Poznan

Poznań is perceived as the historical capital of Greater Poland — a region in central-western Poland. In terms of population, it's the fifth largest Polish city.

It carries many ages of tradition, reaching all the way back to the 10th century, and the beginnings of the Polish nation. For this reason in 2008 Poznań was declared a historical monument. Poznań's cathedral contains tombs of the first rulers: Mieszko I, and Boleslaus the Brave.

One of historical sites which deserves special mention is the Poznań Citadel. This set of fortifications (18 forts) developed in the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century is Europe's third largest system of this type, with a circumference of almost 30 kilometres. Due to it being a bat habitat, Poznań Citadel historical fortifications are under special protection.

Poznań earned its right to be called the city of greenery, since forest regions uptake almost one third of the city area — approximately 70 thousand square metres. There are two natural reserves within the city borders: Morasko Meteorite, and Żurawiniec.

Nearly 38 percent of tourists visit the city for business. They participate in fairs, conferences, and trainings. Tourists aiming for sightseeing and recreation are the second biggest group.

Poznań is the centre of industry, trade, logistics, and business tourism. Slightly less appealing to investors than Warsaw, it's still one of the most attractive investment locations in Poland in terms of reliability. Poznań hosts the annual Poznań International Fair — Poland's oldest and largest event of this type.

Most attractive recreational features are focused around Lake Malta. Except for biking and walking trails, this area offers such attractions as an all-year-long Malta Ski slope, a mini-golf course, boules and bowling alley — Bula Park, Alpine Coaster, a zoological garden, Malta Thermes aqua-park, Malta Gallery shopping centre, and multiple playgrounds, restaurants, and spas.

Malta also features a summer fountain which reaches as high as 200 feet, Maltanka narrow gauge railway which runs along the lakeshore, a sledging course next to the ski slope, and a summer theatre. Malta is also the host of multiple concerts and art events, associated with a famous international festival, which has been gathering enthusiasts of experimental theatre for 20 years.

Poznań's old town is filled with monuments of various eras. The city hall at the Old Market Square is an ideal example of Renaissance architecture. It features the town's famous billy-goats. Fara church and the former Jesuit college represent Baroque. Poznań also features Poland's oldest cathedral. Other parts of town feature Secession monuments, and the monumental style of the Caesar's District.

The promenade leading to the Old City features Old Brewery — an exceptional Centre of Trade, Art, and Business, which received the ISCS award of "the best shopping centre worldwide" in 2008.
Poznań will be one of the cities hosting the Euro 2012 championship.

TogaThe TOGA restaurant, known for its unique and light cuisine, derives its inspirations mostly from Polish courtly and bourgeois culinary traditions. During the summer months TOGA organizes "plane tree parties" at the Arkadia building terrace, where guests may admire the view of Freedom Square, Bazar Hotel, and the National Museum. Toga is a member of the Greater Poland Culinary Heritage network, and the Slow Food organization, which seeks out and promotes local, environment-friendly products, and restaurants which utilize those products. Villa MagnoliaHistoric building of the Villa Magnolia restaurant is located next to Wilson park, Poznań Greenhouse, and MTP fair grounds. Situated only a single junction away from the train station, it's a perfect location for both tourists and businessmen. Villa Magnolia's chef, Jacek Leśniewicz-Kuszka, personally supervises all cooking facilities, which are also open to public. Passionately developed Italian and traditional Polish cuisine courses, served in the beautiful interior of the Villa Magnolia restaurant, ensure wondrous culinary reminiscences of Poznań. Platinum Palace Residence RestaurantPlatinum Palace features Poznań's top culinary talents. Dominik Brodziak, the restaurant's chef, has represented Poland in the Bocuse d'Or 2008 competition. His team won this year's Polish Culinary Cup. Perfect technique, experiences, and extraordinary creativity enable guests to experience Europe's top cuisine. Vine BridgeAn open-minded, dynamic place. Focused on the future, but also utilizing past generation achievements. Satisfaction is guaranteed due to excellent, lively cuisine, top selection of wines, and a chance to see an extraordinary part of the city.Vine Bridge is Poznań's smallest restaurant, located next to the Bishop Jordan Bridge, which leads to the Ostrów Tumski island. It provides only two tables, where an extraordinary meal is prepared with guests watching. BrovariaModern and fashionable Brovaria attracts guests with locally brewed beer, interesting interiors, and lively bars. Brovaria is also a restaurant, with Rafał Jelewski, the only Polish finalist of the Bocuse d'Or competition, as its chef. Together with Paweł Rozmiarek, a two-time winner of the Polish Culinary Cup, they develop extraordinarily tasteful courses, deriving their inspiration from forgotten Polish traditions, and modern international trends. Gospoda pod KoziołkamiRegional cuisine enthusiasts should start their culinary endeavours at "Gospoda pod Koziołkami" ("Billy Goat Tavern"). This restaurant is located at the centre of the Old Marketplace, inside a historical tenement house. Pierogi (stuffed dumplings), potatoes with gzik sauce (made from white cheese, sour milk, chives, and radish), grey noodles, and duck with dumplings from a rag, have been winning the hearts of tourists in Poznań for years. MOSAICA (IBB Andersia Hotel)Four sections, four kinds of lighting, four unique arrangements. Mosaica is a compromise of four elements, expressed with colours, arrangements, and architecture. Guests may decide in which surroundings they prefer to taste the excellent Italian pasta, juicy steak, or mouth-watering, traditional Poznań duck. Sensuous, calm, live piano music creates an unforgettable atmosphere, making Mosaica restaurant a magical place, satisfying not only the sense of taste.
