Poland inspires. Although more than 17% of its total population was killed in World War II (including millions of civilian men, women and children, in addition to more than half a million soldiers), Poland is now some 38 million strong. Led by a stable government that's becoming a player on the world stage, Poland's healthy economy now attracts billions of dollars in foreign investment.

Poland is a mix of old and new. You can visit ancient cities or those painstakingly rebuilt from the rubble of World War II. You might see farmers who still use horse-drawn plows and hand scythes for cutting wheat. Evidence of Poland's past abounds, from beautiful medieval castles to Chopin shrines to the stark structures of Nazi concentration camps.

But Poland is also a country that has high-speed Internet access, cell phones and fast cars. Its present and future are also unmistakable with its modern office, apartment and hotel complexes, shopping malls, ethnic restaurants, world-class concert halls and increasingly varied nightlife. Despite its strong regional diversity, Poland is also among the most unified of eastern European countries—bound by language, devout Catholicism and common history. It's no puzzle why Poland attracts so many travelers—and not just those of Polish heritage.

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