Portal:Poland
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Portal:Poland

Welcome to the Poland Portal — Witaj w Portalu o Polsce

Cityscape of Kraków, Poland's former capital
Cityscape of Kraków, Poland's former capital
Coat of arms of Poland

Poland is a country in Central Europe, bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast to the north. It is an ancient nation whose history as a state began near the middle of the 10th century. Its golden age occurred in the 16th century when it united with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to form the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. During the following century, the strengthening of the gentry and internal disorders weakened the nation. In a series of agreements in the late 18th century, Russia, Prussia and Austria partitioned Poland amongst themselves. It regained independence as the Second Polish Republic in the aftermath of World War I only to lose it again when it was occupied by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in World War II. The nation lost over six million citizens in the war, following which it emerged as the communist People's Republic of Poland under strong Soviet influence within the Eastern Bloc. A westward border shift followed by forced population transfers after the war turned a once multiethnic country into a mostly homogeneous nation state. Labor turmoil in 1980 led to the formation of the independent trade union called Solidarity (Solidarno) that over time became a political force which by 1990 had swept parliamentary elections and the presidency. A shock therapy program during the early 1990s enabled the country to transform its economy into one of the most robust in Central Europe. With its transformation to a democratic, market-oriented country completed, Poland joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.

From Polish history - show another

Polish clear beetroot borscht with uszka
Polish clear beetroot borscht with uszka
Borscht (barszcz) is a sour soup common to various Eastern European cuisines. It derives from a soup originally made by the Slavs from common hogweed, a herbaceous plant growing in damp meadows, which lent the dish its Slavic name. Its stems, leaves and umbels were chopped, covered with water and left in a warm place to ferment. After a few days, lactic and alcoholic fermentation produced a mixture described as "something between beer and sauerkraut". It was then used for cooking a soup with a mouth-puckering sour taste and pungent smell. As the Polish ethnographer ?ukasz Gobiowski wrote in 1830, "Poles have been always partial to tart dishes, which are somewhat peculiar to their homeland and vital to their health." With time, other ingredients were added to the soup, eventually replacing hogweed altogether. In modern Polish cuisine, borscht usually comes in one of two varieties: clear beetroot-based red borscht, typically served with mushroom-filled uszka dumplings (pictured), or white borscht made from fermented rye flour and served over boiled sausage, potatoes and eggs. They are traditionally associated with Christmas and Easter, respectively. (Full article...)

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The glass roof of the main auditorium of the Warsaw University of Technology (Politechnika Warszawska). The university's Neo-Renaissance Main Building was erected in 1901.

Paul Tremo

  • ... that the motto of a cookbook by Paul Tremo (pictured), a court chef to King Stanislaus Augustus of Poland, was, "not everyone thinks, but everyone eats"?
  • ... that during the Wrze?nia children strike of 1901-04, ethnic Polish schoolchildren were flogged for protesting against religious instruction in German?
  • ... that Kali, a fine art painter, was a veteran of the Polish resistance movement during World War II?
  • ... that the Polish-born Jakub Mareczko was the most successful under-23 cyclist in Italy in 2014?

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Roman Dmowski in a colorized photograph
Roman Dmowski in a colorized photograph
Roman Dmowski (1864-1939) was a Polish statesman. As the co-founder and chief ideologue of the right-wing National Democracy movement, he was one of interwar Poland's most influential politicians, known as the father of Polish nationalism. A prominent spokesman for Polish national aspirations during World War I and Poland's delegate to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, he was instrumental in the restoration of his homeland's independence, but, except a brief stint as foreign minister in 1923, he never wielded official political power. Before independence, Dmowski saw aggressive Germanization of ethnicaly Polish territories in the German Empire as the major threat to Polish culture and advocated a degree of accommodation with another partitioning power - the Russian Empire. He favored re-establishment of Polish independence by nonviolent means and supported policies favorable to the middle class. Convinced that only a Polish-speaking Roman Catholic could make a good Pole, he marginalized renascent Poland's ethnic minorities and he was vocally anti-Semitic. Dmowski was the chief political opponent of Józef Pi?sudski, who sided with the Central Powers against Russia, and of his vision of Poland as a multinational federation. (Full article...)

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S?upsk town hall
S?upsk town hall
S?upsk is a city on the S?upia River, 18 km away from the Baltic Sea coast. It dates back to a medieval Slavic settlement on a ford along a trade route connecting eastern and western parts of Pomerania. Incorporated in 1265, the town gradually fell under Brandenburgian rule, becoming a German town known as Stolp. In Polish hands since the end of World War II, S?upsk is developing thanks to local footwear industry and a bus factory owned by Scania. With the election of Robert Biedro? in 2014, it became the first town in Poland with an openly gay mayor. (Full article...)

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Piotr ?y?a

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Constitutional crisis • COVID-19 pandemic • Women's Strike protests

Holidays and observances in April 2021
(statutory public holidays in bold)

Polish Easter eggs

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