia belonged to the Russian Empire .

Between 1920 and 1939 the area west of the Horyn came to the Second Polish Republic , the eastern part to the Soviet Union . The Polesian Voivodeship was established in Poland with the capital Brest. In the 1930s, the Polish government wanted to have a large part of the Pripjet swamps drained, but failed due to lack of money and corruption.

It is primarily a timber industry.


  • Svetlana Boltovskaja et al .; Eva Gerhards (Ed.): Chernobyl: Expeditions in a lost country. Municipal museums Freiburg im Breisgau, Imhof, Petersberg, 2011, ISBN 978-3-86568-692-3
  • Diana Siebert: The rural economy in the Polish and Soviet part of Belarusian Polesia (1921-1939) - A comparison , housework for the master’s examination at the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Cologne. Cologne 1990.
  • Diana Siebert: Techniques of rule in the swamp and their ranges. Landscape interventions and social engineering in Polesia from 1914 to 1941. Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2019. ISBN 978-3-447-11229-1 .
  • Journal for East Central European Studies, Issue 3/2019: Polesia: Modernity in the Marshlands. Interventions and Transformations at the European Periphery from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-first Century Available online: [1]

See also

Web links

Commons : Polesia  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Diana Siebert: Landscape Interventions? The Draining of Wetlands and Other Modernization Initiatives in West Polesia from 1921 to 1939. In: Journal for East Central Europe Research 2019.3. October 9, 2019, accessed October 9, 2019 .
  2. ^ Silke Fengler: Polesia as an intervention landscape. In: H-Soz-Kult . March 1, 2018, accessed November 30, 2018 .