Some information about Poland
General information about Poland.
Poland, officially the Republic of Poland country in Central Europe, is bordered on the north by the Baltic Sea and Russia, on the east by Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine, on the south by the Czech Republic and Slovakia and on the west by Germany. Our capital and the largest city is Warsaw.
Poland has a total land area of 312,677 sq. km (120,725-sq. mi). The maximum distance from east to west is about 680 km (about 420 mi) and the maximum distance from north to south is about 790 km (about 490 mi). Poland's borders are marked by the Sudety Mountains in the southwest, the Karpaty Mountains in the southeast, Odra and Nysa rivers in the west, the Bug River in the east. On the northeast, the country is bounded by a section of the Baltic Sea.
Although Poland appears as an unbroken plain on a relief map, it has considerable diversity and complexity. The average elevation is only about 175 m (about 575 ft) above sea level but elevations reach as high as 2499 m (8199 ft), atop Mount Rysy in the High Tatry Mountains in the south, and as low as about 2 m (about 6 ft) below sea level in the Wisla delta in the north. Poland is divided into a number of distinct parallel regions that run from east to west.
The southern one-third of Poland consists of upland areas of various kinds and adjoining lowlands. A narrow belt of mountains occupies the extreme south and southwest. The Karpaty Mountains, located on Poland's southeastern border, include the Tatry and Beskid ranges. The Sudety Mountains, another major mountain range, are located on Poland's southwestern border. North of the mountains is a zone of foothills, the Silesian Plain, and the Lesser Polish Uplands.
Poland's climate has features of both the moderate climate of Western Europe and the more severe climate of Eastern Europe. The climate of the western part may be classified as marine west coast, and the eastern part as humid continental with cool summers. Weather conditions are highly variable, particularly in the winter.
In January, average temperatures range from about -1° C (about 30° F) in the west to about -5° C (about 23° F) in the southern mountains. In summer, average temperatures decrease in a northwestern direction, from about 20° C (about 68° F) in the southeast to about 17° C (about 63° F) near the Baltic. During the year, the warmest temperatures may enter the upper 30°s C (lower 100°s F), and the lowest may drop into the lower -40°s C (lower -40°s F).
Annual precipitation in Poland as a whole averages about 610 mm (about 24 in), ranging from about 1200 to 1500 mm (about 47 to 59 in) in the mountains to between 450 and 600 mm (18 to 24 in) in the lowlands. Summer precipitation is often twice the level of winter precipitation.
The nature of the country is its national identity. Poland has old tradition of preserving nature for future generations. Pieniny mountains with their spectacular wildlife and the Biebrza valley marshes (a refuge of the elk, the wolf and innumerable birds) are among treasures of Polish nature. One can find a unique pine forest near Białowieża (with European bison) - this last natural lowland forest in Europe attracts scientists and nature - lovers from all over the world.
There are, in Poland, rivers and lakes clean and full of life where one can watch damselflies, listen to frogs croaking, see grebes dancing or observe behaviour of ducks and herons. There are hundreds of places where beaver lodges and dams can be seen.
One can also find here, meadows and fields that are environments created by man, by clearing forests. Meadows came into being where forests were cut on damp soil (usually in river valleys). Unusual species of orchids grow in meadows. They are also nesting grounds for such birds as: lapwings, snipes and ruff. Typical fields' animals and plants are: corn - cockle, cornflowers, skylarks, partridges and hare.
Nearly all of Polish woodlands have already been cut down at some point (the core in Białowieża is an exception) and have either re - grown or been planted by people. Even the planted ones are still natural to great extent. In Polish woodlands, one can find the red deer and wild boar, in the north - east part of the country - the elk and in the largest forests also the wolf and lynx; the brown bear can be found in the mountains' forests. Finally, there are animals and plants that can be found only in the high Tatry mountains: the arolla pine, the edelweiss, the chamois, the alpine marmot and alpine accentor.