Renaissance in Poland
The Renaissance in Poland lasted from the late 15th to the late 16th century and is considered to have been the Golden Age of Polish culture. Ruled by the Jagiellonian dynasty, the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland participated in the broad European Renaissance; the multi-national Polish state experienced a period of cultural growth thanks in part to a century without major wars – aside from conflicts in the sparsely populated eastern and southern borderlands. The Reformation spread peacefully throughout the country, while living conditions improved, cities grew, exports of agricultural products enriched the population the nobility who gained dominance in the new political system of Golden Liberty; the Renaissance movement, whose influence originated in Italy, spread throughout Poland in the 15th and 16th century. Many Italian artists arrived in the country welcomed by Polish royalty, including Francesco Fiorentino, Bartholommeo Berecci, Santi Gucci, Mateo Gucci, Bernardo Morando, Giovanni Battista di Quadro and others, including thinkers and educators such as Filip Callimachus, merchants such as the Boner family and the Montelupi family, other prominent personalities who immigrated to Poland since the late 15th century in search of new opportunities.
Most of them settled in Kraków, the Polish capital until 1611. The Renaissance values of the dignity of man and power of his reason were applauded in Poland. Many works were translated into Polish and Latin from classical Latin and Hebrew, as well as contemporary languages like Italian; the Cracow Academy, one of the world's oldest universities, enjoyed its Golden Era between 1500 and 1535, with 3,215 students graduating in the first decade of the 16th century – a record not surpassed until the late 18th century. The period of Polish Renaissance, supportive of intellectual pursuits, produced many outstanding artists and scientists. Among them were Nicolaus Copernicus who in his De revolutionibus orbium coelestium presented the heliocentric theory of the universe, Maciej of Miechów, author of Tractatus de duabus Sarmatis... – the most accurate up to date geographical and ethnographical account of Eastern Europe. Young Poles sons of nobility, who graduated from any one of over 2,500 parish schools and several academies traveled abroad to complete their education.
Polish thinkers, like Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski, Johannes Dantiscus or Jan Łaski maintained contacts with leading European philosophers of the Renaissance, such as Thomas More and Philip Melanchthon. Poland not only partook in the exchange of major cultural and scientific ideas and developments of Western Europe, but spread Western heritage eastwards among East Slavic nations. For example, printing process, Latin language and art with the syllabic versification in poetry in Belarus and Ukraine, from where it was transmitted to Russia, which began to increase its ties with western Europe in the aftermath of the Mongol invasion of Rus; the first four printed Cyrillic books in the world were published in Kraków, in 1491, by printer Szwajpolt Fiol. Incentives for development of art and architecture were many. King Sigismund I the Old, who ascended to the throne in 1507, was a sponsor of many artists, begun a major project - under Florence architect Bartolommeo Berrecci - of remaking the ancient residence of the Polish kings, the Wawel Castle, into a modern Renaissance residence.
Sigismund's zeal for Renaissance was matched not only by his son, Sigismund II Augustus, but by many wealthy nobles and burghers who desired to display their wealth and cultural savvy. In 1578, chancellor Jan Zamoyski begun construction of the ideal Renaissance city, sponsoring the creation of Zamość, which soon became an important administrative and educational town of Renaissance Poland. Two largest contemporary Polish cities - Kraków and Gdańsk - gained the most in the era, but many other cities spotted new Renaissance constructions. Renaissance painting was introduced in Poland by many immigrant artists, like Lucas Cranach, Hans Dürer and Hans von Kulmbach, practiced by such Polish painters as Marcin Kober; the works of the portraitists created an impressive gallery representative of those who could afford to be immortalized in them. The centre of musical culture was the royal residence at Kraków, where the royal court welcomed many foreign and local performers; the most significant works of the Renaissance in Poland include compositions for lute and organs, both vocal and instrumental, from dances, through polyphonic music, to religious oratorios and masses.
