11 Facts About Poland

1. The most distinguished painting of Poland is Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci, held at the Czartoryski Museum in Krakow.

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2. Culture of Poland is closely connected with its intricate 1,000-year history.

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3. Education in Poland starts at the age of five or six for the '0' class (Kindergarten) and six or seven years in the 1st class of primary school (Polish szkoła podstawowa).

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4. In the first half of the 20th century, Poland was a flourishing centre of mathematics.

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5. In 2013, Poland scored 48 out of 129 states in the Energy Sustainability Index.

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6. In 1996, Poland achieved full OECD membership, and at the 1997 Madrid Summit was invited to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in the first wave of policy enlargement finally becoming a full member of NATO in March 1999.

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7. In recent years, Poland has extended its responsibilities and position in European and international affairs, supporting and establishing friendly relations with other European nations and a large number of 'developing' countries.

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8. In 2013, Poland became a member of the Development Assistance Committee.

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9. In 1991, Poland became a member of the Visegrad Group and joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance in 1999 along with the Czech Republic and Hungary.

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10. As with other post-communist countries, Poland suffered slumps in social and economic standards, but it became the first post-communist country to reach its pre-1989 GDP levels, which it achieved by 1995 largely thanks to its booming economy.

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11. In the south, Poland confronted the Ottoman Empire and the Crimean Tatars, and in the east helped Lithuania fight the Grand Duchy of Moscow.

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