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Flag of PolandThe Republic of Poland, one of the largest countries of Europe, is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast), Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, the Slovak Republic, the Czech Republic and Germany.

Warsaw is the capital city. Other Polish cities include Bialystok, Bydgoszcz, Czestochowa, Gliwice, Krakow, Lodz, Lublin, Olsztyn, Poznan, Radom, Rzeszow, Swinoujscie, Torun, Ustka, Wieliczka, Wroclaw and Zakopane. Gdansk, Gdynia and Szczecin are important ports.

Poland is mostly low-lying with some mountainous regions. The main rivers are the Oder and Vistula.

The climate is temperate with cold winters and mild summers.

Bialowiesk Forest, on the World Heritage List, is Poland’s oldest National Park. Trees growing in Bialowiesk include alder, ash, aspen, birch, hornbeam, lime, maple, oak, pine and spruce.

Some of Poland’s parks are listed by Ramsar as Wetlands of International Importance: Biebrza National Park, Narew River National Park, Poleski National Park, Slowinski National Park and Wigry National Park. Milicz Ponds in the Barycz Valley are also on the Ramsar wetlands list.

Tatra National Park is one of Poland’s UNESCO MAB Biosphere Reserves.

Muskauer Park, a mid nineteenth century park, is a landscape park shared between Poland and Germany. The park was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2004.

Wildlife found in Poland includes beavers, boars, elk, European bisons, tarpans (small horses) and bats.

Poland has a number of buildings on the World Hertitage List. These include the historic centre of Warsaw, the old town of Krakow, the Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork, the medieval town of Torun, and Zamosc, a Renaissance town of the late 16th century.

Daniel Libeskind, the famous architect, was born in Poland in 1946 and became a US citizen in 1965. He designed the Jewish Museum in Berlin and was chosen in February 2003 as the architect to redevelop the World Trade Centre site in New York.

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