In 1540 by Jan of Lublin released the Tablature, in which he collected most known European organ pieces. Nicolaus Cracoviensis composed many masses, songs and preludes. Mikołaj Gomółka was the author of musical rendition of Kochanowski's poems (Melodies for
Culture in post-communist Poland
With the fall of communism Polish culture and society began a process of profound transformation, marked by the return of democracy and redevelopment of civil society. After 1989, the heavy government controls ended, the radical economic changes were introduced; the influx of new aesthetic and social ideas was accompanied by the Western market forces. However, unlike any other temporal marker in the development of Polish culture from the past, the year 1989 did not introduce any specific literary events or artistic manifestations. For a generation of accomplished writers the objectives and their moral quests remained the same as in the preceding period; the first decade of freedom brought state reforms in the financing of cultural institutions and patronage. Literature, visual arts and mass media remained focused on their active participation in public life. Polish literature includes many famous poets and writers concerned with issues pertinent to the present: Jan Kochanowski, Adam Mickiewicz, Bolesław Prus, Juliusz Słowacki, Witold Gombrowicz, Stanisław Lem and Ryszard Kapuściński.
Writers Henryk Sienkiewicz, Władysław Reymont, Czesław Miłosz, Wisława Szymborska have each won the Nobel Prize for Literature. The events that shaped Polish culture at the onset of the post-communist period began in 1976; the suppressed demonstrations of 1976 gave rise to underground publishing on an unprecedented scale. It was the true beginning of a new literary knowledge in Poland. Between 1976 and 1989, the so-called Drugi obieg, published the staggering 5,000 regular newsletters and full-size periodicals including some 7,000 books; the 1978 election of the Polish Pope has had an profound impact on the society. Two years the blacklisted Czesław Miłosz was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, the Solidarity movement was born following a wave of mass strikes against totalitarianism and austerity measures; every Polish artist and writer took part in the movement, – in one form or another – suffered the consequences of the military crackdown of December 1981. After that – as in the films of Krzysztof Kieślowski – the physical existence was no longer bearable.
Meanwhile, the underground press flourished, supported financially through generous donations from the West, the inquiries into the nature of law and morality continued. Russia did not intervene in the matter, when their former satellite state was dissolved in 1990; the period 1976–89 provided the necessary intellectual and aesthetic base on which the Polish postmodernism was founded in the arts and literature inspired by the popular works of Witkacy, Witold Gombrowicz and Karol Irzykowski. The transitions which began in the 1990s continued throughout the early 21st century. See also: Theatre of Poland, Cinema of Poland, Television in PolandMany world-renowned Polish movie directors include Academy Awards winners Roman Polanski, Andrzej Wajda, Zbigniew Rybczyński, Janusz Kamiński and, Krzysztof Kieślowski; the Polish avant-garde theatre is world-famous, with Jerzy Grotowski as its most innovative and creative representative. One of the most original twentieth-century theatre personalities was Tadeusz Kantor, theoretician of drama, stage designer, playwright, his ideas finding their culmination in the theatre of death and his most recognised production being "Umarła klasa".
There is no strict division in Poland between theatre and film actors, therefore many stage artists are known to viewers the world over, for instance from the films of Andrzej Wajda or Krzysztof Kieślowski. The traditional Polish music composers include world-renowned pianist Frédéric Chopin as well as famous composers such as Krzysztof Penderecki, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Karol Szymanowski among others. Influenced by Polish folklore, the music of Fryderyk Chopin conveys the essence of Polish Romanticism. Since 1927, the International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition has been held every five years in Warsaw. Between the wars, a group of composers formed the Association of Young Polish Musicians which included Grażyna Bacewicz, Zygmunt Mycielski, Tadeusz Szeligowski. Following World War II, some composers, such as Roman Palester and Andrzej Panufnik, fled the country and remained in the exile. In the early 1960s, however, a number of composers known as the Polish Composers' School arose, characterized by the use of sonorism and dodecaphonism.
