Poland - Geography

Geography

Warsaw Katowice Poznań Gliwice Bydgoszcz Gdańsk Wrocław Kołobrzeg Szczecin Świnoujście G R E A T E R
P O L A N D
L E S S E R
P O L A N D
Oder Vistula Rysy
AUSTRIA
SLOVAKIA
UKRA-
INE
G
E
R
M
A
N
Y
BELA-
RUS
S I L E S I A Kraków Rzeszów Radom
Baltic
Sea
M A S O V I A P O M E R A N I A K U J A W Y
CZECH
REPUBLIC
LITHU-
ANIA
RUSSIA
Lublin Białystok Gdynia Częstochowa Łódź Ustka M A S U R I A
Raczki
Elbląskie
Bornholm (Kaliningrad Oblast)
(Denmark)



Poland's territory extends across several geographical regions, between latitudes 49° and 55° N, and longitudes 14° and 25° E. In the north-west is the Baltic seacoast, which extends from the Bay of Pomerania to the Gulf of Gdańsk. This coast is marked by several spits, coastal lakes (former bays that have been cut off from the sea), and dunes. The largely straight coastline is indented by the Szczecin Lagoon, the Bay of Puck, and the Vistula Lagoon. The centre and parts of the north lie within the North European Plain.

Rising gently above these lowlands is a geographical region comprising the four hilly districts of moraines and moraine-dammed lakes formed during and after the Pleistocene ice age. These lake districts are the Pomeranian Lake District, the Greater Polish Lake District, the Kashubian Lake District, and the Masurian Lake District. The Masurian Lake District is the largest of the four and covers much of north-eastern Poland. The lake districts form part of the Baltic Ridge, a series of moraine belts along the southern shore of the Baltic Sea.

South of the Northern European Lowlands lie the regions of Silesia and Masovia, which are marked by broad ice-age river valleys. Farther south lies the Polish mountain region, including the Sudetes, the Cracow-Częstochowa Upland, the Świętokrzyskie Mountains, and the Carpathian Mountains, including the Beskids. The highest part of the Carpathians is the Tatra Mountains, along Poland's southern border.

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