By Tim Lambert

966 The ruler of Poland becomes a Christian and his people follow

1201-1238 Henry the Bearded rules Poland. His wife encourages German merchants and craftsmen to come and live in Poland

1241-42 The Mongols invade Poland but soon withdraw

1308 The Teutonic Knights take Pomerania including Gdansk

1333-70 Under Kazimierz the Great Poland expands her territory

1374 The Privilege of Koszyce makes the nobles exempt from most kinds of tax

1410 Poland and Lithuania utterly defeat the Teutonic Knights at the battle of Grundwald

1505 The king of Poland agrees that no political changes will be made without the consent of the nobles

1543 Copernicus publishes his theory that the Earth and the other planets orbit the Sun

1569 Poland and Lithuania form a federation

1572 The Polish monarchy becomes elective

1573 The Compact of Warsaw allows freedom of worship in Poland

1767 Russia forces Poland to accept a treaty

1772 The first Partition of Poland takes place

1793 A second Partition of Poland takes place

1795 A third partition of Poland takes place

1815 At the Congress of Vienna the great powers divide up Poland

1830 Poles under Russian rule rebel but they are defeated

1863 Again the Poles rebel against the Russians but once again they are defeated

1918 After the First World War ends Poland becomes independent

1919-1921 Poland fights Russia

1921 A new constitution is published

1926 Pilsudski becomes dictator of Poland

1935 Pilsudski dies

1939 Germany invades Poland from the west. Russia invades Poland from the east.

1944 The Warsaw Uprising takes place

1945-47 The Russians impose Communism on the Poles

1956 Anti Communist riots take place in Poland

1970 More anti Communist riots take place

1980 Strikes take place in Poland

1981 The Communists impose martial law

1988 The Communists are forced to give and call elections

1989 Elections are held in Poland

1997 A new constitution is introduced in Poland

1999 Poland joins NATO

2004 Poland joins the EU

2012 The first Polish satellite PW-Sat is launched

A brief history of Poland

A brief history of Gdansk

A brief history of Krakow

A brief history of Poznan

A brief history of Torun

A brief history of Wroclaw

A history of Zakopane