The style emerged from the political crisis following Stalin's death. Composers included Tadeusz Baird, Boguslaw Schaeffer, Włodzimierz Kotoński, Witold Szalonek, Krzysztof Penderecki, Witold Lutosławski, Wojciech Kilar, Kazimierz Serocki and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. Modern-day composers include Krzysztof Meyer, Paweł Szymański, Krzesimir Dębski, Hanna Kulenty, Eugeniusz Knapik and Paweł Mykietyn. Poland has always been a open country to new music genres and before the fall of the communism, music styles like rock, jazz, electronic and new wave were well-known. Since 1989, the Polish scene has exploded with a more diverse style. Contrary to most European countries, pop music is not dominant in Poland; every year, a huge gathering of young Poles meet to celebrate the rock and alternative music in Jarocin or Żary. These events attract more than 250,000 people and are comparable to the gatherings in Woodstock and Roskilde
Enlightenment in Poland
The ideas of the Age of Enlightenment in Poland were developed than in Western Europe, as the Polish bourgeoisie was weaker, szlachta culture together with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth political system were in deep crisis. The period of Polish Enlightenment began in the 1730s–40s, peaked in the reign of Poland's last king, Stanisław August Poniatowski, went into decline with the Third Partition of Poland – a national tragedy inspiring a short period of sentimental writing – and ended in 1822, replaced by Romanticism. Polish Enlightenment, while sharing many common qualities with the classical Enlightenment movements of Western Europe differed from them in many important aspects. Much of the thought of the Western Enlightenment evolved under the oppressive absolute monarchies and was dedicated towards fighting for more freedom. Western thinkers desired Montesquieu's separation and balance of powers to restrict the nearly unlimited power of their monarchs. Polish Enlightenment, developed in a different background.
The Polish political system was the opposite of the absolute monarchy: Polish kings were elected and their position was weak, with most of the powers in the hands of the parliament. Polish reforms desired the elimination of laws that transformed their system into a near-anarchy, resulting from abuse of consensus voting in Sejm that paralyzed the Commonwealth during the times of the Wettin dynasty, reducing Poland from a major European player to the puppet of its neighbours. Thus, while men of the Enlightenment in France and Prussia wrote about the need for more checks and balances on their kings, Polish Enlightenment was geared towards fighting the abuses stemming from too many checks and balances; the differences did not end there. Townsfolk and bourgeoisie dominated Western Enlightenment movement, while in the Commonwealth most of the reformers came from szlachta. Commonwealth szlachta considered the idea of equality to be one of the foundations of its culture, reformers fought to expand it towards other social classes.
Religious tolerance, was an ideal of the szlachta. Ideas of that period led to one of the greatest achievements of Poland, the Constitution of May 3, 1791 and other reforms which attempted to transform the Commonwealth into a modern constitutional monarchy. Although attempts of political reform were thwarted by the civil war and military intervention of the Commonwealth neighbour, ending in the partitions of Poland, the cultural impact of that period persevered Polish culture for many years; the ideas of the Polish Enlightenment had significant impact abroad. From the Bar Confederation through the period of the Great Sejm and until the aftermath of the Constitution of May 3, 1791, Poland experienced a large output of political constitutional, writing. Important institutions of the Enlightenment included the National Theatre founded in 1765 in Warsaw by King Stanisław August Poniatowski. In expanding the field of knowledge, there was the Society of Friends of Science set up in 1800 soon after the Partitions.
Popular newspapers included Zabawy Przyjemne i Pożyteczne. Wojciech Bogusławski - father of Polish theater Franciszek Bohomolec - poet, publisher, teacher Tadeusz Czacki - education, founder of Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Nauk and Liceum Krzemienieckie Joachim Chreptowicz - Last Grand Chancellor of the Lithuania, poet and physiocrat Jakub Jasiński - poet, radical supporter of revolution Franciszek Salezy Jezierski - writer, political activist Franciszek Karpiński - poet Franciszek Kniaźnin - poet, writer Hugo Kołłątaj - priest and political activist, political thinker and philosopher Stanisław Konarski - precursor of education reform, author of O skutecznym rad sposobie Onufry Kopczyński - teacher, precursor of Polish grammar Michał Dymitr Krajewski - writer, educational activist Ignacy Krasicki - one of Poland's greatest poets, bishop, co-organiser of Thursday dinners Stanisław Leszczyński - king of Poland, political activist, writer Samuel Bogumił Linde - chairman of Towarzystwo do Ksiąg Elementarnych, creator of Słownik Języka Polskiego Adam Naruszewicz - poet, historian Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz - poet, independence activist Jan Piotr Norblin - painter Józef Maksymilian Ossoliński - writer, social and cultural activist, founder of Zakład Narodowy im.
