Poland: Informative Web Sites
Warsaw, Poland: Lazienki Park
iEARN in Poland (iEARN w Polsce): Available in Polish and English, this site is the official Web site (oficjalna strona) for iEARN in Poland. Based in Warsaw, within the "Internet for Schools" initiative, iEARN/Poland involves hundreds of schools throughout the country.
General Sites About Poland
- History of Poland: This entry in the Wikipedia (the free encyclopedia) provides a history of Poland, including links to external sites about Poland's history.
- Castles of Poland: This Polish Web site provides extensive information (in Polish) about — and excellent, color images of — castles and palaces in Poland. Count Potocki's Palace in Lancut, one of the destinations of the Poland/Israel study trip, is one of the castles that you will find on this site.
- American Institute of Polish Culture: Founded in 1972, this nonprofit organizations has two goals. First, "to share with all Americans the rich heritage of Poland, which has contributed in important ways to Western civilization." Second, "to establish a center of educational facilities and resources for the encouragement and promotion of the scientific and aesthetic endeavors of Americans of Polish descent."
- Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America: Located in New York City, the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America (Polski Instytut Naukowy w Ameryce) is "a Polish-American nonprofit organization supported exclusively by the public, its members and friends. Founded in 1942, it has become the leading center of learning and source of information about Poland's history and culture in the United States. It is also a research center and a disseminator of knowledge about the Polish-American ethnic group and its role in America."
- Polish Literature in English Translation: Created by Constance J. Ostrowski, this Web site provides a guide to Polish literature translated into English, accessing on-line sources, and describing printed translations. In addition, the site examines Polish literary history and criticism, and provides a list of general anthologies of Polish literature.
- InfoPoland — The Polish Academic Information Center: Sponsored by the University at Buffalo (State University of New York) and Jagiellonian University (Krakow, Poland), this Web site provides information about Poland, Polish universities, and Polish Studies. "The mission of Poland on the Web is to facilitate access to English language Internet-based information about Poland and Poland-related subject matter. The guiding philosophy is to list, for each topic area, a select number of annotated links to the best sites the Center has been able to identify. In this manner, seekers of Poland-related information should be able to sense what is available without feeling overwhelmed by having to browse through a large numbers of sites."
- Polska — History of Poland: Presenting a brief outline of the history of Poland, this Web site covers "the turning points in Polish history."
- Destination Poland: Maintained by Lonely Planet, a publisher of travel guides, this Web page presents a wide range of information for the traveler who is going to Poland, including information on Poland's history and culture; suggested attractions and activities; travelers' reports on Poland; and, recommended reading.
- Poland — U.S. Department of State: Provided and maintained by the U.S. State Department, this consular information sheet provides advisories and basic information for United States' citizens traveling to Poland.
- Poland — The World Factbook: This Web page is the entry for Poland from the United States
Central Intelligence Agency's World Factbook.
- Poland Country Guide: Provided by Columbus Travel Publishing, this world travel guide to Poland provides an overview of the nation, contact addresses, general information, passport/visa and currency information, and maps — as well as data on accommodations, sports and activities, Polish society, business in Poland, climate, history, and government.
- Piast Dynasty of Poland: According to the Wikipedia, the "Piast Dynasty is a line of kings and dukes that ruled Poland from its beginnings as an independent state up to 1370. The branches of the Piasts continued to rule Polish splinter duchies in Masovia until 1526, and in Silesia until 1675. Piast was the legendary ancestor of these nobles. His name was first mentioned in the Chronicle of the Polish Dukes by Gallus Anonymous, written around 1113. Although the early dukes and kings considered themselves Piast's descendants, the term 'Piast Dynasty' was invented in the 17th century by historians, working for a number of rulers who governed their duchies in Silesia."
Coat of Arms
- Virtual Travel to Poland: Presented by One World — Nations Online, this Web page provides general information about Poland, as well as access to Web pages of the Polish government, various on-line resources, other Web sites about Poland, Polish newspapers, tourist information, and maps.
- Poland — Weather (Pagoda): This Web site provides the current weather (in Polish) and a five-day forecast (prognoza pogody) for Poland, in general, and for several Polish cities — plus, selected webcam-views.
