3Flag of PolandThe national colors of Poland are white and red. If displayed horizontally, the white is on top, if vertically – on the left. The colors, which are of heraldic origin and have a history dating back to 1831, are one of three constitutional symbols of the Republic of Poland, along with the coat of arms, the White Eagle, and the national anthem, Mazurek Dąbrowskiego. The Polish flag is a rectangular piece of cloth in the national colors, with or without the Polish coat of arms on the white stripe. Polish Flag Day is celebrated on May 2.
4Coat of arms of PolandThe coat of arms of Poland consists of a white eagle on a red shield. The eagle is wearing a crown and has golden claws and beak. In Poland, the coat of arms is usually called simply White Eagle (Orzeł Biały), always capitalised. Note that in heraldry there is never a "white" colour: what we see as white is normally said to be "silver" (and "yellow" is "gold"). However, the Polish eagle is the only one which is "pure" white instead of silver.The eagle is sometimes thought to be the white-tailed eagle, although the highly stylised depiction does not connect the insignia with any specific species of eagle. Another interpretation is that it is form of a "heraldic eagle", based on the Golden Eagle.
5Dąbrowski's MazurkaMazurek Dąbrowskiego (Dąbrowski's Mazurka) is the Polish national anthem (since 26 February 1927), written by Józef Wybicki in Originally called the "Anthem of the Polish Legions in Italy", it is also informally known in English as "Poland Is Not Yet Lost" or "Poland Has Not Yet Perished" from its initial verse, "Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła.„
7President of Poland – Lech Aleksander Kaczyński Lech Aleksander Kaczyński (born June 18, 1949) is a Polish politician of the conservative party Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (Law and Justice, PiS). He is the President of the Republic of Poland. Kaczyński served as President of Warsaw from 2002 until December 22, 2005, the day before he was inauguratedas President of Poland.
8WarsawRESTORED TO CAPITAL CITYThe Warsaw Old District, called caressingly by countryman the Old Warsaw is a place, where almost every guest of the Vistula capital city heads for. It is characterised by intensive local colour; as they say, it has a soul. Warsaw is opened and kind towards visitors, teeming with life both at night and during the day.In restaurants, cafes, clubs, but also in the streets, where stop intersection signals for motor vehicles are situated. Therefore, although Warsaw is becoming modern adopting Western Europe standards, Old Warsaw does not have any competition as regards its attractiveness. Warsaw was boran at the end of the 13th century and was then given a regular layout with the rectangular Marketplace in the centre. Originally the city was surrounded with an earth embankment, subsequently – with a battlement extended in the 15th century. At this time there had already been gothic and renaissance tenement houses, subject in the 17th century to fashionable baroque redecoration in connection with the capital city of the state being moved from Cracow to Warsaw.
9WarsawThe Royal Castle, main square in the Old City
11WarsawThe symbol of Warsaw – mermaid, in the background- tenement houses
12CracowCracow - royal city For a period of over more than five centuries and a half, from 1040 till 1596, Cracow was both the royal seat and the capital city of Poland, later, when it no longer performed capital functions, it remained a scientific and cultural centre significant for Poland. Fortunately, subsequent historical war-clouds left the city’s enormous monuments untouched. Registered by UNESCO into the list of the World Heritage, Cracow’s historic centre – the Old City with Wawel, Kazimierz and Stradom – gathers the most significant monuments of Polish history: approximately 3 thousand of architectural ones and museums without which it is not possible to touch upon art history in Poland.The Old City preserved its medieval layout, with an exception of the fact that the former battlements were transformed into a green strand of the afforested Plants, testified to by the impressive Barbican, St. Florian’s Gate and three towers. The centre is taken up by the Main Marketplace, laid out in 1257, four corners of which give rise to three streets that subsequently intersect like on a chessboard. It is one of the biggest marketplaces of medieval Europe, surrounded with antique tenement-houses and palaces, the city-hall tower dating back to the 14th century in the middle and two lines of stalls of the 13th century, included into the renaissance structure of the Sukiennice (Cloth Hall).
13CracowA trumpet signal given out from a soaring tower of St. Mary’s Church, behind which there is the Small Marketplace, announce midday every day, as was the case a number of centuries ago, not only to Cracow, but also, through the radio – to the whole of the country. The Old City monuments include, among other things, Collegium Maius, presently housing the Jagiellonian University museum, whose tradition dates back to Nad Starym Miastem góruje Wzgórze Wawelskie z renesansowym zamkiem, goszczącym Państwowe Zbiory Sztuki. A w kryptach gotyckiej katedry spoczywają prochy wielu polskich królów. The Wawel Hill with a renaissance castle housing the National Art Collections towers over the Old City, while in the gothic cathedral crypts several Polish kings’ ashes lie. Stradom, reached on descent from the Wawel Hill, had been an ancillary handicraft settlement since the 14th century, while Kazimierz was a district of Cracow Jews, a centre of Jewish religion, science and culture, famous both in Poland and Europe. Destroyed during the Second World War and depopulated by Holocaust, the district is currently subject to profound restoration works.
