Gdynia is a city in the Pomeranian Voivodeship of Poland and a seaport of Gdańsk Bay on the south coast of the Baltic Sea. Located in Kashubia in Eastern Pomerania, Gdynia has a population of 246,232 making it the twelfth-largest city in Poland and the second-largest in the voivodeship after Gdańsk, it is part of a conurbation with the spa town of Sopot, the city of Gdańsk and suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the Tricity, with a population of over a million people. For centuries, Gdynia remained a small fishing village on the Baltic coast. At the beginning of the 20th-century Gdynia became a seaside resort town and experienced an inflow of tourists; this triggered an increase in local population. After Poland regained its independence in 1918, a decision was made to construct a Polish seaport in Gdynia, between the Free City of Danzig and German Pomerania, making Gdynia the primary economic hub of the Polish Corridor, it was that the town was given a more cosmopolitan character with modernism being the dominant architectural style and emerged as a city in 1926.
The rapid development of Gdynia was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. The German troops refrained from deliberate bombing; the newly built port and shipyard were destroyed during the war. The population of the city suffered much heavier losses as most of the inhabitants were evicted and expelled; the locals were either displaced to other regions of occupied Poland or sent to Nazi concentration camps throughout Europe. After the war, Gdynia was settled with the former inhabitants of Warsaw and lost cities such as Lviv and Vilnius in the Eastern Borderlands; the city was regenerating itself with its shipyard being rebuilt and expanded. In December 1970 the shipyard workers protest against the increase of prices was bloodily repressed; this contributed to the rise of the Solidarity movement in Gdańsk. Today the port of Gdynia is a regular stopover on the itinerary of luxurious passenger ships and a new ferry terminal with a civil airport are under realisation; the city won numerous awards in relation to safety, quality of life and a rich variety of tourist attractions.
In 2013 Gdynia was ranked as Poland's best city to live in and topped the rankings in the overarching category of general quality of life. Gdynia is highly noted for its access to education. There are prestigious universities such as the Polish Naval Academy nearby. Gdynia hosts the Gdynia Film Festival, the main Polish film festival, was the venue for the International Random Film Festival in 2014; the area of the city of Gdynia shared its history with Pomerelia. Late 10th century: Pomerelia was united with Poland. During the reign of Mieszko II Pomerelia became independent. 1116/1121: Bolesław III reunited Pomerelia with Poland. 1209: First mention of Oxhöft. 1227: Pomerelia again became an independent Duchy. 1253: First known mention of the name "Gdynia", as a Pomeranian fishing village. The first church on this part of the Baltic Sea coast was built there. 1294: Pomerelia was inherited by the future Polish king Przemysł II, remained as part of Poland until – 1309–1310. 1380: The owner of the village which became Gdynia, Peter from Rusocin, gave the village to the Cistercian Order.
1382: Gdynia became property of the Cistercian abbey in Oliva, now Oliwa. 1454: Thirteen Years' War started. 1466: Thirteen Years' War ended. Pomerelia became part of Royal Prussia, a newly established province of the Kingdom of Poland, of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. 1772: In the First Partition of Poland, Royal Prussia was annexed into the Kingdom of Prussia. Gdynia became known in German as Gdingen, was expropriated from the Cistercian Order. 1789: There were only 21 houses in Gdynia. Around that time Gdynia was so small that it was not marked on many maps of the period: it was about halfway from Oxhöft to Kleine Katz. 1870: The Kingdom of Prussia became part of the German Empire. The village of Gdingen had some 1,200 inhabitants. At the time it was not a poor fishing village; the first Kashubian mayor of Gdingen was Jan Radtke. Map of Danzig and around in 1899, showing Gdingen 1905: Gdingen shown on a big map, on the coast between Oxhöft and Zoppot. 1919: Treaty of Versailles and the start of the dismemberment of eastern Germany.