- Map of Poland: This Web site provides a very large (1804 pixels by 1722 pixels, which is approximately 64 by 71 centimeters) interactive map of the Republic of Poland; you can use your cursor to select a town or city to access that location's Web site. The map is published by The PPWK Company (Polskie Przedsiebiorstwo Wydawnictw Kartograficznych) in Poland: "One of its strongest products is school items. PPWK has the only, cohesive, and complex offering of school atlases and wall maps in Poland (that correspond with school curricula). A wide group of methodologies were consulted to develop this product line."
- Polish for Travelers: A service of Foreign Languages for Travelers, this page presents language resources for people traveling to Poland, including a Polish pronunciation guide for speakers of English and German, and other resources about the Polish language.
- Katyn Massacre: The Katyn massacre, also known as the Katyn Forest Massacre, was the mass execution of Polish citizens (mostly military officers and POWs) by the Soviet Union during World War II. "On 5 March 5 1940, according to a note to Joseph Stalin prepared by Lavrenty Beria, members of Soviet politburo — Stalin, Vyacheslav Molotov, Lazar Kaganovich, Mikhail Kalinin, Kliment Voroshilov, and Beria — signed an order of execution of 'nationalist and counterrevolutionary' activists kept in camps and prisons of the occupied Western parts of Ukraine and Belarus — which resulted in the murder of about 22,000 Polish citizens, including about 15,000 prisoners of war. The broad definition of the accused included significant numbers of Polish intelligentsia, in addition to policemen, reservists, and active military officers." Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda, saw the discovery of this massacre as an excellent tool in relation to Poland, Western Allies, and the Soviet Union. The Web site, Katyn Memorial Wall, provides images, lists of victims, and other information. (Information on this site is in English and — mainly — in Polish.)
- Polish Home Page: Maintained on the Web server of the Physics Department of Warsaw University, this Web page offers several links to Web sites about Poland and portals to Polish Web sites. (The available Web sites are in English and Polish.)
- History of Poland: Created by Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk, this Web site provides a general history of Poland, in addition to a biographical history.
Polish Government Web Sites
- President of the Republic of Poland: This Web site by the Polish government provides information about the president of Poland, the nation of Poland, news, the Polish Cabinet, the constitution, publications, and the presidential palace.
- Polish Institute of Meteorology and Water Management (Instytut Meteorologii i Gospodarki Wodnej): The Institute of Meteorology and Water Management provides meteorological and water management information for the republic of Poland. The information is available in Polish and in English. The Polish Institute of Meteorology and Water Management (IMGW) "is a research and development unit established on a basis of the decree issued by the Council of Ministers. IMGW operates in support of the public sector as well as commercial firms and offers various services and expertise in the field of meteorology and hydrology."
Jews in Poland
- Poland — Virtual Jewish History Tour: Written by Rebecca Weiner, this Web presentation by the Jewish Virtual Library presents an impressive overview of the history of Jews in Poland. "Poland was home to the largest Jewish population in Europe and served as the center for Jewish culture. A diverse population of Jews from all over Europe sought refuge in Poland, contributing to a wide variety of religious and cultural groups. Before the outbreak of World War II, more than 3.3 million Jews lived in Poland, the second largest Jewish community in the world; barely 11 percent (369,000) survived the war population."
- PolishJews.org — The Polish Jews Home Page: "More than 3 million Jews lived in Poland in 1939. The www.polishjews.org Web site was created to preserve the memory of those millions of Polish Jews who suffered and perished."
- Heritage — Jewish Poland Between the Wars: "Six million Jews gone. A people ravaged. A world promising never to forget. This is the Holocaust. But the amazing destructive power of man shown by the Nazis underpins one big question: What was it like before? Who were these people? How did they interact with each other, with others around them, with the world in general? Specifically, what was it like to be a Polish Jew, or a Jew in Poland? To begin your quest, explore this site. Analyze. Think. Argue. Use the message board, or use this site as a stepping stone for further exploration. Just remember: The only thing destruction means is that there was something meaningful to destroy."