Ossolińskich Grzegorz Piramowicz - writer, educational activist Stanisław August Poniatowski - king, co-organiser of Thursday's dinners, great supporter of arts and sciences in Poland, Stanisław Staszic - writer, economist Jan Śniadecki - astronomer, philosopher Jędrzej Śniadecki - chemist Stanisław Trembecki - poet Tomasz Kajetan Węgierski - poet, explorer Józef Wybicki - political activist, author of the words of Mazurek Dąbrowskiego, Polish national anthem Franciszek Zabłocki - poet, comedy writer, secretary of Towarzystwo do Ksiąg Elementarnych Andrzej and Józef Załuski - founders of first Polish public library, Biblioteka Załuskich Andrzej Zamoyski - kanclerz, author of the Zamoyski Code The center of the neoclassical archi
Painting is the practice of applying paint, color or other medium to a solid surface. The medium is applied to the base with a brush, but other implements, such as knives and airbrushes, can be used; the final work is called a painting. Painting is an important form in the visual arts, bringing in elements such as drawing, composition, narration, or abstraction. Paintings can be naturalistic and representational, abstract, symbolistic, emotive, or political in nature. A portion of the history of painting in both Eastern and Western art is dominated by religious art. Examples of this kind of painting range from artwork depicting mythological figures on pottery, to Biblical scenes Sistine Chapel ceiling, to scenes from the life of Buddha or other images of Eastern religious origin. In art, the term painting describes the result of the action; the support for paintings includes such surfaces as walls, canvas, glass, pottery, leaf and concrete, the painting may incorporate multiple other materials including sand, paper, gold leaf, as well as objects.
Color, made up of hue and value, dispersed over a surface is the essence of painting, just as pitch and rhythm are the essence of music. Color is subjective, but has observable psychological effects, although these can differ from one culture to the next. Black is associated with mourning in the West; some painters, theoreticians and scientists, including Goethe and Newton, have written their own color theory. Moreover, the use of language is only an abstraction for a color equivalent; the word "red", for example, can cover a wide range of variations from the pure red of the visible spectrum of light. There is not a formalized register of different colors in the way that there is agreement on different notes in music, such as F or C♯. For a painter, color is not divided into basic and derived colors. Painters deal with pigments, so "blue" for a painter can be any of the blues: phthalocyanine blue, Prussian blue, Cobalt blue, so on. Psychological and symbolical meanings of color are not speaking, means of painting.
Colors only add to the potential, derived context of meanings, because of this, the perception of a painting is subjective. The analogy with music is quite clear—sound in music is analogous to "light" in painting, "shades" to dynamics, "coloration" is to painting as the specific timbre of musical instruments is to music; these elements do not form a melody of themselves. Modern artists have extended the practice of painting to include, as one example, which began with Cubism and is not painting in the strict sense; some modern painters incorporate different materials such as sand, straw or wood for their texture. Examples of this are the works of Anselm Kiefer. There is a growing community of artists who use computers to "paint" color onto a digital "canvas" using programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, many others; these images can be printed onto traditional canvas. Jean Metzinger's mosaic-like Divisionist technique had its parallel in literature. I make a kind of chromatic versification and for syllables I use strokes which, variable in quantity, cannot differ in dimension without modifying the rhythm of a pictorial phraseology destined to translate the diverse emotions aroused by nature.
Rhythm, for artists such as Piet Mondrian, is important in painting as it is in music. If one defines rhythm as "a pause incorporated into a sequence" there can be rhythm in paintings; these pauses allow creative force to intervene and add new creations—form, coloration. The distribution of form, or any kind of information is of crucial importance in the given work of art, it directly affects the aesthetic value of that work; this is because the aesthetic value is functionality dependent, i.e. the freedom of perception is perceived as beauty. Free flow of energy, in art as well as in other forms of "techne", directly contributes to the aesthetic value. Music was important to the birth of abstract art, since music is abstract by nature—it does not try to represent the exterior world, but expresses in an immediate way the inner feelings of the soul. Wassily Kandinsky used musical terms to identify his works. Kandinsky theorized that "music is the ultimate teacher," and subsequently embarked upon the first seven of his ten Compositions.