1920: Gdingen, along with other parts of former West Prussia, became a part of the new Republic of Poland. The decision to build a major seaport at Gdynia village was made by the Polish government in winter 1920, in the midst of the Polish–Soviet War; the authorities and seaport workers of the Free City of Danzig felt Poland's economic rights in the city were being misappropriated to help fight the war. German dockworkers went on strike, refusing to unload shipments of military supplies sent from the West to aid the Polish army, Poland realized the need for a port city it was in
The Narew, in western Belarus and north-eastern Poland, is a right tributary of the Vistula River. The Narew is one of Europe's few braided rivers, the term relating to the twisted channels resembling braided hair; the name of the river comes from a Proto-Indo-European root *nr associated with water or from a Lithuanian language verb nerti associated with dive and flood. The portion of the river between the junctions with the Western Bug and the Vistula is known as the Bugonarew, Narwio-Bug, Narwo-Bug, Bugo-Narew, Narwiobug or Narwobug. At the confluence near Zegrze the Bug is 1.6x longer, drains a 1.4x larger basin, has a higher average discharge. Thus the Bugonarew was considered part of the Bug river and the Narew a right tributary. On December 27, 1962, Prime Minister Józef Cyrankiewicz abolished the name Bugonarew soon after the Zegrze Reservoir had been constructed. Since the river is part of the Narew, the Bug became a left tributary; the name Bugonarew however is continued to be used by the inhabitants of local towns, such as Pułtusk.
The Narew flows through the geographical region of Europe known as the Wysoczyzny Podlasko – Bialoruskie located within the Podlaskie Voivodeship and Masovian Voivodeship of Poland and the Hrodna Voblast of Belarus. The Narew is the fifth longest Polish river. On August 23, 1939, the Soviet Union and Germany signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to divide Poland along the Narew and San rivers. On September 6, 1939, Polish military forces attempted to use the Narew as a defense line against German attack during the German invasion of Poland; this was abandoned the next day in favor of the Bug as German forces had penetrated the defenses. The Battle of Wizna was fought along the banks of the river between September 7 and September 10, 1939, between the forces of Poland and Germany during the initial stages of Invasion of Poland; because it consisted of a small force holding a piece of fortified territory against a vastly larger invasion for three days at great cost before being annihilated with no known survivors, Wizna is sometimes referred to as a Polish Thermopylae in Polish culture.
On September 17, 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland. By 28 September, the Soviet Army had reached the line of the rivers Narew, Bug River and San – completing the division of Poland as negotiated in advance. Narew National Park Narew Landscape Park Rivers of Poland Geography of Poland Natural tourism in Narew National Park
Brest Brest-Litowsk, is a city in Belarus at the border with Poland opposite the Polish city of Terespol, where the Bug and Mukhavets rivers meet. It is the capital city of the Brest Region; the city of Brest is a historic site of many cultures. It was the location of important historical events such as the Union of Brest and Treaty of Brest-Litovsk; the Brest Fortress was recognized by the Soviet Union as the Hero Fortress in honor of the defense of Brest Fortress in June 1941. During medieval times, the city was part of the Kingdom of Poland from 1020 until 1319 when it was taken by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, it became part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569. As a result of the Partitions of Poland, it was incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1795. After World War I, the city returned to Second Polish Republic. During the Invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939 the city was first captured by the Wehrmacht and soon passed on to the USSR in accordance with German–Soviet Frontier Treaty.
In 1941 it was taken again by the Nazis during Operation Barbarossa. After the war, once the new boundaries between the USSR and Poland were ratified, the city became part of the Belarusian SSR and as such was part of the Soviet Union until the breakup of the USSR in 1991. Brest is now a part of an independent Belarus. Several theories attempt to explain the origin of the city's name, it may have come from the Slavic root beresta meaning "birch", or "bark". The name could originate from the Slavic root berest meaning "elm". Or it could have come from the Lithuanian word brasta meaning "ford". Once a center of Jewish scholarship, the city has the Yiddish name בריסק, hence the term "Brisker" used to describe followers of the influential Soloveitchik family of rabbis. Traditionally, Belarusian-speakers called the city Берасце. Brest became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1319. In the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth formed in 1569 the town became known in Polish as Brześć Brześć Litewski. Brześć became part of the Russian Empire under the name Brest-Litovsk or Brest-Litovskii in the course of the Third Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795.
