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 Polish People's Republic 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

The 12th-century collegiate church of Tum in central Poland
The 12th-century collegiate church of Tum in central Poland
The rule of the Piast dynasty was the first major stage in the history of Poland. The indigenous House of Piast was largely responsible for the formation of the Polish state in the 10th century and ruled until the second half of the 14th century. Mieszko I completed the unification of West Slavic tribal lands and chose to be baptized in the Latin Rite in 966. His son, Boleslaus the Brave, pursued territorial conquests and was crowned as the first king of Poland. Boleslaus the Bold brought back Poland's military assertiveness, but was expelled from the country due to a conflict with Bishop Stanislaus of Szczepanów. Boleslaus Wrymouth succeeded in defending his country and recovering territories previously lost, but upon his death in 1138, Poland was divided among his sons. The resulting internal fragmentation eroded the initial Piast monarchy structure in the 12th and 13th centuries, causing fundamental and lasting changes. The kingdom was restored under Vladislaus the Elbow-high, then strengthened and expanded by his son, Casimir the Great. The consolidation in the 14th century laid the base for the new powerful Kingdom of Poland that was to follow. (Full article...)

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The Silesia City Center in Katowice is among the largest shopping malls in Poland, complete with a multiplex, an entertainment center, banks, restaurants and a tropical garden. Opened in 2005 on the site of a defunct hard coal mine, it provides an example of modern urban renewal. Buildings at the base of a preserved shaft tower (right) have been converted into an art gallery and a chapel dedicated to Saint Barbara, the patroness of miners.

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Przemys? II as imagined by Jan Matejko
Przemys? II as imagined by Jan Matejko
Premislaus II (Przemys? II; 1257-1296) was the first king of Poland after a hiatus of more than two centuries. Born posthumously as the only son of Duke Premislaus I of Greater Poland, he was brought up by his uncle, Duke Boleslaus the Pious, until he came of age and began to rule the Duchy of Pozna?. Through inheritance, by 1294 he had expanded his domain over the duchies of Kalisz, Lesser Poland and Pomerelia, but he was forced to retreat from Lesser Poland, leaving it to King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia. Thanks to the mediation of Archbishop Jakub ?winka of Gniezno, Premislaus formed an anti-Bohemian alliance with the dukes of Kuyavia, Vladislaus the Elbow-high and Casimir II of czyca. With much of Poland's territory under his rule, he decided to take the Polish throne; he was crowned by ?winka in Gniezno, in 1295. His reign was cut short nine months later, as he was murdered during a failed kidnapping attempt orchestrated by the margraves of Brandenburg. (Full article...)

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Pozna? town hall
Pozna? town hall
Pozna? is the fifth largest city in Poland and one of the nation's oldest. In the early years of Poland's history, it was the seat of Polish rulers, some of whom are buried in the Pozna? Cathedral. Located on the Warta river in west-central Poland, it is now the capital of Greater Poland and an important centre of education, industry, and trade, hosting regular international trade fairs. With high GDP per capita and low unemployment, it is Poland's most prosperous city after Warsaw. The city's most important cultural event is the annual Malta Theatre Festival. (Full article...)

Poland now

Recent events

Turów Coal Mine

Ongoing
Constitutional crisis • COVID-19 pandemic

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

Harvest festival wreath

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