Hugo Kołłątaj: the dominant ideologue of the Polish Enlightenment

Hugo Kołłątaj was a towering figure of the Polish Enlightenment: a statesman, political writer and philosopher, as well as a promoter of science and education. He was a spokesman for socio-economic and political changes and a co-creator of the Constitution of 3rd May 1791. He was born in Derkały Wielkie in Volhynia exactly 270 years…


To the Polish people. Manifesto of the Movement for Defence of Human and Citizen’s Rights

A wave of protests swept over Poland in June 1976 after the announcement of an increase in groceries’ prices. The authorities eventually resigned from price changes but introduced repression against the protesting workers. This met with a quick response from the intelligentsia, who organised financial and legal support for the repressed and soon started forming…


March Constitution

11 November 1918 is considered the symbolic date on which Poland regained its independence. However, the process of laying down the legal foundations of the reborn state continued for a number of years. One of the main things was to draw up a constitution. As early as February 1919, the single-chamber Legislative Sejm (parliament) elected…


The Zamoyski Academy: the heart of an ideal city

The grand opening of the Zamoyski Academy took place on 15 March 1595. This first Polish private university was located in a city purposefully built to reflect Renaissance ideals. Zamość is a unique city on a global scale, and was planned in accordance with the principles of the Renaissance “ideal city”. It was commissioned by…


The Letter of 34

In October 1956, when Władysław Gomułka became the First Secretary of the Polish United Workers’ Party (Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza, PZPR), the society started to hope for the liberalisation of the communist system and more social freedom. Such hopes, expressed mainly by the intelligentsia, proved to be vain. In the autumn of 1957, the relations…


The Congress of Gniezno: The first Polish-German summit

In March 1000, an extraordinary event took place. The Holy Roman Emperor Otton III visited Gniezno, the then capital of the Polish state. The official aim of the visit to the state ruled by Bolesław Chrobry, was a pilgrimage to the grave of Saint Adalbert. In the mid 10th century, under the rule of Duke…


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