After World War I, the rebirth of Poland in 1918, the government of the Second Polish Republic renamed the city as Brześć nad Bugiem on March 20, 1923. After World War II the city became part of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic with the name simplified as Brest. Brest's coat of arms, adopted on January 26, 1991, features an arrow pointed upwards and a bow on a sky-blue shield. An alternative coat of arms has a red shield. Sigismund II Augustus, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, first granted Brest a coat of arms in 1554; the city was founded by the Slavs. As a town, Brest – Berestye in Kievan Rus – was first mentioned in the Primary Chronicle in 1019 when the Kievan Rus took the stronghold from the Poles, it is one of the oldest cities in Belarus. It was hotly contested between the Polish rulers and Kievan Rus princes, laid waste by the Mongols in 1241, was not rebuilt until 1275, it was part of the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1390 Brest became the first city in the lands that now comprise Belarus to receive Magdeburg rights.
Its suburbs were burned by the Teutonic Knights in 1379. In 1409 it was a meeting place of King Władysław II Jagiełło, duke Vytautas and Tatar khan under the archbishop Mikołaj Trąba initiative, to prepare for war with the Teutonic Knights. In 1410 the town mustered a cavalry company that participated in the Polish-Lithuanian victory at the battle of Grunwald. In 1419 it become a seat of the starost in the newly created Trakai Voivodeship. In 1500 it was burned again by Crimean Tatars. In 1566, following king Sigismund II Augustus decree, a new voivodeship was created - Brest Litovsk Voivodeship. After it became part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569, it was renamed Brest-Litovsk. During the period of the union of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Sweden under king Sigismund III Vasa, diets were held there. In 1594 and 1596 it was the meeting-place of two remarkable councils of regional bishops of the Roman-Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church; the 1596 council established the Uniate Church.
In 1657, again in 1706, the town and castle were captured by the Swedes during their invasions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In an attack from the other direction, on January 13, 1660 the invading Muscovite Russian army under Ivan Andreyevich Khovansky took the Brest Castle in a surprise early morning attack, the town having been captured earlier, massacred the 1,700 defenders and their families. On July 23, 1792 a battle was fought between the regiments of the Duchy of Lithuania defending the town and the invading Russian Imperial Army. On September 19, 1794 the area between Brest and Terespol was the scene of a victorious battle won by the invading Russian Imperial army under Suvorov over the Kościuszko Uprising army division under general Karol Sierakowski (known in Russian sourc
Gdańsk is a Polish city on the Baltic coast. With a population of 464,254, Gdańsk is the capital and largest city of the Pomeranian Voivodeship and the capital of Kashubia, it is the centre of the country's fourth-largest metropolitan area. The city is located on the southern edge of Gdańsk Bay, in a conurbation with the city of Gdynia, spa town of Sopot, suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the Tricity, with a population approaching 1.4 million. Gdańsk is the largest city of Kashubia. With its origins as a Polish stronghold erected in the 980s by Mieszko I of Poland, the city's history is complex, with periods of Polish rule, periods of Prussian or German rule, periods of autonomy or self-rule as a "free city". In the early-modern age Gdańsk was a royal city of Poland, it was considered the wealthiest and the largest city of Poland, prior to the 18th century rapid growth of Warsaw. Between the world wars, the Free City of Danzig, having a majority of German population, was in a customs union with Poland and was situated between German East Prussia and the so-called Polish Corridor.