Sheraton Poznan HotelSheraton Poznan Hotel is a five-star facility where, after a long day of sightseeing or business meetings, one will find top quality service and friendly atmosphere, not to mention the most distinguished comfort. Sheraton is right across the street from the Poznań Fair Grounds, a 15-minute drive from the airport and just 700 meters away from the Central Railway Station. IBB AndersiaBB Andersia Hotel is located in a tall, glazed building in the heart of the city, just in front of Old Brewery Shopping Mall. Guest can appreciate the design and functionality of the stylish décor as well as the modern interior, chic and top-notch quality materials. NH PoznańNH Poznań is a four-star hotel situated right in the heart of Poznań. Its central location is ideal for exploring the cultural and historic highlights of the city such as the Old Market, National Opera, the trade fair and Old Brewery. VivaldiOn the one hand, there is the cosy and homely hostel-like atmosphere, on the other hand - comfort and professional service, as there should be in a 4-star hotel. After all day's work you can use the hotel swimming-pool. It has undercurrent appliances with an individually regulated strain. After a bath, be sure to visit steam sauna! Mercure PoznańThe four-star Mercure Poznań Hotel is synonymous with comfort and relaxation. The hotel is situated near the exhibition area, the business and commercial area of the city, the Old Town and the airport. This is a great place for a business visit or a vacation. The hotel has 228 comfortable rooms, 9 conference rooms with wireless Internet access, a restaurant serving Polish dishes, a bar, fitness centre and a large car park. HOT_elarniaOccupying a charming thatched housed and boasting cool, minimalist design and great spa facilities, HOT_elarnia is located in Puszczykowo, right on the edge of the Wielkopolski National Park. A beech tree lane leads you to HOT_elarnia Hotel and Spa. Its peaceful environment, intimate atmosphere and elegance promise a memorable stay. You can relax on the garden terrace or at the hotel's modern restaurant and bar. But the highlight of the hotel is its spa and wellness centre. It includes a stylish indoor swimming pool and great sauna, massage, jacuzzi and hammam facilities. Hotel Novotel Poznań MaltaThe Novotel Poznań Malta Hotel is situated 1.6 miles (2.5 km) from the city centre, by Lake Malta, in green surroundings. Four fully equipped conference rooms and free Wi-Fi make the hotel perfect for business travellers. Tourists visiting Poznań will enjoy the swimming pool, garden, terrace and the option to hire bicycles. The hotel also offers a free fitness studio, restaurant and a large car park. HP Park PoznańHP Park Poznań hotel is situated on the Malta lake shore, just 4 km from the city centre, Old Market Square and Poznań International Fair exhibition halls. Next to the hotel and around the lake you can enjoy excellent recreation grounds such as artificial ski slope, luge track and cycle tracks. You can also reach the picturesque zoological garden on the narrow-gauge railway. Villa Platinum Palace ResidenceVilla Platinum Palace Residence. It is an outstanding place made for lovers of beautiful design, exquisite cuisine and for people who expect the highest standards of service.
