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.

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