When you think about stunning natural landscapes and historical sites, you might think of Poland. But there is so much more to Poland. These facts about Poland will help you learn more about the country and impress your friends.
The world’s largest castle is located in Poland. The Castle of the Teutonic Order, Malbork, is the largest castle by area. It was originally built as a Teutonic fortress and castle in the 13th Century.
Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Poland boasts 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Facts About Poland
1. One of the oldest salt mines in the world is located in Poland.
Are you a fan of salt mines? Trafalgar will take you to Poland’s 800-year-old Wieliczka Salt Mine. It is one of the oldest salt mines in the world. You’ll find chambers, sculptures, and salt chandeliers when you descend 135m (440ft) below ground level with your guide. You’ll be amazed at the unique carvings and history of the UNESCO World Heritage Site salt mine, which produced salt continuously from the 13th Century to 2007.
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2. Vodka was invented in Poland.
Russians are skeptical about this fact but widely believe that vodka was created in Poland. From 1405, Polish court records record the first mention of vodka. Vodka was also used originally as medicine. The famous vodka has been produced in Poland since the Middle Ages. Today, around 260 million liters are still made annually by the Polish.
3. Poland is home to some of the most dangerous animals in Europe.
The European bison or the wisent is an endangered land animal. It weighs in at over 600kg and averages 600kg. They can be found on the 150,000 hectares in the Bialowieza Primal Forest in Poland, which is the last primeval forest in Europe. Once, it was a sprawling forest that spanned the continent thousands upon years ago.
4. Poland was home to the first upside-down house in the world.
One of our favorite facts about Poland is that it has the first upside-down house in the world. It is a topsy-turvy, wooden house built in the wrong direction. It can be seen through attic windows and looks like something from a fairy tale. The attic windows allow visitors to enter the house and walk through the furnished interior. This is a reminder of the 70s in Communist Poland to show how the Communist regime turned Poland upside down. Since its unveiling in 2007, hundreds of tourists have visited the house. It can be found in Szymbark, a small Polish village with only 500 inhabitants.
5. Poland is home to one of Europe’s most diverse environments.
What images do you have when you think about Poland? Ancient forests? Mountain chains such as the Tatra or Carpathian? Do you love the beauty of lakes? What about deserts, beaches, dunes, or wetlands? Poland boasts a sandy coastline of almost 800 km, with dunes and wetlands in the Pomerania area, Biebrzanski National Park, and even the Central-European only desert Pustynia Bledowska.
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6. Warsaw’s Palace of Culture and Science is home to many animals.
Warsaw’s famous Palace of Culture and Science, a huge building with over 3,000 rooms, is home to conference rooms, sports arenas, and auditoriums. It also serves as a grand hall, conference room, bar, cinema theatre, office, and other functions. Did you know that cats also work in this building? Although they may not be officially paid, dozens of cats patrol the building each day to fight the mice invasion on the lower floors. However, rodents and cats aren’t all that live here. Kestrels live on the upper floors, and a living bee colony lives on the sixth floor.
7. It’s still possible to eat in Europe’s oldest restaurant.
You’ll go to Wroclaw, Poland; find the oldest European restaurant, “Piwnica Swidnicka,” in Wroclaw, Poland. You can still enjoy a delicious meal at this restaurant, which first opened in 1275.
8. The youngest people in Europe marry Polish citizens.
One of the fascinating facts about Poland is that Polish people get married at 25 to 27 years old, which is younger than any other country in the European Union. If you have a friend in the mid-twenties and are in a stable relationship, prepare to attend a Polish wedding… it’s bound to be unforgettable.
9. Warsaw was almost destroyed completely during WWII.
The Old Town of Warsaw that you see today isn’t the original. In 1944, Nazi Germany bombed Warsaw and destroyed it. After the war, the Polish rebuilt their city using Bernardo Bellotto’s detailed paintings. You can still find buildings in Warsaw’s Old Town that look the same as in the 14th Century. This is a testament to the strength and resilience displayed by the Polish people.
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10. A Polish Gutenberg Bible original can be found in Poland.
Only nine Gutenberg Bible copies are left in their original 15th-century bindings… You can find one in the Diocesan Museum, Pelplin, in Poland’s Kociewie area. The Gutenberg Bible was the first major publication printed on a printing press. It also paved the way for the mass production of books in Western countries. The Gutenberg Bible is today one of the rarest books in the world.