A picture is worth a thousand words

Students select photos on an assigned topic, attach short descriptions or stories and publish them on a visual platform where all participants can be inspired to interact, evaluate and contribute with more photographs and comments or stories.

Module 5:Milestones of contemporary history . Find out about each other's country c) Poland



It was very difficult to select  the most important events in some cathegories,as there were so many of them. Hovewer without a single moment of  hesitation, we have chosen  two milestonesof the recent Polish history, namely, the pontificate of Polish Pope John Paul II and arising of the SOLIDARITY Movement with Lech Walesa as the leader. 


 JOHN PAUL II  pontificate 1978 - 2005 and his canonization on 27 April 2014. 


Pope John Paul II was born Karol Józef Wojtyla on May 18, 1920, in Wadowice, Poland. He was ordained in 1946, became the bishop of Ombi in 1958, and became the archbishop of Krakow in 1964. One private institute was created in his name in Rouen. He was a vocal advocate for human rights and used his influence to effect political change. He died in Italy in 2005.

The beatification is the declaration that a person practiced the Christian virtues in an exemplary way.


   (by Hugues and Mathieu, France)

    Pope John Paul II (18 May 1920- 2 April 2005) was pope of the Catholic Church from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005. In catholicism, since his canonisation, he is referred as pope Saint John Paul II or Saint John Paul the Great. He was the second longest- serving pope in modern history after pope plus IX, who serverd for nearly 32 years, from 1846 to 1878. Born in Poland, John Paul II was the first non- Italian pope since the Dutch Adrian VI, who served from 1522 to 1523.

  His wish was to bring together Jews, Muslims and Christians. He fought for human rights and condemned apartheid in South Africa. Besides, he was against capital punishment and he had said 'A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil.' Although he was considered conservative, as he was against contraception, abortion and homosexual acts, he accepted the theory of evolution, with a major exception—the human soul. "If the human body has its origin in living material which pre-exists it, the spiritual soul is immediately created by God."

  In 2003 John Paul II criticised the 2003 American invasion of Iraq, saying  "No to war! War is not always inevitable. It is always a defeat for humanity." which led him to be a candidate to win the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize.

                                                                        (Eirini and Helen from Greece)



Arising of 'SOLIDARNOŚĆ' - SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT on 31 August 1980, with LECH WALESA as the leader.


Lech walesa was a president, but  one of a kind, he led Poland’s first independent trade union, ‘ Solidarity’ , and won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 and became president from 1990 untill 1995. After that he tried to become president again in 2000 but didn’t reach his goal. He became famous for his activism for human rights by creating ‘solidarity’ which was the first independent union from the Soviet block. The objectives of this organization was to secure workers’ rights and also give them back the right to strike. Lech Walesa was arrested many times but kept on fighting for human rights and that is the reason he will always be a hero in the eye’s of Poland.

(by Stijn, france)


Solidarity gave rise to a broad, non-violent, anti-communist social movement that, at its height, claimed some 9.4 million members. It is considered to have contributed greatly to the fall of communism.
Poland's communist government attempted to destroy the union by instituting martial law in 1981, followed by several years of political repression, but in the end was forced into negotiation. The Roundtable Talks between the government and the Solidarity-led opposition resulted in semi-free elections in 1989.

(by Aylin & Margarita, Turkey) 

Lech Walesa and others began a Polish non-governmental trade union on 14 August 1980,at the Lenin Shipyards.Poland's communist government attempted to destroy the union by instituting martial law in 1981.Solidarity gave rise to a broad anti-communist social movement that,at its height,claimed some 9,4 million members.In 1980 ,it became the first independent labor union in a Soviet-bloc country.In December 1990,Walesa was elected president.In August 1989,a Solitarity -led coalition government had been formed.That was the reason of the creation of a governmental system and  Poland's transformation into a modern democratic state.

(Vasiliki and Alexandra,Greece)



COPERNICUS SCIENCE CENTRE   opened on 5 November 2010  in Warsaw.  The museum contains over 450 interactive ehibits that enable visitors to carry out experiments and discover the laws of science on their own. 


The Science Picnic of Polish Radio and the Copernicus Science Centre are the largest outdoor events in Europe aimed to promote science which proves that science can be interesting for everyone. Every year, it attracts many people to Warszawa. Scientific institutions, universities, museums, and cultural institutions related to science .They present science to audiences of various ages, with the aid of experiments, demonstrations and interactive exhibits.

