Poland is a country in Central Europe, in the west bordering Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia in the south, Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east, and north to the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian enclave. The total area of Poland is 120,726 square miles and the capital and largest city is Warsaw. Poland’s current provinces, called voivodeships, are largely based on the country’s historic regions. Poland is divided into 16 provinces.
Poland is a democracy with a president, the current president is Lech Kaczynski, as head of state. There is a Council of Ministers, headed by a prime minister, current Prime Minister Donald Tusk. The president is elected by popular vote every five years and has extensive powers, he may dissolve parliament, has veto power and can unsubscribe elections.
In Poland there are many beautiful buildings, but there are also many lost, mainly in the Second World War. Some of them are again restored or completely rebuilt. As the center of Warsaw, to make it historically accurate, the city’s archives were consulted, and also old photographs, postcards and paintings, and the remaining residents helped them, they gave evidence from their memory, as there was a balcony and it looked like this. The result is a beautifully restored old city center that serves true, but it is not. Even some of the old city walls, which before the war had disappeared, is restored. Warsaw is now on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Also an interesting aspect of the architecture are the traditional Polish wooden buildings.
St. Mary’s Church in Gdańsk is build in characteristic for Poland Brick Gothic, a specific style, the buildings are built more or less using only bricks. St. Mary’s Church is the largest brick church in the world. Poland also has famous artists, including composers like Chopin or Penderecki. Famous Polish dances are the mazurka and the polonaise, which were popularized by Frederick Chopin and soon spread throughout Europe and elsewhere.
In the Polish cuisine are meat and nutritious soups central. They love to celebrate, preferably with family, they dance and sing, and the food is washed down with large amounts of Polish vodka. Bigos is seen as the national dish: braised beef with sauerkraut, tomatoes, honey and mushrooms. The Poles also like to put spicy sausage on the table. One of the best known is the Krakowska sausage, another is the Wiejska, something similar to the Dutch smoked sausage.
In Poland there are 20 National Parks, most parks are free and open access to a natural history museum, at the edge of the parks are often simple campsites. In the vicinity of Bialowieza is the Bialowieza National Park, this is a pristine primeval forest area, unique in Europe, which is protected with great care.
In Gdansk is the main port of Poland and the birthplace of the Solidarity free trade union. The port is best viewed by a boat trip, then you come along the Lenin Shipyards, where Lech Walesa urged the workers to stop work to protest against the Communists. Dlugi Targ, Long Market, is the shopping area of Gdańsk, you reach it by going through the Golden Gate. The town contains numerous shops and galleries who have specialized in the Polish silver and amber jewelry, which are famous, amber is fossilized tree resin.
Citizens of the EU don not need a visa for a stat less than 90 days, only a valid passport. Citizens off other countries are advised to check their entry requirements with their embassy or consulate.