Culture of Poland

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Polish culture has progressed at the crossroads of the Byzantine and Latinate worlds in a continuous interaction with a number of ethnic groups living in Poland. The trends of the 19th and 20th Centuries proved Polish culture to be more significant than politics and economics.

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A major characteristic feature of Polish art is the dialogue and interaction of cultures.

The style of clothing, as well as the manners and customs of the Polish people reflect influences of the East and West.

The traditional apparel of the Polish in the 16th and 17th Centuries reveal inspiration from the opulent Eastern ornamental style, with influences of the Islamic culture.

The architecture of Polish towns reflects a variety of European styles. The eastern frontiers of Poland used to mark the final boundary of the influence of the architecture of the West.

Poland has a great number of architectural monuments. However, only a small number of ancient buildings have survived, such as churches, castles and buildings with unique regional and European character.

Some of the structures have been carefully restored, such as the Wawel Cathedral, or were totally reconstructed after World War II, such as the Wawel Royal Castle and the Old Towns in Warsaw, Wroclaw and Gdansk.

A fine example of a well-preserved medieval town is Kazimierz on the Vistula river, with some of the best preserved Renaissance and Gothic architecture in Europe.

Polish church architecture has a character peculiar only to Poland. Katowice and Upper Silesia boasts some of the best preserved buildings of Modernist architecture in Europe, which were designed and built in the 1930s.

Socialist Realism also brought examples of well-built buildings during the Communist regime.