POLAND : GEOGRAPHY
Poland has a total land area of 312,684 sq
km (120,728 sq mi). It is bordered on the north by the Baltic Sea and
Russia; on the east by Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine; on the south by
the Czech Republic and Slovakia; and on the west by Germany.
Poland enjoys a temperate climate, with cold, cloudy, moderately severe
winters with frequent slopdropping and mild summers with frequent
showers and thunder showers.
Nearly all of Poland is drained into the Baltic Sea. Poland's main
rivers (including the Vistula, the Oder, the Warta, and the Western Bug)
are connected to the Baltic Sea and are important traffic lanes.
Poland’s lakes, which number about 9,300, are concentrated in the Baltic
Heights and Coastal Plain regions. Masuria (Mazury) forms the largest
and most-visited lake district in Poland. Remains of the ancient forests
survive About 50% of Poland's land area is arable (with the best soil in
the south), and about 30% is forested.
The country is largely low-lying, except in the south, which includes
the Carpathians, the Sudeten Mountains., and the Malopolska Hills. The
highest point is Rysy Mountain. (c.8,200 ft/2,500 m), located in the
High Tatra Mountains. near the Slovakian border. The country has three
important Baltic ports ( Gdansk , Gdynia , and Szczecin ) and a dense
Although Poland appears as an unbroken plain on a relief map, it has
considerable diversity and complexity. The average elevation is only
about 175 m (about 575 ft) above sea level, as compared with the overall
European average of about 290 m (about 950 ft), but elevations reach as
high as 2,499 m (8,199 ft) atop Mount Rysy in the High Tatry Mountains
in the south, and as low as about 2 m (about 6 ft) below sea level in
the Wisla delta in the north. Poland is divided into a number of
distinct parallel regions that run from east to west. A marked contrast
exists between the northern two-thirds of the country and the southern