You think you already know everything about your homeland? After all, Poland is a country with a long history and diverse culture, full of fascinating facts that may surprise you. Whether you are a native Pole or a foreigner who would like to apply for a Polish passport, we have prepared ten not necessarily well-known but interesting facts about Poland for you. Ready to discover the country’s secrets?
If you ask a random tourist about Poland, you will probably hear about beautiful Polish cities such as Warsaw, Gdansk, Krakow or Wroclaw, about the communist rule, Pope John Paul II or Robert Lewandowski. Poland is also a nation of hard-working people who have endured hard times and today Poland is one of the fastest growing economies not only in Europe, but in the whole world. What else is worth knowing about our country? Let’s find out!
1. The Polish passport – a key to travel
According to the Henley Passport Index, the Polish passport ranks very high in the top 20 valuable passports worldwide. What does this mean? Poles have access to many countries (184) without a visa. This is certainly one of the features that make Poland an attractive country to live and travel in.
2. The first constitutional monarch
Did you know that Poland was one of the first countries in the world that implemented a constitution? In 1791, the 3rd of May Constitution was enacted, making Poland one of the pioneers in human rights and civil liberties. We were the first country in Europe and the second in the world to do so.
3. Polish cuisine – not just pierogi
Polish cuisine is much more than just pierogi! Although pierogi are the culinary symbol of the country, Polish cuisine offers a multitude of other flavours and dishes. Kiełbasa, bigos, żurek or gołąbki are just some of the dishes that will take you to a world of unique flavours and aromas.
4. Zakopane – the winter capital of Poland
Zakopane, located in the Tatra Mountains, is not only a popular winter holiday destination but also a centre of highland culture. It is here that you can taste local delicacies, listen to characteristic highlander singing and admire the beautiful mountain scenery.
5. Wieliczka Salt Mine – an underground masterpiece
The Wieliczka Salt Mine is one of the most extraordinary places in the world. It is an underground city carved in salt, with corridors, chapels and chambers. Its history dates back to the Middle Ages, and its beauty and uniqueness attract tourists from all over the world.
6. Copernicus – a revolution in science
Nicolaus Copernicus, the famous Polish astronomer, introduced the heliocentric theory, in which the Earth and other planets revolve around the Sun. His work ‘De revolutionibus orbium coelestium’ (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) has had a huge impact on science and the way we understand the universe.
7. The Polish language – unique phonetics
The Polish language is known for its complex phonetics, which can cause problems not only for foreigners but also for Poles themselves. Difficult pronunciations and a plethora of consonant groups can be challenging, but also contribute to the distinctive sound of the language.
8. Music – Europe’s largest open-air festival
Europe’s largest outdoor music festival takes place in Poland. The Pol’and’Rock Festival formerly known as the Woodstock Festival is the largest outdoor festival in Europe and the largest free outdoor festival in the world. And it is free of charge. Average attendance in recent years has been over 600,000 people.
9. Poles spread around the world – there are many more of us
It is estimated that more than 21 million Poles live abroad. The largest number, approximately 10 million, live in the United States. Large concentrations of our compatriots are also found in Germany, Brazil, France or France.
10. Poland is one of the most important organisations
Poland is a member of many international organisations. The most important of these are of course the European Union (membership since 2004) and NATO (membership since 1999). In addition to these, Poland is also a member of the International Monetary Fund, the UN, UNESCO, the World Health Organisation, the World Trade Organisation, the OECD, the Visegrad Group and many other organisations of a political, economic and social nature.
If you want to find out more about Poland and the possibility of obtaining Polish citizenship, you are welcome to visit our blog at https://fivetoeurope.com/blog/, where you will find plenty of useful and interesting information.