Poland is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north. The total area of Poland is 312,679 square kilometres. Poland has a population of 38,115,000 poeple.
Poland is a democratic republic, with a president as a head of state. The government structure centers on the Council of Ministers, led by a prime minister. The president is elected by popular vote every five years. The current president is Bronisław Komorowski. Komorowski replaced President Lech Kaczynski following an April 10, 2010 air crash which claimed the life of President Kaczynski, his wife, and 94 other people, during a visit to western Russia for events marking the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre.
The Polish economy is based on agriculture and industry and is today one of the most dynamic in Europe and the only European state that has not experienced a recession during the crisis of 2008-2010. Despite the economic crisis, the Polish economy is growing at 1.7%.
Major cities in Poland are Warsaw, which is the capital and is in the center of this country, Mazovia, Krakow, the second most populous city that is in the south; Łódź is located in its center , Gdańsk, the capital of Pomerania, a city with one of the largest ports in the Baltic and Wroclaw, the capital of Lower Silesia and one of the major economic and technological development of the country.
Notable foods in Polish cuisine include kiełbasa, barszcz, żurek, pierogi, flaczki (tripe soup), gołąbki, oscypek, kotlet schabowy, bigos, various potato dishes, a fast food sandwich (zapiekanka) and many more. Traditional Polish desserts include pączki, faworki, gingerbread, babka and others.