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Saints Philip and James Church in Sękowa, photo: Roman Pach/Forum

They disappear from our landscapes so quickly, because they burn down year after year – Stanisław Wyspiański wrote about wooden churches in a letter to his friend. Culture.pl presents ten timber-scented wonders of Polish architecture.

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Wieliczka is 15 km from Kraków. Its history is inherently linked to its vast salt deposits and the salt mine which has operated, uninterrupted, for 700 years. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the salt mine in Wieliczka attracts nearly 1.3 million tourists every year.

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Gliwice Canal and the Nowa Wieś lock, photo: Wojciech Wojcik / Forum

Where can you sail on grass? Which canal crosses a river, and which one foiled the plans of the Prussians? Culture.pl presents six incredible works of nature and human labour from Poland’s waterways.

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A still from The Peasants, a movie directed by Jan Rybkowski, 1973; Barbara Ludwiżanka and Emilia Krakowska, photo: Film Studio Kadr / The National Film Archive – www.fototeka.fn.org.pl

If a Polish peasant from previous centuries were to visit a contemporary restaurant styled as rustic, they’d likely have only ever seen most of the dishes on their lord’s table, if at all, while the remaining dishes would be completely new as 20th-century inventions. What, then, did the majority of Poles eat for centuries?

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Composer, pianist, politician, statesman. Born 18 November 1960 in Kuryówka, died 29 June 1941 in New York.

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Joseph Conrad, 1923

The Polish government has announced that 2017 will be a year to commemorate Adam Chmielowski, Joseph Conrad, Tadeusz Kościuszko, Honorat Koźmiński, Józef Piłsudski, and the Wisła river. Under UNESCO’s patronage, the 200th anniversary of Kościuszko’s death and the 100th anniversary of Ludwik Zamenhof’s death will also be marked.

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The Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw, photo: Bartosz Krupa / East News

Domes – hemispherical, onion-shaped, sharpened, oval, resting on a drum or on pendentives, adorned with a roof lantern, made of stone, brick, steel or reinforced concrete. Here is an overview of Polish domes, for which it is worth ‘lifting up your eyes and looking to the heavens’.

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The girls from the settlement in Valivade, India, from 1943 to 1948, photo: press materials

The Polish History Museum has prepared an exhibition on the Google Cultural Institute's website which shows the fortunes of Polish refugees in World War II.

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View of zabytek.pl; photo: submitted materials

With its detailed descriptions illustrated with contemporary and archival photographs, the National Heritage Institute’s portal Zabytek.pl encourages expeditions to Poland – both in real life and online.

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La Serena, Chile, photo: Víctor Sáez Barros / CC / Wikimedia Commons

Ignacy Domeyko – geologist, mining engineer, researcher of South America, and a central figure in shaping education and the economy in Chile – will be the subject of a new museum in La Serena, to be opened in 2017.

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Bazaar of folk handicrafts; photo: Joanna Borowska/FORUM

Polish wycinanki are the beautiful paper cut-outs that can be found in shops and museums all over the world. Our step-by-step guide to their construction will help you make the colourful creations at home.

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Czesław Słania, photo: Woody Ochnio/Forum

Best-known as a post stamp creator, Czesław Słania mastered engraving to perfection and could make stunning miniatures less than a few millimetres tall. This unusual ability allowed him to perform an invaluable service for the anti-Nazi resistance in Poland.

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Przedwojenne dwory. Najpiękniejsze fotografie (Prewar Manors: The Most Beautiful Photographs), cover

Jacek Reginia-Zacharski's book makes its reader aware of the cultural and civilisational role which the noble families’ houses played in Polish tradition.

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Poland's flag, photo: Łukasz Głowala / Forum

They appear around the world – a white eagle, parallel bars of red and white, the profile of a shaggy bison in a field of grass. These are emblems of Poland and recognized by millions as symbolic of the nation; yet many may not know their history. Culture.pl offers this introduction to the history of Poland’s national symbols and songs.

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Drawing by Maciej Sieńczyk, photo. IAM

For the 1050th anniversary of the Baptism of Poland, Maciej Sieńczyk created a series of illustrations that capture the atmosphere of the Middle Ages and recall events from the era – both real and imagined.

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Old Town in Złotoryja, view from the Smith’s Tower, photo: Bartłomiej Kudowicz / Forum

You probably won’t find them in your guidebook even though their charm is undeniable. Their times of glory may have passed irrevocably, but their narrow streets and crumbled walls have preserved the magic of years gone by. Join us on our sentimental trip to ten extraordinary Old Towns in Poland.

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Бискупин. Фото: Дариуш Заруд / East News

Not all spectacular archaeological sites have to be located in the middle of an endless desert or a vast jungle. There are plenty in the temperate-climate landscapes of Poland, where you can visit sites evocative of European history like the ruins of ancient Slavic strongholds and Gothic burial grounds.

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Still from The Art of Love, directed by Jacek Bromski, 1989, photo: Studio Filmowe Zebra / Filmoteka Narodowa / www.fototeka.fn.org.p

Inspired by Alfred Kinsey’s pioneering research in the US, a brave band of Poles set out to break similar ground in 1960s Poland. Encountering resistance from both church and state, figures such as Michalina Wisłocka pushed through to pioneer help for thousands of people that sorely needed advice about both family planning and bedroom satisfaction.

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A very arty photo of marbles, Yola/FOTONOVA /East News

Growing up in the 1990s in the middle of the newly-collapsed Eastern Bloc was an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything else.

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Noc Kupały (Kupała Night), Przemyśl, photo: Waldek Sosnowski / Forum

Like in many other European countries, the arrival of summer is celebrated on St. John’s Eve in Poland. While part of the Polish custom ‒ bonfires, singing and dancing ‒ resembles other celebrations all over the world, the traditional wild flower crowns and fortune-telling rituals date back to Slavic paganism.

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