Portal:Poland

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Panorama of Kraków, former capital of Poland

Welcome to the Poland Portal
Witaj w Portalu o Polsce

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.

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From Polish history

Fighting in Krakowskie Przedmieście, Warsaw, by Juliusz Kossak
The Warsaw Uprising of 1794 was an armed Polish insurrection by the Warsaw's populace early in the Kościuszko Uprising. Supported by the Polish Army, it aimed to throw off Russian control of the Polish capital. It began on 17 April 1794, soon after Tadeusz Kościuszko's victory at Racławice. A National Militia led by shoemaker Jan Kiliński, armed with rifles and sabers from the Warsaw Arsenal, inflicted heavy losses on the more numerous and better equipped, but surprised enemy garrison. Apart from the militia, the most famous units to take part in the liberation of Warsaw were formed of Poles who had been conscripted into the Russian service. Within hours, the fighting had spread from a single street on the western outskirts of Warsaw's Old Town to the entire city. Part of the Russian garrison was able to retreat under the cover of Prussian cavalry, but most were trapped inside the city. Isolated Russian forces resisted in several areas for two more days.


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Illustration by Daniel Mróz for Sławomir Mrożek's short story collection
Credit: Daniel Mróz

A 1957 illustration by Daniel Mróz for Sławomir Mrożek's short story collection entitled Słoń ("Elephant"). Mróz, with his surrealist or grotesque line art drawings, is best known as an illustrator for science fiction books by Stanisław Lem and works by Mrożek, who is famous for his satirical stories and absurdist dramas.

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

Anna Stanisławska

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Marie Curie
Marie Curie (1867–1934) was a Polish-French physicist and chemist. Born Maria Skłodowska in Warsaw, she studied at the clandestine Floating University and began her practical scientific training in the same city. In 1891, she followed her older sister to study in Paris, where she earned her higher degrees and conducted her subsequent scientific work, becoming the first female professor at the University of Paris (La Sorbonne). Her achievements included a theory of radioactivity (a term that she coined), techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements, polonium (which she named for her native country) and radium. Under her direction, the world's first studies were conducted into the treatment of neoplasms, using radioactive isotopes. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain major centres of medical research today. During World War I, she established the first military field radiological centres. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize (in Physics, shared with her husband, Pierre Curie, and with her doctoral advisor, Henri Becquerel, in 1903), the only woman to win it in two fields (the other being Chemistry, in 1911), and the only person to win in multiple sciences. Curie died in 1934 of aplastic anemia brought on by years of her exposure to radiation.


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The Spodek multipurpose sports arena at night

Katowice, located on the Kłodnica and Rawa rivers in the Silesian Highlands, is the capital city of the Silesian Voivodeship. With 312,201 inhabitants, it is the largest city of the Upper Silesian Industry Area and the principal scientific, cultural, industrial, business and transport center of the region. Before World War II, Katowice was the seat of the Silesian Sejm, the legislature of the Silesian Voivodeship. The multipurpose arena complex known as Spodek, or "Saucer" (pictured), is the city's most recognizable landmark.

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Poland now

Wojciech Młynarski

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Holidays and observances in March 2017
(statutory public holidays in bold)

A bouquet of roses and carnations

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