The Republic of Poland is in central Europe, bordered by Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine and Belarus. It is among 100 largest countries in the world with more that 38.5 million people and historians think the kingdom of Poland was created in 1025. Elblag is one of the oldest cities in today’s Poland as mentioned in numerous first century AD Romans. Its name is the subject of great controversy as is the ethnicity and linguistic affiliation of various groups living there. The capital of Poland in Warsaw, which is also a great business hub for the European Union but there are many more significant cities in the country.
Poland’s golden age was 14th to 16 century during the reign of the Jagiellonian dynasty and King Casimir the Great. Their kingdoms extended over the Adriatic Sea through black and Baltic seas. Immigrants from other parts of Europe liked Poland and moved there in droves to enjoy religious tolerance.
The kingdom fell into disarray in the 18th century with occupation by Austria, Prussia and Russia, which erased it as a country for more than a century. This does not mean that the people sat back and let others dominate them as during this time people vehemently protested against occupation. Poland joined the world map after the First World War only to draw war with Soviet Russia and Czechoslovakia, amid tensions with Germany. This country has passed through fierce fire to become the populous country it is today.
The people of Poland closely observe catholic holidays with the most notable being November 11; when people commemorate their independence after a century of occupation. Poland cemeteries become a picturesque light display on 1 November as people visit the graves of their loved ones and light candles. Christmas Eve is a time for special dinner with family. This is usually a 12-course meal without meat to represent the 12 apostles and it begins once the first evening star is seen in the sky.
Poland’s boasts an unspoilt countryside that will blow you away with a selection of castles, historic ruins, basket workshops. A trip to the countryside is a chance to explore rural Poland and enjoy the friendly locals. Horseback riding, bird watching and cycling are some of the fun activities to undertake at the rural end of Poland. Krakow is the cultural capital of Poland, with historic monuments and a medieval marketplace to its name. Poland is a country with such rich history that Krakow city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
People coming from member countries of the Schengen treaty do not face border control when going in and out of Poland. Visitors should note that not all EU members are Schengen members before making travel arrangements. It is easy to travel to Poland by air as there are numerous direct flights from Europe, not to mention intercontinental flights. The country is also accessible by train, road and even boats. Poland might have a rocky past but today it is a thriving economic and cultural hub, where people want to live and visit all the time.