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The origin of the name
Podlasie (Latin Podlachia) is a historical region in eastern part of Poland and western Belarus. It is located between Biebrza River (north) and its natural continuation to the south - Polesie area. Its old names are Podlasko, Podlasze, and Podlasia.

There are two opinions about the origin of the name. Some derive it from the word les, las ("forest") in Slavic languages, it is area near forest or area of forests, and in this sense Podlasie is synonymous with the adjacent Polesie. Other suggest that the terms comes from the expression "pod Lachem" ("under the Poles"), under the Polish rule. The latter version has a somewhat different explanation that the name originates from the times when the territory was within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Trakai province, along the borderline with the Kingdom of Poland, "pod Lachem" would mean "near" Poles.

At present the name of Podlasie is used especially for Polish part of the region, which is traditionally divided between North (north of Western Bug River) and South Podlasie. The northern part of Podlasie is included in Podlasie Voivodship (described on this web site).


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