14CracowTrumpet signal given out every full hour from a soaring tower of St. Mary’s Church
17Cracow The building of theatre named after Juliusz Słowacki Wawel Castle
18John Paul II Karol Wojtyła from Poland 16.X.1978 - 2.IV.2005
19PoznańPoznań full official name: The Capital City of Poznań, Latin: Posnania, German: Posen, Yiddish: פּױזן Poyzn) is a city in west-central Poland with over 578,900 inhabitants (2002). Located by the Warta River, it is one of the oldest cities in Poland, making it an important historical center. Poznań's impressive cathedral is the earliest church in the country, containing the tombs of the first Polish rulers: duke Mieszko I, king Boleslaus the Brave, king Mieszko II, duke Casimir I the Restorer, duke Przemysł I and king Przemysł II.Today the city is a vibrant center for trade, industry, and education. Poznań is Poland's 5th largest city and 4th biggest industrial center. It is also the administrative capital of the Greater Poland Voivodeship.Name of the cityIt is also referred to in Polish as Stołeczne Miasto Poznań (name used on special occasions), in German as Posen (Haupt- und Residenzstadt Posen between 20 August 1910 and 28 November 1918), and in Latin as Posnania and civitas Posnaniensis.The earliest surviving references to the city were by Thietmar in his chronicles: episcopus Poznaniensis ("Bishop of Poznań", 970) and ab urbe Poznani ("by" or "from the city Poznań", 1005).Early spellings include: Posna and Posnan.The name probably comes from a personal name Poznan and would mean "Poznan's town." It is also possible the name comes directly from the verb poznać which means "to get to know, to recognize."
20PoznańPoznań's town hall todayEast side of the market square
21WieliczkaWieliczka – IN MEDIEVAL MINE Situated in the vicinity of Cracow, Wieliczka used to be known as the place of brine exploitation as early as in the 10th and 11th centuries. In the 12th century Magnum Sal, a big fair settlement functioned there, The mining exploitation of rock-salt deposits began in the middle of 13th century, but this treasure was fully appreciated only by Casimir the Great. In 1368 he issued the so-called Casimir Regulations, the first Polish collection of mining laws, owing to which salt mining became the basis of royal income for a few centuries. The mine functions continuously, but since the end of the previous century salt has no longer been drawn by mining methods, but by means of brine evaporation from mine’s leakages. The mine has nine levels to the depth of 327 m, approximately 300 km of galleries and nearly 3 thousand chambers. The Wieliczka mine became a tourist attraction a long time ago when presently understood tourism did not exist. Stairs for visitors leading into the mine were built as early as in Nowadays the underground tourist route runs through three levels, from the depth of 64 m to 135 m.
22WieliczkaIt provides access to 19 chambers connected with galleries, decorated with numerous sculptures carved in salt and at times being arranged as salt chapels. The biggest chapel of Blessed Kinga is 50 m long, 17 m wide and 12 m high. In some chambers there are lakelets with strongly salted water. In the chamber of Józef Piłsudski a ferry carries tourist across such a lakelet. At the end of the route, in former passages on the third level, there is the Cracow Salt-Mines Museum with unique documents collections, ancient mining tools and petrography collections.It is only in case of the Crystal Grottos, being an underground geological reservation, that one needs a special permit in order to be admitted. In these natural rock vacuums walls are covered with crystals whose edges reach the length of 40 cm.On the fifth level of the mine, 211 m underground a sanatorium has been working for forty years where mainly respiratory system illnesses and allergies are treated.
26ToruńToruń – COPERNICUS’ CITYToday inhabited by over two hundred thousand people, Toruń is a city where one can set out on an unforgettable trip into the previous centuries. In the medieval spatial layout of both the Old and New City there is still one of the most wonderful Polish gothic baroque architecture complexes. Laid out on a projection of an irregular pentagon,the Old City is the biggest concentration of monuments,. Its streets running from the former port landing-pier are wider and remind of Toruń commerce relation with the Vistula River, while the fortified nature of the city, preserved from the side of the river, is testified by, a sequence of the city walls dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries with the following gates – the Monastic, Sailing and Bridge ones as well as the towers – the Leaning Tower, Cat’s Head, Monstrance with adjoining preserved ruins of the former Teutonic castle.The marketplace is dominated by the gothic city-hall, on a projection of a quadrangle with a internal courtyard, erected gradually since the middle of the 13th century.
