83 Facts About Poland


Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe.

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Poland has a population of over 38 million and is the fifth-most populous member state of the European Union.

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The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025 and in 1569 cemented its longstanding political association with Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin.

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In September 1939, the German-Soviet invasion of Poland marked the beginning of World War II, which resulted in the Holocaust and millions of Polish casualties.

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Poland is a developed market and a middle power; it has the sixth largest economy in the European Union by GDP and the fifth largest by GDP .

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Poland is a founding member state of the United Nations, as well as a member of the World Trade Organization, NATO, and the European Union .

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The English name Poland was formed in the 1560s, from German and the suffix -land, denoting a people or nation.

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Poland began to form into a recognisable unitary and territorial entity around the middle of the 10th century under the Piast dynasty.

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Transition from paganism in Poland was not instantaneous and resulted in the pagan reaction of the 1030s.

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Under his authority, Poland transformed into a major European power; he instituted Polish rule over Ruthenia in 1340 and imposed quarantine that prevented the spread of Black Death.

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Poland was succeeded by his closest male relative, Louis of Anjou, who ruled Poland, Hungary and Croatia in a personal union.

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In 1386, Jadwiga of Poland entered a marriage of convenience with Wladyslaw II Jagiello, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, thus forming the Jagiellonian dynasty and the Polish–Lithuanian union which spanned the late Middle Ages and early Modern Era.

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Poland was developing as a feudal state, with a predominantly agricultural economy and an increasingly powerful landed nobility that confined the population to private manorial farmsteads, or folwarks.

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Simultaneously, Poland imposed Polonisation policies in newly acquired territories which were met with resistance from ethnic and religious minorities.

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Poland's candidacy was extensively funded by his sponsor and former lover, Empress Catherine II of Russia.

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Poland's ideals led to the formation of the 1768 Bar Confederation, a rebellion directed against the Poniatowski and all external influence, which ineptly aimed to preserve Poland's sovereignty and privileges held by the nobility.

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An unsuccessful attempt at defending Poland's sovereignty took place in the 1794 Kosciuszko Uprising, where a popular and distinguished general Tadeusz Kosciuszko, who had several years earlier served under George Washington in the American Revolutionary War, led Polish insurgents.

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Towards the end of the 19th century, Congress Poland became heavily industrialised; its primary exports being coal, zinc, iron and textiles.

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Poland made the fourth-largest troop contribution in Europe, and its troops served both the Polish Government in Exile in the west and Soviet leadership in the east.

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Poland became a member of the Visegrad Group in 1991, and joined NATO in 1999.

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Poles then voted to join the European Union in a referendum in June 2003, with Poland becoming a full member on 1 May 2004, following the consequent enlargement of the organization.

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Poland joined the Schengen Area in 2007, as a result of which, the country's borders with other member states of the European Union have been dismantled, allowing for full freedom of movement within most of the European Union.

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Topographically, the landscape of Poland is characterised by diverse landforms, water bodies and ecosystems.

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Mountainous belt in the extreme south of Poland is divided into two major mountain ranges; the Sudetes in the west and the Carpathians in the east.

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The lowest point in Poland is situated at Raczki Elblaskie in the Vistula Delta, which is 1.

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Climate of Poland is temperate transitional, and varies from oceanic in the north-west to continental in the south-east.

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The warmest and sunniest part of Poland is Lower Silesia in the southwest and the coldest region is the northeast corner, around Suwalki in Podlaskie province, where the climate is affected by cold fronts from Scandinavia and Siberia.

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Phytogeographically, Poland belongs to the Central European province of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom.

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Flora and fauna in Poland is that of Continental Europe, with the wisent, white stork and white-tailed eagle designated as national animals, and the red common poppy being the unofficial floral emblem.

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Poland is a significant breeding ground for migratory birds and hosts around one quarter of the global population of white storks.

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Poland is a unitary parliamentary republic and a representative democracy, with a president as the head of state.

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Poland's legislative assembly is a bicameral parliament consisting of a 460-member lower house and a 100-member upper house .

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Poland is divided into 16 provinces or states known as voivodeships.

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Constitution of Poland is the enacted supreme law, and Polish judicature is based on the principle of civil rights, governed by the code of civil law.

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Judiciary in Poland is composed of the Supreme Court as the country's highest judicial organ, the Supreme Administrative Court for the judicial control of public administration, Common Courts and the Military Court.

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Poland is a middle power and is transitioning into a regional power in Europe.

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Apart from the European Union, Poland has been a member of NATO, the United Nations, and the WTO.

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In recent years, Poland significantly strengthened its relations with the United States, thus becoming one of its closest allies and strategic partners in Europe.

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From 2022, Poland is set to spend 110 billion euros on the modernisation of its armed forces, in close cooperation with American, South Korean and local Polish defence manufacturers.

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Law enforcement in Poland is performed by several agencies which are subordinate to the Ministry of Interior and Administration – the State Police, assigned to investigate crimes or transgression; the Municipal City Guard, which maintains public order; and several specialised agencies, such as the Polish Border Guard.

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Emergency services in Poland consist of the emergency medical services, search and rescue units of the Polish Armed Forces and State Fire Service.

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Emergency medical services in Poland are operated by local and regional governments, but are a part of the centralised national agency - the National Medical Emergency Service .