Hearing tones and chords as he painted, Kandinsky theorized that, yellow is the color of middle C on a brassy trumpet. In 1871 the young Kandinsky learned to play the cello. Kandinsky's stage design for a performance of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" illustrates his "synaesthetic" concept of a universal correspondence of forms and musical sounds. Music d
Culture of medieval Poland
The culture of medieval Poland was linked to the Catholic Church and its involvement in the country's affairs during the first centuries of the Polish state's history. Many of the oldest Polish customs and artifacts date from the Middle Ages, which in Poland lasted from the late 10th to late 15th century, were followed by the Polish Renaissance; the Christianization of the Kingdom of Poland led, as in the rest of Europe, to the supplementation of previous pagan Slavic mythology-based culture Polanie with new Christian culture of the Kingdom of Poland under the Piast dynasty. Around the 12th century, the ecclesiastical network in Poland was composed of about one thousand parishes grouped in eight dioceses; the new customs spread as the Church acted as the state's educational system. Church run schools with Latin trivium and quadrivium and was helped by various religious orders which established monasteries throughout the countryside. By the end of the 13th century, over 300 monasteries existed in Poland, spreading Catholicism and Western traditions: for example, the first Benedictine monasteries built in the 11th century in Tyniec and Lubin spread new Western agricultural and industrial techniques.
Another powerful tool employed by the Church was the skill of writing. The Church had the knowledge and the ability to make parchments, scribes created and copied manuscripts and established libraries, thus the earliest examples of Polish literature were written in Latin. Among them were the Gospels from Gniezno and Płock, Codex aureus Gnesnensis and Codex Aureus Pultoviensis, dating from around the late 11th century. Other notable examples of early Polish books include the Bishop Ciołek's Latin Missal and Olbracht's Gradual. Famous are the chronicles of Gallus Anonymus and Wincenty Kadłubek. While folk music did not disappear during this time little of the early Polish music is known. Musical instruments homemade were used; the Gregorian chorales and monodic music appeared in Polish churches and monasteries at the end of the 11th century. The architecture of Poland was transformed. Over one hundred buildings have survived which provide a testament to the popularity of the new, monumental style of Romanesque architecture.
The style was influenced by Cologne early on. Among those is the Crypt of Saint Leonard at Wawel Hill in Kraków and the Cathedral of Płock, built in 1144. Many similar churches from that era round or square with semicircular apses, can be found throughout Poland, in towns like Ostrów Lednicki or Giecz. Another example is the brick Church of St. Jacob in Sandomierz, founded in 1226 by Iwo Odrowąż and built by his nephew St. Jacek Odrowąż. At the Cathedral in Gniezno is an important example of Romanesque art, the bronze Gniezno Doors, it is recognized as the first major work of Polish art with a national theme. Their relief depicts eighteen scenes of the death of Saint Adalbert. From the 13th century on the culture of Poland was affected by forces other than the Church, as the nonecclesiastical institutions begun to gain importance; the 14th century saw the important transition from the Piast dynasty to the Jagiellonian dynasty. The schools prepared their students for careers not only in priesthood but in law and administration.
Cracow Academy, one of the oldest universities in the world, was founded in 1364. Polish law begun to develop as legal texts recorded laws in secular chancelleries. Polish science developed, as works of Polish scholars became known abroad. Notable examples of Polish scholarly texts discussed in the Western Europe include a chronicle of popes and emperors by Martinus Polonus and the treatise on optics by Witelo. By the end of the 14th century, over 18,000 students had been educated at the Cracow Academy; the faculties of astronomy and theology were staffed with prominent scholars, for example, Stanisław of Skalbmierz, Paweł Włodkowic, Jan of Głogów, Wojciech of Brudzew. Nicolaus Copernicus developed new astronomical theories, bringing about a revolutionary change in the contemporary perception of the universe; the ties between Poland other countries increased, as prospective students went abroad to University of Padua, University of Paris and other renown European academies. This was strengthened by other similar trends, as Poles traveled abroad, foreigners visited Poland.
The royal and ducal courts, through diplomatic missions and alliance-forming intermarriage, absorbed foreign cultural influences. Contacts between Polish royal court and those of neighbouring countries - Hungary, the Italian states and the German States increased with time. Poland was affected by the process of German colonization; as German settlers migrated East, they brought customs. Germans settled in towns, thus Polish urban culture became similar to that of the Western Europe. Polish culture, influenced by the West, in turn radiated east, with one of the main consequences being the Polish-Lithuanian Union; as in the West, Gothic architecture gained popularity in Poland due to the growing influence and wealth of the Church and the towns which became major sponsors of this new style. Coupled with the significant economic development that occurred during the reign of Casimir III the Great, this resulted in a major transformation of Polish landscape, as hundreds of Gothic buildings rose throughout the country.