Polish Jew Studying
(Before the Holocaust)
- Concise History of the Jews of Poland: This Web site, by LNT Poland, provides an overview of the history of Jews in Poland, summarizing the history of the first Jews in Poland, the plight of Jews during World War II, and that status of Jews in modern Poland. Many of the sites mentioned in the history are part of the HGP Poland/Israel study trip.
- Shtetl — Debica, Poland: This Web site, created and maintained by Israel Preker of Tel Aviv, is "a memorial home page for the Jews who lived and died in the shtetl Debica (Dembica-Dembitz) near Krakow, Poland." Mr. Preker writes that: "I traveled Debica and the Krakow area in August 1996 in order to collect some information about my family, take photos and feel the atmosphere of this area." The pages offer many resources to individuals interested in this region, its people, and its history.
- Jewish Krakow — The Jews of Krakow: Part of JewishGen's ShtetLinks Project, this Web site provides a brief history of the Jews of Krakow (and the surrounding region). "Krakow was one of the largest Jewish centers in Poland/Galicia, and, as such, needs no introduction. In 1938, Krakow's Jewish population numbered over 60,000, or about 25% of the city's total population of 237,000. In 1948, the post-Holocaust Jewish population had been decimated to about 5,900, and by 1978, the number had dwindled to a mere 600." The site provides extensive resources about Jewish Krakow via the Site Menu link in the upper-left corner of the home page.
Rema (Remu) Synagogue's Cemetery:
Tombstone of Moses ben Isserles
- Historical Sites of Jewish Warsaw: This Web site, available in Polish and English, provides an overview and history of the Jewish heritage of Warsaw, Poland (including a plan of the Warsaw Ghetto: "...The life of a capital city has now taken the place of rubble where there were once the Jewish streets. Shop windows reflect the glass silhouettes of new buildings, the faces of colorfully dressed passers-by and busy streets. Standing in the middle of the urban traffic and tumult are we aware that not so long ago (for 60 years is not millennia) Jewish Warsaw existed here for centuries as an indivisible part of the urban fabric? Do we remember that inter-war Warsaw was the largest Jewish city in Europe and the second in the world, after New York; that Jews made up 30 percent of the capital's population? And what is it like today?..."
- Warsaw Ghetto: This Web site, by Scrapbookpages.com, provides information and images on various aspects of the Warsaw Ghetto, including a brief history of the Warsaw Ghetto, Memory Lane and the Nathan Rappaport Memorial to the Heroes of Warsaw Ghetto, Mila 18, the last remaining section of Warsaw Ghetto wall, the Nozyk Synagogue, and nearby Jewish theater. (These locations are destinations of the Poland/Israel study trip.)
- Jewish Bialystok — History and Heritage: This memorial project by Tomasz Wisniewski (Poland), Tilford Bartman (USA), Mark Halpern (USA), and Ada Holtzman (Israel) is an extensive Web site that serves as a remembrance, a history, and a preservation of Jewish heritage in Bialystok, Poland.
Individual Polish Cities
Catalogues of Polish Towns and Cities
- Cities in Poland: This section of the Wikipedia (the free on-line encyclopedia) offers extensive information on many cities in Poland — including the following HGP destinations: Krakow (Cracow), Lublin, Warsaw, and Zakopane. (Note that, in the Polish administrational system, there is no difference between a city and a town.)
- List of Cities in Poland: This section of the Wikipedia (the free on-line encyclopedia) offers a detailed list of cities and towns in Poland, by name and population (with population figures provided).
- Warsaw, Poland: This Web site provides detailed information about Warsaw, Poland, one of the destinations of the Poland/Israel study trip. "Warsaw (Miasto Stoleczne Warszawa) is the capital of Poland and its largest city. It is located on the Vistula River roughly 350 km from both the Baltic Sea coast and the Carpathian Mountains. Its population as of 2004 was estimated at 1,676,600, with an urban agglomeration of approximately 2,400,000."
- Warsaw Life: Warsaw Life offers a general travel guide to the city, the latest news — as well as tips, suggestions about travel and money, a map of the city's center, and a cultural introduction.
- Warsaw — Wielki Theater: This Web site, available in Polish and English, is the official Web site of Warsaw's world-famous, historical theater of opera and ballet — and home of the Polish National Opera. The site provides in-depth information, a gallery, and a listing of CDs and DVDs recorded by the Polish National Opera.
