Facts about Poland

31 facts about Poland

The Republic of Poland

Poland is more than 1000 years old. It had many years of prosperity and many years of hard times. It even disappeared from the world maps for more than a century. Despite all the turmoil, Poland is now developing fast, with 32nd place in the Human Development Index (HDI).

Poland is very diverse in nature and landscape. With the sea in the north and the mountains in the south, it offers almost all ecosystem features found in the temperate climate zone.

In addition to modern cities, museums and parks, there are medieval castles, historic battle sites and artifacts reminiscent of the old days of feudal Europe.

In the northeast of the country lies the Masurian Lake District, which every sailing enthusiast should visit. The area is full of small, picturesque lakeside towns as well as vast, wild places where you can moor up during your cruise and spend time in absolute wilderness.

All in all, Poland is worth getting to know, which we would like to make easier for you with some vital information about the history of this country.

Poland has had at least five capitals throughout its history.
Gniezno was the capital city until 1038, when it was almost completely destroyed during an invasion by the Bohemian prince Bretislav. After that, the capital was moved to Cracow, which served as the capital until September 1568. In the meantime, the capital was Plock (1079-1138) and Poznań (1295-1296). The process of moving the royal court to Warsaw lasted until May 25, 1609, and since then, Warsaw has been the capital to this day.
Poland borders seven countries.
These are Germany, Russia (Kalinigrad Oblast), Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
The longest border is with Czech Republic (796 km) and the shortest with Lithuania (104 km).
The country's name probably comes from the name of the tribe of the Polans.
The name "Poland" has been used to refer to the whole country since the 11th century.
Poland's symbolic beginning was the baptism of Mieszko I, a Polish prince, in 966.
Although Mieszko is considered Poland's founder, his son Boleslaw the Brave became Poland's first king.
The first royal dynasty to rule Poland was the Piast dynasty.
Though uncrowned, the first ruler of this dynasty was Mieszko I, and the last was Casimir III the Great, who died on November 5, 1370, leaving no male heir.
The Andegavian dynasty ruled Poland for a short time.
In 1370 Louis I of Hungary became king of Poland, but his office was interrupted by his death. In 1374, his daughter Jadwiga (Hedwig) ascended the throne. 

Hedwig ruled independently until 1386 when she married Ladislaus Jagiello. In this way, on March 4, 1386, after the coronation of Jagiello, the Jagiellonian dynasty took over Poland's rule.
The Jagiellonians ruled Poland until 1573, when Sigismund II Augustus died childlessly.
After the king's death, a free election was introduced in the republic, which means that the nobility elected the king. Most of the elected rulers were not interested in the development of the country or were not competent in this matter. In the last century of the free election period, Poland's importance in the international arena gradually declined, which led to the partitions.
For 123 years, Poland disappeared from the maps.
The loss of sovereignty and territory began as early as 1772 after the First Partition, but after the Third Partition of Poland in 1795 by the rulers of Russia, Austria and Prussia, Poland disappeared from the map entirely. Poland regained its independence in 1918.
Malbork Castle is the largest castle in the world.
Although it was built not by Poles but by Teutonic Knights, it is located on our present-day Polish territory. It became Polish property in 1457 when Casimir Jagiellonian bought it for 190 thousand florins from Ulric Czerwonka, who took possession of the castle as a pledge for unpaid debts of the Teutonic Order. The present value of the sum for which he bought the castle is about 660 kg of gold.