Vilnius County

Vilnius County

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Vilnius County
native_name=Vilniaus apskritis
settlement_type= county

leader_title = County governor
leader_name= Alfonsas Macaitis

image_caption =

map_caption = Location of Vilnius County
image_shield = Vilnius County COA.png

latd= |latm= |lats= |latNS= |longd= |longm= |longs= |long

subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = LTU
subdivision_type1= ISO_3166-2
subdivision_name1 = LT-VL

parts_type = Municipalities
parts =
p1= Šalčininkai district municipality
p2= Širvintos district municipality
p3= Švenčionys district municipality
p4= Trakai district municipality
p5= Ukmergė district municipality
p6= Vilnius district municipality
p7= Elektrėnai municipality
p8= Vilnius city municipality

seat_type = Capital
seat = Vilnius

area_total_km2 = 9729
population_total = 848,097
population_as_of = 2008
population_blank1 = 1st


Vilnius County ( _lt. Vilniaus apskritis, _pl. Okręg wileński) is the largest of the 10 counties of Lithuania, located in the east of the country around the city Vilnius.


Until the Partitions of Poland in late 18th century the area belonged to the Vilnius Voivodship and Trakai Voivodship of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In Russian Empire it belonged to the Northwestern Krai and approximately corresponded to its Vilna Governorate (as of 1843). During World War I, following the German offensive of 1915, it was occupied by the German army. After the war, some parts of the area was ruled by local Polish self-government established after the German Ober-Ost army withdrew from the area.

Following the start of the Polish-Bolshevik War, in 1919 it was occupied by the Red Army, which was pushed back by the Polish Army. In 1920 it was again occupied by the Red Army, but Soviets officially recognized the sovereignty of Lithuanian Republic over the city immediately after defeat during Battle of Warsaw. During their retreat, the Bolsheviks passed the sovereignty over the area to Lithuania. The Polish commander Józef Piłsudski ordered his subordinate general Lucjan Żeligowski to "rebel" his Lithuanian-Belarusian division and capture the city of Vilnius, without declaring war on Lithuania. The area of the future Vilnius County was seized by the Polish forces without significant opposition from Lithuanian forces and Gen. Żeligowski created a short-lived state called Republic of Central Lithuania. Following the elections held there in 1922 the state was incorporated into Poland (see Vilnius region, Central Lithuania).

In the effect of the Nazi-Soviet Alliance and the Polish Defensive War of 1939, the area was captured by the Soviet Union, which transferred parts of present "Vilnius County" and Utena County to Lithuania, only to annex it the following year. In 1941 it was conquered by the Nazi Germany. During the World War II the area saw formation of many resistance units, most notably the Polish Home Army and, since 1943, the Soviet partisans.

After the war Vilniaus Apskritis existed as a relic of the pre-war independent state in Lithuanian SSR between 1944 and 1950. In this period, significant part of its population moved to Poland during so called repatriation. 80% of Poles living in the city itself were forcibly expelled. However the inhabitants of the rural areas surrounding it were in large part allowed to stay. Thus only 31.3% of inhabitants of the area left for Poland. Today Poles constitute 29.01% of population of the Vilniaus Apskritis (as per the 2001 census).

After the reestablishment of Lithuania in 1990, Vilnius county was established differently in 1994. This entity has different boundaries than any previous entity and is not directly related to previous entities in this area; mission of the county is different as well, its primary goal (same as that of other counties of Lithuania) is to oversee that municipalities in its area follow the laws of Lithuania.


The county is subdivided into 6 district municipalities, 1 municipality and 1 city municipality:
*Šalčininkai district municipality
*Širvintos district municipality
*Švenčionys district municipality
*Trakai district municipality
*Ukmergė district municipality
*Vilnius district municipality
*Elektrėnai municipality
*Vilnius city municipality

External links

* [ Vilnius county statistical office]

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