The cathedrals of
Coat of arms of Poland
The coat of arms of Poland is a white, crowned eagle with a golden beak and talons, on a red background. In Poland, the coat of arms as a whole is referred to as godło both in official documents and colloquial speech, despite the fact that other coats of arms are called an herb; this stems from the fact that in Polish heraldry, the word godło means only a heraldic charge and not an entire coat of arms, but it is an archaic word for a national symbol of any sort. In legislation only the herb retained this designation; the coat of arms of the Republic of Poland is described in two legal documents: the Constitution of the Republic of Poland of 1997 and the Coat of Arms and Anthem of the Republic of Poland, State Seals Act of 1980 with subsequent amendments. Legislation concerning the national symbols is far from perfect; the Coat of Arms Act has been amended several times and refers extensively to executive ordinances, some of which have never been issued. Moreover, the Act contains errors and inconsistencies which make the law confusing, open to various interpretations and not followed in practice.
According to Chapter I, Article 28, paragraph 1 of the Constitution, the coat of arms of Poland is an image of a crowned white eagle in a red field. The Coat of Arms Act, Article 4, further specifies that the crown, as well as the eagle's beak and talons, are golden; the eagle's wings are outstretched and its head is turned to its right. In English heraldic terminology, the arms are blazoned as Gules an eagle crowned and armed Or. In contrast to classic heraldry, where the same blazon may be rendered into varying designs, the Coat of Arms Act allows only one official rendering of the national coat of arms; the official design may be found in attachment no. 1 to the Coat of Arms Act. The nearly circular charge, i.e. the image of the white eagle, is stylized. The heraldic bird is depicted with its wings and legs outstretched, its head turned to the right, in a pose known in heraldry as'displayed'; the eagle's plumage, as well as its tongue and leg scales are white with gradient shading suggestive of a bas-relief.
Each wing is adorned with a curved band extending from the bird's torso to the upper edge of the wing, terminating in a heraldic cinquefoil. Note that a cinquefoil is a stylized five-leafed plant, not a star. Three of its leaves are embossed like a trefoil. In heraldic terms, the eagle is "armed", to say, its beak and talons are rendered in gold, in contrast to the body; the crown on the eagle's head consists of three fleurons extending from it. The base is adorned with three rectangular gemstones; the fleurons – of which the two outer ones are only visible – have the shape of a fleur-de-lis. The entire crown, including the gems, as well as spaces between the fleurons, is rendered in gold; the charge is placed in an escutcheon of the Modern French type. It is a nearly rectangular upright isosceles trapezoid, rounded at the bottom, whose upper base is longer than the lower one, from the middle of which extends downwards a pointed tip. Although the shield is an integral part of the coat of arms, Polish law stipulates, in certain cases, to only use the charge without the escutcheon.
The shades of the principal tinctures and red, which are the national colors of Poland, are specified as coordinates in the CIE 1976 color space. According to legend, the White Eagle emblem originated when Poland's legendary founder Lech saw a white eagle's nest; when he looked at the bird, a ray of sunshine from the red setting sun fell on its wings, so they appeared tipped with gold, the rest of the eagle was pure white. He was delighted and placed the eagle on his emblem, he named the place Gniezdno from the Polish word gniazdo. The symbol of an eagle appeared for the first time on the coins made during the reign of Bolesław I as the coat of arms of the Piast dynasty. Beginning in the 12th century, the eagle has appeared on the shields, ensigns and seals of the Piast dukes, it appeared on the Polish coat of arms during Przemysł II reign as a reminder of the Piast tradition before the fragmentation of Poland. The eagle's graphic form has changed throughout centuries, its recent shape, accepted in 1927, was designed by professor Zygmunt Kaminski and was based on the eagle's form from the times of Stefan Batory's reign.
