Before the featured portal process ceased in 2017, this had been designated as a featured portal.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Welcome to the Poland Portal — Witaj w Portalu o Polsce

Cityscape of Kraków, Poland's former capital
Cityscape of Kraków, Poland's former capital
Coat of arms of Poland

Poland is a country in Central Europe, bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast to the north. It is an ancient nation whose history as a state began near the middle of the 10th century. Its golden age occurred in the 16th century when it united with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to form the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. During the following century, the strengthening of the gentry and internal disorders weakened the nation. In a series of agreements in the late 18th century, Russia, Prussia and Austria partitioned Poland amongst themselves. It regained independence as the Second Polish Republic in the aftermath of World War I only to lose it again when it was occupied by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in World War II. The nation lost over six million citizens in the war, following which it emerged as the communist People's Republic of Poland under strong Soviet influence within the Eastern Bloc. A westward border shift followed by forced population transfers after the war turned a once multiethnic country into a mostly homogeneous nation state. Labor turmoil in 1980 led to the formation of the independent trade union called Solidarity (Solidarność) that over time became a political force which by 1990 had swept parliamentary elections and the presidency. A shock therapy program during the early 1990s enabled the country to transform its economy into one of the most robust in Central Europe. With its transformation to a democratic, market-oriented country completed, Poland is an increasingly active member of NATO and the European Union.

From Polish history

Polish–Lithuanian military men, 1588-1632, as painted by Jan Matejko
The military of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, commanded by Crown and Lithuanian hetmans, was a successful force during the first century of the Commonwealth's existence (beginning with the Union of Lublin in 1569). Its most unique formation was the heavy cavalry in the form of the Polish winged hussars. Polish forces were engaged in numerous conflicts in the south (against the Ottoman Empire), the east (against the Russian Empire), and the north (against Sweden), as well as in internal conflicts, such as Cossack uprisings. Around the middle of the 17th century, the Commonwealth army became plagued by insufficient funds and found itself increasingly hard-pressed to defend the country from the growing armies of its neighbors. The Commonwealth Navy, on the other hand, never played a major role in the military structure, and ceased to exist in the 17th century.

Selected image

A Polish bagpiper from the Żywiec Beskid Mountains
Credit: Jan Mehlich

Przemysław Ficek, the leading member of the folk band Fickowo Pokusa, plays the bagpipes during the 43rd Beskidy Mountain Folk Week of Culture, a festival promoting the culture and lifestyle of the Gorals, or mountain folk, of the Beskid Mountains along Poland's southern border. Ficek represents an ethnic group known as górale żywieccy, living in the Żywiec Beskids around the town of Żywiec.

Did you know

You can help!

Selected biography

Marian Rejewski
Marian Rejewski (1905–1980) was a Polish mathematician and cryptologist who, in 1932, solved the Enigma machine, the main cipher machine then in use by Germany. While studying mathematics at Poznań University, Rejewski attended a secret cryptology course conducted by the Polish General Staff's Cipher Bureau, which he joined full-time in 1932. Rejewski and his two colleagues then developed an assortment of techniques for the regular decryption of Enigma messages, including the cryptologic "card catalog", the "cyclometer", and the cryptologic "bomb". Five weeks before the German invasion of Poland in 1939, they presented their results on Enigma decryption to their French and British counterparts. Their success jump-started British reading of Enigma in World War II, and the intelligence so gained contributed to the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Selected location

Medieval port crane in Gdańsk

Gdańsk is Poland's principal seaport located in the Kashubian region on the Baltic Sea. Together with the spa town of Sopot and the industrial city of Gdynia, it forms a conurbation known as Trójmiasto ("Tricity"). It has a complex political history with long spells of Polish rule interspersed with periods of German control and two spells as a free city. As an important port and shipbuilding center, the picturesque city was a member of the Hanseatic League. For much of its history the majority of its inhabitants were German speakers who referred to their city as Danzig, but after World War II it became firmly Polish. Gdańsk is the birthplace of the Solidarity movement which, led by Lech Wałęsa, played a role in bringing down the communist rule across Central Europe.

More selected locations...

Poland now

Recent events

Bartosz Kurek

Holidays and observances in November 2018
(statutory public holidays in bold)

Grave lanterns lit on All Saints' Day

Archive and more...





Government and politics




Related portals

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:






Learning resources

Travel guides



Wikipedias in the languages of Poland

Kaszëbskô Wikipedijô
Kashubian Wikipedia
Polska Wikipedia
Polish Wikipedia
Ślůnsko Wikipedyjo
Silesian Wikipedia
Wymysiöeryś Wikipedyj
Vilamovian Wikipedia Incubator


Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Portal:Poland"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA