Poland (Polska, Rzeczpospolita Polska) is a major European state (capital city is Warsaw), an area is more than 300 thousand square kilometers. Location of modern boundaries largely determined after the Second World War, they became smaller than the length of almost 2 thousand km. In the north of the border of Poland is washed by the Baltic Sea, Russia and Lithuania is the northern neighbors. To the east, Poland is bordered by Ukraine and Belarus, southern neighbors are Slovakia and the Czech Republic, and Western is Germany.
The terrain of Poland can not be called monotonous. If, in the northern part of the country and its center lowlands with broad sandy beaches on the Baltic coast is dominated, than mountain ranges of Sudetenland and the Carpathians tower already in the south of Poland. Numerous forests and thousands of lakes and rivers attached the special charm of the Polish highland and lowland landscapes.
For Poland is characterized by mild climate, which provides ocean air masses. From the west winds bring cool and rainy in summer and heavy snowfalls in winter, while in the east - hot summers and frosty winter. Weather is very unstable, rainy and on overcast days often give way to sunny and clear. Although spring is usually early, May characterizes the last frost, autumn comes late.
Founders of Poland is considered the dynasty Pyastov, uniting several tribal principalities. The first credible evidence tell us about the ruler Mieszko I, who ruled the country in the mid-10th century. His son was one of the greatest kings of Poland, creating around himself a powerful nation. But after his death, Poland disintegrated into separate principalities, and in the 13 century, was attacked by Mongol-Tatars. However, in the late 14 century, Casimir III the Great was able to strengthen the central government, which contributed to the national revival. During his rule the legal and monetary system was created, a set of laws put into effect, the first Polish university opened. His daughter Jadwiga strengthened position in the international arena, joining in the territory of Lithuania and gained with a number of significant victories. At the age of 16 the peak of the Polish power accounted, a united states became known as the The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Kraków became the center of cultural and scientific life in Europe. Along with greatly reduced power monarch, poorly protected borders and aggressive neighbors in many ways predetermined the fall of Poland. As a result of permanent Cossack rebellions, wars with Russia and Turkey, Poland lost a large part of their territories.
The population of Poland is almost entirely composed of ethnic Poles, less than 2% include to other nationalities. The most numerous minorities are Germans, Belarusians, Ukrainians, Jews and Lithuanians.
Poles is West nation, with its long history and rich culture. By the year 2004 near 40 million people live in Poland, with women more than men.
The official language of Poland is the Polish language, it talking about 40 million people not only within the country itself, but also worldwide. For among the Slavic languages it is second only to Russian and Ukrainian.
Polish language is a part of West Group languages. Throughout the state can not provide the unity of language. Depending on the region, it splits into several dialects, which often differ from each other.
On the territory of modern Poland, Roman Catholicism is widespread. About 80% of the population considers itself to the Roman Catholic Church. The influence of other religious sects is not so great.(Note: use visa services to take a visa).
Religion has become quite firmly in the everyday lives of people. Visiting the Sunday services in the nearest church is so naturally and reasonable, as ‘welcome’ at the meeting. The schools have introduced the study of the Catholic faith, but the children of another religion can not attend these classes. Perhaps the Poles is one of the most religious nations in Europe.
For the Poles are characterized by religious tolerance. Even joint Catholic-Orthodox marriages are allowed, which are recognized by both religions. And none of the spouses do not have to change the faith, and wedding will be held in two churches: the Orthodox Church and the Catholic-Orthodox Church.
It’s noteworthy that before the war all services were conducted exclusively in Latin. Many parishioners simply did not understand the meaning of prayers, sermons and religious rituals. Only in the 60-ies of the decision of Vatican Council some texts were translated into the native language, but with the arrival of John Paul II everthing already has been read in Polish.