Poland's written history begins with the reign of Mieszko I, who accepted Christianity for himself and his kingdom in AD 966. May 3, 1792 the Constitution of Poland was established. However, in 1795 Poland was divided and was wiped off of the map for 123 years.
In the 19th century Polish people united together against those occupying their country and after the First World War, Poland regained their independence and the Second Polish Republic was established. (November 1918) This freedom unfortunately did not last long and on Sept. 1st Germany invaded Poland. During World War II over 6 million Polish people died. Fifty percent of those killed were Polish Jews.
After the war the Soviet Union occupied Poland and thus began the time of Communism. In 1980 an independent trade union, Solidarity, was formed and played a big role in freeing Poland from communism. In 1989 Poland regained their independence and The Third Polish Republic was established.
In 1999 Poland became part of NATO and in 2004 Poland joined the European Union.
Poland’s population is approximately 38 million people, of which 96% profess to be Roman Catholic. Other religions in Poland consist of Eastern Orthodox, Islam, Judeism, Oriental, Protestant and unspecified. Only 0.4% claim to be Protestant. There are a total of 81 different denominations within this percent.
Warsaw has been the capital of Poland since the late 16th century. It was destroyed and rebuilt from scratch after World War II. Warsaw is by far the biggest and fastest developing Polish city; its population is estimated at 1.71 million with metro area of over 3.5 million. Today this city is the nation's urban, commercial and political center.