Ostrów TumskiOur trip begins at Ostrów Tumski, an island between the rivers of Warta and Cybina. This is where a powerful gord was erected in the 10th century, which was the best fortified gord in Poland along with Gniezno gord. Poznań's role at the time was decided by its strategic location. There were no such good conditions to cross Warta river for dozens of kilometres neither south, nor north of the gord. Additionally Poznań secured Gniezno from the west against potential German incursion. Even the emperor Henry II, who reached Poznań with his army in 1005, did not attempt to conquer it, and instead made a pact with Boleslaus the Brave. Until the 13th century, Poznań gord functioned as an important link in Poland's defence system. It was surrounded by an embankment, which was 32 to 40 feet tall, and up to 82 feet wide. This embankment was built of soil, stone, and wood, and was rebuilt and strengthened multiple times. Fragments of this embankment remained till this day, and shall soon become a key attraction of the now developed archaeological reserve at Posadzego Street. Entry to the gord was guarded using two wooden gates, and the system was enhanced with observation towers. The Poznań gord was composed of two parts. The first was the triangular duke's gord, now surrounded by Panny Marii Street, Ostrów Tumski and Cathedral Square. Its key feature was the duke's palace with a chapel (palatium), localized approximately at the site of the current Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The second part of the gord, surrounded by separate embankments, was placed around the cathedral church, which was built in 968. The system was enhanced with a fortified merchant and artisan settlement, now between the streets of Wyszyńskiego, Zagórze and Wieżowa. In 1038 the gord was burned down by Bohemian duke Bretislaus I. This was the time, as Gallus Anonymous wrote, when wild animals occupied the Poznań cathedral, and the capital was transferred to Cracow. However, the Poznań gord was quickly rebuilt, and when in 1138 Poland was fragmented into provinces, Poznań became the capital of Greater Poland. The Old Town In 1253 Poznań received city rights, and at the left bank of the river development of a new, ideal medieval town began. The Old Market Square was delimited, along with equal tenement house frontages, and a perpendicular street layout, but also a line of walls to protect the town. Fortifications were solid, and the town siege in 1331 (by King of Bohemia John the Blind) failed. The ancient town wall lines are currently marked in Poznań using red cobblestones. When taking a walk from the direction of Ostrów Tumski, those cobblestones may be seen on Wielka Street. This street's irregular shape is due to the fact, that it used to feature the Grand Gate, one of four gates leading into the town. Our walk along medieval fortifications truly starts at the crossing of Wroniecka Street and Stawna Street. Fragments of Wroniecka Gate, two defensive towers, and a 136-feet long section of the wall were reconstructed here. The entire circumference of the walls in the Middle Ages amounted to 2300 steps (approximately 5660 feet). The reconstructed section of the wall includes strong fortifications, enhanced with a pond and a moat fed by Bodganka river waters. There were never any attempts to capture the city from this direction. The section of the original outer wall is now part of the first building next to Solna Street (12 Wroniecka Street). The wall's original height in this location amounted to 38 feet, and the wall was strengthened with multiple defensive towers. One of them is passed along the route, and called Catherine's Defensive Tower. It was built in the 14th century, and expanded in the 16th century. Defensive towers were three-storey high, and the two top stories included loopholes. Upon reaching the end of the reconstructed city wall, remains of one of the outer wall defensive towers may be seen next to Masztalarska Street. They were preserved due to the inclusion of fortification fragments into a 19th century tenement house. When the city was cleaned up after the destruction during World War II, the defensive tower was discovered, and preserved in its original form. Its distinctive features are 5 feet thick walls, and multiple loopholes. The walk continues along Zamkowa Street, up towards the Przemysł Hill, where the Royal Castle was built in the 13th century (an important part of medieval fortifications). The castle had representative function as well, and in 1295 it became the headquarters of the King of Poland — Przemysł II. It featured a defensive tower, and the walls were 10 feet thick. The castle was rebuilt multiple times, and in the 18th century, upon its debris, buildings were erected, which remain there till this day. They house the Museum of Applied Art. When going down the Przemysł Hill towards Ludgarda Street, a preserved section of the outer wall is visible, the remaining part of which was included into the elevation of the National Museum building. This is where the town was most often under siege, and this wall was most prone to attacks. The last preserved fragment of medieval fortifications is located between Wroniecka Street and the former Jesuit College. Wroniecka Street featured the Wroniecka Gate, and this is where the preserved section of the wall is located. This section by the end of the 18th century was included into the Saski Hotel elevation. The exposed section of the wall was built between the 17th and the 18th century, when the Jesuits dismantled a part of the old wall, in order to place the church and the college in its place. In return for being allowed to do so, they were obliged to rebuild the walls and defensive towers. Poznań Citadel The strategic role of Poznań was enhanced, when due to the second partition of Poland it became part of Prussia (1793), and when the border between the Prussian partition and the Russian partition was moved towards the west after the Napoleonic wars (1815). It is then when the city became a location of immense strategic importance, because in case of a conflict the capital of the province was located on the shortest route between Berlin, Warsaw and Moscow. This is when fortifying began. The primary Winiary Fort (Citadel) was erected on the hill above the 19th century city, which was then enclosed by tight walls of the fortress. In the second half of the 19th century the fortress was enhanced with 18 forts, which surrounded the city, located at far foregrounds. Fortifications were enhanced until the mobilization before World War I, making Poznań one of the largest military complexes in Europe, able to withstand long-term sieges. However, at the beginning of the 20th century, the dismantling of the internal fortification ring began, due to the fact that it no longer had any important military function (because of military technology developments). It was partially replaced by the Castle District (amongst others). As a fortress, Poznań was tested in practice only once, in 1945, when the Germans defended it against incoming Soviet troops. There was no way to protect the city, but old Prussian fortifications enabled the Germans to hold it for a month. Remains of those fortifications have been preserved till this day. The largest fort in the city, on the Winiary Hill (Citadel), was in most part deconstructed, and turned into a park. The old War Lab now houses the Armaments Museum, and the basement of the Minor Sluice houses the Museum of the Poznań Army. The only preserved piece of the internal ring is the blockhouse of Fort Colomb, located in Marcinkowski Park. It now houses a pub, and therefore its interior is open to public. All 18 forts (9 major ones and 9 minor ones) surrounding the city were also preserved (in a better or worse state). Currently visitors are only allowed to see Fort VII, which now houses the Museum of Greater Poland Martyrology, dedicated to the Nazi concentration camp which was located here during World War II. Since 9 years, during the June Fort Weekend, one of the forts is opened to public every year, and the guides wear historical uniforms for this occasion.
