Poznań is one of the oldest and largest polish cities in Poland, where history meets modernity.
On Poznań’s Cathedral Island Pope John Paul II famously stated that in this very place the Polish state and the history of Polish Church had begun over 1000 years ago.
It is here where the first historical ruler of Poland Mieszko I built his palace. In 1253, two and a half centuries later, on the opposite river bank, a new dynamic city started to grow. Today it counts about 500 000 inhabitants and ranks fifth in Poland in terms of population and economy. The city’s character is influenced by a large number of students – over 130 000 young Poles study here, at eight state and over twenty private universities and colleges. It is also an important outsourcing and offshoring hub.
The distinguished Basilica of Saint Peter and Saint Paul overlooks the old Prussian fortifications located alongside the Cybina River, on which an artificial Malta Lake has been formed in close proximity to the Cathedral Island. Today, the lake houses one of the most modern regatta courses in Europe, used for both rowing and kayaking. There are many attractions alongside the lake, such as an artificial ski slope, a bobsleigh run, thermal and olympic swimming pools, a zoological garden and a narrow-gauge railway ride. It is also here that the world famous Malta Open Air Theatre Festival originated.
The Basilica also overlooks the Warta River. When looking in this direction, one can see the Poznań Old Town, with a jewel of Polish Renaissance – the 16th century town hall, where the famous billy goats appear at noon every day.
Further behind you can see a tower of the royal castle. It is here that in 13th century king Przemysł II established the white eagle as the national emblem of Poland.
The royal castle is not the only castle in the city. In the beginnings of the 20th century another one – the Imperial Castle – was built here for the Prussian emperor. Today it is considered the youngest great royal residence in Europe.
It is at the castle’s very doorstep, on Adam Mickiewicz Square, that the first rebellion against communism took place on June 28th, 1956.
Poznań is also a city of culture and music. Many great and famous choirs originate in Poznań. Also the Henryk Wieniawski Violin and Violinmaking World Competition is held here every 5 years. In Fara (the main parish church) – a pearl of baroque architecture – one can find one of the two best organs in Poland. The instrument was made by the famous 20th century constructor Friedrich Ladegast.
The city stadium, which was one of the host stadiums for Euro 2012 games, can accommodate over 42 thousand spectators. Stary Browar (The Old Brewery) has twice been awarded the international prize for the best shopping centre in the world. These are just two examples of the city modern architecture.
Poznań also ranks very high in terms of economy. It is here, that the largest in Poland number of small and medium enterprises is registered. It is also home to some big ones, such as: Allegro.pl, Volkswagen, Man, GSK, Wyborowa SA, Wrigley, Goplana or Terravita. The last three of the aforementioned manufacture popular sweets of different varieties. But one cannot say they have tasted Poland unless they try Rogal Świętomarciński (St Martin’s Croissant). You can buy rogals in coffee shops and confectioneries. Enjoy!
If you wish to learn more about the city’s attractions, myself and my colleagues invite you to one of our professionally guided, fascinating tours.