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Table of Contents
Poland is a country located in Central Europe. It is the sixth most populous state in the European Union and 34th largest in the world. In terms of size, Poland is the 9th largest country in Europe. Polish people were once ruled by kings and queens making their country a site of numerous castles.
See the fact file below for more information on the Poland or alternatively, you can download our 26-page Poland worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Geography and People
- Poland is a country in Central Europe that share borders with seven countries including Lithuania, Russia, Belarus, Slovakia, Ukraine, Germany and the Czech Republic. As of 2013, it is home to over 38 million people.
- Approximately 94% of its inhabitants are Polish.
- Poland covers 120,726 square miles of land area. The country’s biggest city is Warsaw, which also serves as its capital.
- Given its location between Russia and Germany, Poland became a battleground in many wars including WWI and WWII. The country’s highest point is Rysy at 2,499 meters above sea level. Generally, Poland’s terrain is flat plains with a few mountains at the southern border. Among the landforms found here are the Carpathian Mountains, Sudetes Mountains, Mount Rysy and Polish Plain. In addition, several bodies of water like lakes, lagoons, gulfs and the Baltic Sea keep the country moist.
- The name “Poland” came from an early Slavic tribe called the Polans or Polanie. Over time, people inhabiting the region came to be known as Poles.
- As of 2002, almost 98% of people in Poland are Roman Catholic, while the minorities comprise of Protestants and Eastern Orthodox. Among the famous people from Poland are Pope John Paul II, Catherine the Great, Nicolaus Copernicus, Frederic Chopin and Wernher von Braun.
- In the 8th century C.E., Slavic tribes started to populate the region now known as Poland. After a century, Duke Mieszko I established the Piast Dynasty and governed the Polish state. At the same time, the Polish people adopted Christianity as the state religion.
- In 1025, Boleslaw I became the first king of Poland. The Piast Dynasty came to an end after the Polish-Lithuania Union was formed. By 1410, the Golden Age of Poland was followed by the establishment of a parliament.
- In 1596, the capital was moved from Krakow to Warsaw. By the early 1600s, a series of wars against Sweden, Russia, Tatars and Turks put an end to Poland’s golden age.
- Weakened by wars, Poland was divided between the Prussian, Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires under the First Partition in 1772. It was not recognized as an independent nation until after WWI.
- In 1914, Poland joined Germany and Austria against Russia during WWI. The end of the Great War marked the birth of an independent Polish nation with Jozef Pilsudski as the leader of the Second Polish Republic.
- World War II began in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland from the west while the Soviets attacked from the east. Poland was then divided between Germany and the USSR. After two years, concentration camps such as Auschwitz and Treblinka were built in Poland. As part of Hitler’s holocaust, million of Jews were executed in those camps. When the war came to an end in 1945, the German army was pushed out of Poland by the Soviets.
- Under the rule of the Soviet Union, Poland became a communist state. In the following years, protests and riots continued to grow. One of the most famous riots was by the people of Gdansk who protested the price of bread. The riot became known as the Bloody Tuesday in 1970 as 55 protesters were killed.
- By 1978, Karol Wojtyla, also known as Pope John Paul II, became the highest leader of the Catholic Church.
- Lech Walesa, leader of the Solidarity trade union urged 10 million workers to join his cause in 1980. After a year, he was imprisoned after the imposition of martial law by the Soviet government. By 1982, Walesa won the Nobel Peace Prize and was later elected as the President of Poland in 1990 after the establishment of the government.
- In 1992, the Soviet Union began removing their troops from Poland and by 2004 the independent nation officially became a member of the European Union.
Politics and Government
- In 1997, the new Polish Constitution confirmed a representative democratic form of government. The political structure centers on the Council of Ministers led by a prime minister. The head of state is the president who is elected by popular vote every five years. Today, Andrzej Duda is Poland’s president and Mateusz Morawiecki is the prime minister.
- A bicameral parliament with 460 members of the lower house (Sejm) and 100 Senate members (Senat) are all elected by Polish voters. A joint session also known as a National Assembly is formed on these three occasions: When the newly elected president takes the oath of office, when an indictment against the president is brought through the State Tribunal, and when the president declares incapacity to fulfill required duties due to health issues.
Society and Culture
- As of 2013, there are 14 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Poland including the Old Town in Krakow, Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines, Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Bialowieza Forest, Old Town in Warsaw, Castle of the Teutonic Order, Medieval Town of Torun, Old City of Zamosc and the Centennial Town.
- Among the popular sports in Poland are football or soccer, basketball, volleyball, weightlifting, tennis, swimming, fencing, skiing, ice hockey and ski jumping.
- Poland is the home of 17 Nobel Prize laureates. Among them are Marie Curie (chemistry), Lech Walesa (peace), Henryk Sienkiewicz (literature), Albert Michelson (physics), Andrew Schally (medicine), Jozef Rotblat (peace) and Leonid Hurwicz (economics).
- For more than 500 years, Poland has been known for producing high-quality vodka. In the 11th century, the first Polish vodkas were called gorzalks.
- The oldest restaurant in Europe, Piwnica Swidnicka, which opened in 1275, is located in Poland.
- Poles celebrate Marzanna Day by throwing a straw doll into a body of water to symbolize killing the cold and welcoming spring.
- On the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, Poles consume one hundred million Polish donuts called paczki.
- A traditional Polish dish made of meats, sausage, sauerkraut, prunes, cabbage, mushrooms and spices is called bigos.
- More important than a Polish birthday is the celebration of imieniny or Name Day.
- Since they were once ruled by monarchs, Poland has 16 castles open to the public.
- There is a channel on Polish TV dedicated to the Pope.
- Poland’s national symbol is the white eagle.
- Their flag consists of two horizontal stripes of white and red.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Poland across 26 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Poland worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Poland which is a country located in Central Europe. It is the sixth most populous state in the European Union and 34th largest in the world. In terms of size, Poland is the 9th largest country in Europe. Polish people were once ruled by kings and queens making their country a site of numerous castles.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Poland Facts
- Mapping Poland
- Poland in World Wars
- Blast from the Past
- All Polish
- Famous Poles
- A Place to Visit
- Capital Facts: Warsaw
- City of Poles
- Visit Poland
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Link will appear as Poland Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, August 7, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.