"Between East and West .... in central Europe" Top 5 Page for this destination Poland by magor65
Poland Travel Guide: 17,300 reviews and 46,288 photos
As the legend goes, there were three brothers: Lech, Czech and Rus. They were wandering through a forest in search of a place to settle down. Suddenly they saw a big oak and an eagle sitting on one of its branches. Lech said: "Here I will build my city and this bird will be the emblem of my people".
For years Poland has been considered as one of the Eastern European countries, which might be true politically but geographically speaking it is not correct at all. Actually, the geometrical centre of Europe lies very close to Warsaw.
With its 38 million people Poland is the 8th most populated country of Europe. Sadly speaking, the birth rate is on the decline with more and more young couples postponing having children until they find a job, have a house, etc., which often means at the age of thirty or more. Another worrying thing is that a lot of young people, especially those best educated and most talented, decide to emigrate, disappointed with high unemployment and lack of prospects in Poland. We can only hope that it's a temporary decision and they will come back to the country of their origin with money and experience gained abroad.
The history of Poland has been very difficult and stormy throughout the centuries, including the latest times. In 1795 Poland disappeared for over 100 years from the maps of Europe, but not from the minds and hearts of Poles. Oppressed by the conquerors, Polish people fought for their own identity and never fully surrendered. After the years of partitions we regained the independence in 1918, but enjoyed the freedom for just 20 years between the two world wars. WWII reduced most of the country to ruins, both in literal and figurative sense. As a result of peace conferences in Potsdam and Yalta Poland lost about 20 % of its pre-war territory. The forty years after the war were stigmatized by Soviet domination, although we proudly claim that it was not as strong as in other countries of the eastern block. The strikes and protests against the communistic regime broke out several times until the climax of 1980. The Solidarity movement and its leader Lech Walesa played an undeniable part in doing away with communism both in Poland and Europe. In May 2004 Poland joined the European Union, and despite many problems like high unemployment, corruption or various phantoms of the past, hopefully is heading for better future.
- Pros:nature, architecture, history
- Cons:unpredictable weather
- In a nutshell:if you don't come soon, you may miss what is still left of tradition and folklore
If you happen to be in Poznan it might be a good idea to visit Gniezno. It was the first capital of Poland and here... more travel advice
Young people in Poland usually decide to be married in church and after the church ceremony have a wedding reception for... more travel advice
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Poland Travel Guide
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