Poland is a country with a long and rich history. Here is a rich cultural heritage with an exciting mix of communist bragging rights, Jewish quarters, jazz clubs and gleaming cathedrals. Poland is located in northern Central Europe, and has a land border with seven European countries.
|State:||republic within the EU|
|Surface:||312 685 km²|
|Population:||38.5 million (2013)|
|Population density:||123 residents per km²|
|Life expectancy:||76 years|
|Currency:||Polish zloty (PLN)
1 zloty = 2.30 kr
|GDP per capita:||$ 18,700 (2010)|
|Time difference:||+0 hours|
|Electricity:||220 V AC, 50Hz|
|National Day:||May 3|
|Country area code:||48|
|2-Letter country abbreviation:||PL (See more abbreviations on Abbreviationfinder)|
|Business:||service sector 55%, industry 38%, agriculture 7%|
|Climate:||temperate; cold winters and hot, humid summers|
With the exception of the mountain ranges in the south and southeast, Poland consists mainly of plains. The largest area is the Eastern European Plain, which stretches across the northern part of the country. The Carpathians in the south are a mountain range with several ski resorts, and in southern Poland you will also find a desert area.
There are large forest areas where you will find moose, bear, bison and wolves. In eastern Poland is the pristine Bialowieza Forest, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. A remnant of the huge forest area that previously covered large parts of Europe’s lowlands, but which was cut down by industrialization.
The environmental situation in Poland has improved since the fall of the Soviet Union, but the country is still one of the most severely environmentally damaged countries in Europe, with air and water pollution and acid rain. Heavy industry plays a less central role in post-communist Poland, and the government is currently working to improve the environment.
The country’s traditional dishes include beetroot soup, cabbage dolma and pierogi (dumplings stuffed with cabbage and mushrooms, for example). The composer Chopin and the filmmakers Roman Polanski and Krzysztof Kieslowski were all born in Poland.
The Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp is located in Poland, near Krakow, and is now a museum. The concentration camp is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is Poland’s most visited destination.
The films “Schindler’s List”, “The Pianist” and “Veronika’s Double Life” are all largely shot in Poland. The book “The Tin Drum” by Günter Grass also takes place in Poland, and was filmed in 1979. The film was awarded an Oscar for best foreign film.
The following objects in Poland are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The year in which the item was added to the list is indicated in parentheses.
- Old Town of Kraków (1978)
- The Salt Mines of Wieliczka and Bochnia (1978)
- Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp (1979)
- Białowieża Forest with Rich Wildlife (1979)
- Old Town of Warsaw (1980)
- Old Town of Zamość (1992)
- The medieval city of Toruń (1997)
- German Order Castle in Malbork (1997)
- Pilgrimsparken Kalwaria Zebrzydowska (1999)
- The Churches of Peace in Jawor and Świdnica (2001)
- Southern Lesser Poland Wooden Churches (2003)
- Muskauparken (2004)
- Hala Ludowa, Wrocław (2006)
- Wooden churches in the Carpathians, built during the 16th and 18th centuries (2013)
Electricity and electrical outlets in Poland
Voltage: 230 V
Frequency: 50 Hz
Type of plug: C, E
Need an adapter: No, you do not need an adapter.
CLIMATE AND WEATHER
Weather in Warsaw
|Average temperature °C||17||16||16||17||18||20||22||23||23||21||19||18|
|Soltim / day||5||6||7||7||8||9||9||9||8||7||5||5|
Gdansk is the capital of the Pomeranian Voivodeship (in the historic area of West Prussia / Pomerania) in Poland with about 450,000 residents (2003). The city is located on the Baltic coast of Poland and is an important port city. Ferry connection is available with i.a. Nynäshamn.
The place is mentioned in historical documents also under a number of other names such as: Gyddanyzc, Kdansk, Gdanzc, Dantzk, Dantzig, Dantzigk, Dantiscum and Gedanum. These names are mainly different spelling and pronunciation variants of the Polish and German names of the city.
Archaeological research shows that the town was a craft and fishing village as early as the 6th century, and in the 10th century it was a fortified castle at the mouth of the Wisa with the Pomeranian princes. The place is first mentioned in writing as Gyddanyzc urbs in Jan Kanapariusz’s chronicle from 999 about Saint Vojtech Adalbert of Prague, the Czech bishop who served a mission in the area. According to the chronicle, Vojtch would visit the resort in the spring of 997.
The city was founded in 1224 or 1225 and during the late Middle Ages was an important German-dominated trading town at the mouth of the Wisa in the Baltic Sea. Gdask was one of the larger members of the Hanseatic League. The city was an important pawn in the game between the German Order and Poland-Lithuania during the 14th and 15th centuries. After the fall of the German Order, the city came to rule under Poland-Lithuania, but with far-reaching autonomy as a powerful trading city. The 16th and 17th centuries were the city’s heyday. As the most important shipping port for the large Polish grain exports, the city became rich and many beautiful and magnificent buildings are preserved from this time and the earlier Hanseatic era. After the partition of Poland in the late 18th century, it belonged to Prussia and later became part of the German Empire.
