About Poland

Territory:

Poland, with its territory covering 312 685 km2, is 69th largest country in the world and 9th largest country in Europe. The country extends from 14 8` to 24 9` E (longitude) and from 49 00` to 54 50` N (latitude). The total length of Poland`s borders is 3852 km (land borders - 3054 km, sea borders -528 km). It borders Russia (210 km), Lithuania (103 km), Belarus (416 km) Ukraine (529 km), Slovakia (539 km), the Czech Republic (790 km) and Germany (467 km).



Population:

Over 39 000 000. Life expectancy at birth population: 73 years (male: 69 years, female: 77 years). Poland`s largest cities are Warsaw, the capital (1 625 000), Lodz (815 300), Krakow (747 000), Wroclaw (640 000), Poznan(580 000), Gdansk (462 000), Szczecin (419 000), Lublin (3560 000), and Katowice (353 000). Poles making up more than 97% of the population. Other nationalities and ethnic groups represented in Poland are: Germans, Ukraines, and Belarussians. In addition to the larger groups mentioned above, even smaller group of Roma, Lithuanians, Slovaks and Jews live in Poland.


Geography:

The longest rivers are: Vistula (1047 km), Odra (854 km), Warta (808 km), Narew (484 km), San (443 km). The largest lakes in Poland are: Œniardwy (113.8 km2), Mamry (104.9 km2), £ebsko (71.4 km2), Dabie (56.0 km2) Miedwie (35.4 km2), Jeziorak (34.6 km2). The highest peaks are: Tatry Mountains: Rysy (2499 m) in the Tatry mountains some 80 km from Krakow.

 

Polish regions - each different

It is hard to determinate the exact borders of regions in Poland. Polish history was a bit complicated, so the fate of the Polish lands. We have decided to divide into 6 parts:

Pomorze (Pomerania) - wich very often is divided into Eastern and Western Pomerania. The land of the sea, sandy beaches, Hanseatic towns and forests.

Wielkopolska (Great Poland) with Ziemia Lubuska. The "cradle of Poland" .

Slask (Silesia) also has two pars Lower and Northern Silesia. Home to many cultures and rich history.

Malopolska (Little Poland) , we included here also Lublin Area. One of the most Polish of the Polish lands.

Mazowsze (Mazovia) - with Lodz area, Podlasie and Bialystok region. The land of folklore, manors and forests.

Warmia i Mazury with Suwalki area. Hard to call it a land since a major part of its surface is occupied by water.

Nature
When you look at map of Poland you will probably have an impression that it is rather a flat country, with not much to see. Do not lrt this impression into your mind. Poland has all, the mountains, uplands, lowlands, lake areas, and an access to the see with long sandy beaches. The most popular mountain destination are Tatry Mountains, but Sudety, Bieszczady, Beskidy  and the Swietokrzyskie Mountains should not be missed. For cave lovers Wyzyna Krakowsko - Czestochowska, (north of Krakow) will be the land of dreams. Lake areas are another highlight of Poland. The most popular are Mazurian lakes wich are one of the best place for water sports in Europe, Pojezierze Suwalskie  in North-Eastern Poland, Pojezierze Kaszubskie - near Gdansk, but there are many others areas with mostly postglacial lakes. Poland is also a country of forests. They cover more than quarter of its surface. The biggest forest areas include Puszcza Bialowieska, Puszcza Kampinowska, Bory Tucholskie. The Dunajec Gorge is a place of special interest. You will find in Poland also Bagna Biebrzanskie - the biggest marshlands in Europe wich are home to tens of bird species. All the places we mentioned above are now national parks but they are only a small fraction of all parks and reservs in Poland.

Local time:

Poland is in the Central European: GMT+1 hour. When it is noon in Kraków it is: 12:00 in Paris and Berlin, 11:00 in London, 06:00 in New York, 20:00 in Sydney and 14:00 in Moscow. Summertime (GMT+2) is in effect from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October.

 

Climate:

Polish climate is temperate in the broadest sense of the world. Winters are cold and cloudy with frequent precipitation. In the meteorologist`s jargon, this is known as `moderately severe`. Summers are mild though punctuated showers and thundershowers.

 

Castles & palaces
Because Poland was the front line for many centuries there are many of castles in poland. First of them has been built in the middle ages and during the next centuries new has been added to the Polish landscape. You would need a live to visit all castles since there are 450 of them in Poland. The biggest castle in Poland (and Europe) is Malbork Castle (northern Poland, near Gdansk), but you cannot miss other castles built by Teutonic Knights such as: Lidzbark Warminski or Radzyn Chelminski (north of Torun) Castles. Begin in Krakow you will see Wawel Castle wich served as a King`s residence for many centuries until it was moved to Warsaw Castle, wich was reconstructed only 20 years ago. North of Krakow you will find ruins of the castles called "Eagle Nests", many of them are today romantic ruins. Silesia can boost a great number of castles with the biggest one in Ksiaz near Poznan you will find interesting Kurnik Castle. From XVII the wealthy aristocrats and kings started to built their residences. Most of them were situated in the thab bew capital-Warsaw, like for example Wilanow, Lazienki Palace, Krasinski palaces. But other towns there are also outstanding structures, let`s mention only Lancut near Rzeszow, Branicki in Bialystok and Rogalin near Poznan palaces.