The Picnic is for science enthusiasts who like to see it from closer on and represents different scientific disciplines: natural science, social science, and humanities. It is also the place for those who haven’t found passion in science yet. These awesome picnic shows are a great way to find a new passion.  Each edition of the event involves about 250 institutions from Poland and abroad (including Greece, Germany, USA, GB and Italy).

At the 15th Science Picnic in 2011 around 100 000 people with adult,students and children came to the event to see and to understand how we can regroup science, culture, and everyday life.

 (by Berivan and Xavier, France)


Copernicus Science Centre is a science museum standing on the bank of the Vistula River in Warsaw, Poland. It contains over 450 interactive exhibits that enable visitors to single-handedly carry out experiments and discover the laws of science for themselves. The Centre is the largest institution of its type in Poland and one of the most advanced in Europe. On 25 September 2012 the Centre celebrated its two-millionth visitor.

  (by Aylin & Margarita, Turkey)


Τhe Copernicus Science Centre is a science museum which conducts modern science  communication through interactive exhibitions.It is one of the largest and most modern institutions of this type in Europe. The first module of centre building was opened on 5 November 2010.The Copernicus Science Centre has the status of a cultural institution that was established and is funded by the capital city Warsaw.




The 2012 UEFA European Championship ( Euro 2012 ) organized in Poland and Ukraine. 


The 2012 UEFA European Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2012, was the 14th championship organised by UEFA. It was co-hosted for the first time by Poland and Ukraine, and was won by Spain, who beat Italy 4–0 in the final at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine.

A total of 31 matches were played during Euro 2012, with Ukraine hosting 16 of them and Poland 15.

Each team had a "team base camp" for its stay between the matches. From an initial list of thirty-eight potential locations (twenty-one in Poland, seventeen in Ukraine), the national associations chose their locations in 2011. The teams trained and stayed at these locations throughout the tournament, travelling to games staged away from their bases. Thirteen teams stayed in Poland and three in Ukraine.

(by Anne-Sophie, France)

   The official tournament mascots "Slavek & Slavko" were designed by Warner Bros.Slavek and Slavko were twins that wore the national colours of the two host nations.The competition slogan "Creating History Together" was announced along with the logo .The official logo symbolises the nature of the rural areas of both countries.As part of the event landmark buildings in the eight host cities were illuminated with the tournament logo. The official Euro 2012 song is "Endless Summer" by the German singer Oceana.The Republic of Ireland has also   produced an official song:"The Rocky Road to Poland" recorded by a collaboration of Irish performers has already reached number 1 in Ireland. 

Here is one verse from 'Endless Summer':

"Moving up moving down

Keep on turning up the sound

We gon' party in the sun

Catch the feeling have some fun

Moving up,moving down

Let your love shine all around

You gon' be my number one

Make my heart beat like drum"

(Joanna and Markella from Greece)



The flood in May / June 2010.  Several counrties of central Europe were flooded. Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic were those which suffered most. 


These pictures show the flood which took place in Poland during May and June 2010. Several countries of Central Europe were touched (Austria, Serbia, Ukraine, Hungary…),  but Poland was the worst affected.

During the two months of the event, at least twenty-five people died in the floods and approximately 23,000 people were evacuated only in Poland, which cost approximately 2.5 billion euros. The city of Kraków declared a state of emergency. On 20 May, aid began arriving to Poland from several European Union countries.
This flood was provoked by a heavy rain which came down on the country during 24 hours. (by Solenne and Manon, France) 



   In 2010, in Poland, the floods were all over the country. For two whole months, the rain was pouring down non-stop. This situation lasted for a lot of days and was intensified on 20th May, when the Vistula's banks, which is a polish river, were destroyed. From 3 June, a plenty of floods occurred in the part of the city of Sandomierz, caused by the Trzesniowka river. As a result of the flooding, approximately 25 people died. Furthermore, many villages had to be evacuated and so, a number of 23,000 people abandoned their houses and their properties. Last but not least, the country of Poland was charged for an amount of 2,5 billion euros. Among these consequences, we should mention that, due to the breaking of a railway bridge by the river Poprad, at least three people fell from it into the rushing waters. Therefore, it is evident from the facts that the 2010 flooding was more severe than the last major flood, in 1997.

(Eleni from Greece) 



Two months' worth of rain poured down over a 24‑hour period.The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum was closed and important artifacts were relocated to higher ground as floodwaters approached.Due to the high level of the Vistula river, Kraków's Dębnicki bridge, located in the center of the city, and the Nowohucki bridge were closed on 18 May.

(by Daniel, Turkey)



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Greetings from Poland


Author: Monika Kowalska - Orlewska
Last editor: Monika Kowalska - Orlewska