20 Interesting facts about Poland

Continuing our series, this month we look at fascinating Poland. A country rich in history, Poland is home to over 39 million people.

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  1. The most popular dog’s name in Poland is “Burek”, which is the Polish word for a brown-grey colour.
  2. In Poland, people generally peel bananas from the blossom end and not the stem end.
  3. Poland shares its borders with no less than seven countries: Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, Slovakia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Germany.
  4. Poland has had many capital cities in its time. These have included Gniezno, Poznan, Krakow and Warsaw. Lublin has been the capital twice – after both World Wars.
  5. Geographically, Poland is not actually in Eastern Europe – it is in fact in the very centre of Europe.
  6. In Poland, one’s “Name Day” – imieniny – is considered a far more important occasion than one’s birthday.
  7. Poland’s national symbol is the white-tailed eagle.
  8. The name “Poland” originates from the name of the tribe Polanie. This tribe used to inhabit the Western part of what we now call Poland, and originally meant “people living in open fields”.
  9. The most “World’s Strongest Man” winners are from Poland.
  10. People of Polish descent have won 17 noble prizes, including four for peace and five for literature.
  11. One third of Poland is covered with forest, with 50% of the land is dedicated to farming. The country contains 9,300 lakes, 23 National Parks and one desert.
  12. Rysy, in the Tatra Mountains, is the highest point in Poland, at a height of 2,499 m.
  13. Most Poles are Roman Catholics.
  14. Roman Catholicism is so popular that Poland has a TV channel dedicated to the Pope.
  15. In 1989, Poland held its first free elections in more than 40 years.
  16. Bigos is the country’s most popular traditional dish. It is a type of stew made from Polish sauerkraut, fresh cabbage, different types of meat, sausage, prunes, dried mushrooms, onions and spices. This is cooked over several days and served with potatoes and bread.
  17. Marzanna is a Polish tradition where people weave straw dolls, which they then decorate with ribbons. These dolls represent winter, so when the snow starts to melt the Marzanna dolls are thrown into a river, symbolizing the ‘killing’ of winter.
  18. The Polish are generally well educated, with 90% of Poles having completed at least a secondary education.
  19. The Polish born astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus is considered to be the first person to propose the theory that the earth was not the centre of the universe.
  20. In Poland, pizza bases are not topped with Napolitana or a tomato-based sauce. These are generally served separately and resemble what we would consider to be ketchup.

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  • Anna

    A bunch of bullshit and twisted facts. The funniest thing is that the Name’s Day is more important than birthday… (who told you that?) or that we do not have pizza sauces, but ketchup. In restaurants in Poland, serving various cuisines from around the world, and the pizza tastes better than in Italy. Maybe you just bought cheap pizza in the fastfood corner? After that, you forgot to add that one of the most famous Pole was, John Paul II, the Pope, not only the strongman…
    Oh please, this is really interesting stuff about Poland, that the most popular name of dogs is Burek, the top in your list. I know probably more than 100 dogs owners and none of their dogs is named Burek…
    And finally, fun and very instructive information on the bananas … just unbelievable …

  • SotN

    have to say that some of the facts are territorial. E.g. the Banana thing for example. Depends from what part you come from or your family (my Mothers side opens bananas from the other end, my fathers side opens from the blossom end). the name day thing as well. few years ago I would say that this is not true, but I did met some people over the years from different parts from Poland and in some they do indeed celebrate the name day but not birthday. The Pizza thing again is another thing as well, came across some places do without and some with (in my hometown you state how you want it (if not then they ask)). The Marzanna thing as well, in some parts of the country (like mine) we Burn her before we trow her in to the river (at least that’s what they did 20 years ago).

  • http://yahoo.com Sarah

    This is pretty good for a project im doing on poland. so shut up…

  • connor whitelaw

    that was good for geography homework peace out

  • justice

    hey sarah i thought i was the only one

    • Jordan McVeigh
  • Dominic

    im a year 6 doing a year 8 project and this is actually very useful

  • MaireBee

    You sound like you have a chip on your shoulder. My grandparents came from Poland and the only cards they ever sent to their children were “Name Day” cards, not birthday cards. I know that much to be true

    • Ronin625

      I think it depends where. I lived in the South and most people Celebrate Birthday i actually never seen anyone celebrate Name Day there

  • Damian

    Number 6 and 20 are bullshit. Birthday is more important then name day and pizza is based on tomato sauce and number 16 bigos is not always served with potatoes and if it is its rarely.