Gdańsk lies at the mouth of the Motława River, connected to the Leniwka, a branch in the delta of the nearby Vistula River, which drains 60 percent of Poland and connects Gdańsk with the Polish capital, Warsaw. Together with the nearby port of Gdynia, Gdańsk is a notable industrial center. In the late Middle Ages it was an important seaport and shipbuilding town and, in the 14th and 15th centuries, a member of the Hanseatic League. In the interwar period, owing to its multi-ethnic make-up and history, Gdańsk lay in a disputed region between Poland and the Weimar Republic, which became Nazi Germany; the city's ambiguous political status was exploited, furthering tension between the two countries, which would culminate in the Invasion of Poland and the first clash of the Second World War just outside the city limits. In the 1980s it would become the birthplace of the Solidarity movement, which played a major role in bringing an end to Communist rule in Poland and helped precipitate the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Gdańsk is home to the University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk University of Technology, the National Museum, the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre, the Museum of the Second World War, Polish Baltic Philharmonic and the European Solidarity Centre. The city hosts St. Dominic's Fair, which dates back to 1260, is regarded as one of the biggest trade and cultural events in Europe; the city's name is thought to originate from the Gdania River, the original name of the Motława branch on which the city is situated. The name of a settlement was recorded after St. Adalbert's death in AD 997 as urbs Gyddanyzc and was written as Kdanzk in 1148, Gdanzc in 1188, Danceke in 1228, Gdansk in 1236, Danzc in 1263, Danczk in 1311, Danczik in 1399, Danczig in 1414, Gdąnsk in 1656. In Polish the modern name of the city is pronounced. In English the usual pronunciation is or; the German name, "Danzig", is pronounced as. The city's Latin name may be given as either Gedanum or Dantiscum. Other former spellings of the name include Dantzig and Dantzic.
On special occasions the city is referred to as "The Royal Polish City of Gdańsk". In the Kashubian language the city is called Gduńsk. Kashubians use the name "Our Capital City Gduńsk" or "The Kashubian Capital City Gduńsk"; the first written record thought to refer to Gdańsk is the vita of Saint Adalbert. Written in 999, it describes how in 997 Saint Adalbert of Prague baptised the inhabitants of urbs Gyddannyzc, "which separated the great realm of the duke from the sea." No further written sources exist for the 11th centuries. Based on the date in Adalbert's vita, the city celebrated its millennial anniversary in 1997. Archaeological evidence for the origins of the town was retrieved after World War II had laid 90 percent of the city center in ruins, enabling excavations; the oldest seventeen settlement levels were dated to between 980 and 1308. It is thought that Mieszko I of Poland erected a stronghold on the site in the 980s, thereby connecting the Polish state ruled by the Piast dynasty with the trade routes of the Baltic Sea.
Traces of buildings and housing from 10th century have been found in archaeological excavations of the city. The site was ruled as a duchy of Poland by the Samborides, it consisted of a settlement at the modern Long Market, settlements of craftsmen along the Old Ditch, German merchant settlements around St Nicholas's church and the old Piast stronghold. In 1186, a Cistercian monastery was set up in nearby Oliwa, now within the city limits. In 1215, the ducal stronghold became the centre of a Pomerelian splinter duchy. At that time the area of the city included various villages. From at least 1224/25 a German market settlement with merchants from Lübeck existed in the area of today's Long Market. In 1224/25, merchants from Lübeck were invited as "hospites" but were soon forced to leave by Swantopolk II of the Samborides during a war between Swantopolk and the Teutonic Knights, during which Lübeck supported the latter. Migrat
Battle of Berlin
The Battle of Berlin, designated the Berlin Strategic Offensive Operation by the Soviet Union, known as the Fall of Berlin, was one of the last major offensives of the European theatre of World War II. Following the Vistula–Oder Offensive of January–February 1945, the Red Army had temporarily halted on a line 60 km east of Berlin. On 9 March, Germany established its defence plan for the city with Operation Clausewitz; the first defensive preparations at the outskirts of Berlin were made on 20 March, under the newly appointed commander of Army Group Vistula, General Gotthard Heinrici. When the Soviet offensive resumed on 16 April, two Soviet fronts attacked Berlin from the east and south, while a third overran German forces positioned north of Berlin. Before the main battle in Berlin commenced, the Red Army encircled the city after successful battles of the Seelow Heights and Halbe. On 20 April 1945, Hitler's birthday, the 1st Belorussian Front led by Marshal Georgy Zhukov, advancing from the east and north, started shelling Berlin's city centre, while Marshal Ivan Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front broke through Army Group Centre and advanced towards the southern suburbs of Berlin.
