Friday, 11 November 2016

Independence Day

Today's post is not going to be about travel. Though we were supposed to be on the road. Unfortunately, flu season got us. We stayed home.

We woke up today to see the world covered under a (light, but still) blanket of snow. And it was still snowing. It was so pretty. Yes, it's that part of the year.

But today is special not only because of (November) snow. Today Poland celebrates its Independence Day. On November 11, 1918, after 123 years, Poland regained independence.

Poland is an old country. Maybe not as old as some, but much older than others. We got baptised in 966, had our first king in 1025. We had our ups (like the 16th century) and downs (like the 18th century). The downs led to the partition of our country (or partitions, cause there were three that led to disappearance of our country from the maps of Europe: 1772, 1793 and 1795). Our Constitution of May 3rd, 1791 was the first in Europe (and second in the world, after the American one). Though it diminished many priviledges of the nobelty, it was already too late to save our independence.

Though we had the Duchy of Warsaw set up by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1807 and the Kingdom of Poland set up by the Congress of Vienna in 1815, no truly independent Polish state existed till the end of the WWI. We tried to regain freedom during the uprisings of 1830 and 1863, but they were both unsuccessfull. Polish identity never ceased to exist, though.

It was in the period between WWI and WWII when my hometown, Gdynia, was set up.

The young country couldn't protect itself from the nazi invasion of 1939. WWII started in Poland, in Westerplatte. And we lost independence again. First to nazis, then to soviets. It wasn't until 1989 that Poland was free again. Again trying to be part of Europe, part of the free world. We joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004. We're still a young democracy, trying to learn. Many people, still affected by the old regime, believe that the country should guarantee them certain things (instead of doing something themselves to have them).

I don't want to get into current political situation and dispute, so I'll just end here.


  1. This was a great little recap for those of us who are largely unfamiliar with Poland's history outside of the world wars. Happy birthday, Poland! May you always be free and continue to guard your independence from those without and within who may seek to enslave you! <3

    1. Thank you, Katrina. I was trying to put a thousand long history in just a few sentences. Cause it is unknown to many and it seemed like a perfect opportunity ;) Thank you for the wishes!