SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Tourism in Poland

Poland is a part of the global tourism market with increasing number of visitors. Tourism in Poland contributes to the country's overall economy; the most popular cities are Kraków, Wrocław, Gdańsk, Poznań, Lublin, Toruń, the Salt Mine in Wieliczka and the historic site of Auschwitz – A German nazi concentration camp in Oświęcim. The best recreational destinations include Poland's Masurian Lake District, Baltic Sea coast, Tatra Mountains and Białowieża Forest. Poland's main tourist offers consist of sightseeing within cities and out-of-town historical monuments, business trips, qualified tourism, mountain hiking and climbing among others. Poland after joining the European Union in 2004, became a place visited by tourists. Most tourist attractions in Poland are connected with natural environment, historic sites and cultural events, they draw millions of tourists every year from all around the world. According to Tourist Institute's data, Poland was visited by 15.7 million tourists in 2006, by 15 million tourists in 2007, out of the number of arrivals 66.2 million.

In 2012, Poland was visited by 13.5 million foreign tourists. In 2013, Poland was visited by 15.8 million tourists. In 2016, the number of arrivals to Poland amounted to 80.5 million. 17.5 million of this number are arrivals considered for tourism purposes. In 2019, Poland was visited by 21.4 million tourists, so it was the 18 most visited country in the world. The first Polish tourists were pilgrims traveling to shrines both within Poland and abroad; the development of commercial tourism began in the 19th century. The most popular regions were mountains the Tatra Mountains, explored for example by Tytus Chałubiński. In 1873, the Polish Tatra Society and in 1909 the Polish Sightseeing Society were established to organize and develop tourism; the 19th century was the time of the rapid appearance of spa resorts in Sudetes and along the Baltic Sea coast, with some of them associated, since 1910, with the Polish Balneology Association. After Poland regained independence in 1918, Polish tourism boomed, was encouraged by the government.

The first professional Polish tour operator, was founded in Lwów in 1923, followed in 1937 by Gromada tourist organization and tour operator. After World War II all tourist organizations were nationalized by the new communist government; the Polish Tatra Society and Polish Sightseeing Society were combined into Polish Tourism-Sightseeing Society and most of the tourist infrastructure was handed over to the newly created Workers Vacations Fund. Tourism was limited to the Comecon countries; this was the era of governmentally-founded tourism, characterised by low-standard tourism. A typical sight was a holiday campground with small bungalows managed by one of the state-owned companies. Holidays for children and teenagers were organized by Juventur. After the fall of communism much of the infrastructure was privatized, although many company-owned resorts were downgraded because of their unprofitability; the early 1990s saw the foundation of many new tour operators. Some of them prevailed and strengthened their position on the market, being able to compete with multinational tour operators.

Poland has a diversified natural environment, unaffected by human development. There are 23 national parks in the country that meet the criteria of the IUCN. Visitors are attracted by mountains, sea-coast with wide sandy beaches, forests, rivers. Among the most popular destinations are: Tatra Mountains, in, the highest peak of Poland and the famous Orla Perć; the Royal Road of Kraków Tourist attractions in Warsaw Wrocław Zoo Old Town in Gdańsk The Royal-Imperial Route in Poznań Jewish Heritage Trail in Bialystok European Route of Brick Gothic Modern architecture in the port city of Gdynia Białowieża National Park Dunajec River Gorge Tatra Mountains Karkonosze Mountains Kraków Old Town Wrocław including Ostrów Tumski with Wrocław Cathedral.

