KIELCE, a government in the south-west of Russian Poland, surrounded by the governments of Piotrkow and Radom and by Austrian Galicia. Area, 3896 sq. m. Its surface is an elevated plateau 800 to 1000 ft. in altitude, intersected in the north-east by a range of hills reaching 1350 ft. and deeply trenched in the south. It is drained by the Vistula on its south-east border, and by its tributaries, the Nida and the Pilica, which have a very rapid fall and give rise to inundations. Silurian and Devonian quartzites, dolomite, limestones and sandstones prevail in the north, and contain rich iron ores, lead and copper ores. Carboniferous deposits containing rich coal seams occur chiefly in the south, and extend into the government of Piotrkow. Permian limestones and sandstones exist in the south. The Triassic deposits contain very rich zinc ores of considerable thickness and lead. The Jurassic deposits consist of iron-clays and limestones, containing large caves. The Cretaceous deposits yield gypsum, chalk and sulphur. White and black marble are also extracted. The soil is of great variety and fertile in parts, but owing to the proximity of the Carpathians, the climate is more severe than might be expected. Rye, wheat, oats, barley and buckwheat are grown; modern intensive culture is spreading, and land fetches high prices, the more so as the peasants' allotments were small at the outset and are steadily decreasing. Out of a total of 2,193,300 acres suitable for cultivation 53-4 % are actually cultivated. Grain is exported. Gardening is a thriving industry in the south; beet is grown for sugar in the south-east. Industries are considerably developed: zinc ores are extracted, as well as some iron and a little sulphur. Tiles, metallic goods, leather, timber goods and flour are the chief products of the manufactures. Pop. (1897), 765,212, for the most part Poles, with 11% Jews; (1906, estimated), 910,900. By religion 88 % of the people are Roman Catholics. Kielce is divided into seven districts, the chief towns of 'which, with populations in 1897, are Kielce (g..), Jedrzejow (Russ. Andreyev, 5010), Miechow (4156), Olkusz(349i), Pinczow (8095), Stopnica (4659) and Wloszczowa (23,065).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)