The Old Market Square and its surroundings are one of the most interesting places to visit in Poznań. A beautiful, Renaissance city hall, historical tenement houses, lovely small streets, lots of museums, restaurants, cafés, and pedestrians make this place special. The Old Market Square is the heart of Poznań. Between summer and autumn it's surrounded by café yards, and it's full of life until very late hours. This is also where lots of events, shows, and concerts take place. We propose to enter the Old Market Square via the Wielka (Grand) Street, because this is where the primary gate was located in the Middle Ages, and this gate was used by important guests to enter the city. It's worth noticing the red cobblestones, that appear about halfway towards the Old Market Square. This is the way Poznań marks the location of historical city walls. Continuing, we approach the Old Market Square area. This area was delimited in 1253, when Poznań utilized German laws and regulations. According to those, it was to become a perfect medieval city. The city's central plaza was delimited on a basis of a 141 meter by 141 meter square. Every side of this square featured 3 streets leading to it and from it, and every frontage by the plaza was initially subdivided into 8 equal lots. This layout was maintained for most frontages, which feature 8 tenement houses. The Old Market Square features the loveliest Renaissance city hall north of the Alps. It was designed by Giovanni Battista di Quadro from Lugano in the middle of the 16th century. Monumental front façade with a three-storey arcade loggia is crowned with a tall attic wall and three towers. The building used to be the headquarters of the city council. Its most representative room is the Renaissance Room (also called the Great Hall), with a famous dome designed in 1555. Currently the city hall building houses the Museum of the History of the City of Poznań. In 1551 a billy-goat clock was installed, designed by Bartholomew Wolf from Gubin. Every day, when the city hall clock strikes noon, the cupola mounted above the clock on the front elevation of the building opens its doors, and two mechanical billy-goats appear. They are powered by the clock, and the goats ram their horns against one another 12 times. There is a legend behind the goats. Upon completing the clock, Bartholomew Wolf decided to show it to Poznań councillors and the voivode. A banquet was prepared, but the cook had burnt a roast deer, and attempted to replace it by stealing two goats. However, the goats escaped and ran up the city hall tower, where they attracted the attention of the guests, when they began to butt each other. It is then, that the voivode ordered that two mechanical goats be incorporated into the new clock.The city hall is surrounded by colourful Merchant Houses with distinctive arcades, used in the past to trade fish, candles, and salt, and the City Weighing House building, reconstructed after the war according to the initial Quadro design. There is a pillory in front of the city hall — a pole with a sculpture of a headsman holding a sword, where punishment used to be dealt. The route now leads to the left, along the eastern frontage of the marketplace. It passes along the Museum of Musical Instruments, one of very few such establishments in Europe, and reaches the "Under the Roof" tenement house. A legend is associated with this tenement house, pertaining to the stay by King Augustus II the Strong. Supposedly the monarch, celebrating in Poznań, fell out of the window during one of the banquets, and fell straight down to the distinctive roof, which saved his life. A stone plaque located on the left of the front door commemorates the water level during the great flood of 1736. The quarter next to the southeast corner of the marketplace is occupied by the Górka Family Palace, erected in the middle of the 16th century. It used to be one of the most beautiful Renaissance city palaces in the Republic of Poland. This luxurious building was adorned by a garden and a pool full of fish, and with a roof-mounted fountain. During the war this building was completely destroyed by fire. It was later reconstructed according to the shape it had after being rebuilt in the 18th century. An original, lavishly decorated Renaissance portal next to the Klasztorna Street, which features the original construction date, is a remainder of the previous appearance of this residence. The building now houses the Archaeological Museum, which features not only expositions on the history of Greater Poland, but also a large collection of Egyptian and Nubian antiques. The western wall of the museum features a print by Braun and Hogenberg from the 17th century, depicting the medieval town. This is the oldest known picture of the city. It clearly shows Ostrów Tumski island and its cathedral, city walls with gates, and the no longer existing St. Maria Magdalena Collegiate Church with a 90 meter tower. Whilst following Świętosławska Street we reach one of Poland's most sumptuous Baroque temples — Bishop Stanisław's Collegiate Parish Church (Fara Church). Its impressively large interior is maintained in Roman Baroque style. It took 50 years for the Jesuits to build the Fara Church. The interior delights visitors with its size and richness. The portal located in the middle of the façade, and the primary altar were designed by Pompeo Ferrari. The central point of the vault, at the crossing of the primary nave and the transept, features a pseudo-dome created by an illusionist painting by Stanisław Wróblewski. The interior of the inexistent hemisphere dome is obtained using painting techniques. The 230-ton organ, almost perfectly preserved, were designed by a famous 19th century organ builder — Friedrich Ladegast. The route now leads back to the marketplace, and then to its western frontage, passing along the monument of John Nepomucene, a protector from floods. At the corner of Franciszkańska Street we see the late Baroque Działyński Palace. It was built between 1773 and 1787. This building features two entry gates, which used to enable entry by coaches. The Classicist façade is ornamented by sculptures. The attic features reliefs depicting triumph and sacrifice processions. A sculpture in the middle depicts a pelican with wings wide open, a symbol of generosity. The most enchanting room in the palace is the lavishly decorated Red Room, used for prestigious meetings. It enables entry to a balcony with a Baroque balustrade, which covers the entire width of the front elevation. The name of this room comes from the