San River

San River

The San ( _uk. Сян, _de. Saan) is a river in southeastern Poland and western Ukraine, a tributary of the Vistula River, with a length of 433 km (it is the 6th-longest Polish river) and a basin area of 16,861 km² (14,390 km² of it in Poland). The San arises in the Carpathian Mountains near the village of Sianky, at an elevation of 900 metres, exactly on the Polish-Ukrainian border [] (coord|49|00|10|N|22|52|30|E|type:river_region:PL|display=inline,title) and on the continental watershed, and forms the border between Poland and Ukraine for approximately its first 50 km.

"San," in proto-Indoeuropean languages, means "speed" or "rapid stream." In Celtic languages, "San" means "river."Poland's largest artificial lake, Lake Solina, was created by a dam on the San River near Lesko.


In historical records the river was first mentioned in 1097 as "Sanъ", "reku Sanъ", "k Sanovi", "nad Sanomъ" (1152) and "Sanu" (1287). On the old maps of the Ruthenian Voivodeship, Poland 1339–1772: "San" (1339), San (1372), "Szan" (1406), "Sanok" (1438), "Saan" (1439), "Sayn" (1445), "San" (1467), "Szan" (1517), "Schan" (1526).

Settled in prehistoric times, the southeastern Polish region that is now Podkarpacie was overrun in pre-Roman times by various tribes, including the Celts, Goths and Vandals (Przeworsk culture and Puchov culture). After the fall of the Roman Empire (which included most of southeastern Poland below the San River), the area was invaded by Hungarians and Slavs.

The San valley must have been an important trade route and axis of human settlement as early as the ninth or tenth century. The region subsequently became part of the Great Moravian state. Upon the invasion of the Hungarian tribes into the heart of the Great Moravian Empire around 899, the Lendians of the area declared their allegiance to the Hungarian Empire. The region then became a site of contention between Poland, Kievan Rus and Hungary starting in around the ninth century. This area was mentioned for the first time in 981 (by Nestor), when Volodymyr the Great of Kievan Rus took the area over on his way into Poland. In 1018 it returned to Poland, in 1031 reverted back to Rus, and in 1340 was recovered by Casimir III of Poland.

During the years 966–1018, 1340–1772 (the Ruthenian Voivodeship) and 1918–1939, the region was part of Poland. Between 1772 and 1918 it belonged to the Austrian empire, which became the Austro-Hungarian empire when the double monarchy was introduced. This region, including the area west and east of the Subcarpathian Voivodship, was controlled by Austria for almost 120 years. During that time it was known as Galicia.

The San River may be considered the site of the "official" start of World War II in Europe. At the outset of the German invasion of Poland, Polish forces attempted to defend a line along the San from September 6 1939, until German forces broke out of their bridgeheads on September 12 1939.



*Dynów, Jarosław, Lesko, Leżajsk, Nisko, Przemyśl, Radymno, Rudnik nad Sanem, Sandomierz, Sanok, Sieniawa, Stalowa Wola, Ulanów, Zagórz


* Prof. Adam Fastnacht, "Slownik Historyczno-Geograficzny Ziemi Sanockiej w Średniowieczu" (Historic-Geographic Dictionary of the Sanok District in the Middle Ages), Kraków, 2002, ISBN 83-88385-14-3.
* [ Geographical Dictionary of the Kingdom of Poland and other Slavic Lands] Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów słowiańskich. tom. X, pages 260 - 263. Warszawa. 1876. ("digital edition")

ee also

*Rivers of Poland
*San (disambiguation page)

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