Who runs Poland? Meet the Kings, Queens and Presidents of the past!

Listen to the latest episode of Baron Grindwal's Polish Treasure Hunt and download the series below!

We’re on a treasure hunt! That’s a POSZUKIWANIE SKARBÓW in Polish.

We’re using Baron Grindwal’s map to learn more about POLSKA – or Poland as we call it in the UK.

Baron Grindwal was a riddler – and so to explore POLSKA, we’re going to have to solve some of his riddles.

In this episode, we’re on a treasure hunt to find a famous leader of Poland. Maybe it’s a King or Queen – KRÓL means king and KRÓLOWA means Queen. Or perhaps it’s someone else – after all leaders come in all shapes and sizes! What we will meet is some of the most important people in Polish history.  So let’s get things underway with our first riddle.

Riddle 1: “Through battle he made Poland strong, near forty years his reign was long”

What about Boleslaw the Brave or BOLESŁAW CHROBRY? He was a duke who ruled the land which is now Poland nearly a thousand years ago. He introduced Christianity in 966 AD – and it’s thought he’s buried in the cathedral in a place called POZNAŃ.

Boleslaw expanded the country by conquering new territories. He was respected by neighbouring rulers because he was brave and wise, and Poland certainly became stronger under his rule. So that matches the clue!

After ruling the country for many years, Boleslaw was crowed as Poland’s first king shortly before his death in 1025. So whilst he was a king, he didn’t reign for 40 years!

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Ok, time for another riddle.  Riddle 2: “The man you seek is close at hand, he changed the face of Poland’s land”

Some of the most incredible changes in Poland didn’t happen in ancient times – they happened in the last hundred years, during which time Poland became an independent country again and not one governed by its neighbouring states. Let’s go back just 30 years…

LECH WAŁĘSA was the son of a farmer – not a king. He wasn’t around when the Baron made his map but he was certainly a very important leader in Poland’s history and one who made great changes. Following a period of social unrest, he helped form a movement called SOLIDARNOŚĆ – or SOLIDARITY in GDAŃSK.

SOLIDARITY helped change the way that Poland was run, improving conditions and giving its citizens a greater voice. After many years of fighting for the rights of the workers, he became Poland’s president in 1990.

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Hmm, must be getting there.  Time for one more riddle.  Riddle 3: “Now learn from this, here’s one last thing, find the crown and you’ve found the king”

So we are searching for a KING!

There’s a university in Krakow and its coat of arms has the crown of a king. We learn at Universities!

The crown represents the University’s founder, KAZIMIERZ WIELKI or Kazimierz the Great.

Ruling in the 14th century, he was a king who certainly put his stamp on the country! He won many battles, founded over 100 new towns and built many fortresses. So through battle, he certainly made Poland strong!

During his reign, the way buildings were constructed changed – moving away from wood to stone. So you could definitely say he changed the face of Poland.

Click here to learn more Polish!

Click here to learn more Polish!

Related Polish words and phrases:

KRÓL – king
KRÓLOWA – queen
ODWAŻNY – the Brave, brave
WIELKI – the Great, great
UNIA – union, commonwealth
LITWA – Lithuania
BITWA – battle
BITWA POD – battle of…
KORONA – crown
STO – hundred
TYSIĄC – thousand
SOLIDARNOŚĆ – solidarity
PRZYWÓDCA – leader

More to click…

Click to find out more about Bolesław the Great

Click to find out more about Lech Wałęsa

Click to find out more about Casimir the Great

Click to find out more about Solidarity

Explore more of Poland with Baron Grindwal!

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Learn Polish with support from the Polish Cultural Institute London.


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