Poland the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With a population of 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin. Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Lithuania to the north and Ukraine to the east and Czech Republic, to the south, Germany to the west; the establishment of the Polish state can be traced back to AD 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of the realm coextensive with the territory of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, in 1569 it cemented its longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin; this union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, with a uniquely liberal political system which adopted Europe's first written national constitution, the Constitution of 3 May 1791.
More than a century after the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century, Poland regained its independence in 1918 with the Treaty of Versailles. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Germany, followed by the Soviet Union invading Poland in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. More than six million Polish citizens, including 90% of the country's Jews, perished in the war. In 1947, the Polish People's Republic was established as a satellite state under Soviet influence. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1989, most notably through the emergence of the Solidarity movement, Poland reestablished itself as a presidential democratic republic. Poland is regional power, it has the fifth largest economy by GDP in the European Union and one of the most dynamic economies in the world achieving a high rank on the Human Development Index. Additionally, the Polish Stock Exchange in Warsaw is the largest and most important in Central Europe. Poland is a developed country, which maintains a high-income economy along with high standards of living, life quality, safety and economic freedom.
Having a developed school educational system, the country provides free university education, state-funded social security, a universal health care system for all citizens. Poland has 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Poland is a member state of the European Union, the Schengen Area, the United Nations, NATO, the OECD, the Three Seas Initiative, the Visegrád Group; the origin of the name "Poland" derives from the West Slavic tribe of Polans that inhabited the Warta river basin of the historic Greater Poland region starting in the 6th century. The origin of the name "Polanie" itself derives from the early Slavic word "pole". In some languages, such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish, the exonym for Poland is Lechites, which derives from the name of a semi-legendary ruler of Polans, Lech I. Early Bronze Age in Poland begun around 2400 BC, while the Iron Age commenced in 750 BC. During this time, the Lusatian culture, spanning both the Bronze and Iron Ages, became prominent; the most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, around 700 BC.
Throughout the Antiquity period, many distinct ancient ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland in an era that dates from about 400 BC to 500 AD. These groups are identified as Celtic, Slavic and Germanic tribes. Recent archeological findings in the Kujawy region, confirmed the presence of the Roman Legions on the territory of Poland; these were most expeditionary missions sent out to protect the amber trade. The exact time and routes of the original migration and settlement of Slavic peoples lacks written records and can only be defined as fragmented; the Slavic tribes who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD. Up until the creation of Mieszko's state and his subsequent conversion to Christianity in 966 AD, the main religion of Slavic tribes that inhabited the geographical area of present-day Poland was Slavic paganism. With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the religious authority of the Roman Church.
However, the transition from paganism was not a smooth and instantaneous process for the rest of the population as evident from the pagan reaction of the 1030s. Poland began to form into a recognizable unitary and territorial entity around the middle of the 10th century under the Piast dynasty. Poland's first documented ruler, Mieszko I, accepted Christianity with the Baptism of Poland in 966, as the new official religion of his subjects; the bulk of the population converted in the course of the next few centuries. In 1000, Boleslaw the Brave, continuing the policy of his father Mieszko, held a Congress of Gniezno and created the metropolis of Gniezno and the dioceses of Kraków, Kołobrzeg, Wrocław. However, the pagan unrest led to the transfer of the capital to Kraków in 1038 by Casimir I the Restorer. In 1109, Prince Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany Henry V at the Battle of Hundsfeld, stopping the Ge
Voivodeships of Poland
A województwo is the highest-level administrative subdivision of Poland, corresponding to a "province" in many other countries. The term "województwo" has been in use since the 14th century, is translated in English as "province". Województwo is rendered in English by "voivodeship" or a variant spelling; the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998, which went into effect on 1 January 1999, created sixteen new voivodeships. These replaced the 49 former voivodeships that had existed from 1 July 1975, bear greater resemblance to the voivodeships that existed between 1950 and 1975. Today's voivodeships are named after historical and geographical regions, while those prior to 1998 took their names from the cities on which they were centered; the new units range in area from under 10,000 km2 to over 35,000 km2, in population from one million to over five million. Administrative authority at the voivodeship level is shared between a government-appointed governor called a voivode, an elected assembly called a sejmik, an executive board chosen by that assembly, headed by a voivodeship marshal.
Voivodeships are further divided into powiats and gminas: see Administrative divisions of Poland. This is a list of Polish voivodeships by gross regional product per capita, based on purchasing power standards and shown in euros. Statistics shown are for 2017 levels; this is a list of Polish voivodeships by nominal gross regional product shown in billion euros. Statistics shown are for 2017 levels. Competences and powers at voivodeship level are shared between the voivode, the sejmik and the marshal. In most cases these institutions are all based in one city, but in Kuyavian-Pomeranian and Lubusz Voivodeship the voivode's offices are in a different city from those of the executive and the sejmik. Voivodeship capitals are listed in the table below; the voivode is appointed by the Prime Minister and is the regional representative of the central government. The voivode acts as the head of central government institutions at regional level, manages central government property in the region, oversees the functioning of local government, coordinates actions in the field of public safety and environment protection, exercises special powers in emergencies.
