The name Polska (Poland), applied in the early 11th century, comes from an ancient Slavic tribe known as the Polanie (field or plains dwellers), who settled in the lowlands between the Odra (Oder) and Wisła (Vistula) rivers sometime after the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Poland, then united with Lithuania, was one of the major European powers under the Jagiełłonian dynasty. When the dynasty came to an end in 1572, Poland entered a long period of decline, culminating in the partition of the country between Russia, Austria, and Prussia in 1772, 1793, and 1795.
Poland was again established as a sovereign state after World War I (1914-1918). It was partitioned a fourth time in 1939 by Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). After World War II (1939-1945), Polish territory suffered a substantial net loss, as the land ceded to the USSR in the east was nearly double that acquired from Germany in the west. Communists ruled Poland from 1945 until 1989, when political and economic unrest among Poles resulted in the collapse of the regime and its replacement by a non-Communist coalition. Poland joined the European Union in May 2004.
The great periods of Western cultural and intellectual expression are paralleled by the history of Polish creativity. The Italian Renaissance inspired a great burst of culture in Poland. The Reformation sped the development of a Polish vernacular literature, and in the 18th and 19th centuries Poles were greatly influenced by French culture. During the Stalinist period, which lasted in Poland from 1949 to 1955, artistic freedom was severely circumscribed by the government. After 1956 Poland’s cultural policies became generally more liberal.
Warsaw (Warszawa in Polish), capital and largest city of Poland, administrative center of the Mazovia region, is located in central Poland on the Wisla River. More than 90% of the city was destroyed during World War II, but the historic Old Town section was painstakingly reconstructed. The monumental Palace of Culture and Science in downtown is Warsaw’s leading landmark. With the fall of Communism in 1989 and an economic boom in the 1990s, new office blocks and hotels have transformed the city's skyline.
In 1999 Warsaw had a population of 1.6 million. Warsaw’s population declined during World War II, when as many as 670,000 residents died, including the city’s 375,000 Jews who were systematically exterminated by the Nazis. Warsaw’s population is now ethnically and religiously homogeneous. Most residents are ethnic Poles, and the population is predominantly Roman Catholic, though there is a small minority of Protestants. In the early postwar period, many Poles moved to Warsaw from the countryside. Migration from rural areas has slowed, however, in part because of a lack of housing in Warsaw.
Warsaw has made important contributions to European culture. Chopin studied at the musical academy. Chemist and physicist Marie Curie was born Maria Skłodowska in Warsaw in 1867. Famous writers associated with Warsaw include Bolesław Prus, whose novel Lalka (1890; The Doll, 1972) is set largely in the city; his contemporary Władysław Reymont, who won the Nobel Prize in 1916; and 20th-century novelists Jerzy Andrzejewski, Marek Hłasko, Andrzej Szczypiorski, and Tadeusz Konwicki. Ludwik Zamenhof, who in 1887 invented Esperanto (an artificial international language), was also a Warsaw resident.
According to legend, Warsaw received its name from two children, Wars and Sawa. Syrenka, a mermaid from the Wisła, predicted the founding of Warsaw to the pair, who then gave their names to the city. Warsaw was founded around the turn of the 14th century by Duke Bolesław of Mazovia, then an independent principality. In 1413 Warsaw became the regional capital. At that time its population was about 4,500. The city lay on major trade routes, benefiting from its location on the Wisła.
The InterContinental Warszawa offers 326 guest rooms, suites and 75 Residence Suites, which are all exquisitely furnished and fully equipped with the latest technology.
In three restaurants and two bars, guests can sample the best of Polish and international cuisine. Eleven banqueting rooms, all with natural daylight, are available on two floors and can accommodate events for up to 700 guests.
One of the most stunning features of the hotel is the Riverview Wellness Centre, located on floors 43 and 44, which offers a swimming pool, gym classes, fitness equipment, sauna, steam bath, solarium, massages and beauty treatments, all with a spectacular view of the city.
Unique to the city are the hotel's Residence Suites. These 75 apartments, in six different configurations, offer the ultimate services for those guests who wish to combine the advantages of having their own private space with the services of a five-star hotel. Built-in kitchens, comfortable furnishings and state-of-the-art technical equipment provide the feeling of a 'home away from home' that InterContinental is known for all over the world.
• InterContinental Warszawa
The EBL has negotiated special rates for Bed & Breakfast accommodation in the Warsaw Intercontinental hotel, where the championship will be held, as follows (room per night):
The rates include tax, buffet breakfast served in Down Town Restaurant and free use of River View Wellness Centre, as well as taxi transfer from and to the airport. Final bill will be issued in Polish Zloty applying National Bank of Poland exchange rate valid on the arrival day.
• 'Holiday Inn' Hotel
• 'Novotel' Hotel
• 'IBIS' Hotel
For security reasons, admittance in the venue will only be possible with a championship budge, which has to be shown and seen clearly. The badge is the sole document which demonstrates the accreditation to the Championship.