colour of its walls, which contrasts with the white, stuccowork-ornamented ceiling. In the 19th century, the Działyński Palace was the centre of Polish cultural life. It featured concerts, lectures in Polish, and exhibitions. Facing the Działyński Palace is the Odwach — a guardhouse erected in the 18th century. The initiator and the benefactor of this guardhouse was Kazimierz Raczyński, general prefect of Greater Poland at the time. Currently Odwach houses a Museum of Greater Poland Uprising 1918-1919. Following Franciszkańska Street upwards, we reach a small hill, called the Przemysł Hill, which features the remains of the Royal Castle. The history of the Royal Castle goes way back to the founding of Poznań City. It used to be the residence of King Przemysł II, before he was murdered in 1296 by the electors of Brandenburg. At the time of Casimir III the Great it was the largest secular object in the country. During the reconstruction of 1959-1964, only the Raczyński archive was rebuilt. Currently it houses the Museum of Applied Art. The Royal Castle is faced by the late Baroque Church of St. Francis Seraphic. For over 300 years, the church has housed a painting of the Miracle-Working Virgin Mary, also known as the Lady of Poznań. The route now follows Ludgarda Street, passing along the remains of ancient city walls on the right. A basement of the church on the left houses the Model of Old Poznań. It depicts Poznań during Piast times (approximately year 1000), and in Renaissance times (approximately 16th century).The route now turns left to Paderewski Street, and ends back at the marketplace.
This excursion features oldest Poznań areas, starting from Ostrów Tumski (meaning "Cathedral Island"), all the way up to Śródka and Komandoria. Ostrów Tumski, surrounded by Warta river and its affluent — Cybina, was easy to defend, and the first settlement was founded in this area already in the 9th century. The gord grew quickly, becoming one of the key Piast ruling centres (Piasts were the first historical ruling dynasty of Poland). In the middle of the 10th century, upon the decision of duke Mieszko I, the area was surrounded with solid embankments. Its further development was associated with conversion to Christianity in 966. Soon after, a duke's palace was built within the gord, including a chapel of Blessed Virgin Mary, and Poland's first episcopate was established, along with the first cathedral. In 1038 the gord was destroyed due to the raid by Bohemian duke Bretislaus I. Once rebuilt, it never recovered its capital rank, as the country capital was moved to Cracow. Ostrów Tumski later became the residence of the dukes of Greater Poland. In the middle of the 13th century, when duke Przemysł I decided to develop the city on the left bank of Warta river, Ostrów Tumski was given over to Poznań bishops. Historical layout of Ostrów Tumski maintained its original form with no major changes until 1960s, when a new main road was built across the island — currently known as Primate Stefan Wyszyński Street. Ostrów Tumski features the Archcathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul. Importance of this cathedral is emphasized by the fact, that it was the place of burial for three kings and five dukes of Poland's oldest dynasty — Piasts (including Mieszko I and Boleslaus the Brave). Originally built in 968, it has been destroyed multiple times due to natural disasters and wars, which caused it to change its architectural form. After World War II it was rebuilt in Gothic style, however its interior clearly shows signs of Renaissance. Inside, the following details deserve notable mention: The Golden Chapel — the mausoleum of Mieszko I and Boleslaus the Brave, the primary altar in Gothic style, and brazen tomb slabs from 14th and 15th century, some of which were developed by the Vichner workshop in Nuremberg. Remains of the oldest, pre-Romanesque and Romanesque cathedral are still visible in the basements: fragments of walls, baptismal bowl, and the tombs of initial rulers. The cathedral is located right next to the Gothic Church of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, built in the 15th century in a spot previously occupied by the duke's residence. The eastern wall of this church features a furrowed stone, which according to the legend was touched by Polish soldiers using swords, before going to battle, as a sign of their willingness to fight under the protection of the Blessed Virgin. This stone is often called the Devil's Stone as well. According to another legend, the devil, hoping to eradicate church foundations, pulled the stone with such strength, that deep furrows remained. The route now leads from the cathedral place to northbound Lubrański Street. A large brick building is seen on the right. This is the historical Lubrański Academy, established in the 16th century by bishop Jan Lubrański. This was Poland's first Renaissance humanism school, and the first Poznań college. Currently the building houses the Archdiocese Museum. The museum's fixed exposition contains primarily sacral antiques gathered from various Greater Poland churches. The key showpiece is the sword of St. Paul. According to the legend, this was the sword used by the apostle to cut the high priest's ear in the Olive Garden at the time Christ was arrested. The sword was conveyed by Bishop Jordan. In front of the museum one will find the memorial of Jan Kochanowski, erected in 1884, 300 years after the poet's demise. Due to the fact, that Prussian authorities at the time disallowed the development of a memorial for a Polish poet, the memorial was erected for him as a provost of Poznań's cathedral chapter — Jan Kochanowski held this office between 1564 and 1574, despite the fact that he probably never visited Poznań. The route now leads right, via the Ignacy Posadzy Street, which in turn leads to the Pediment of the Tumska Floodgate — the remains of Prussian fortifications of the 19th century. Then the route leads right again, back towards the cathedral, and then left, via the Bishop Jordan Bridge built in 2007, to Śródka. Śródka was initially the duke's settlement. The name comes from a day of the week ("środa" — Wednesday), the day of a weekly trade fair. Since the 13th century Śródka had a local government, and since the 15th century — city rights. In 1800 it was merged into Poznań, along with Ostrów Tumski. Ostrówek Street, which used to be a town on its own, and called the smallest town in the Crown of Poland, leads to Śródka Marketplace, the central spot of the district. A large part of this marketplace