Poland is a country in Central Europe. It is on the east of Germany (along Oder and Lusatian Neisse). The Czech Republic and Slovakia are to the south, Ukraine and Belarus to the east, and the Baltic Sea, Lithuania, and the Russian exclave Kaliningrad to the north. The total land area of Poland is about 312,679 km2, slightly larger than Oman. This makes Poland the 77th largest country in the world with over 38.5 million people. Most Polish people live in large cities, including the capital, Warsaw (Polish: Warszawa), Łódź, Cracow (Polish: Kraków), the second capital of Poland (first was Gniezno), Szczecin, Gdańsk, Wrocław and Poznań.
The word “Poland” was written officially for the first time in 966. In 1569, Poland formed a strong union with Lithuania called the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. At some point in its history, it was the largest state in Europe and became very influential. Much of the territory that now makes up Central European states used to belong to that Commonwealth.