The voivode's offices collectively are known as the urząd wojewódzki. The sejmik is elected every five years, at the same time as the local authorities at powiat and gmina level, it passes bylaws, including budget. It elects the marszałek and other members of the executive, holds them to account; the executive, headed by the marszałek drafts the budget and development strategies, implements the resolutions of the sejmik, manages the voivodeship's property, deals with many aspects of regional policy, including management of European Union funding. The marshal's offices are collectively known as the urząd marszałkowski. According to 2014 Eurostat data, the GDP per capita of Polish voivodeships varies notably and there is a large gap between the richest per capita voivodeship and the poorest per capita. Poznań Voivodeship Kalisz Voivodeship Gniezno Voivodeship from 1768 Sieradz Voivodeship Łęczyca Voivodeship Brześć Kujawski Voivodeship Inowrocław Voivodeship Chełmno Voivodeship Malbork Voivodeship Pomeranian Voivodeship Duchy of Warmia Duchy of Prussia Płock Voivodeship Rawa Voivodeship Masovian Voivodeship Kraków Voivodeship Sandomierz Voivodeship Lublin Voivodeship Podlaskie Voivodeship Ruthenian Voivodeship Bełz Voivodeship Volhynian Voivodeship Podole Voivodeship Bracław Voivodeship Kijów Voivodeship Czernihów Voivodeship Wilno Voivodship Troki Voivodship Nowogrodek Voivodship Brest-Litovsk Voivodship Minsk Voivodship Mscislaw Voivodship Smolensk Voivodship Vitebsk Voivodship Polock Voivodship Duchy of Samogita Wenden Voivodship since 1598 till the 1620s Dorpat Voivodship since 1598 till the 1620
Greater Poland Voivodeship
Greater Poland Voivodeship known as Wielkopolska Voivodeship, Wielkopolska Province, or Greater Poland Province, is a voivodeship, or province, in west-central Poland. It was created on 1 January 1999 out of the former Poznań, Konin, Piła and Leszno Voivodeships, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998; the province is named after the region called Greater Wielkopolska. The modern province includes most of this historic region, except for some south-western parts. Greater Poland Voivodeship is second in area and third in population among Poland's sixteen voivodeships, with an area of 29,826 square kilometres and a population of close to 3.5 million. Its capital city is Poznań, it is bordered by seven other voivodeships: West Pomeranian to the northwest, Pomeranian to the north, Kuyavian-Pomeranian to the north-east, Łódź to the south-east, Opole to the south, Lower Silesian to the southwest and Lubusz to the west. The city of Poznań has international twinning arrangements with the English county of Nottinghamshire.
Greater Poland, sometimes called the "cradle of Poland," formed the heart of the 10th-century early Polish state. Poznań and Gniezno were early centers of royal power, but following the region's devastation by pagan rebellion in the 1030s, an invasion by Bretislaus I of Bohemia in 1038, the capital was moved by Casimir the Restorer from Gniezno to Kraków. In the testament of Bolesław III Wrymouth, which initiated the period of fragmentation of Poland, the western part of Greater Poland was granted to Mieszko III the Old; the eastern part, with Gniezno and Kalisz, was part of the Duchy of Kraków, granted to Władysław II the Exile. However, for most of the period the two parts were under a single ruler, were known as the Duchy of Greater Poland; the region came under the control of Władysław I the Elbow-High in 1314, thus became part of the reunited Poland of which Władysław was crowned king in 1320. In the reunited kingdom, in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the country came to be divided into administrative units called voivodeships.
In the case of the Greater Poland region these were Kalisz Voivodeship. The Commonwealth had larger subdivisions known as prowincja, one of, named Greater Poland. However, this prowincja covered a larger area than the Greater Poland region itself taking in Masovia and Royal Prussia. In 1768 a new Gniezno Voivodeship was formed out of the northern part of Kalisz Voivodeship; however more far-reaching changes would come with the Partitions of Poland. In the first partition, northern parts of Greater Poland along the Noteć were taken over by Prussia, becoming the Netze District. In the second partition the whole of Greater Poland was absorbed by Prussia, becoming part of the province of South Prussia, it remained so in spite of the first Greater Poland Uprising, part of the unsuccessful Kościuszko Uprising directed chiefly against Russia. More successful was the Greater Poland Uprising of 1806, which led to the region's becoming part of the Napoleonic Duchy of Warsaw. However, following the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Greater Poland was again partitioned, with the western part going to Prussia.
