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Portal:Poland

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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 (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 joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.

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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 It derives from a soup originally made by the Slavs from common hogweed, a herbaceous plant growing in damp meadows, which lent the dish its Slavic name.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 Łukasz Gołębiowski 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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A group of granite outcrops up to eight meters tall, known as Śląskie Kamienie (Silesian Rocks) in Polish or Dívči Kameny (Girl's Rocks) in Czech, on top of a peak rising 1,413 meters above sea level in the Giant Mountains, or Karkonosze. According to local folklore, the peak was the place of death of a young shepherdess, hence the Czech name of the rocks.

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Kielce Bus Station

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Józef Zajączek
Józef Zajączek
Józef Zajączek (1752–1826) was a Polish military general and politician. He started his career in the Polish-Lithuanian army as an aide-de-camp to Hetman Franciszek Ksawery Branicki. He was also Branicki's supporter on the political scene, before joining the liberal opposition during the Great Sejm in 1790 and becoming a radical supporter of the Constitution of 3 May 1791. As a military commander, he participated in the Polish–Russian War of 1792 and the Kościuszko Uprising of 1794. After the Partitions of Poland, he joined the Napoleonic Army where he served as a general until his wounding and capture during the French invasion of Russia in 1812. In 1815, he became the first viceroy of the Russian-controlled "Congress" Kingdom of Poland. (Full article...)

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Wrocław town hall
Wrocław town hall
Wrocław, situated on the Oder River in Lower Silesia, is the fourth largest city in Poland. Dating back to the 11th century, the city has changed its allegiance and name several times in history, and has been known as Vratislav in Czech and Breslau in German. An important economic and cultural hub of eastern Germany until World War II, it can boast eleven Nobel prize winners who were born or lived in Breslau. The picturesque historic center was destroyed during the Siege of Breslau at the end of the war, but then meticulously rebuilt and is now a popular tourist attraction, along with the Centennial Hall and the Racławice Panorama. Modern Wrocław is a growing high-tech and financial center of Poland. (Full article...)

Poland now

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Piotr Żyła

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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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