27ToruńThe city became an important centre of science and culture when the Zamość Academy and a printing-house had been founded in 1595.This city fortress lost its importance in the period of Poland’s partitions, at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. Although it was provided with new fortifications in the first half of the 19th century, among others, classicistic high embankments, a cannon stand called the Zamość Rotunda, the New Lublin and New Lvov Gates, it was eliminated as a defensive construction in 1866.Inhabited by approximately 70 thousand people, today’s Zamość constitutes the administrative district seat, a centre of industry, service, culture and education, but visitors take their first steps in the direction of a right-bank hill, where the Old City is preserved in the same shape as ages ago: with monumental gates and a cannon stand rotunda, the Great Market dominated by the monumental City Hall, where numerous cultural events take place, with the collegiate church of Lord’s Resurrection, a former orthodox church and a synagogue, with a palace of the Zamoyski Dynasty, the Arsenal and Academy edifices and with beautiful arcaded tenement-houses at romantic streets.
30ToruńThe Vistula River( the queen of Polish rivers)
31AuschwitzOświęcim – Brzezinka - MONUMENT OF MEMORY People prepared this lot for people – the Polish writer wrote. In order to commemorate it as an eternal warning, the National Museum in Oświęcim-Brzezinka was established within the area of the former hitlerite extermination camp. The Konzentrationslager Auschwitz was founded by the Nazis in April, It gradually included 3 main camps: Auschwitz I – Oświęcim, Auschwitz II – Brzezinka, Auschwitz III – Monowice-Dwory and over 40 sub-camps. At the end of the Second World War its area totalled 40 square km and was the biggest German concentration camp. Apart from prisoners from all over Poland, people of 28 nationalities were brought there. 400 thousand prisoners, including 200 thousand Jews and 150 thousand Poles, were registered and supposed to remain for a longer period of time in Auschwitz. However, it is but a fragmentary record. Because of crime traces obliteration by SS, it is not possible to define the exact number of victims.
32AuschwitzThe Supreme Tribunal of Nations assumed that 2.8 million people were murdered in Auschwitz, nowadays, on the basis of partial documentation, it is presumed that approximately 1.5 million prisoners were killed there, 90% of whom were Jews, as it was in the spring, 1942 that KZ Auschwitz became the biggest centre of Jews’ annihilation, the majority of whom were led directly from the trains to gas chambers, murdered in groups with B cyclone gas; their bodies were burned in crematories and at stakes. In the Museum situated within the area of Oświęcim, documentary exhibitions are organised in 10 out of 28 blocks for prisoners (among other things, a heap of shoes after murdered children, piles of artificial limbs, glasses, et cetera). In the courtyard between the 11th (famous „death block”) and the 10th block there is still the „doom wall”, where prisoners were murdered being shot in the back of the head.In Brzezinka, a railway side-track with an unloading ramp runs behind the main guard gate, where so-called transport selections used to be performed. Erected owing to the International Oświęcim Committee efforts, the immense Monument of Hitlerism Victims is at the place in which the track comes to the end. Neither Oświęcim nor Brzezinka can be admitted by children under the age of 14.
37CzęstochowaCzęstochowa is a city in south Poland on the Warta River with 248,894 inhabitants (2004). It has been situated in the Silesian Voivodeship (administrative division) since 1999, and was previously the capital of Częstochowa Voivodeship ( ).The town is known for the famous Paulite monastery of Jasna Góra that is the home of the Black Madonna painting, a shrine of the Virgin Mary. Every year, thousands of pilgrims from all over the world come to Częstochowa to see it. There is also a Lusatian culture excavation site and museum in the city and ruins of a medieval castle in Olsztyn, approximately 15 kilometres (ca. 10 mi) from the city centre.City nameThe name of Częstochowa means Częstoch's place and comes from a personal name of Częstoch mentioned in the mediaeval documents also as Częstobor and Częstomir. The original name was mentioned as Częstochowa, spelled Czanstochowa in 1220, or Częstochow in 1382 and A part of today's city called Częstochówka was a separate municipality mentioned in 14th century as the Old Częstochowa (Antiquo Czanstochowa, 1382) and Częstochówka inCzęstochowa is also known as Czestochowa, Czenstochov, and Chenstochov.
41Location and surroundings ZakopaneZakopane is a town in southern Poland with approximately 28,000 inhabitants (2004), situated in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship since 1999 (it was previously in Nowy Sącz Voivodeship from ). The town, called the Winter capital of Poland, lies in the southern part of the Podhale region at the feet of the Tatra Mountains, which is the only alpine mountain range in the Carpathians.Location and surroundingsIt lies in a big glen between the Tatra Mountains and Gubałówka Hill. Zakopane is the most important Polish centre of mountaineering and skiing, and is visited by about three million tourists annually. The most important alpine skiing points are Kasprowy Wierch, Nosal and Gubałówka Hill.Zakopane has the highest elevation of any town in Poland; within its municipal region there exists a variation of m of altitude. The central point of the town is at the crosssroads of Krupówki and Kościuszki streets.
42ZakopaneZakopane - view from Gubałówka Hill over Zakopane (Tatra mountains in the background)Zakopane - Gubałówka Hill