The Republic of Poland covers an area of 312,685 square kilometers and consists of sixteen provinces or voivodeships, which are further divided into three hundred and seventy nine districts or powiats.
Poland has a 528 kilometer coastline on the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Gdansk in the north of the country and shares a 3,071 kilometer land border with seven other countries - 796 km with The Czech Republic to it's south west, 541 km with Slovakia to it's south, 535 km with The Ukraine to it's south east, 467 km with Germany to it's west, 418 km with Belarus to it's east, 210 km with Russia to it's north and 104 km with Lithuania to it's north east.
Poland has several mountain ranges, with the county's highest peak located on Mount Rysy, situated in the High Tatras Mountain Range near Poland's border with Slovakia, at 2,499 meters high. These mountains are the source of many of Poland's river systems, the longest of which is the River Vistula at 1,047 kilometers long.
Poland's lowest elevation is situated at Zulawy Wisland on the alluvial plains of the River Vistula delta, which lie at 1.8 meters below sea level.
Poland also has a high number of lakes, around ten thousand, the largest of which is Lake Sniardwy which covers an area of 113.8 square kilometers. These lakes form the site of four vast lake districts within the country, the Pomeranian Lake District, the Greater Polish Lake District, the Kashubian Lake District and the Masurian Lake District.
Poland is also home to a desert, the Bledow Desert, located in the Slowinski National Park. The desert covers a 32 square kilometer area of the Silesian Highlands in south west Poland. The desert was formed thousands of years ago by melted glacial deposits.
Poland is home to twenty national parks and seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Poland is located on time zone UTC - 2.
Poland has three climatic zones, Temperate, Montane and Oceanic.The country experiences very cold Winters and very warm Summers.
Image courtesy of wojsyl, wikimeida commons
The official language of Poland is Polish. There is also one national language spoken in the south of the country known as Kashubian.
The predominant religion of Poland is Christianity. The country is renowned for it's Monastery of Jasna Gora, also known as the Shrine of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa, located near Krakow, which has become Poland's premier pilgrimage site.
Poland is also renowned for it's many salt mines, many of which have had underground churches, chapels and even a cathedral located inside them, the most famous of which is the Royal Wielczka Salt Mine, also situated just outside Krakow, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mine contains an underground cathedral every part of which has been constructed from salt.
Poland is also the site of the world's largest statue of Jesus Christ. Located on the outskirts of the old walled city of Swiebodzin, in western Poland, the statue measures thirty three meters in height. Along with the mound on which he stands, the statue has an ultimate height of fifty two and a half meters.
Poland's national flag carrier airline is LOT Polish Airlines - www.lot.com
Poland's official tourism website is - www.poland.travel
(With provincial capital)
Greater Poland - Poznan
Kuyavian Pomeranian - Bydgoszcz
Lesser Poland - Krakov
Lodz - Lodz
Lower Silesian - Wroclaw
Lublin - Lublin
Lubusz - Wielkopolski
Masovian - Warsaw
Opole - Opolskie
Podlaskie - Bialystok
Pomeranian - Gdansk
Silesian - Katowice
Subcarpathian - Rzeszow
Swietokryskie - Kielce
Warmarian Masurian - Olsztyn
Western Pomeranian - Szczecin
LARGEST CITIES IN POLAND
KRAKOW AND THE RIVER VISTULA
Image courtesy of Radoslaw Drozdzewski (zwiadowca21) wikimedia commons
Warsaw - 2.6 million
Krakov - 755,546
Lodz - 739,832
Wroclaw - 632,561
Poznan - 552,735
Poland's capital city is Warsaw, a city of 2.6 million people which covers an overall area of 6,100 square kilometers.
The city, which is located along the banks of the Vistula River, is served by the Warsaw Chopin International Airport, the Warsaw Modlin International Airport, the Warszawa Centralna railway station, a 240 kilometer tram system and a 54 kilometer city metro system.
Despite suffering extensive damage during World War II, Warsaw still has a myriad of thirteenth and fourteenth century building, including the St John's Cathedral, the Royal Castle and several former royal palaces and gardens.
PRIME MINISTERS OF POLAND
THE SEJM BUILDING, WARSAW Image courtesy of Senat Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, wikimedia commons
Poland is a parliamentary, republic with a president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government. Poland's government has a multi - party bicameral, legislative, democratic parliament known as the Council of Ministers, which sits in the Sejm Building, pictured above, in Warsaw.
Poland's present status, known as the Third Republic, was formed in 1990 after the revolutions of 1989, which were the culmination of fifty years of oppression from it's previous, communist occupiers, Nazi Germany and the former Soviet Union (Russia), which began by way of Germany invading Poland in 1939, an act which culminated in the start of World War II.
Below is a list of Polish Prime Ministers since the inauguration of the Third Polish Republic in 1990.
Tadeusz Mazowiecki - 1989 - 1991.
Jan Krzysztof Bielecki - 1991.
Jan Olszewski - 1991 - 1992.
Waldemar Pawlak - 1992.
Hanna Suchocka - 1992 - 1993.
Waldemar Pawlak - 1993 - 1995.
Jozef Oleksy - 1995 - 1996.
Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz - 1996 - 1997.
Jerzy Buzek - 1997 - 2001.
Leszek Miller - 2001 - 2004.
Marek Belka - 2004 - 2005.
Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz - 2005 - 2006.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski - 2006 - 2007.
Donald Tusk - 2007 - Incumbent.
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