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Chełmno, Poland. Author Margoz. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike
Chełmno, Poland. Author Margoz

Poland: vast plains, historic cities and the Nazi concentration camps

Poland (Polska Rzeczpospolita) is a parliamentary republic, located in eastern Central Europe, bordered to the northeast by Lithuania and the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, to the east by Belarus and Ukraine.

To the south-west the Sudeten Mountains separate it from the Czech Republic and to the south-east the border with the Slovak Republik runs through the mountains of the Western Carpathians with the High Tatra mountains To the west the lower part of the Oder river and its tributary Neisse predominantly form the border with Germany. In the north Poland is overlooking the Baltic Sea.

Poland is a member of the European Union. The country is mostly flat. Only at the southern border are mountain ranges: the Sudetes and the Western Carpathians (High Tatra). The most important cities are the capital Warsaw, Lodz, Krakow (Cracow, the former capital of medieval origin), Kattowitz / Katowice, Breslau / Wroclaw, Posen / Poznan, Stettin / Szczecin and Gdansk.

Poland map

Poland map

Poland faces the Baltic Sea with a low and sandy coast and vast lagoons. A single large plain (“Poland” in Slavic languages meaning plain) lies in the interior with a succession of alluvial plains and ondulations. Only in the extreme south the mountains of the Sudetes and the Carpathians with the High Tatra are to be found. The highest peak of Poland the Mount Rysy in the Tatra Mountains reaches 2.499 meters.

In the northern part of the vast Polish plain lakes and wetlands occupy large spaces, especially in Masuria in the north-east and in Pomerania in the north-west. The rest of the Polish plain is formed by alluvial plains of the Vistula river and the Oder river.

The most important river in Poland is the Vistula River, which crosses the country for more than 1,000 km from south to north. It is a major waterway connected to the German inland waterway network and to the that of Eastern Europe. The river Oder/Odra is also very important for navigation being in large parts the border with Germany. In Poland there are 4,000 kilometers of inland waterways.

English text correction by Dietrich Köster. 

  • Area: 312,683 sq km
  • Population: 38,632,500: Poles 99,3%, small minorities of Germans,, Belarusians and Ukrainians.
  • State Capital: Warsaw
  • Official Language: Polish.
  • Religion: Catholics 95%, Polish Orthodox 1.3%, Jehovah’s Witnesses 0.3%, Eastern Catholics 0.2%, Lutherans 0.2%, Jews.
  • Currency: Zloty
  • Time: Local time is UTC +1, Summer Daylight Saving Time UTC+2.

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