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Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine and Belarus to the east; and the Baltic Sea, Kaliningrad Oblast and Lithuania to the north. The total area of Poland is 312,679 square kilometres, making it the 71st largest country in the world and the 9th largest in Europe.

South of the Northern European Lowlands lie the regions of Silesia and Masovia, which are marked by broad ice-age river valleys. Farther south lies the Polish mountain region, including the Sudetes, the Kraków-Czestochowa Upland, the Swietokrzyskie Mountains, and the Carpathian Mountains, including the Beskids. The highest part of the Carpathians is the Tatra Mountains, along Poland's southern border.
The climate is mostly temperate throughout the country. The climate is oceanic in the north and west and becomes gradually warmer and continental towards the south and east. Summers are generally warm, with average temperatures between 18 and 30°C depending on a region. Winters are rather cold, with average temperatures around 3°C in the northwest and -6°C in the northeast. Precipitation falls throughout the year, although, especially in the east; winter is drier than summer.

The Polish language, part of the West Slavic branch of the Slavic languages, functions as the official language of Poland. Until recent decades Russian was commonly learned as a second language but has been replaced by English and German as the most common second languages studied and spoken.
From its beginnings, Poland has contributed substantially to the development of religious freedom. Since the country adopted Christianity in 966, it was also welcoming to other religions through a series of laws: Statute of Kalisz, Warsaw Confederation. However, the Polish king Wladyslaw II Jagiello was pressed by the Catholic Church to issue the Edict of Wielun, outlawing early Protestant Hussitism. Polish theological thought include theological movements, such as Calvinist Polish Brethren and a number of other Protestant groups, as well as atheists, such as ex-Jesuit philosopher Kazimierz Lyszczynski, one of the first atheist thinkers in Europe.

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