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Poland is the regional economic leader in Central Europe, with nearly 40 per cent of the 500 biggest companies in the region as well as a high globalisation rate.

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Poland has the largest banking sector in Central Europe, with 32.

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In 2019, Poland passed a law that would exempt workers under the age of 26 from income tax.

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Poland experienced a significant increase in the number of tourists after joining the European Union in 2004.

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Tourist attractions in Poland vary, from the mountains in the south to the sandy beaches in the north, with a trail of nearly every architectural style.

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The most visited city is Krakow, which was the former capital of Poland and serves as a relic of the Polish Golden Age and the Renaissance.

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Transport in Poland is provided by means of rail, road, marine shipping and air travel.

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Poland has a number of international airports, the largest of which is Warsaw Chopin Airport, the primary global hub for LOT Polish Airlines.

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Coal production in Poland is a major source of jobs and the largest source of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions.

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Poland derived a quantity theory of money, which made him a pioneer of economics.

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Poland was ranked 40th in the Global Innovation Index in 2021, down from 39th in 2019.

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Furthermore, Poland's population is aging significantly, and the country has a median age of roughly 42.

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Polish is the official and predominant spoken language in Poland, and is one of the official languages of the European Union.

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Poland recognises secondary administrative languages or auxiliary languages in bilingual municipalities, where bilingual signs and placenames are commonplace.

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Poland is one of the most religious countries in Europe, where Roman Catholicism remains a criterion of national identity and Polish-born Pope John Paul II is widely revered.

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Freedom of religion in Poland is guaranteed by the Constitution, and the concordat guarantees the teaching of religion in public schools.

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Poland hosted Europe's largest Jewish diaspora and the country was a centre of Ashkenazi Jewish culture and traditional learning until the Holocaust.

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Medical service providers and hospitals in Poland are subordinate to the Ministry of Health; it provides administrative oversight and scrutiny of general medical practice, and is obliged to maintain a high standard of hygiene and patient care.

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Poland has a universal healthcare system based on an all-inclusive insurance system; state subsidised healthcare is available to all citizens covered by the general health insurance program of the National Health Fund .

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Jagiellonian University founded in 1364 by Casimir III in Krakow was the first institution of higher learning established in Poland, and is one of the oldest universities still in continuous operation.

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In Poland, there are over 500 university-level institutions, with technical, medical, economic, agricultural, pedagogical, theological, musical, maritime and military faculties.

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Poland today has an active music scene, with the jazz and metal genres being particularly popular among the contemporary populace.

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Poland has become a major venue for large-scale music festivals, chief among which are the Open'er Festival, Opole Festival and Sopot Festival.

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Art in Poland has invariably reflected European trends, with Polish painting pivoted on folklore, Catholic themes, historicism and realism, but on impressionism and romanticism.

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An important art movement was Young Poland, developed in the late 19th century for promoting decadence, symbolism and art nouveau.

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The most distinguished painting in Poland is Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci, which had a profound influence on Polish cultural heritage and national identity.

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Notable art academies in Poland include the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts, Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Art Academy of Szczecin, University of Fine Arts in Poznan and the Geppert Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw.

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Architecture of Poland reflects European architectural styles, with strong historical influences derived from Italy, Germany, and the Low Countries.

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Literary works of Poland have traditionally concentrated around the themes of patriotism, spirituality, social allegories and moral narratives.

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Poland's leading 19th-century romantic poets were the Three Bards – Juliusz Slowacki, Zygmunt Krasinski and Adam Mickiewicz, whose epic poem Pan Tadeusz is a national classic.

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Poland has six Nobel-Prize winning authors – Henryk Sienkiewicz, Wladyslaw Reymont, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Czeslaw Milosz, Wislawa Szymborska, and Olga Tokarczuk .

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Cuisine of Poland is eclectic and shares similarities with other regional cuisines.

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The national dress and etiquette of Poland reached the court at Versailles, where French dresses inspired by Polish garments included robe a la polonaise and the witzchoura.

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Poland has produced influential directors, film producers and actors, many of whom were active in Hollywood, chiefly Roman Polanski, Andrzej Wajda, Pola Negri, Samuel Goldwyn, the Warner brothers, Max Fleischer, Agnieszka Holland, Krzysztof Zanussi and Krzysztof Kieslowski.

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Poland has a number of major domestic media outlets, chiefly the public broadcasting corporation TVP, free-to-air channels TVN and Polsat as well as 24-hour news channels TVP Info, TVN 24 and Polsat News.

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Poland is a major European hub for video game developers and among the most successful companies are CD Projekt, Techland, The Farm 51, CI Games and People Can Fly.

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Golden era of football in Poland occurred throughout the 1970s and went on until the early 1980s when the Polish national football team achieved their best results in any FIFA World Cup competitions finishing third place in the 1974 and the 1982 tournaments.

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Poland has made a distinctive mark in motorcycle speedway racing.

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The national speedway team of Poland is one of the major teams in international speedway.

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Individually, Poland has three Speedway Grand Prix World Champions, with the most successful being two-time World Champion Bartosz Zmarzlik who won back-to-back championships in 2019 and 2020.

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In 2021, Poland finished runners-up in the Speedway of Nations world championship final, held in Manchester, UK.

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