Lublin is the ninth largest city in Poland
. It is the capital of Lublin Voivodeship with a population of 350,392. Lublin is also the largest Polish city east of the Vistula river. Lublin was a candidate for the title of European Capital of Culture in 2016.
The first permanent settlements on the Lublin site were established in the early Middle Ages, though archeological finds indicate a long, earlier presence of various cultures in the general area. The earliest, most significant settlement began in the 6th century, on a hill located in the suburb of Czwartek (in Polish Thursday, most likely in reference to the market day of the settlement). It is likely that the surrounding hills, notably the site of the present day Old Town, were also settled at around this time. In the 10th and 11th centuries the Czwartek settlement developed into an important trade centre. The location of Lublin at the eastern borders of the Polish lands gave it a military significance.