Wielki Theater (Warsaw)
- Warsaw — Virtual Tour: Presented by Michal Czaplicki in association with VirTourist.com, this Web site offers a "virtual tour" of the city of Warsaw, Poland. Mr. Czaplicki's presentation offers twenty-three (23) annotated images, starting with the Old City (which was completely reconstructed after its total destruction by the Nazis in World War II and is on UNESCO's World Heritage List).
- Warsaw University: Available in Polish and English, the Web site of Warsaw University provides extensive information about this institute of higher learning. Established in 1816, the university "has produced many outstanding scholars and created famous scientific schools. It actively resisted armed force, organizing clandestine classes when the University was not allowed to function openly. Our students and graduates have served Poland and the world. These proud annals are our continuing obligation. We must also remember what has been inglorious: submission to political pressure, religious and social discrimination, expulsion of scholars and students. Let this be a living historical lesson for us."
- Warsaw, Poland — Official Web Site: e-Warsaw is the official web site of the city of Warsaw; it provides a wide range of current and historical information about the city.
- Krakow — A Brief History: "Without Krakow there would be no Poland. For in this beautiful city lies much of Poland's rich historical, cultural, and intellectual panoply."
- KrakowInfo: Created and maintained by Marek Strzala, this Web site offers comprehensive information about the city of Krakow, Poland. Topics include attractions, entertainment, culture, business, restaurants, hotels, travel, transportation, health care, shopping, art, music, theater, museums, historical landmarks, festivals, local customs, and education.
- Krakow, Poland — A Survivor's Guide: "Krakow, Poland's stunning 'second city', is a captivating place both to travel to and to live. With Poland's recent accession to the European Union, there has been a slow but steady increase in foreigners and tourists alike looking for (and often finding) something truly special in the city. Cracow-Life.com is the city's leading English-language portal for Krakow, with over a thousand pages of information about everything from tiny cafes through listings of the best hotels and apartments, to an up-to-the minute calendar of events in Krakow."
- Krakow Travel Guide: "Cracow (Krakow), long heralded as 'The New Prague', is now well-established as a major tourist destination. At the height of summer, Poland's fourth largest city throngs with tour groups and countless pavement cafes that seem to occupy every cobble of the main square. Out of season, late at night, or even in the first slivers of morning light, it is clear why so many people flock to visit. This magical city, situated in the southeast of the country, between the Jura uplands and the Tatra Mountains, on the banks of the Wisla (Vistula) River, has one of the best-preserved medieval city centers in Europe. Dozens of churches cover almost every architectural period and are surrounded by monasteries and abbeys; walking through the Old Town streets is like drifting back through the musty pages of a historical novel."
- Krakow (Cracow), Poland: This Web site provides detailed information about Krakow, Poland, one of the destinations of the Poland/Israel study trip. Krakow is one of the oldest and largest cities of Poland, with a 2004 population of 760,000 (1.2 million, counting adjacent communities). "Krakow has traditionally been one of the leading scientific, cultural, and artistic centers of the country. It was once the national capital and is considered by many still to be the heart of Poland, due to its history of more than a thousand years. Krakow is also a major center of local and international tourism, with more than two million visitors annually."
- Welcome to Krakow: This Web site, available in Polish, French, German, and English, is the official site of the city of Krakow (Cracow), Poland: "Thanks to its rich history, Krakow represents a synthesis of all things Polish, connecting tradition with modernity. In the special atmosphere of the beautiful and mysterious streets of the Old Town and Kazimierz, you will find everything you need to allow you to escape from everyday life. Galleries full of exhibitions, cafes, pubs and restaurants: all of these are an integral part of any visit to Krakow — merely a modest part of what we can offer travelers seeking exciting destinations on the world map."
- Krakow: This Web site, hosted on a server in the United Kingdom, provides extensive information on the sites and history of Krakow, Poland, including churches, monasteries, synagogues, palaces, houses, museums, universities, streets (ulica), and the Vistula River.
- A Brief History of Bialystok: This Web site provides a brief history of Bialystok, Poland, "the largest city in the northeastern part of Poland. It is situated on the Biala River and was named after it. Bialystok has a population of 350,000." This history also includes images with descriptions.
