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 past
The 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 Hall
The 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 theater
Poznań 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 castle
The 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 art
For 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 ratusz_poznanskidonation 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.

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