Once ruled by kings and queens, Poland is the site of many different, grand and majestic castles. There are several that you may visit while there are also log cabins in other areas for those who aren’t so interested in the grandeur of royalty. It is a place to see what medieval Europe had been like, as their sites are quite well preserved. They also have the delectable Polish food. They have a cuisine that is quite unique, but delicious nonetheless. If you want to get away from the city, there are always the amazing natural sites that Poland is very blessed with.
Important and Interesting Facts about Poland
- Poland has 120,562 square miles (312,255 km2) of area, which makes the country slightly smaller than New Mexico
- The 380,000-acre (150,000-hectare) Białowieża Primeval Forest in Poland is Europe’s last ancient forest and home to 800 European bison, Europe’s heaviest land animals.
- The Wieliczka Salt Mine’s attractions include dozens of statues, three chapels, and an entire cathedral carved out of rock salt by the miners. Approximately1.2 million visitors walk through the salt mine annually. The mine reaches a depth of 1,073 feet (327 m) and is over 178 miles (287 km) long. It is often referred to as the “Underground Salt Cathedral of Poland.
- Inspired by and named for the original Woodstock rock festival, Pryzstanek Woodstock, an annual free rock music festival in Poland, is the largest open-air festival in Europe.
- Poland is the 9th largest country in Europe.
- There are 23 national parks in Poland, 1,269 nature reserves, and a hundred bird sanctuaries.
- The highest point in Poland is Rysy in the Tatra Mountains (2,499m)
- The coldest part of Poland is in the the North-East and the warmest is in the South-west.
- Geographically, Poland is not in the Eastern Europe. It is in the very centre.
- The oldest restaurant in Europe, Piwnica Swidnicka, dates back to 1275, and can be found in Wrocław.
- Poland is home to the world’s largest brick castle: Malbork, near Gdansk.
Cool, Funny, and Fun Facts about Poland
- Poles drink, on average, 92 liters of beer a year, which places Poland third in consumption in Europe behind Germany and the Czech Republic.
- The Polish alphabet consists of 32 letters
- It is estimated that 100 million pączki, a Polish doughnut, are consumed every year on the the Thursday before Ash Wednesday alone.
- Pizza, or zapiekanka, in Poland does not contain tomato sauce. It is a popular street food served on a baguette with melted cheese, mushrooms, and ketchup.
- In Poland, bananas are peeled from the blossom end not the stem end.
- Roman Catholicism is so popular in Poland that there is a television channel dedicated to the pope.
- The 1st floor is regarded as floor “0” so you press “1” when you want to go in the 2nd floor in the elevator.
- The biggest section of any grocery store in Poland is the Candy section.
- The most popular name for a dog in Poland is Burek which translates to: “brownish-grey color”.
- Polish toilet paper is made of crepe.
- Military personnel salute each other with two fingers.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Poland
- In 1573, the Poles elected their king, Henry de Valois, but the new king decided to return to France immediately after his coronation to rule as Henry III.
- On November 11, 1918, Poland declared itself a republic, independent of Russia.
- 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.
- One of the world’s oldest salt mines, the Wieliczka Salt Mine, located in the southern Polish town of Wieliczka, was built in the 13th century and produced table salt until 2007.
- During World War II, the Polish town of Oświeçim was the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau
- Concentration Camps, where at least 1.1. million Nazi prisoners were killed by gassing with the pesticide Zyklon-B and many more died in other ways. Ninety percent of the prisoners killed were Jewish. The first exterminations of prisoners took place in September 1941.
- The first surviving cookbook of Polish recipes dates from 1682 with dishes influenced by strong Lithuanian, Tartar-Turkish, and German influences.
- Pierogi, or Polish dumplings, are one of the most recognizable Polish dishes outside of Poland.
- Poland has a history of producing high-quality vodka for more than 500 years. The first Polish vodkas appeared in the 11th century when they were called gorzalks and used as medicines.
- Polish people marry the youngest within the European Union (24 years old for women and 26.5 years old for men in average).
- The most popular sport in Poland is football (soccer), the Polish national team came third in the 1974 and 1982 World Cup Finals and won Olympic Gold in 1972.
- A traditional smoked cheese, called oscypek, is made exclusively in the Tatra mountains, and carved into elaborate patterns. It’s a common sight all over southern Poland, such as Zakopane.