Warsaw is the only European capital with a wild river bank. On Warsaw’s right bank of the Vistula is a nature reserve and habitat for many species of birds threatened with extinction like cormorants, kingfishers and herons. In 2016 The Guardian placed the Vistula’s beaches in Warsaw among the ten best urban beaches in the world.
The Vistula (Polish: Wisła) was mentioned over 2000 years ago as Viscla (Latin) by the Roman author Gaius Plinius Secundus, called Pliny the Elder. It`s the longest river in Poland, at 1,047 kilometres (651 miles) in length. It flows through many Polish cities including Kraków, Warsaw, Płock, Toruń and Gdańsk, where it flows into the Baltic Sea. It’s closely bound with Polish history and culture. Sometimes Polish people use the term “Land of Vistula” (kraj nad Wisłą) as synonymous with Poland. It`s often called “the queen of Polish rivers”.
Unfortunately this year, Poland will probably face the worst drought in a century. Scientists speculate in future the Vistula may temporarily dry out.
photo: Piotr Ważyński