On 23 April General Helmuth Weidling assumed command of the forces within Berlin. The garrison consisted of several depleted and disorganised Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS divisions, along with poorly trained Volkssturm and Hitler Youth members. Over the course of the next week, the Red Army took the entire city. Before the battle was over and several of his followers killed themselves; the city's garrison surrendered on 2 May but fighting continued to the north-west and south-west of the city until the end of the war in Europe on 8 May as some German units fought westward so that they could surrender to the Western Allies rather than to the Soviets. Starting on 12 January 1945, the Red Army began the Vistula–Oder Offensive across the Narew River. On the fourth day, the Red Army broke out and started moving west, up to 30 to 40 km per day, taking East Prussia and Poznań, drawing up on a line 60 km east of Berlin along the Oder River; the newly created Army Group Vistula, under the command of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, attempted a counter-attack, but this had failed by 24 February.
The Red Army drove on to Pomerania, clearing the right bank of the Oder River, thereby reaching into Silesia. In the south the Siege of Budapest raged. Three German divisions' attempts to relieve the encircled Hungarian capital city failed, Budapest fell to the Soviets on 13 February. Adolf Hitler insisted on a counter-attack to recapture the Drau-Danube triangle; the goal was to secure the oil region of Nagykanizsa and regain the Danube River for future operations, but the depleted German forces had been given an impossible task. By 16 March, the German Lake Balaton Offensive had failed, a counter-attack by the Red Army took back in 24 hours everything the Germans had taken ten days to gain. On 30 March, the Soviets entered Austria. Between June and September 1944, the Wehrmacht had lost more than a million men, it lacked the fuel and armaments needed to operate effectively. On 12 April 1945, who had earlier decided to remain in the city against the wishes of his advisers, heard the news that the American President Franklin D. Roosevelt had died.
This raised false hopes in the Führerbunker that there might yet be a falling out among the Allies and that Berlin would be saved at the last moment, as had happened once before when Berlin was threatened. No plans were made by the Western Allies to seize the city by a ground operation; the Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force, General Eisenhower lost interest in the race to Berlin and saw no further need to suffer casualties by attacking a city that would be in the Soviet sphere of influence after the war, envisioning excessive friendly fire if both armies attempted to occupy the city at once. The major Western Allied contribution to the battle was the bombing of Berlin during 1945. During 1945 the United States Army Air Forces launched large daytime raids on Berlin and for 36 nights in succession, scores of RAF Mosquitos bombed the German capital, ending on the night of 20/21 April 1945 just before the Soviets entered the city; the Soviet offensive into central Germany, what became East Germany, had two objectives.
Stalin did not believe the Western Allies would hand over territory occupied by them in the post-war Soviet zone, so he began the offensive on a broad front and moved to meet the Western Allies as far west as possible. But the overriding objective was to capture Berlin; the two goals were complementary because possession of the zone could not be won unless Berlin were taken. Another consideration was that Berlin itself held useful post-war strategic assets, including Adolf Hitler and the German atomic bomb programme. On 6 March, Hitler appointed Lieutenant General Helmuth Reymann commander of the Berlin Defence Area, replacing Lieutenant General Bruno Ritter von Hauenschild. On 20 March, General Gotthard Heinrici was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Army Group Vistula replacing Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. Heinrici was one of the best defensive tacticians in the German army, he started to lay defensive plans. Heinrici assessed that the main Soviet thrust would be made over the Oder River and along the main east-west Autobahn.
