From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Panorama of Kraków, former capital of Poland


Coat of arms of Poland
Map 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 (Solidarność) 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 is an increasingly active member of NATO and the European Union. Template:/box-footer

Show new selections (purge cache)

From Polish history

Contour map of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth at its greatest extent in 1619 superimposed on present-day national borders
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a confederation of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania under a common monarch, which lasted from 1569 until 1795. It was an extension of the Polish-Lithuanian Union, a dynastic union that had existed between the two nations since 1386. The Commonwealth was one of the largest and most populous states in Europe and for over two centuries successfully withstood conflicts with the Russians, the Ottomans and Sweden. It was notable for its political system, which was a precursor to modern democracy and federation; for its remarkable religious toleration; and for the second-oldest written national constitution in the world. Its economy was dominated by agriculture. While the Commonwealth's first century was a golden age for both Poland and Lithuania, the second century was marked by military defeats, a return to serfdom for the peasants, and growing anarchy in political life.
More selected articles...

Selected picture

Credit: Łukasz Golowanow, Maciej Hypś, Konflikty.pl

Yak-18 is a Soviet-made two-seat military trainer aircraft designed by Alexander Sergeyevich Yakovlev. This plane bears the white-and-red Air Force checkerboard, a national marking indicating that it belongs to the Polish Air Force. Yak-18 planes were used in Poland for military training purposes throughout the 1950s. This photograph was taken at the International Air Picnic in Góraszka near Warsaw.

More selected pictures...

Did you know

From Wikipedia's new or recently improved articles about Poland:

An obwarzanek krakowski sprinkled with poppy seeds




Selected biography

"Jack the Ripper" is the best known pseudonym given to an unidentified serial killer active in the largely impoverished districts in and around the Whitechapel district of London's East End in 1888. Attacks ascribed to the Ripper typically involved women prostitutes from the slums whose throats were cut prior to abdominal mutilations. As the murders were never solved, the legends surrounding them became a combination of genuine historical research, folklore, and pseudohistory. Among more than one hundred Jack the Ripper suspects suggested since 1888, there have been several Poles and Polish Jews. These include Seweryn Antonowicz Kłosowski (pictured), also known as George Chapman, a serial killer executed in 1903; Aaron Kosminski, an insane Jew from Kłodawa; and John Pizer, another Polish Jew, also known as "Leather Apron". In 1987, Martin Fido, a ripperologist, speculated that the crimes may have been committed by Nathan Kaminsky, a Polish Jew who went by a generic Jewish name, David Cohen. The civil parish of Whitechapel around the time of the murders was experiencing an influx of immigrants from Ireland and Eastern Europe; its population was transient, impoverished and often used aliases. The Ripper's true identity will almost certainly never be known.
More selected biographies… Read more…

Selected location

Chorzów is a city on the Rawa River in Upper Silesia and part of the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union, Poland's largest conurbation. Originally called Königshütte in German and Królewska Huta in Polish (both meaning "Royal Iron Works"), it was renamed Chorzów after a merger with a village of that name in 1934. Chorzów used to be one of the most important cities of the Upper Silesian Industrial Region with extensive industry in coal mining, steel, chemistry, manufacturing, and energy sectors. As heavy-industry establishments were either closed or scaled down, or restructured and modernized, the city has been evolving towards service economy. Chorzów is nationally famous for its Silesian Central Park, complete with amusement grounds, a cable line railway, a zoo, a sports stadium, and the largest and oldest planetarium in Poland (pictured).

More selected locations...

Template:/box-header Recent or ongoing events

Constitutional Tribunal of Poland

Upcoming events

Holidays and observances in August 2022
(statutory public holidays in bold)

Archive and more... Template:/box-footer

Template:/box-header Template:/Categories Template:/box-footer




Government and politics






Coat of arms of Germany.svg Coat of arms of the Czech Republic.svg Coat of arms of Slovakia.svg 45x45px Coat of arms of Belarus.svg Coat of arms of Lithuania.svg Coat of Arms of the Russian Federation.svg
Germany Czech Republic Slovakia Ukraine Belarus Lithuania Russia
P europe.png POL województwo dolnośląskie COA.svg Gold cross.png German helmet.svg Symbol-hammer-and-sickle.svg Blue compass rose.svg 45x45px
Europe Silesia Catholicism World War II Communism NATO European Union



Wikiquote-logo.png Poland at Wikiquote
Commons-logo.png Poland at Commons
Wikisource-logo.png Poland at Wikisource
Source texts
Wikivoyage-Logo-v3-icon.svg Poland at Wikivoyage
Travel guide



Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Kaszëbskô Wikipedijô
Kashubian Wikipedia
Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Polska Wikipedia
Polish Wikipedia
Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Ślůnsko Wikipedyjo
Silesian Wikipedia

БеларускаяČeskyDeutschՀայերենLietuviųRomaniРусскийSlovenčinaУкраїнськаייִדיש Template:/box-footer