Poland is a famous European destination for its picturesque landscapes, rich history, vibrant culture and historical places. Here are some of the most interesting facts about the country.
1. Polish history is incredibly complicated. If you’re someone who loves history and battles, try taking a peek into Polish history. The country has been invaded or fought for its freedom more than 40 times. The medieval era was a particularly complicated one for Poland, and it even disappeared from world maps for a period in the 1700s.
2. Poland was the only European country which never officially collaborated with the Nazis at any level, and no Polish units fought alongside the Nazi army. Poland never officially surrendered to Germany, and the Polish Resistance movement in German-occupied Poland during World War II was the largest resistance movement in Europe.
3. Nazi-occupied Poland was the only territory where the Germans decreed that any kind of help for Jews was punishable by death. Up to 50,000 Poles were executed by the Nazis for saving Jews.
4. The highest mountain in Australia was named in 1840 by Polish explorer Paul Edmund Strzeleck as Mount Kosciuszko because of the mountain’s resemblance to the Kosciuszko Mound in Krakow.
5. The country boasts 17 Nobel prize winners, including four Peace Prizes and five in Literature.
6. Marie Curie, the woman who discovered Polon and Rad, wasn’t French, but Polish. Her name was Marie Sklodowska before she married a Frenchman named Pierre Curie. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences.
7. Poland used to have the world’s tallest structure. The Warsaw radio mast in Konstantynow was the world’s tallest structure from 1974, until its collapse in 1991. It was the second tallest structure ever built after Burj Khalifa, completed in 2010. The mast was 646.38 meters (2,120.7 ft) tall.
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8. Poland also has the world’s biggest castle. Poland has an impressive 16 World Heritage Sites and among them the biggest castle in the world – Malbork, measured by the area. Prague castle often claims to be the world’s largest, but it’s not since it’s not a single area.
9. Another thing the Poles can pride themselves on is the fact that they introduced the first constitution in Europe, and second worldwide. The Polish constitution was adopted on the 3 May 1791, by the Sejm of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
10. Poland has won the most “Strongest man in the world” titles. They say Polish Women are the most beautiful in the world. But the Polish men can also pride themselves as strong as the most titles “Strongest man in the world” has been won by Polish men.
11. Polish-born astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was the first person to propose that the earth was not the center of the universe.
For the love of old town squares, check out Captain Nero’s album here.
How to reach?
Warsaw Chopin Airport, Katowice International Airport, John Paul II International Airport are the major airports of Poland. There are other airports at Gdansk and Rzeszow as well. There are direct and connecting flights scheduled throughout the year from India to Poland. It takes about 8.5 hours to reach Poland from New Delhi by a direct flight. There are a number of connecting flights from the other major cities as well.
Malbork: Located between the fields of Polish Mazury and Elbląg Lakes, the city of Malbork is home to arguably Europe’s most enthralling medieval castle ruins. It is most well-known for its castle, which was built in the 13th century and it took 230 years to finish the construction. The castle is actually three castles, making it the world’s largest brick castle.
Krakow: Krakow is Poland’s second-biggest city and it is undoubtedly the country’s most popular tourist destination. Especially with the historic centre being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once you’re here, make sure to explore Wawel Castle, which is an absolute must see. Located on top of a hill in the middle of Krakow, this medieval castle is one of the largest in the entire country and a proper stunner to explore.
Lublin: Found out in eastern Poland, the city as an absolute delight thanks to its picturesque city centre. Once you’re here, make sure to explore Lublin Castle which also houses the Lublin Museum. Oh, and make sure to stroll through the beautiful old town too as it boasts a lively arts and nightclub scene.
Tatra National Park: Located on the southern part of Poland, Tatra National Park is home to Poland’s only mountains; the Tatra Mountains. While visiting Tatry, there are two major sites to see! These are the famous country’s natural wonders: Morskie Oko Lake and Rysy Peak. The park also offers more than 30 alpine lakes as well as the Wielka Siklawa waterfall that is 70 meters (230 feet) high. It’s a delight for hikers as well for its numerous trekking trails.
Poznan: Poznan is one of the best places in Poland to visit if you want to explore the diversity of old and new Poland in one city. Major sites are easily accessible by strolling the Royal-Imperial Route, a walk set up especially for tourists. That being said, the true gem here is the Poznan Castle, a rebuilt13th-century castle that was almost totally destroyed in WWII.