It borders the following voivodeships: Opolskie, Łódzkie, Świętokrzyskie and Małopolskie as well as the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The area of the voievodeship, covering over 12 294 km2, constitutes nearly 3,9% of Poland, whereas the number of inhabitants - 4 830 000, comprises 12,5% of the whole population of Poland. It is the most densely populated voivodeship in Poland - 1 square km inhabited by 393 people (the country's average - 124).
Śląskie Voivodeship covers an area of varied landscape stretching from The Beskid Ślaski and Żywiecki chains, through Pogórze Śląskie to the woodlands of Śląska Lowland and the urbanized area of Ślaska Upland. The eastern part of the voivodeship is a part of the picturesque Krakowsko-Czêstochowska Upland.
The area of the voivodeship lies in the basin of the Vistula and Odra rivers. Its main rivers are: the Vistula, beginning in the Beskid Śląski the Odra, Warta, Pilica, Mała Panew, Liswarta and Soła.
For the purposes of protection against floods as well as providing the people and industry in GOP (Upper Silesia Industrial Area) with water, numerous water reservoirs have been built, from which the water is supplied to towns through pipelines. The most important of these are: The Goczałkowicki Reservoir on the Vistula, covering 37,1 square kilometers. The Żywiecki Reservoir (10 square km) and Międzybrodzki Reservoir (3,7 square km) on the Soła as well as the Poraj on the Warta River (5,5 square km).
Forests constitute 31,7% of the total voivodeship area, at country's average 28,4%. The most densely wooded poviats are: Tarnogórski (51,6%), Lubliniecki (51%), Żywiecki (50,8%). The greatest woodland areas are situated alongside the Mała Panew river in the Beskidy mountains and north-west of Rybnik.
The nature of Śląskie Voivodeship is preserved in seven national parks and 59 wildlife reserves.
The climate of Śląskie Voivodeship is described as transitional between the warm marine climate of Western Europe and a continental climate from the East. Above the region, masses of wet air from the Atlantic and very dry air from the continent collide. It causes a great variability of the weather from day to day and significant differentiation of particular seasons during consecutive years. The climate of the region is characterized through the influence of uplands and mountains, by the following: heavy rainfalls and the great variance of local climatic conditions.
The central and western parts are the warmest. In the region, January is usually the coldest month of the year, and July is usually the warmest. In Śląskie Voivodeship western winds prevail, whose speed does not exceed 5 m/s. The Oświęcim Valley has the longest vegetation period (220 days) and the Beskid mountains, the shortest (190-205 days). The total annual rainfall, ranges from 650 mm in the north, to 1400 mm in the mountains. The mountainous part is conspicuous by long lasting snow cover (over 150 days).
|Weather station||Average annual air temperature||Total annual rainfall||Average annual nebulosity|
|Bielsko-Biała||8,3 EC||1230 mm||5,5 octanes|
|Częstochowa||8,1 EC||898 mm||5,8 octanes|
|Katowice||8,4 EC||889 mm||5,7 octanes|
· 0 octanes - no clouds
· 8 octanes - complete nebulosity
Śląskie Voivodeship lies in the Central European time-zone, which causes the change in time of one hour forward, in relation to GMT. In the period lasting from April to October, the change to summer time takes place.
The farthest extended points of the voivodeship boarder lines:
to the North (northern latitude): 51E06'
to the South (northern latitude): 49E23'
to the West (eastern longitude): 18E02'
to the East (eastern longitude): 19E58'
The length of the boarder lines (in kilometers): 957
with the Czech Republic: 141
with the Slovak Republic: 85