He decided not to try to defend the banks of the Oder with anything more than a light skirmishing screen. Instead, Heinrici arranged for engineers
The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta
The Vistula is the longest and largest river in Poland and the 9th longest river in Europe, at 1,047 kilometres in length. The drainage basin area of the Vistula is 193,960 km2; the remainder is in Belarus and Slovakia. The Vistula rises at Barania Góra in the south of Poland, 1,220 meters above sea level in the Silesian Beskids, where it begins with the White Little Vistula and the Black Little Vistula, it flows over the biggest cities including Kraków, Warsaw, Płock, Włocławek, Toruń, Bydgoszcz, Świecie, Grudziądz, Tczew and Gdańsk. It empties into the Vistula Lagoon or directly into the Gdańsk Bay of the Baltic Sea with a delta and several branches; the name was first recorded by Pliny in AD 77 in his Natural History. Mela names the river Vistula, Pliny uses Vistla; the root of the name Vistula is Indo-European *u̯eis-'to ooze, flow slowly' and is found in many European rivernames. The diminutive endings -ila, -ula, were used in many Indo-European languages, including Latin. In writing about the Vistula River and its peoples, Ptolemy uses the Greek spelling Ouistoula.
Other ancient sources spell it Istula. Ammianus Marcellinus refers to the Bisula. Jordanes uses Viscla. 12th-century Polish chronicler Wincenty Kadłubek Latinised the rivername as Vandalus, a form influenced by Lithuanian vanduõ'water', while Jan Długosz in his Annales seu cronicae incliti regni Poloniae called the Vistula'white waters' referring to the White Little Vistula: "a nationibus orientalibus Polonis vicinis, ob aquae candorem Alba aqua... nominatur." Over the course of history the river possessed several names in different languages such as Low German: Wießel, Dutch: Wijsel, Yiddish: ווייסל Yiddish pronunciation: and Russian: Висла. The Vistula river is formed in the southern Silesian Voivodeship of Poland from two sources, the Czarna Wisełka at an altitude of 1,107 m and the Biała Wisełka at an altitude of 1,080 m on the western slope of Barania Góra in the Silesian Beskids; the Vistula can be divided into three parts: upper, from its sources to Sandomierz. The Vistula river basin covers 194,424 square kilometres.
In addition, the majority of its river basin is 100 to 200 m above sea level. The highest point of the river basin is at 2,655 metres. One of the features of the river basin of the Vistula is its asymmetry—in great measure resulting from the tilting direction of the Central European Lowland toward the northwest, the direction of the flow of glacial waters, considerable predisposition of its older base; the asymmetry of the river basin is 73–27%. The most recent glaciation of the Pleistocene epoch, which ended around 10,000 BC, is called the Vistulian glaciation or Weichselian glaciation in regard to north-central Europe; the river forms. The delta starts around Biała Góra near Sztum, about 50 km from the mouth, where the river Nogat splits off; the Nogat starts separately as a river named Alte Nogat south of Marienwerder, but further north it picks up water from a crosslink with the Vistula, becomes a distributary of the Vistula, flowing away northeast into the Vistula Lagoon with a small delta.
The Nogat formed part of the border between interwar Poland. The other channel of the Vistula below this point is sometimes called the Leniwka. Various causes have caused many severe floods of the Vistula down the centuries. Land in the area was sometimes depopulated by severe flooding, had to be resettled. See for a reconstruction map of the delta area as it was around year 1300: note much more water in the area, the west end of the Vistula Lagoon was bigger, nearly continuous with the Drausen See; as with some aggrading rivers, the lower Vistula has been subject to channel changing. Near the sea, the Vistula was diverted sideways by coastal sand as a result of longshore drift and split into an east-flowing branch and a west-flowing branch; until the 14th century, the Elbing Vistula was the bigger. 1242: The Stara Wisła cut an outlet to the sea through the barrier near Mikoszewo where the Vistula Cut is now. 1371: The Danzig Vistula became bigger than the Elbing Vistula. 1540 and 1543: Huge floods depopulated the delta area, afterwards the land was resettled by Mennonite Germans, economic development followed.
1553: By a plan made by Da