In the aftermath of the First World War and the fall of the German Empire, the city was separated from Germany, and became an autonomous so-called sanctuary with its own constitution, government, parliament and currency. The sanctuary bordering Poland and the German enclave of East Prussia.
The so-called Polish corridor against Germany in the east, as well as controversies over control of the city, were presented by Hitler as a reason for an invasion of Poland in 1939, which thus de facto triggered the Second World War. The Free State was incorporated into the German Empire. During World War II, the city formed a German so-called Gau, with Albert Forster as Gauleiter.
In 1945, the city was occupied by Soviet forces and subjected to savage looting, destruction and set on fire. Almost the entire population of Gdask fled, was deported or killed. About 100,000 people died and around 1950, about 285,000 German Danzig residents lived in exile.
In 1980, the Polish trade union Solidarity was created in the Lenin Shipyard in the city. It was led by shipyard worker Lech Wasa and was the beginning of the collapse of Polish communism nine years later, but also in the long run to the dissolution of the entire Eastern bloc.
Kraków is a city in southern Poland, about 250 km south of the capital Warsaw. Kraków belongs to the region of Galicia and is Poland’s third largest city in terms of population with about 757,500 residents (2004). Its old town has been a World Heritage Site since 1978. Kraków was the capital of Poland from the Middle Ages until 1609, when Sigismund Vasa moved the capital to Warsaw.
Archaeological excavations have shown that sites in and around present-day Kraków ?? Wawel Hill (the site of the current Wawel Castle), nearby caves and more ?? have been inhabited since the Old Stone Age. During the Neolithic and onwards, stone workshops, mainly on the Wawel Hill, early forms of agriculture and animal husbandry as well as weaving could be demonstrated.
In 1978, the city’s historic district, which includes the old town, Kazimierz and Wawel Castle, was a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lódz is Poland’s second largest city after Warsaw and has 775,200 residents (2004). Lódz has, among other things, the largest city park in Europe: Lagiewniki. The city’s most famous street is called Ulica Piotrkowska. It is a four kilometer long pedestrian street lined with shops, restaurants, pubs and nightclubs. It is, among other things, this street that has made the city famous for its vibrant nightlife.
Torun is a city located in central Poland with 208,700 residents (2005). Torun was founded by the German Order in 1231, but there was already an older Slavic settlement on the site. The city received city rights in 1232. In 1281, Torun was taken up in the Hanseatic League. A peace treaty in 1466 – after the Thirteen Years’ War – stipulated that the city belonged to Poland. For almost 200 years, the city had a good development with flourishing prosperity. It was not until the 1650s, when Swedish troops began to invade Poland under Charles X Gustav, that prosperity was broken. The city was occupied by Sweden 1655-1658. In 1703, the city capitulated to Charles XII. The capitulation paved the way for Stanislaw Leszczynski’s accession to the throne in 1704. The partition of Poland in 1793 meant that Torun became part of Prussia. Torun became a Polish city again in 1920 and 1945.
The medieval urban development in Torun has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.
According to Countryaah, Warsaw is the capital of Poland and the largest city in the country with about 2.9 million residents (2004).
The Wisla River flows through the city. Warsaw has been the capital of Poland since 1596, when the royal family moved there from Kraków. Due to its vulnerable position between great powers, the city has been hit hard by wars through the centuries, especially during World War II when the city was largely completely destroyed.
After the war, there were hardly any old historic buildings left, the whole old district was demolished including the old castle. They began to slowly rebuild the capital, but unfortunately, the architects did not care about appearance and colors, but built gray square apartment complexes to solve the acute housing shortage. This led to Warsaw often being called Europe’s most boring city. However, the old town was restored to its old condition. Of the people who lived in Warsaw after the Second World War, few had lived there before, almost all had moved in from the country in the hope of a job.
After the fall of communism, attempts have been made to make Warsaw look nicer. Old gray houses are being repainted by artists and designers, and new modern skyscrapers and residential areas are being built and new parks are being created. In 1995, the Warsaw metro was opened, which had been planned for construction as early as 1938. With Poland’s accession to the EU, Warsaw is today experiencing an economic boom that the city has never seen before.
A dominant building in Warsaw is still the Soviet-built Palace of Culture, a magnificent, albeit still somewhat controversial, building donated to the Polish people by Stalin. For this reason, the building is being debated and some Poles would rather see it destroyed. It is built in an imposing neoclassical style and contains, among other things, cinemas, theaters, various cultural activities and a lookout point.
In 1981, the Old Town of Warsaw was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Wroclaw is a city in western Poland. It is located on the river Oder. The city is an industrial, educational and cultural center and has 689,280 residents (2007).
The oldest traces of settlements date to 300,000 years ago. As the city’s location is on two ancient trade routes between Western Europe and the Black Sea and between the Baltic Sea and the Danube Delta, it was natural that the dozen islands with ferry and fishing facilities eventually developed into an island city. Already at 1500 BC. these trade routes were well established for the salt and amber trade. During the first millennium AD. a form of migration took place and Slavic, Germanic tribes dominated the area.
The city belonged to Germany before the end of World War II.