Poland Overview

Poland Overview

Poland borders Germany to the west, the Baltic Sea to the north, the Kaliningrad region belonging to Russia and Lithuania to the northeast, Belarus and Ukraine to the east, and the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic to the south.

Poland is located in the east of Central Europe. Most of the country is characterized by lowlands formed by the Ice Age; 75% of the surface is below 200 m above sea level, 22% 200–500 m above sea level and only 3% above 500 m above sea level. The country is divided into west-east running landscape zones.

From north to south these are: 1) the coastal lowlands on the 788 km long Baltic Sea coast with the Hela peninsula and the Fresh Lagoon (only western part of Poland), with extensive alluvial plains in the Vistula Delta and in the estuary of the Oder, which flows into the Szczecin Lagoon, which the islands of Usedom (only the extreme eastern part of Poland) and Wollin are upstream; 2) the young moraine landscape of the Baltic ridge with the Pomeranian ridge to the west and the Masurian ridge to the east of the Vistula, where the majority of the approximately 10,000 lakes in Poland are located; 3) the undulating old moraine in the catchment area of ​​theSaale Ice Age, a lowland with glacial valleys, which takes up almost 50% of the area of ​​Poland; 4) the hilly and flattened mountainous regions in the central southeast of the country, which are often covered with loess: the Roztocze (up to 390 m above sea level) and the Lublin hill country to the east and the Lesser Poland mountain and hill country to the west of the Vistula. Visit cachedhealth.com for Poland destinations.

The latter includes the Kielcer Uplands (in the Łysica of the Łysogóry 612 m above sea level), the Cracow-Czestochowa Uplands (Cracow Jura, Polish Jura), which with the Tarnowitzer Heights in the Upper Silesian Plate with the Upper Silesian Ridge (Chełm; in Annaberg 385 m above sea level) and 5) the mountain range of Poland in the south; this includes the Sudetes, over which the border with the Czech Republic runs, the Polish part of the (northern) western and the (western) forest Carpathians with the High Tatras (the only high mountain range in Poland; Meeraugspitze [Polish: Rysy]), the highest point in Poland at 2,499 m above sea level), the hilly basin landscape of the Podhale upstream to the north, the east and west Beskids (1,725 ​​m above sea level) and the northern subcarpathian region (up to 500 m above sea level).

In front of the West Beskids is the geological hollow of the Upper Silesian Basin with its hard coal deposits, in the southeast of the country the Basin of Sandomierz (with the adjoining Krakow Gate and the Basin of Auschwitz) forms a fore-depth of the Carpathians. Almost all of Poland is drained by the Oder (with its main tributary, the Warta) and the Vistula (with its Bug).

Waters in Poland

The main waters
Rivers Length (in km; in Poland)
Vistula 1,047
Warta 808
or 742
Bug 587
Narew 448
San 443
Networks 388
Lakes Area (in km 2)
Spirdingsee 114
Mauersee 104
Lebasee 71
Reservoirs Storage space (in million m 3)
Solina (San) 472
Włocławek (Vistula) 408
Czorsztyn-Niedzica (Dunajec) 232


At the lowest level of ordinary jurisdiction are the district courts, which are responsible for most criminal offenses and for civil matters with low amounts in dispute. These chambers have specialized chambers in certain areas of law. In addition, city courts have been set up for minor cases. The judgments of the district courts can be reviewed by the district courts (which replaced the provincial courts in 1998 as part of the regional reform); these are in the first instance among others. also responsible for serious criminal offenses and civil matters with high amounts in dispute. The first instance judgments of these courts can be appealed to the appellate courts. The function of the Supreme Court today consists primarily of reviewing jurisdiction. In addition to the ordinary courts, there is the main administrative court, in which administrative acts can be contested. In 2004, administrative courts of first instance were set up at the voivodship level, which have jurisdiction upstream of the main administrative court. There is also a military jurisdiction. Outside of the normal court structure, there are the constitutional court and a state court, which is primarily responsible for proceedings that affect the misconduct of the highest state organs.

The judges are appointed for an unlimited period by the President of the Republic on the proposal of the State Judicial Council. The Minister of Justice has the power to appoint or remove the presidents of the courts of all instances. The public prosecutor’s office is subordinate to the Minister of Justice, who also performs the duties of a public prosecutor.

Substantive law was redesigned in many areas from 1990 onwards. The 1964 Civil Code was modified in numerous individual provisions. In 1997 a new penal code was enacted in order to adapt criminal law to modern standards. One focus of the reform work was commercial law, which had to be geared towards market economy requirements. The basis of the legislative activity here was often stipulations of European law, which, like in the other EU states, have meanwhile become decisive for large parts of the legal system.

Poland Overview