Location & geography
Poland, formally the Republic of Poland (Polska, Rzeczpospolita Polska), is a country in Central Europe, stretching from the Carpathian and Sudeten Mountains to the Baltic Sea. It borders Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, Czechia, and Germany.
The country is divided into 16 voivodeships, the biggest being the Mazovian voivodeship, where Warsaw, Poland’s capital and largest city, is located.
Poland covers an area of over 310 000 square kilometers and has a population of almost 38 million people, making it the 9th largest and the 9th most populous country in Europe.
The Warsaw metropolitan area spans around 6 000 square kilometers and is inhabited by over 3 million people, with Warsaw alone having an area measuring over 500 square kilometers and almost 2 million residents.
Language & culture
The official language of Poland is the Polish language (język polski). Polish is a West Slavic language belonging to the Indo-European language family, spoken by an estimated 45 million people worldwide. In some parts of the country, you will also hear the Kashubian language or the Silesian ethnolect.
Poland is a predominantly Roman Catholic country. Christianity is an important element of Polish culture, history, and heritage, while also being a fundamental part of many Polish people’s personal values.
Polish culture is also heavily influenced by Slavic folklore – some of the traditions still practiced today date back to pre-Christian times, as well as the country’s history – the knowledge of which is often crucial to understanding the classics of Polish art and literature.
Government & politics
Poland is a parliamentary democracy. The President acts as the head of state, and the Prime minister as the head of government. The parliament is composed of the lower house, the Sejm, and the upper house, the Senat. Local self-government units constitute an essential part of the country’s functioning as well.
The supreme source of law is the Constitution of Poland.
Poland has been a member of the European Union since May 1st, 2004.