Poles - Culture

Culture

The culture of Poland has a history of 1000 years. Located in Central Europe, its character developed as a result of its geography at the confluence of fellow Central European cultures (German, Western Ukrainian, Czech and Austrian) the Western European cultures (French and Dutch), Southern European cultures (Italian and Turkish), Northern European cultures (Lithuanian, Swedish and Danish) and Eastern European cultures (East Ukrainian and Russian) along with cultural influence of the Jewish culture. Confluences were conveyed by immigrants (Jewish, German and Dutch), political alliances (with Lithuania, Hungary, Saxony, France and Sweden), conquests of the Polish state (Ukraine, Belarus and Latvia) or conquerors of the Polish lands (Tsardom of Russia, Kingdom of Prussia and the Habsburg Monarchy, later on Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary).

Over time Polish culture has been greatly influenced by its ties with the Germanic, Latinate and other ethnic groups and minorities living in Poland like the Jews. The people of Poland have traditionally been seen as hospitable to artists from abroad (especially Italy) and open to cultural and artistic trends popular in other European countries. Owing to this central location, the Poles came very early into contact with both civilizations – eastern and western, and as a result developed economically, culturally, and politically. A German general Helmut Carl von Moltke, in his Poland. A historical sketch (1885), stated that Poland prior to her partitions was "the most civilized country in Europe".

In the 19th and 20th centuries, the Polish focus on cultural advancement often took precedence over political and economic activity, experiencing severe crisis, especially during the II World War and in the coming years. These factors have contributed to the versatile nature of Polish art, with all its complex nuances.

See also: Polish cuisine

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