Round Oak Stove Company

The Round Oak Stove Company was founded in Dowagiac, Michigan in 1871 by Philo D. Beckwith. Beckwith cast his first stove around 1867 to heat his struggling foundry and shortly after, the Michigan Central Railroad ordered the heaters for its depots between Detroit and Chicago. By 1871, Beckwith was producing heating stoves, thus founded the company; the origin of the name Round Oak is unknown. The first theory is that Beckwith stoves were round and could hold a section of whole round oak tree in the firepot; the second theorizes. Round Oak was considered the finest heating stove money could buy because of the quality of its durable heating stove and by the late 1890s there were many “oak” imitators on the market; the company expanded and at its height in the 1910s, employed 1200 of the 5000 residents in Dowagiac, Michigan. Round Oak's influence on Dowagiac went far beyond its factory grounds; the company sponsored the Round Oak Band. Dances were held in Round Oak Hall. P. D. Beckwith died in January 1889, leaving the management of the firm to his son-in-law, Fred E. Lee.

In 1892 in memory of P. D. Beckwith, his daughter Kate and son-in-law, Fred Lee built the Beckwith Memorial Theatre in the downtown at Front and Beeson streets. Regarded as one of the finest theatres between New York and Chicago, it hosted such well-known names as William S. Hart, Roland Reed, Robert Mantell and Otis Skinner; the original Beckwith building contained space used for a bank, city hall and Round Oak Company offices. The busts that decorated the building's exterior included Beethoven, Liszt, Whitman, Sarah Bernhardt and Susan B. Anthony; when the building was razed in 1966, the busts were salvaged. Eight are today used in columns standing at the entrance to the Lyons Building at Southwestern Michigan College in Dowagiac. After Beckwith's death, the official company name was changed to The Estate of P. D. Beckwith Incorporated. Most stoves produced after 1890 carry the mark of “Estate of P. D. Beckwith” along with “Round Oak”, which has confused novice collectors as to the original owner of Round Oak stoves – many believing they have purchased a stove used by Beckwith himself.

The company added new products, like furnaces and cooking stoves, introduced a popular mascot around 1900 – Chief Doe-Wah-Jack. Chief Doe-Wah-Jack, a fictional Native American Indian, appeared on most Round Oak Stove Company and Estate of P. D. Beckwith Inc. advertising and stoves until the company's demise in 1946. Chief Doe-Wah-Jack was introduced when, with the spread of the telephone, customers had trouble pronouncing Dowagiac when asking the operator for a connection. Chief-Doe-Wah-Jack remedied that problem by providing the town's phonetic spelling. Poor management and deaths led to the start of Round Oak's decline in 1914. Ormal Beach, the company's first salesman, died that year. In 1915, the Rudy Furnace Company became the first of three Round Oak competitors to open in Dowagiac, followed by Premier in 1920 and Dowagiac Steel Furnace in 1929. Round Oak stayed strong into the 1920s and survived the Great Depression, though damaged. World War II government contracts helped the company stay afloat, but once the war ended, Round Oak was in ruins.

The company stopped producing stoves in 1946 and in 1947, sold its buildings to Kaizer-Frazer for the production of automobile engine parts. The Round Oak name was sold to Peerless Furnace, which continued to make repair parts for furnaces and stoves; the complex of Round Oak buildings on Spaulding Street now house Ameriwood Furniture. Today, a small collection of Round Oak Stoves is displayed within the offices of the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Development Authority, located within the historic Dowagiac train depot; the Estate of P. D. Beckwith Inc. and Round Oak Stove & Furnace Company artifacts are collected worldwide today. The Dowagiac Area History Museum on West Railroad Street, in Dowagiac, Michigan has the largest public collection of Round Oak heating stoves in the world; the museums's vast collection includes artifacts related to P. D. Beckwith's grain drill and early stove business, company ledgers and papers, workers’ implements and many one-of-a kind pieces. “Identification and Dating of Round Oak Heating Stoves,” Steven Arseneau and Jill Dixon, editors “Round Oak: A Good Thing from Doe-Wah-Jack,” by Leland Haines “The Round Oak Stove People and other Dowagiac, Michigan Personalities,” by Barbara and Grafton Cook Southwestern Michigan College Museum: RRound Oak Stoves Antiquestoves.net: Round Oak Stove Catalog, vintage images Vlex.com: Supreme Court Decision Roundoakman.com: Round Oak replacement parts manufacturer Dowagiacroundoakstoves.com: Round Oak restoration service Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce.com: Early history of Dowagiac, Michigan

