Oświęcim County

Oświęcim County (Pol. powiat oświęcimski) is one of 19 land counties of Lesser Poland Voivodeship. Geographically the county is one of the smallest in size, its area is 406.1 km² with the population of over 153,000, the population density is 377.6 p/km². The county's administrative seat is Oświęcim. Oświęcim County came into being on January 1, 1999 as a result of an administrative reform.

It is considered to be one of the most ill-famed counties of Lesser Poland Voivodeship and Poland, in general. Here during the period of 1940-1945 one of the bloodiest concentration camps of World War II, "Auschwitz-Birkenau", also regarded as a symbol of The Holocaust, functioned. This is the only concentration camp that was enlisted into the UNESCO's World Heritage list. During the war period more than 1.3 million people were exiled; 1.1 million of them died in "Auschwitz-Birkenau". Almost 90% of tortured to death were Jewish, that equals to 960,000 people. Among other exiled nationalities were: Polish, Romanians, Ukrainians, Russians etc. Today on the territory of concentration camp there is a memorial ;museum, which has become the centre of nostalgic tourism of Lesser Poland Voivodeship.

Worth seeing:

Sacred architecture

  • Wooden church of St. Andrew (1585), Graboszczyce
  • St. Wojcieh and St. George Church (1393), Zator
  • St. Catherine and St. Margaret's Church (1657-1685), Kęty
  • Church of St. John Cantius (1644-1648, 1715), Kęty
  • Chapel of St. James (14th century), Oświęcim
  • Church of the Virgin Mary Ascension (14th, 16th centuries), Oświęcim
  • Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians church (14th century), Oświęcim
  • Oświęcim Synagogue-Association of Those Who Study Mishna (Chewra Lomdei Misznajot, 1913-1918), Oświęcim


  • Jewish cemetery (19th century), Kęty
  • Jewish cemetery (1757), Oświęcim
  • Parish cemetery (19th century), Oświęcim

Fortifications and palaces

  • Zatorski castle (15th century), Zator
  • Oświęcim castle (13th, 16th centuries), Oświęcim
  • Marriage Palace (19th century), Oświęcim

Other architectural sights


  • Aleksander Kłosiński Museum; Kęty, Rynek 16
  • Memorial and Museum "Auschwitz-Birkenau"; Oświęcim, Więźniów Oświęcimia St. 20