Poland is a country with the largest territorial variation in the history of
Europe. These changes involved not only the temporary gaining and losing some
provinces that were later regained (as was the case for most European countries),
but a transition of the country from its natural geographical frames deep into
neighbouring ecumenes, while losing its own historical borders in the process.
There were also times when the Polish state would disappear from the map of
Europe for extended periods. Poland is also a country which for centuries was
a place for foreigners where foreigners settled, lead here by various reasons, and
left their mark, to a smaller or greater extent in the country's history. They also
left numerous places in the Republic that became important not only for Poles.
Today, these places belong to both Polish and non-Polish cultures and they
become a very significant element of our cultural heritage, a deposit within