Countryside and Cities of Poland.
Poland was established as a nation state under the Piast dynasty, which ruled the country between the 10th and 14th centuries. Historical records of an official Polish state begin with Duke Mieszko I in the second half of the 10th century. Located between Germany and Russia, Poland has always been a focal point of conflict. In 1772, 1793 and 1795, as Poland went through what is known as the three partitions, its size progressively reduced. With the last partition, the country all but disappeared from the map for 123 years and only gained back independence in 1918. World War II left Poland destroyed and its population decimated. As if that wasn’t enough, the country then came under Soviet control. In 1981, in response to the rising Solidarity movement, the government introduced martial law, severely restricting normal life and freedom of the Polish population. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, Poland joined the ranks of other Western democratic countries, but not without a long and difficult period of transformation. And yet, despite the traumatic history, Polish people remain optimistic.
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