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Situated between Eastern and Western European cultures and coined by a changing history, Poland developed a rich cultural heritage, including numerous historical monuments and 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.The origin of the name Poland derives from the West Slavic tribe of Polans (Polanie) that inhabited the Warta River basin of the historic Greater Poland region starting in the 6th century.In 1000, Boleslaw the Brave, continuing the policy of his father Mieszko, held a Congress of Gniezno and created the metropolis of Gniezno and the dioceses of Kraków, Kołobrzeg, and Wrocław.However, the pagan unrest led to the transfer of the capital to Kraków in 1038 by Casimir I the Restorer.During the 12th and 13th centuries, Poland became a destination for German, Flemish and to a lesser extent Scottish, Danish and Walloon migrants.Also, the Jews and Armenians began to settle and flourish in Poland during this era (see History of the Jews in Poland and Armenians in Poland).In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, followed by the Soviet Union invading Poland in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1989, most notably through the emergence of the Solidarity movement, Poland established itself as a democratic republic.
Poland began to form into a recognizable unitary and territorial entity around the middle of the 10th century under the Piast dynasty.
This union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest (about 1 million km²) and most populous countries of 16th- and 17th-century Europe, with a uniquely liberal political system which adopted Europe's first written national constitution, the Constitution of .