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
Sławutowo is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Puck, within Puck County, Pomeranian Voivodeship, in northern Poland. It lies 5 kilometres south-west of Puck and 39 km north-west of the regional capital Gdańsk. For details of the history of the region, see History of Pomerania; the village has a population of 225
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
Wielka Piaśnica is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Puck, within Puck County, Pomeranian Voivodeship, in northern Poland. It lies 14 kilometres west of Puck and 46 km north-west of the regional capital Gdańsk. After the 1939 Invasion of Poland, German SS from Danzig and local German Selbstschutz members executed about 12,000 civilians Polish and Kashubian intelligentsia from the Pomeranian Voivodeship, in the Darżlubska forest next to the village. Among the victims were 1,200 mentally ill persons from local hospitals, killed in the course of the forced euthanasia policy dubbed Action T4; the mass executions began in October 1939 and lasted until April 1940. An exhumation of mass graves was carried after World War II in 1946. Out of total number of 35 graves, 30 were localised. Only 305 bodies were found, the rest of the bodies was burnt by Germans in August–September 1944. Sonderkommandos from Stutthof concentration camp were used to cover up the tracks and were executed. Mass murders in Piaśnica List of Polish Martyrdom sites Anti-Polonism Piaśnica
Pomeranian Voivodeship, Pomorskie Region, or Pomerania Province, is a voivodeship, or province, in north-western Poland. The provincial capital is Gdańsk; the voivodeship was established on January 1, 1999, out of the former voivodeships of Gdańsk, Elbląg and Słupsk, pursuant to the Polish local government reforms adopted in 1998. It is bordered by West Pomeranian Voivodeship to the west, Greater Poland and Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeships to the south, Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship to the east, the Baltic Sea to the north, it shares a short land border with Russia, on the Vistula Spit. The voivodeship comprises most of Pomerelia, as well as an area east of the Vistula River; the western part of the province, around Słupsk, belonged to Farther Pomerania, while Pomerelia and the eastern bank of the Vistula belonged to the historical region of Prussia. The central parts of the province are known as Kashubia, named after the Kashubian minority. A province of rich cultural heritage; the Tricity urban area, consisting of Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot, is one of the main cultural and educational centres of Poland.
Gdańsk and Gdynia are two of the major Polish seaports, the first erected by Mieszko I of Poland in the Middle Ages, the latter built in the interwar period. Amongst the most recognisable landmarks of the region are the historic city centre of Gdańsk filled with Gothic and Baroque masterpieces, the Museum of the National Anthem in Będomin, located at the birthplace of Józef Wybicki and politician, author of the national anthem of Poland, the largest medieval churches of Poland and the Malbork Castle; the voivodeship includes the narrow Hel Peninsula and the Polish half of the Vistula Spit. Other tourist destinations include Wejherowo, Jurata, Łeba, Władysławowo, Krynica Morska, Jastarnia, Kuźnica, Bytów and many fishing ports and lighthouses; the name Pomerania derives from the Slavic po more, meaning "by the sea" or "on the sea". The voivodeship contains 42 towns; these are listed below in descending order of population. Pomeranian Voivodeship is divided into 20 counties: 4 city counties, 16 land counties.
These are further divided into 123 gminas. The counties are listed below in order of decreasing population. SKM Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa Airport Obwodnica Trójmiejska Autostrada A1 Pomorska Kolej Metropolitalna Protected areas in Pomeranian Voivodeship include two National Parks and nine Landscape Parks; these are listed below. Słowiński National Park Tuchola Forest National Park Coastal Landscape Park Iława Lake District Landscape Park Kashubian Landscape Park Słupia Valley Landscape Park Tricity Landscape Park Tuchola Landscape Park Vistula Spit Landscape Park Wdydze Landscape Park Zaborski Landscape Park Information about Pomeranian Voivodeship - official website Economy brochure The Pomorskie Voivodeship; the Greatest Tourist Attractions - Brochure Pomerania Development Agency Co
Darżlubie is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Puck, within Puck County, Pomeranian Voivodeship, in northern Poland. It lies 5 kilometres west of Puck and 43 km north-west of the regional capital Gdańsk. Darżlubie has a population of 788; the village gives its name to Puszcza Darżlubska, a place of Polish and Jewish martyrology during World War II. For details of the history of the region, see History of Pomerania. Media related to Darżlubie at Wikimedia Commons
Smolno, Pomeranian Voivodeship
Smolno is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Puck, within Puck County, Pomeranian Voivodeship, in northern Poland. It lies 4 kilometres south of Puck and 37 km north-west of the regional capital Gdańsk. For details of the history of the region, see History of Pomerania; the village has a population of 796