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Incentive attractions in Poland
The first Mecca of business tourism was the city of Gniezno in western Poland... in AD 1000. The Gniezno Convention attended by the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III and his entourage was one big promotional event staged by the Polish king Boleslaus the Bold. The Emperor, pleased with the hospitality accorded to him by the Polish hosts, offered Boleslaus the spear of St Maurice with these words: “...by the imperial crown I swear that the news brought to us did not give justice to what we have seen here...”. This was the first documented reference to Polish hospitality, attributed to the highest ranking lay official in the whole of the ancient Christian world. Noblesse obligé... By the way, you can see the famous spear of St Maurice in the Wawel Castle Treasury in Cracow..

If the imperial visit taking place more than a thousand years ago and the chronicled description of the glorious city of Gniezno is anything to go by, Poland is a rather ancient country, quite large by European standards (312,000 square kilometres, 124,800 square miles), with a population of almost 40 million. It is no wonder that most places of interest, historic castles, luxurious palaces or national parks, are scattered all over the country. It is a gift of nature that Poland’s landscapes are so diverse and it is a gift from our ancestors that they are filled with monuments of human ingenuity. Norman Davies, the British historian and author of “God’s Playground, A History of Poland”, wrote: “...the geographical makeup of Poland is hard to compare to anything in the world ...” This is more than a passing remark in the mouth of a respectable scholar and a great expert on Polish history. Mountains, highlands, sea coast, lake districts and vast forests, 23 national parks (of which seven are listed by UNESCO as Biosphere Reserves) make up for an environment ideally suited for a broad range of outdoor pursuits. Only in Poland you can find Europe’s best preserved primeval forest, only here there are hundreds of species of birds inhabiting Europe’s largest natural marshland habitat along the Biebrza river. During a period of more than a thousand years, the Polish State and Poland’s Roman Catholic Church bequeathed a wealth of material and spiritual relics.

In Poland, historic landmarks of all descriptions are abundant, of which a great many have been painstakingly restored and made accessible to the public, not only as museums and galleries, but also as living places, hotels, restaurants, wine cellars, clubs, private residences. These places are used for living and entertaining, also for re-enacting historic events to show us what life in the past was like.