was destroyed during the war, and then again in 1960s and 1970s, due to the development of Chwaliszewska Route, and Podwale Street. The remaining part of this marketplace features the Gothic Church of St. Margaret built in the 16th century, and the former Philippine Monastery, built in the 18th century.The route now leads towards the Rondo Środka roundabout, and via an underground passage to the Church of St. John of Jerusalem Outside the Walls. This church is one of Poland's oldest brick buildings, erected at the turn of the 12th and 13th century. The first church developed in this spot was founded by Mieszko III the Old, and granted (along with a pilgrims' hospice and the grounds) to the Order of Knights Hospitaller, dedicated to provide care for pilgrims. The term "Outside the Walls" refers to the fact that the church was located outside the medieval town fortifications. The Order of Hospitallers is also the source of names Komandoria (area of the settlement granted to the Order), and Malta (the grounds granted to the Hospitallers as the salary to maintain the hospice). Komandoria (commandery) meant the Order's administrative region. Poznań's commandery is the oldest one in Poland, and lasted until 1832. The name Malta comes from the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the headquarters of which were located on the Malta island.
The Old Market SquareThe Old Market Square is the heart of the city. A square surrounded by picturesque tenement houses, featuring museums, restaurants, clubs, discos, and pubs. However, that what has been drawing most attention for hundreds of years, is the 14th century city hall. The building, called the pearl of Renaissance, has been designed by Giovanni Battista di Quadro, an architect from Lugano. Every noon a large crowd of onlookers gathers by the city hall. The reason is famous Poznań billy-goats, which come out at this hour to butt each other twelve times.Archcathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. PaulPoland's first cathedral, located at Ostrów Tumski. In terms of architecture, the cathedral was rebuilt in various styles: Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Neo-Classicist, and after the last war — once more Gothic. Inside the basilica one may find a collection of late Gothic and Renaissance brazen tomb slabs designed by Nuremberg masters — it's a unique attraction, not only for those who studied Art History. The basement contains remains of Roman baptistery, bishop sarcophagi, and the tombs of the first rulers of Poland: Mieszko I, and Boleslaus the Brave.Lake MaltaAn artificial lake formed in 1950s, which is often called Europe's "prettiest kayaking and rowing track". Actually, it's an entire recreation site, with an all-year-long (!) ski and sledging slope, a mini-golf course, and a bowling and boules park. The newest investment is Malta Thermes — an aqua-park supplied with thermal waters from sources located 1.3 km underground, discovered in 1982. Thermes are reachable via "Maltanka" — a park railway. Its tracks are located along the northern edge of Lake Malta, and reach all the way to the New Zoo. Since 1994 it's serviced by a motor wagon called "ryjek" ("snout"), Europe's oldest (built in 1932) working motor wagon.The New ZooOne of Poland's largest zoological gardens (approximately 120 hectares). It's an attraction for an entire weekend by itself. It is here, where Europe's largest elephant-house was commissioned in 2009. This zoo also contains an open Siberian tiger run — animals not suitable for petting. However, inhabitants of little zoo are easy to befriend: pot-bellied pigs, donkeys, and rabbits. If those beasts are still too large and too scary, a butterfly-house is a good place to visit instead.The Old BreweryAward-winning centre of trade, art, and business, judged as world's best shopping centre in 2006. Its unusual architecture meets industrial past, and features lots of nooks hiding relics of beer-brewing time: ceramic caps, equipment, safety plates. This area is filled with modern art, including art galleries, theatres, and an important contemporary dance centre. Along with surrounding office blocks and hotels, it forms the beginning of Poznań's modern cityscape.Citadel ParkPoznań's largest city park (approximately 100 hectares). Until 19th century this area was simply a hill housing a picturesque Winiary village. In mid-19th century, the hill was rebuilt into a tremendous fort — a crowning of Poznań citadel, which secured the road to Berlin in case of a war with Russia. This fort was used during wartime only once, when such citadels seemed a relic of the past. It was the last bastion of Nazi resistance in 1945. After the war, this area was redesigned into a park. Independent of its name, it's still one of Poznań's favourite recreational spots featuring two museums: Armaments Museum and Museum of the Poznań Army.PalmiarniaOne of Europe's largest greenhouses, a hundred years old this year. It features ten pavilions, 17 thousand plants, and a collection of exotic fish. Take a trip through world's all climate zones (except the polar zone) in a single afternoon. The greenhouse is located in one of Poznań's oldest city parks — the Woodrow Wilson park.St. Maria Magdalena Collegiate ChurchSt. Maria Magdalena Collegiate Church usually called Poznań's Fara, is one of the most beautiful Baroque churches in Poland, in a rare "Dark Baroque" style. It was erected at the turn of the 17th and 18th century, and is famous for its Friedrich Ladegast organ. Fara features many concerts, including "Ladegast po zmroku" ("Ladegast at Dawn"), when a small audience gets a chance to listen to a choir situated on an empora, directly next to the 19th century instrument.Lech Visitors CentreIf you want to see how beer is made in a modern brewery, take a trip along the whole beer production cycle, all the way to the bottling plant, and then follow up with a tasting event in a company pub. Excursions are also organized during night time, and may feature a professional keeper — beer expert. Have you ever thought what to expect, if beer smells like... bananas or milk? Take the trip to learn about such details.Saint Martin Street Name Day (November 11)One of the most important annual events in Poznań. A parade along the main city street, led by the saint riding in armour, concluded by a fest and a bunch of concerts. It's one of those days, when Poznań residents forget their favourite potatoes, and feast on something more exquisite, i.e. Saint Martin Croissants (officially acknowledged by the EU as a regional products).
