Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometers, and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. Fronting the Baltic Sea, a lowland plain blend into sandy beaches and dunes. The northern regions are somewhat hilly while flat fertile farmlands dominate the Central Lowlands.  Moving south, the land rises into hilly uplands that front the Sudetic and Carpathian Mountain ranges. The tallest peaks are in the Tatra Mountains. The highest point is Rysy at 8,187 ft. (2,499m) The Oder, Vistula and Warta are the country’s major rivers. Numerous small lakes dot the far northeast. Fronted by the Baltic Sea in the north, Poland has a fairly smooth coastline covered by sand dunes in some areas and indented by scattered low-rising cliffs. From the Baltic lowlands, Poland’s land rises gently into tree-covered hilly areas, with some higher elevations in the Pomeranian Lake District in the northeast. From the Baltic lowlands, Poland’s land rises gently into tree-covered hilly areas, with some higher elevations in the Pomeranian Lake District in the northeast. The Central Lowlands is a flat region of river valleys that blends into a hillier area to the south of the Vistula River. The southern third of the country is a mountainous region. Major ranges include the Sudetes and the Tatra Mountains which are the most elevated part of the Carpathian Mountains. Poland has 21 mountains over 2,000 m (6,600 ft) in elevation, and all are located in the Tatras, along the border with Slovakia. Poland’s measured highest-point is Mt. Rysy in the High Tatras; it stands at 2,499 m (8,199 ft) in elevation. The lowest point in Poland at -1.8 m (-5.7 ft) is located at Raczki Elblaskie in the Vistula Delta. The Bledow Desert, located in southern Poland, is only one of five natural deserts in Europe. It has a total area of 32 sq km (12 sq mi). Some of its dunes extend up to 30 m (98 ft).

As for rivers, the longest river in Poland is the Vistula at 1,047 km (651 mi) long. It is followed by the Oder which forms part of Poland’s western border, at 854 km (531 mi) long. Other rivers of note include the Bug and the Warta.

Poland has hundreds of small lakes, and in Europe, only Finland has a greater density of lakes.

Key Cities

Key cities in Poland include: Warsaw, Krakow, Lodz, Wroclaw, Poznan, Gdansk, Szczecin, Bydgoszcz, Lublin, Katowice.

Historical, Cultural facts & Religion

The history of Poland has its roots in the early migrations of Slavs, who established permanent West Slavic settlements in the Polish lands during the Early Middle Ages. The first ruling dynasty, the Piasts, emerged by the 10th century AD. The culture of Poland developed as a result of its geography and connections to other countries, and it’s rich thousand-year history. Approximately 95 percent of Poland’s inhabitants are Roman Catholics, with about 75 percent attending church services regularly. When talking about Poland, “religion” often means “Catholicism”. About 90% of Poles are Roman Catholics, although this number may be overestimated as the statistics often include people who were baptized Catholic, even if they later abandoned the Church.

Brief Country History

The written history of Poland began in the 10th century. At that time Poland was ruled by a dynasty called the Piasts. A Piast named Mieszko I reigned from about 960 to 992. In 966 he became a Christian and his people followed. A king named Boleslaw the Wrymouth (reigned 1102-1138) decided that after his death the kingdom should be divided between his sons. (Although the eldest son was to have overall control). This decision weakened Poland.  In the 12th and 13th centuries, Poland prospered and town life flourished. A king named Henry the Bearded reigned from 1201 to 1238. His wife Jadwiga encouraged German merchants and craftsmen to come and live in Poland. They founded towns with German laws. Some Germans also came to farm uncultivated land in Poland. However, in 1241-42 the Mongols invaded Poland. The Poles were defeated at the Battle of Legnica in April 1241 but the Mongols soon withdrew. Another threat to Poland came from the Teutonic Knights. They were an order of fighting monks. They set out to conquer the Pagan peoples of eastern Europe and convert them by force. In 1235 they began conquering the pagan Prussians (who lived northeast of Poland). By 1283 Teutonic the Knights had conquered the Prussians. However, in 1308 they turned on Poland. They took eastern Pomerania including the town of Gdansk, which they renamed Danzig. Yet in the early 14th century Poland became a strong and unified state. Kazimierz III, known as Kazimierz the Great (reigned 1333-1370) expanded east into Russia. He also reformed the law and administration. Furthermore, during his reign, the first university in Poland, Krakow, was founded. Kazimierz also protected and supported the Jews. It was partly due to him that Poland came to have a large Jewish community.

The era from the 14th century to the 16th century was one of greatness for Poland. Nevertheless, the power of the king gradually weakened. The Polish nobility became more and more powerful. Kazimierz was succeeded by his nephew Louis, the king of Hungary. Louis wanted his daughter to succeed as ruler of Poland him but to obtain the agreement of the Polish nobles, he was forced to grant them concessions. The Privilege of Koszyce (1374) made the nobles exempt from most kinds of tax. It also gave them an important role in government. In the future, no important decision could be made without their consent.

Language (s) Written & Spoken

The official language of Poland, Polish is a Slavic language. Along with Czech and Slovak, it is a member of the West Slavic language group. Behind Russian, Polish is the second most commonly spoken of the Slavic languages.

Important Types of Commerce in Poland

When you make plans for working in Poland, there are certain industries and key sectors you should look into. The country’s main industries include machine building, iron and steel, coal mining, chemicals, shipbuilding, agriculture, food processing, glass, and textiles.

 Language Services US and others will provide working with Poland

Polish is a language of radio and television, music, mass culture, politics and army. Almost all service workers and merchandisers can speak Polish. Today, your company can gain in this entrepreneurial spirit but it must be able to count on the right Polish translation services to tap into Poland. According to various sources, Polish is a native language for only 2-5 million people, while all the rest know Polish as their second language. The full range of Polish language services is required to support your strategic global communication goals in Poland.

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