Poland in a nutshell
We are beginning our trip in Poland which is our home country. We’re planning to see little-known places and focus on nature. It’s our favourite style of travelling. Now, when sightseeing and visiting popular places is very limited, it sounds like a perfect way of spending time 🙂
Today we’d like to share with you some important or just interesting facts about Poland:
1. Is located in Central Europe
Some people say that it is in Eastern or Central – Eastern Europe. It depends on point of view and adopted criterion.
2. Has a capital in Warsaw
As far Poland has had 5 capitals. The first one was in Gniezno. And in Poznań in the same time. Why two capitals? Money of course – Gniezdo didn’t have enough money to ensure the lord what he wanted so he lived sometimes there and sometimes in Poznań. Then the capital was moved for a while to Cracow which is one of the best known Polish cities. Then to Płock. Then Cracow again (for a little bit longer). Then Poznań again. Then Cracow again but this time for almost 500 years. And finally Warsaw became Polish capital. At the beginning it wasn’t official. And there were some breaks caused by wars and occupation. From 1952 Warsaw is a real capital enshrined in the constitution.
3. About 38 million people live here
And foreigners are only about 1% of this number. These are mainly Ukrainians and Germans but also people from Belarus, Russia, Vietnam, India, Italy, Great Britain and Spain. There are almost no refugees from Africa or Middle East.
So almost all these 38 million have Polish nationality. But it’s not even 2/3 of all Poles in the world. About 35% of people with Polish nationality lives abroad. They’re called ‘Polonia’. The most popular among Poles countries are the US, Germany, Brasil and France and then Belarus, Canada, Ukraine and Great Britain.
4. It’s the 9th largest country in Europe
Bigger are: Russia, France, Ukraine, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Finland and Norway.
5. Has very complicated history
Between 1600 and 1945 Poland was fighting for independence almost all the time – more than 40 times! During this period it was under partitions for 123 years. After II World War ended Poland became USSR dependent country with a communist regime which lasted for 44 years. Poland has been a truly free country since 1989.
6. It’s called ‘Vistula Land’
Vistula is the longest river in the country which flows from its south to the north where it ends in Baltic Sea. Three capitals were located near this river. It was very important during all history. It has become a kind of symbol for Polish nation.
7. Polar bears do not live in Poland 😉
Sometimes people really think so! But it’s definitely not true. Poland is a developed country so it looks like other European ones. Temperatures are also similar to these occurring in better-known countries in Central Europe e.g. Germany. Last year the average temperature in summer was almost 20°C and in winter about 0°C. So come on, polar bears couldn’t live here!
However in Polish forests you can find lots of wild animals. Among them there are bisons, storks, mountain chamois, owls, eagles, wild boars, deer, hedgehogs, foxes, badgers, beavers, hares, wolfs and brown bears 🙂
8. The only natural desert in Europe is here
It’s called Pustynia Błędowska and is located in the southern Poland. According to legend, the desert was to arise from the sand scattered by the devil, which he wanted to cover the Olkusz silver mine.
9. There are also mountains, many lakes and a sea
In the southern part of the country there are three mountain ranges: Karpaty, Sudety and Świętokrzyskie Mountains. They extend along the full width of the country. In the north there is Baltic Sea. In the northeastern part lies Masuria which is called the ‘land of a thousand lakes’. But really there are about 2600 lakes in that district.
10. Polish is the third hardest language to learn for English speakers
Only Mandarin Chinese and Arabic are harder. Of course it is only one of many rankings and there are other horribly difficult languages but for sure Polish always will be somewhere in the lead. One of very characteristic Polish sentences is ‘zażółć gęślą jaźń’ which shows you all the letters specific for this language.
11. In some areas like Silesia or Kaszuby people have their own languages
These languages are difficult to understand for others but fortunately inhabitants of the regions can also speak Polish. There are also other less-known and less-popular dialects.
12. Apples are the most popular fruits
Poland is their biggest producer and exporter in Europe. Even 1,2 million tons of apples are being exported to other markets.
Poland is also the world’s bigger amber exporter.
13. Vodka is a very popular alcohol, so does beer
Poles like drinking alcohol. The most often they drink beer. But vodka has a special meaning and accompanies people in all important moments (weddings, birthdays, anniversaries etc.)
14. Polish cuisine includes loads of meat and grain
The most popular Polish food is: pierogi (dumplings), bigos (cabbage with meat), rosół (soup with chicken, vegetables and thin pasta), kotlety schabowe (pork cutlets) and similar. There are also vegetables including potatoes eaten every day. And really tasty bread – impossible to find in other countries.
15. Polish flag looks like this:
Soon we will show you nice and interesting things found on our way and also tell you more about this country.
If you have any questions – just ask them and we’ll try to answer you 🙂