Poznań is known around the world as an important international trade-fair centre. Every year about 30 international and national events are held here. Specialist trade fairs, such as the Polagra Fair, featuring food products, and the Budma Fair, featuring building materials, are among the largest sectoral events in Europe. The historical landmarks in this city are also well worth seeing. Relics of the pastThe observation terrace of the Economics Academy skyscraper, 80 m above ground, offers an excellent view of the city's old quarter, Ostrów Tumski, where the cathedral stands today and where once stood the castle of Prince Mieszko I and his son Bolesław the Brave, crowned in 1025 the first king of Poland. Their sarcophaguses can be viewed in the Golden Chapel of the cathedral. Besides gold cups and monstrances from the churches of Wielkopolska, the Archdiocese Museum houses Poland's only painting by Anthony van Dyck.Poznań's most beautiful church is the huge Baroque Parish Church of St. Stanisław. This is one of Poznań's most mysterious buildings, since parts of the crypts have not yet been investigated. Rumors say that crates of sketches by great Polish painters Jan Matejko and Wojciech Gerson, purchased for the Poznań City Museum just before World War II, were hidden here. Organ concerts are held in the church every day in the summer, with proceeds going to the renovation of the historic organ. Billy goats on the Town HallThe city authorities were housed in the Renaissance Town Hall until 1939, and today the building is home to the Poznań History Museum. At noon two mechanical billy goats clash horns on the Town Hall tower in the middle of the Old Market Square. The façade of the houses surrounding the square, once the homes of the wealthiest residents, feature Renaissance and Baroque motifs. Nearby is the Museum of Musical Instruments, with exhibits from all over the world and from many musical eras.Przemysł II was the last Polish king to rule from Poznań. Remnants of his rule are the foundations of a castle built in the second half of the 13th century on the hill next to the Market Square. Przemysł's castle remained one of the royal seats for many years. It was here in 1493 that King Jan Olbracht accepted the homage of the grand master of the Teutonic Knights, Johann von Tiefen. The building fell into ruin in the 18th century, and the Prussians later erected a new building on the old foundation which was destroyed in 1945. Reconstructed after the war, it now houses the Museum of Applied Art. Pegasus on the theaterPoznań National Museum boasts Poland's largest collection of works by painter Jacek Malczewski. The permanent exhibition of Gothic art is also worth seeing. The entrance to the museum is from Wolności Square. On the same square is the Raczyński Library, the first public library, founded in Poznań in the early 19th century by Edward Raczyński. Its façade is an architectural reference to the eastern facade of the Louvre. From the west, the square is completed by the former German theatre where the Ósmego Dnia Theatre is located today. Next door is the Okrąglak, Poland's only round department store. Its windows offer an excellent view of the Wielki Theatre, the first permanent opera house in Poland, built in 1910. Today it stages excellent productions and has a prominent decorative element – the winged horse Pegasus. The king's last castleThe opera house was one of a number of important elements of the new city centre designed in the early 20th century. The main building is still the imperial castle in neo-Romanesque style, built by King Wilhelm II. This was the last royal residence of such size built in Europe. In the courtyard is the Lion Fountain – a replica of the famous sculpture from the Alhambra. The king, who visited his castle just twice,received guests in the throne room, which today houses a movie theatre. The monarch sat on a throne modeled after that of the Maharaja of Delhi. Nature and artFor those who enjoy longer outings, Wielkopolski National Park, just a dozen or so kilometres from Poznań, is an excellent choice. Napoleon Bonaparte stayed there in the early 19th century. A stroll around Poland's oldest and largest palm house or a visit to one of two zoos are ideal for those who don't have time for long excursions. Poland's oldest zoological garden was established in 1874 from a donation of a few animals. With time, the modest collection grew into a large animal farm. Poznań has no shortage of artistic attractions. In January, numerous choirs give concerts of Christmas carols. In late June, there is the Malta International Theatre Festival and a concert by the excellent boys' choir, the Poznań Nightingales. Organ concerts are held in St. Stanisław's Parish Church from July to Sept. at 12:15 p.m. There are many palaces and castles to see around Poznań. South of the city is the palace in Rogalin, surrounded by a beautiful park. It includes a museum and painting gallery. Antique furniture and fittings have been preserved in the castle in Kórnik, which includes a collection of national mementos. The castle is surrounded by a beautiful arboretum.