It is worth mentioning that it was adapted to stamps or round shields rather than to a rectangular shape. The arms of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was quartered, with Polish eagle and Lithuanian Pahonia on opposite sides. Kings used to place their own emblems in the center of the national coat of arms. Despite the fact that new emblems were given to provinces established by the invaders after the partitions of Poland, the White Eagle remained there with or without crown and with face turned towards left and in some exceptions with Pahonia, but in most cases they were combined with the invader's emblem. After the November Uprising, the tsars, titled as Polish kings, adapted the Order of the White Eagle with blue ribbon, well accepted in Russia. Archangel, the symbol of Ukraine, joined Pahonia during the January Uprising; the Poles conscientiously collected coins from the pre-partitions period with the eagle on their obverse and re
Polish cuisine is a style of cooking and food preparation originating in or popular in Poland. Polish cuisine has evolved over the centuries to become eclectic due to Poland's history and it shares many similarities with other West Slavic countries like neighbouring Czech and Slovak, it has been influenced by other Central European cuisines, namely German and Hungarian as well as Jewish, French and Italian culinary traditions. Polish-styled cooking in other cultures is referred to as à la polonaise. Polish cuisine is rich in meat pork and beef, in addition to a wide range of vegetables and herbs, it is characteristic in its use of various kinds of noodles as well as cereals and grains. In general, Polish cuisine is hearty and heavy in its use of butter, cream and extensive seasoning; the traditional dishes are demanding in preparation. Many Poles allow themselves a generous amount of time to serve and enjoy their festive meals Christmas Eve supper or Easter breakfast, which could take a number of days to prepare in their entirety.
Among the well-known Polish national dishes are bigos. A traditional Polish dinner is composed of three courses, beginning with a soup like the popular rosół broth and tomato soup. At restaurants, the soups are followed by an appetizer such as herring; the main course includes a serving of meat, such as roast, breaded pork cutlet, or chicken, with a surówka, shredded root vegetables with lemon and sugar or sauerkraut. The side dishes are boiled potatoes, rice or less kasza. Meals conclude with a dessert including makowiec, a poppy seed pastry, napoleonka cream pie or sernik cheesecake. Internationally, if a Polish culinary tradition is used in other cuisines it is referred to as à la polonaise, from French meaning'Polish-style'. In France the use of butter instead of cooking oil, frying vegetables with buttered breadcrumbs, minced parsley and boiled eggs as well as adding horseradish, lemon juice or sour cream to sauces like Velouté is know under this term. Polish cuisine in the Middle Ages was based on dishes made of agricultural produce and cereal crops, meats of wild and farm animals, forest berries and game, honey and local spices.
It was known above all for abundant use of salt from Wieliczka and permanent presence of groats. A high calorific value of dishes and drinking beer or mead as a basic drink was typical of Middle Ages Polish cuisine. During the Middle Ages the cuisine of Poland was heavy and spicy. Two main ingredients were meat and cereal; the latter consisted of proso millet, but in the Middle Ages other types of cereal became used. Most commoners did not use bread and instead consumed cereals in the forms of kasza or various types of flatbread, some of which are considered traditional recipes in the 21st century. Apart from cereals, a large portion of the daily diet of mediaeval Poles consisted of beans broad beans and peas; as the territory of Poland was densely forested, usage of mushrooms, forest berries and wild honey was widespread. Among the delicacies of the Polish nobility were honey-braised bear paws served with horseradish-flavoured salad, smoked bear tongue and bear bacon. Thanks to close trade relations with Turkey and the countries in the Caucasus, the price of spices was much lower in Poland than the rest of Europe, hence spicy sauces became popular.
The usage of two basic sauces remained widespread at least until the 18th century. The daily beverages included milk, whey and various herb infusions; the most popular alcoholic beverages were beer and mead. Mead was so widespread that in the 13th century Prince Leszek I the White explained to the Pope that Polish knights could not participate in a crusade as there was no mead in the Holy Land. Vodka became popular among the lower classes first. There is written evidence suggesting that vodka originated in Poland; the word "vodka" was recorded for the first time in 1405 in Akta Grodzkie, the court documents from the Palatinate of Sandomierz in Poland. At that time, the word wódka referred to chemical compounds such as medicines and cosmetic cleansers, while the popular beverage was called gorzałka. Along with the Italian queen Bona Sforza many Italian cooks came to Poland after 1518. Although native vegetable foods were an ancient and intrinsic part of the cuisine, this began a period in which vegetables like lettuce, leeks and cabbage were more used.
Today, some of those vegetables are referred to in Polish as włoszczyzna, a word derived from Włochy, the Polish name of Italy. During this period the use of spices, which arrived in Poland via Western Asian trade routes, was common among those who could afford them, dishes considered elegant could be very