Things you should know about Polish culture and about the culture of the people of Poland.
Polish culture is explained in this catagory from many perspectives. If you want information about everyday manners, go to Poland’s Culture Everyday The information that you see below gives you necessary historical background about the Polish Culture. It helps you understand the everyday Polish Culture.
You might also look at the page on Polish National Holidays. That page has videos showing cultural events related to those holidays.
The style and personality of Polish life have been shaped over a thousand years. National culture was born of influences of the Latin and the Byzantine worlds, and from a dialogue between ethnic minorities in Poland. The Poles have always welcomed foreign artists and been eager to follow what was happening in other countries. In the 19th and 20th centuries Poles’ concentration on cultural development often took the place of political and economic activity. These factors contributed to the versatile character of Polish art, with all its complex nuances.
Dialogue and the interpenetration of cultures have been major characteristics of Polish tradition for centuries. Customs, manners, clothes have reflected the influences of east and west. Traditional costumes worn by the gentry in the 16th and 17th centuries were inspired by rich eastern ornamental styles, including Islamic influences. Polish cuisine and social mores are another reflection of these various influences.
Polish towns reflect the whole spectrum of European styles. Poland’s eastern frontiers marked the boundary of the influences of Western architecture on the continent. History has not been kind to Poland’s architectural monuments. However, a number of ancient edifices have survived: castles, churches and palaces, sometimes unique in the regional or European context. Some of them have been laboriously restored (the Royal Castle in Cracow), or completely reconstructed having been totally ruined in the last war (the Old Town and Royal Castle in Warsaw, the Old Town in Gdansk and Wroclaw). Kazimierz on the Vistula is an example of a well-preserved Medieval town. Cracow ranks among the best preserved Gothic and Renaissance urban complexes in Europe. Polish church architecture deserves special attention. Some interesting buildings were also constructed during the communist regime in the style of social realism. Recently, some remarkable examples of modern architecture have been built.