The eastern part joined the Russian-controlled Kingdom of Poland, where it formed the Kalisz Voivodeship until 1837 the Kalisz Governorate. Within the Prussian empire, western Greater Poland became the Grand Duchy of Posen, which theoretically held some autonomy. Following an unrealized uprising in 1846, the more substantial but still unsuccessful uprising of 1848, the Grand Duchy was replaced by the Province of Posen; the authorities made efforts to Germanize the region after the founding of Germany in 1871, from 1886 onwards the Prussian Settlement Commission was active in increasing German land ownership in Polish areas. Following the end of World War I, the Greater Poland Uprising ensured that most of the region became part of the newly independent Polish state, forming most of Poznań Voivodeship. Northern and some western parts of Greater Poland remained in Germany, where they formed much of the province of Posen-West Prussia, whose capital was Schneidemühl. Following the German invasion of 1939, Greater Poland was incorporated into Nazi Germany, becoming the province called Reichsgau Posen Reichsgau Wartheland.
The Polish population was oppressed, with many former officials and others considered potential enemies by the Nazis being imprisoned or executed, including at the notorious Fort VII concentration camp in Poznań. Poznań was declared a stronghold city in the closing stages of the war, being taken by the Red Army in the Battle of Poznań, which ended on 22 February 1945. After the war, Greater Poland was within the Polish People's Republic, as Poznań Voivodeship. With the reforms of 1975
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
Integrated Authority File
The Integrated Authority File or GND is an international authority file for the organisation of personal names, subject headings and corporate bodies from catalogues. It is used for documentation in libraries and also by archives and museums; the GND is managed by the German National Library in cooperation with various regional library networks in German-speaking Europe and other partners. The GND falls under the Creative Commons Zero licence; the GND specification provides a hierarchy of high-level entities and sub-classes, useful in library classification, an approach to unambiguous identification of single elements. It comprises an ontology intended for knowledge representation in the semantic web, available in the RDF format; the Integrated Authority File became operational in April 2012 and integrates the content of the following authority files, which have since been discontinued: Name Authority File Corporate Bodies Authority File Subject Headings Authority File Uniform Title File of the Deutsches Musikarchiv At the time of its introduction on 5 April 2012, the GND held 9,493,860 files, including 2,650,000 personalised names.
There are seven main types of GND entities: LIBRIS Virtual International Authority File Information pages about the GND from the German National Library Search via OGND Bereitstellung des ersten GND-Grundbestandes DNB, 19 April 2012 From Authority Control to Linked Authority Data Presentation given by Reinhold Heuvelmann to the ALA MARC Formats Interest Group, June 2012
Seat of local government
In local government, a city hall, town hall, civic centre, a guildhall, a Rathaus, or a municipal building, is the chief administrative building of a city, town, or other municipality. It houses the city or town council, its associated departments, their employees, it usually functions as the base of the mayor of a city, borough, or county/shire. By convention, until the mid 19th-century, a single large open chamber formed an integral part of the building housing the council; the hall may be used for other significant events. This large chamber, the "town hall" has become synonymous with the whole building, with the administrative body housed in it; the terms "council chambers", "municipal building" or variants may be used locally in preference to "town hall" if no such large hall is present within the building. The local government may endeavor to use the town hall building to promote and enhance the quality of life of the community. In many cases, "town halls" serve not only as buildings for government functions, but have facilities for various civic and cultural activities.
These may include art shows, stage performances and festivals. Modern town halls or "civic centres" are designed with a great variety and flexibility of purpose in mind; as symbols of local government and town halls have distinctive architecture, the buildings may have great historical significance – for example the Guildhall, London. City hall buildings may serve as cultural icons that symbolize their cities; the term "town hall" may be a general one applied without regard to whether the building serves or served a town or a city. This is the case in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Hong Kong, many other Commonwealth countries. English-speakers in some regions use the term "city hall" to designate the council offices of a municipality of city status; this is the case in North America. The Oxford English Dictionary sums up the generic terms: town hall: "A large hall used for the transaction of the public business of a town, the holding of a court of justice, entertainments, etc.. Conversely, cities that have subdivisions with their own councils may have borough halls.
In Scotland, local government in larger cities operates from the "City Chambers", otherwise the "Town House". Elsewhere in English-speaking countries, other names are used. In London, the official headquarters of administration of the City of London retains its Anglo-Saxon name, the Guildhall, signifying a place where taxes were paid. In a small number of English cities the preferred term is "Council House": this was the case in Bristol until 2012, when the building was renamed "City Hall". In Birmingham, there is a distinction between the Council House, the seat of local government, the Town Hall, a concert and meeting venue which pre-dates it. In the City of Sheffield, the distinction is between the Town Hall, the seat of local government, the City Hall, a concert and ballroom venue. Large halls called basilicas were used in Ancient Rome for the administration of justice, as meeting places, for trade. In the Early Medieval period, the hall, a single large open chamber, was the main, sometimes only room of the home of a feudal lord.