Poznan is one of the major cities in Poland whose history spans a millennium. At some point in time Poznan also enjoyed the status of the royal capital. Located in central Poland at the crossroads of many important trans-European routes, Poznan flourished as a trading and industrial center. Today, Wielkopolska, the western province of Poland, is the richest part of the country. For decades Poznan has been known for its popular trade shows and business tourism and has always been important for the areas tour operators. They have a certain experience in attracting business and incentive program clients to the magnificent palaces around the region. Airport and railway stations The Poznan-Ławica Airport is situated 7 km from the city on one of the main routes into the center of Poznan, to the Poznan International Fair and the main railway station. Regular flights connect Poznan with Warsaw, as well as with Bonn, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, London, Munich and Zurich. www.airport-poznan.com.pl City transport Poznań's public transportation is provided by 17 tram lines, one of them being an express service and another one a night service. Thereare also 56 bus day services and 21 night services. Time limit tickets (10, 30, 60, 90 minutes) and period tickets (valid 24 hrs or a month)are available. TaxisRadio Taxi – tel. 9191 Radio Taxi Koziołki – tel. 9629 Halo Taxi – tel. 9623 ACI Taxi – tel. 9667 Express Taxi – tel. 9624Where to Stay? Poznań now has a wide network of places of stay, with more opening up all the time. Please see what's on offer.Accommodation in Poznań Restaurant in Poznań Tourist attractions
Welcome to Poznan, a beautiful and fascinating city, where history intertwines with modern times in an unusual way. It is the city where almost 1,100 years ago the Polish state emerged. Mieszko I, the one whose face illustrates the 10-zloty-bill, made Poznan the first capital of Poland. Poznan remains the capital of Wielkopolska – one of the main regions of the country. The main motives of visiting Poznan are hundreds of fairs of various branches of economy and sports competitions. During brakes between business meetings you can admire high class historical buildings representing a whole range of art styles which can be found throughout Poland. In a nutshell - high quality roman style architecture to art nouveau to hypermodern buildings of the 21st century.Buildings are not all the city offers. It is home to active people who also like to have fun. The Poznań City Card (Karta Miejska Poznania) allows to plan every evening and participate in dozens of smaller and larger events taking place in the city for a more reasonable price. Every part of Poznan has a specific flair. One of the most popular sightseeing routes and the place where numerous events take place is the so called Royal-Empire Route. Poznan was both the capital of Poland and the residence of the rulers of the German Empire; therefore in the center of the city on St. Martin Street we can still see the King’s Residential Palace built in the years 1905 - 1913. It was the residence of His Highness Emperor Wilhelm II von Hohenzollern. On Zamkowa Street, in the vicinity of the Marketplace, is the former residence of the Kings of Poland. The name Capital City of Poznan used during many events is surely not an exaggeration.    Poznan prides on the oldest part of the city called Ostrów Tumski, a neighborhood established in the Middle Ages around the streets of the Old Marketplace, with a large renaissance city hall. If you plan to visit Poznan we recommend the presentation of buildings and the history of this charming place available on the website of the City Council available in three languages. Contemporary Poznan is a metropolis bursting with life and an excellent place for business. In the city of 565,000 citizens there are over 133,000 students. In the evenings they fill countless pubs, cafes, clubs and cinemas. The city hosts numerous international festivals, concerts, happenings, exhibitions in museums and galleries as well as performances, presentations and galas. A magnificent place for various mass events is the area next to the canoe race track „Malta” in the eastern part of the city. There is also a ski slope there. St. Martin’s Days (Dni Świętomarcińskie) are a particularly interesting event – it is a rural festivity in memory of St. Martin, the patron of the city. Since 2005 the international handball Grundfos Cup takes place in Poznan. The International Tennis Porsche Open has entered the schedules of all important tennis players. Tour de Pologne leads through Poznan since 2006. Apart from that on the canoe race track „Malta” in Poznan world class competitions in rowing and canoeing are regularly organised. It is also one of the cities which will help organise EURO 2012.    In the vicinity of Poznan you can also rest surrounded by nature. The city lies on the outskirts of beautiful lakelands preserved within the Wielkopolska National Park. The park can be visited by bike along the route Pętla Poznańska and by a section of the European pilgrimage route that leads through Wielkopolska, called „St. Jacob’s Road” {flip link="http://pdf.polska.travel/doc.php?lang=en&doc=poznan"}Poznan{/flip} Also see:Old Town area described

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