- Lancut, Poland: This Web site provides information about Lancut, Poland, one of the destinations of the Poland/Israel study trip. "Lancut is a town in south-eastern Poland, with 18,000 inhabitants (1998). Situated in the Subcarpathian Voivodship (since 1999), it is the capital of Lancut County."
- Lublin, Poland: This Web site provides detailed information about Lublin, Poland, one of the destinations of the Poland/Israel study trip. (The site of the Nazi extermination camp, Majdanek, is at the outskirts of the city.) Lublin "is the biggest city in eastern Poland and the capital of Lublin Voivodship with a population of 355,954 (2004)."
- Lublin, Poland — Local Initiatives Program: This Web site documents the struggle against poverty and social exclusion in Lublin, Poland, by following the guidelines established by UNESCO's MOST Clearing House Best Practices. "Lublin has succeeded in creating an effective framework to structure the interface between the municipality and the community relying on participatory processes, partnership and empowerment. In 1990, the Urban Planning Unit of the City of Lublin, Poland, initiated a participatory process to engage residents in the development of their neighborhoods and to rehabilitate older districts."
- Oswiecim, Poland: This Web site provides extensive information about Oswiecim, Poland, on of the destinations of the Poland/Israel study trip. "Oswiecim is a town in southern Poland with about 43,000 inhabitants (2001), situated some 60 km southwest of Krakow in the Lesser Poland Voivodship since 1999, previously in Bielsko-Biala Voivodship (1975-1998). The German name Auschwitz is still used when referring to the Auschwitz concentration camp built there by Nazi Germany during World War II."
- Treblinka, Poland: "Treblinka in the Mazowieckie province, 100 km northeast of Warsaw, by the Treblinka River, has a population of about 300 people." Treblinka is the site of the infamous Nazi extermination camp and one of the destinations of the Poland/Israel study trip.
- Treblinka Extermination Camp: This entry in the free, on-line Wikipedia encyclopedia describes the Treblinka extermination camp, the site of which is a destination of the HGP Poland/Israel study trip.
- Tykocin, Poland: "Tykocin is a small town in north-eastern Poland, with 1,800 inhabitants (1998), located on the Narew River. Situated in the Podlasie Voivodship (since 1999), previously in Bialystok Voivodship (1975-1998). A baroque synagogue built in 1642, one of the best preserved in Poland from that period, is a major tourist attraction." Tykocin and its synagogue are one of the destinations of the Poland/Israel study trip.
- History of Tykocin, Poland: This Web site presents a brief history of Tykocin, Poland, a destination of the Poland/Israel study trip. "Tykocin is on the river Narew in the province of Bialystok in northeastern Poland and is east of the former Nazi extermination camp at Treblinka, just before you get to Bialystok, which is the closest large town, 40 kilometers to the east. This area is on the border between Poland and Belarus which became an independent country in 1991 after the breakup of the Soviet Union."
- Zakopane, Poland: Zakopane, a destination of the Poland/Israel study trip, "is a town in southern Poland with approximately 30,000 inhabitants (1995), situated in the Lesser Poland Voivodship since 1999 (it was previously in Nowy Sacz Voivodship from 1975-1998). The town called the 'Winter capital of Poland' lies in the southern part of the Podhale region, at the feet of the Tatra Mountains — with the exception of the Karkonosze Mountains — the only alpine mountain range in this part of Europe."
- Zakopane, Poland — Welcome: A travel guide to Zakopane, this Web site offers detailed information about the town, and the region, including a webcam with three cameras.
- Zakopane Life: This travel guide to Zakopane offers useful information to potential visitors to Zakopane. "Zakopane, Poland's premier mountain resort, is one of the country's most popular holiday destinations, both in the winter for skiing, and in the summer, for hiking and camping."
- Go Zakopane: Available in Polish and English, this Web site provides a gallery of images, information on lodgings, guides to summer and winter tourism, and information on natural parks and preserves.
- Zakopane On-Line: Available in Polish, English and other languages, this site is the official Web site of the Polish town of Zakopane, a ski resort in the Tatra Mountains and one of the destinations of the Poland/Israel study trip.
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