There the lord lived with his family and retinue, ate and administered rule and justice. Activities in the hall played an essential role in the functioning of the feudal manor, the administrative unit of society; as manorial dwellings developed into manor houses and palaces, the hall, or "great hall" as it was termed, remained an essential unit within the architectural complex. In the Middle Ages or early modern period, many European market towns erected communal market halls, comprising a covered open space to function as a sheltered marketplace at street level, one or more rooms used for public or civic purposes on the upper floor or floors; such buildings were the precursors of dedicated town halls. The modern concept of the town hall developed with the rise of regional government. Cities administered by a group of elected or chosen representatives, rather than by a lord or princely ruler, required a place for their council to meet; the Cologne City Hall of 1135 is a prominent example for self-gained municipal autonomy of medieval cities.
The Palazzo Pubblico of the Republic of Siena and the Palazzo Vecchio of the Republic of Florence, both town halls, date from 1297 and 1299 respectively. In each case the large, fortified building comprises a large meeting hall and numerous administrative chambers. Both buildings are topped by tall towers. Both buildings have ancient timepieces. Both buildings have facilities for the storage of documents and references that pertain to the city's administration; these features: a hall, a tower and a clock, as well as administrative chambers and an archive or muniment room became the standard features of town halls across Europe
The gmina is the principal unit of the administrative division of Poland, similar to a municipality. As of 2010 there were 2,478 gminy throughout the country; the word gmina derives from the German word Gemeinde, meaning "community". The gmina has been the basic unit of territorial division in Poland since 1974, when it replaced the smaller gromada. There are three types of gminy: urban gmina consisting of just one city or town, mixed urban-rural gmina consisting of a town and surrounding villages and countryside; some rural gminy have their seat in a town, outside the gmina's division. For example, the rural Gmina Augustów is administered from the town of Augustów, but does not include the town, as Augustów is an urban type gmina in its own right; the legislative and controlling body of each gmina is the elected municipal council, or in a town: rada miasta. Executive power is held by the directly elected mayor of the municipality, called wójt in rural gminy, burmistrz in most urban and urban-rural gminy, or prezydent in towns with more than 400,000 inhabitants and some others which traditionally use the title.
A gmina may create auxiliary units. In rural areas these are called sołectwa, in towns they may be dzielnice or osiedla and in an urban-rural gmina, the town itself may be designated as an auxiliary unit. For a complete listing of all the gminy in Poland, see List of Polish gminas; each gmina carries out two types of tasks: commissioned ones. Own tasks are public tasks exercised by self-government, which serve to satisfy the needs of the community; the tasks can be twofold: compulsory – where the municipality cannot decline to carry out the tasks, must set up a budget to carry them out in order to provide the inhabitants with the basic public benefits optional – where the municipality can carry them out in accordance with available budgetary means, set out only to specific local needs. Own high objectives include matters such as spatial harmony, real estate management, environmental protection and nature conservation, water management, country roads, public streets, bridges and traffic systems, water supply systems and source, the sewage system, removal of urban waste, water treatment, maintenance of cleanliness and order, sanitary facilities and council waste, supply of electric and thermal energy and gas, public transport, health care, care homes, subsidised housing, public education, cultural facilities including public libraries and other cultural institutions, historic monuments conservation and protection, the sports facilities and tourism including recreational grounds and devices and covered markets, green spaces and public parks, communal graveyards, public order and safety and flood protection with equipment maintenance and storage, maintaining objects and devices of the public utility and administrative buildings, pro-family policy including social support for pregnant women and legal care and popularising the self-government initiatives and cooperation within the commune including with non-governmental organizations, interaction with regional communities from other countries, etc.
Commissioned tasks cover the remaining public tasks resulting from legitimate needs of the state, commissioned by central government for the units of local government to implement. The tasks are handed over on the basis of statutory by-laws and regulations, or by way of agreements between the self-government units and central-government administration. Abbreviations used for voivodeships:LS: Lower Silesian Voivodeship, KP: Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, LBL: Lublin Voivodeship, LBS: Lubusz Voivodeship, ŁD: Łódź Voivodeship, LP: Lesser Poland Voivodeship, MS: Masovian Voivodeship, OP: Opole Voivodeship, SK: Subcarpathian Voivodeship, PD: Podlaskie Voivodeship, PM: Pomeranian Voivodeship, SL: Silesian Voivodeship, ŚWK: Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, WM: Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, GP: Greater Poland Voivodeship, WP: West Pomeranian Voivodeship. Official report from the Central Statistical Office of Poland dated January 1, 2006