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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.

From Polish history

Street Demonstration by Władysław Skoczylas (1905)
The Łódź Insurrection was an uprising by Polish workers in Łódź against the Russian Empire which took place between 21 and 25 June 1905. The Russian-controlled Congress Poland was one of the major centers of the Russian Revolution of 1905, and the Łódź Insurrection was a key incident in those events. For months prior to the uprising, workers in Łódź had been in a state of unrest, with several major strikes brutally quelled by the Russian police and military. Around 21–22 June, angry workers began building barricades and assaulting police and military patrols. The riots began spontaneously, without backing from any organized group; Polish revolutionary groups were taken by surprise and did not play a major role in the subsequent events. Authorities declared martial law and called in additional troops. No businesses operated in the city on 23 June as the police and military stormed dozens of workers' barricades. Eventually, by 25 June, the uprising was crushed, with estimates of several hundred dead and wounded. The events were reported in international press and recognized by socialist and communist activists worldwide.


Selected picture

Statue of Duke Leszek the White in the village of Marcinkowo

Statue of Duke Leszek the White in the village of Marcinkowo. Leszek was a duke of Kraków and, formally, sovereign of all Poland. In 1227 in Gąsawa, he convened with other Polish dukes, including Vladislaus Spindleshanks of Greater Poland, Henry the Bearded of Lower Silesia and Conrad of Masovia. Participants of the summit were attacked, probably on the orders of Duke Swantopolk II of Pomerania, in the morning of 24 November 1227. Leszek, who was then having a bath, attempted to escape, naked, on horseback, but he was captured and killed by the assassins in a nearby forest.

Did you know

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

Karolina Styczyńska

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Selected biography

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.


Selected location

Silesian Planetarium in Chorzów

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).

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Poland now

Zbigniew Brzezinski in 1977

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

Corpus Christi procession in Łowicz

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Kashubian Wikipedia
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Polish Wikipedia
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