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Little Known Facts from Poland

The oldest restaurant in Europe is located in Wrocław. "Piwnica Swidnicka", has been operating since 1275.

Global warming fanatic Al Gore probably hates this one: The first oil refinery in the world was built in 1856 by Polish pharmacist and petroleum industry pioneer, Ignacy Lukasiewicz.

In Poland, people peel bananas from the blossom end and not the stem end. The reason is not so strange when you think of it logically. Think: hot dog on a stick or a candied apple. The stem is a stick of sorts.

Amongst all the members of the European Union, the residents of Poland marry the youngest, and Poland is the only country to award couples married 50 years with a presidential medal.

The first floor is regarded as floor "0" so you press "1" when you want to go to the second floor in the elevator. It's kinda like computers. Digital machines always start their count at zero.

Ohioan Neil Armstrong may have been the first man to set foot on the moon, but 300 years earlier Polish astronomer, Johannes Hevelius (1611-1687) published the earliest exact maps of the moon. A handy thing to have if you're planning a trip to the moon.

Poles individually on average drink some 23 gallons of beer a year. If you do the math: That's about one bottle per day.

According to the oldest document on the subject of beer in Poland, the frothy brew appeared during the reign of Polish King Boleslaw I the Brave (992-1025). The distillation of vodka predates beer by about a hundred years in Poland.

Beer is often served with raspberry or blackcurrant juice (piwo z sokiem) and drunk using a straw. During colder seasons the popular refreshment is hot beer with cloves and cinnamon, sweetened with honey (piwo grzane).

The biggest section of any grocery store in Poland is the candy section.

Poles represent the biggest number of people by nationality to rescue Jews during the German Nazi-organized Holocaust, up to around 450,000 from certain death. Poland holds the world record with the most people at 6,135 being awarded the title of Righteous among the Nations by the State of Israel.

If you want to get a driver license in Poland, get ready to take the tests from 3 to 5 times. This is the vestige of old communist corrupted bureaucracy. Nowadays you can't bribe your instructor because all the cars are equipped with cameras, but these instructors don't want to lose money so they will deliberately force you to fail the tests and pay for second or third attempts.

Christopher Columbus was actually the son of Wladyslaw III, a self exiled King of Poland. The sheer weight of the evidence presented in Manual Rosa's book Colon: La Historia Nunca Contada makes the old tale of a Genoese wool weaver so obviously unbelievable that only a fool would continue to insist on it according to the author.

The only foreign nation mentioned in the lyrics to the Polish National Anthem is Italy.

The first bulletproof vest was invented by Polish priest Fr. Kazimierz Zeglen in the 1890s.

No, it's not a mirage: The Bledów desert really exists in the middle of Poland. Sorry, camels not included.

Poland has more Storks than any other country during the warm months. Unfortunately it is not helping the declining birth rate.

Although the letters Q, V, and X are not in the Polish alphabet - the recent adoption of English words in Poland might find their way in. Then there will be 35 letters in the Polish alphabet. How to retro fit Polish typewriters... anyone's guess.


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