The Living

The Living is a 2014 American drama film written and directed by Jack Bryan. It stars Fran Kranz, Jocelin Donahue, Kenny Wormald, Chris Mulkey, Joelle Carter. Teddy learns he has beaten Molly, in a drunken rage, her brother, hires an ex-con to kill Teddy. The film premiered at the 2014 Manhattan Film Festival. Teddy wakes up from a night of binge drinking, his wedding band is missing, his fist is bloodied. When he cannot find his wife, Molly, he visits his mother-in-law's house. There, Molly's mother and her brother, explain that she wants nothing to do with him, as he beat her while drunk. Teddy protests that he calls out an apology to Molly. Angela and Gordon warn him off, she is only returning to the house, not to their relationship. At the same time, Angela berates Gordon for not sticking up more for his sister. At a bar, Gordon tells a friend, his friend suggests an ex-convict, may be willing to take the job cheap. Gordon does not answer, instead suggests they return to work. There, at a supermarket, he runs into Molly, who did not realize he had exchanged shifts.

After apologizing for his behavior, Teddy gives Gordon the opportunity to throw a punch at him. Gordon awkwardly once again tells his friend how he wishes Teddy were dead, his friend offers to get the ex-con's number, Gordon noncommittally agrees. At their house, Angela again berates Gordon for not being assertive enough to ask for better pay. At their house, Molly insists that Teddy move out, though she agrees to give him a chance to make amends in the form of a dinner date the following day, she chooses a local restaurant, they run into several of their friends, who are too embarrassed to comment on her battered appearance. When Gordon receives the ex-con's phone number from his friend, he learns that the man, lives in Mississippi. Howard insists; when Gordon arrives, Howard accepts the job. As they drive back, Gordon becomes worried about Howard's violent temperament and begins to have second thoughts. At a roadside diner, Howard murders two people and tells Gordon that he will take his money one way or the other, but it's too late to back out of paying him.

After taunting Gordon with threats to murder him, Howard expounds on his philosophy: he sees his actions as affecting the survivors more than his victims, as the living are the ones who must deal with the grief of loss. Meanwhile and Molly reconcile, Molly allows him to move back into their house. Gordon returns to Pennsylvania in time to join Teddy and Angela for dinner; the gathering is a disaster. When Molly defends him and her mother tell each other off. Teddy and Molly return to their house, where they have sex, Molly presents Teddy with his missing wedding band; as Teddy gratefully accepts it, he asks. Molly agrees that it is harmless, as he drinks it, they hear a knock at the door. Howard walks away. Stunned, Molly attacks him. After warning her, Howard shoots her dead, too. After attending his sister's funeral, Gordon returns to Mississippi and confronts Howard with his mother's shotgun. Though Howard warns him that murder will change him, Gordon says that he is living with the consequences of his actions.

As Howard makes a final request, Gordon kills him. Fran Kranz as Teddy Jocelin Donahue as Molly Kenny Wormald as Gordon Chris Mulkey as Howard Joelle Carter as Angela Shooting took place at Berks and Schuylkill counties in Pennsylvania in April 2013 and lasted 25 days; the film was to be set in Montana and Texas, but Bryan was impressed with the locations in another low budget film shot by a friend, a native of Schuylkill. The Living premiered at the Manhattan Film Festival in July 2014. In April 2015, Montery Media gave it a limited release in the United States, where it grossed $5,514 in four theaters. Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 50% of eight surveyed critics gave the film a positive review. Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Veteran character actor Chris Mulkey makes a compelling villain in this twisty tale of revenge." Andy Webster of The New York Times wrote that the film fails to live up to its potential and treats the subject of domestic violence superficially.

Katie Walsh of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "What could have been a taut and tense thriller is ankled by the inert characters, clunky screenplay and nonexistent back story." Brent Simon of Paste called it "a ridiculous misfire". The Living on IMDb The Living at Metacritic