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Worth to know
Poland (Polish: Polska ?p?lska ( listen)), officially the Republic of Poland (Polish: Rzeczpospolita Polska,a About this sound listen (help?info)), is a country in Central Europe,11 bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine and Belarus to the east; and the Baltic Sea, Kaliningrad Oblast (a Russian exclave) and Lithuania to the north. The total area of Poland is 312,679 square kilometres (120,726 sq mi),9 making it the 71st largest country in the world and the 9th largest in Europe. With a population of over 38.5 million people,9 Poland is the 34th most populous country in the world,12 the 8th most populous country in Europe and the sixth most populous member of the European Union, as well as the most populous post-communist member of the European Union. Poland is a unitary state divided into 16 administrative subdivisions.
Despite the large number of casualties and destruction the country experienced during World War II, Poland managed to preserve much of its cultural wealth. There are 14 heritage sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage19 and 54 Historical Monuments and many objects of cultural heritage in Poland.
Poland's territory extends across several geographical regions, between latitudes 49° and 55° N, and longitudes 14° and 25° E. In the north-west is the Baltic seacoast, which extends from the Bay of Pomerania to the Gulf of Gdańsk. This coast is marked by several spits, coastal lakes (former bays that have been cut off from the sea), and dunes. The largely straight coastline is indented by the Szczecin Lagoon, the Bay of Puck, and the Vistula Lagoon. The centre and parts of the north lie within the North European Plain.
Rising above these lowlands is a geographical region comprising the four hilly districts of moraines and moraine-dammed lakes formed during and after the Pleistocene ice age. These lake districts are the Pomeranian Lake District, the Greater Polish Lake District, the Kashubian Lake District, and the Masurian Lake District. The Masurian Lake District is the largest of the four and covers much of north-eastern Poland. The lake districts form part of the Baltic Ridge, a series of moraine belts along the southern shore of the Baltic Sea.
South of the Northern European Lowlands lie the regions of Lusatia, Silesia and Masovia, which are marked by broad ice-age river valleys. Farther south lies the Polish mountain region, including the Sudetes, the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland, the Świętokrzyskie Mountains, and the Carpathian Mountains, including the Beskids. The highest part of the Carpathians is the Tatra Mountains, along Poland's southern border.
Polish cusine - facts:
Polish cuisine has evolved over the centuries to become very eclectic due to Poland's history. Polish cuisine shares many similarities with other Central European cuisines, especially German and Austrian as well as Jewish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Russian, French and Italian culinary traditions. It is rich in meat, especially pork, chicken and beef (depending on the region) and winter vegetables (cabbage in the dish bigos), and spices. It is also characteristic in its use of various kinds of noodles the most notable of which are kluski as well as cereals such as kasha (from the Polish word kasza). Polish cuisine is hearty and uses a lot of cream and eggs. Festive meals such as the meatless Christmas eve dinner (Wigilia) or Easter breakfast could take days to prepare in their entirety.
The main course usually includes a serving of meat, such as roast, chicken, or kotlet schabowy (breaded pork cutlet), vegetables, side dishes and salads, including surówka su?rufka ? shredded root vegetables with lemon and sugar (carrot, celeriac, seared beetroot) or sauerkraut (Polish: kapusta kiszona, pronounced ka?pusta k?i???na). The side dishes are usually potatoes, rice or kasza (cereals). Meals conclude with a dessert such as sernik, makowiec (a poppy seed pastry), or drożdżówka dr???d??ufka yeast pastry, and tea.