A sołtys (Polish pronunciation: [sɔwˈtɨs]) is a head of a sołectwo elected by its permanent citizens in a village meeting (zebranie wiejskie). According to data from 2010, Poland had 40 thousand sołtys, 30.7% of which were women.[1]

A sign representing sołtys' property

Role and powersEdit

Since 1990, a sołtys is an executive of a sołectwo that is supported by a sołectwo council. The detailed powers, duties and responsibilities of the sołtys are decided in the statute made by the gmina council. The sołtys can use the legal protection of a civil servant in his favour.[2]


A sołtys has the duty to:

  • Represent the sołectwo
  • Organise village meetings
  • Introduce laws made by the gmina to the sołectwo
  • Collect taxes
  • Participate in gmina council meetings


The office of the sołtys was introduced during the Partitions of Poland. It varied among countries. In Congress Poland, a sołtys was an executive branch of a gromada. He was supposed to guard order in the city. In Congress Poland, a gmina was made up of a few gromadas. In the Grand Duchy of Posen a sołtys usually served the role of a village owner.[3]

In 1934, sołectwos were introduced once again to Poland, which mainly held control over business relating to the people.[3]

In the Polish People's Republic, the role of a sołtys was replaced from 1954 to 1958 with a different position, though it was quickly changed to sołtys.[4] A sołtys was the executive of a village government which, until 1973, ruled a gromada. From 1973 a sołtys governed a sołectwo.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Rocznik Statystyczny Województw 2011 (wybrane tablice)" (PDF). stat.gov.pl. Statistics Poland. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  2. ^ Ustawa z dnia 8 marca 1990 r. o samorządzie gminnym
  3. ^ a b "Sołectwo - Studium Prawnoustrojowe" (PDF). Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  4. ^ Ustawa z dnia 25 stycznia 1958 r. o radach narodowych