Poland Country Guide
Poland has many beautiful places of interest to visit. Gdansk’s monuments are breathtaking and worth seeing even if you have to go out of your way to visit at least some of the monuments.
Starting with the Basilica of St. Mary church, which survived World War II and is a shrine that is made of brick. It is the largest brick church in the world. The rafters were made of wood and were burnt and the vaults collapsed but the walls survived all these years. The bells melted in this fine place of worship but the church has evolved from 1342 to 1502 and in 1946 reconstruction was started to preserve the church. A three piece work of art by Hans Memling called the Last Judgment that once hung in the church now hangs at the Polish National Museum in Gdansk. A copy of the triptych painting now sits at the alter of the church.
The Gdansk Historical Museum was once a tenement house of the Long Market of Dwor Artusa. Merchants would meet their and later it became a marketplace. Now the museum has a great Gothic hall which was once destroyed in 1945 and has been reconstructed today.
An interesting site in Poznan is the butting goats. It is said that they once saved the city. The two goats were suppose to be dinner for a lavish feast but ran away from the kitchen. When the cook ran after the goats he spotted a fire in the city and raised the alarm to put the fire out. Billygoats is also the name of the Poznan’s American football team. The Ratusz of Poznan or the City Hall as it is called now has two mechanical goats that butt heads each day noon in honour of the goats.
Festivals and important events are going on all year long in Poznan. The Polish Contemporary Music Festival is in April. The International Festival of Children’s Film “Ale Kino” and the classical Bowling World Championship all happen in May. Poznan also plays host to the International Jazz Festival and Fair in May each year. June will bring on the Midsummer Fair, City Holiday and the International Theatre Festival “Malta”. There are dance festivals, Gypsy culture, Poetry fairs and Equestrian Competition in Steeplechase throughout the year. No matter where you go in Poland you will find family fun, wonderful lakes and beautiful mountains to enjoy.
You can visit a medieval cathedral, Baroque churches, castles and see the rolling mountains in Krakow. There are plenty of clubs, restaurants and a variety of bars and nightly music to enjoy in Krakow. It is a wonderland of life and excitement during the warmer seasons.
Almost 98 percent of homes in Poland speak the Polish language at home. In school English was one of the languages offered and taken by many students. English today is very popular in Poland and spoken by many. While visiting Poland you will find that the Polish people are very friendly and there are many who will help you to translate your English to Polish if needed. An electronic translator might also be useful.
German, Ukrainian, Belorussian and even Lithuanian are also languages spoken in Poland. Depending on what part of the country you are in will depend on what other languages you will hear. If you only speak English, you should not have any problems with being able to communicate with the locals.