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Poznań and the city's vicinity

Poznań in a nutshell - what to see and what to remember? Guests who visit Poznań for the first time receive tips on how to plan their sightseeing tour in order to see the most interesting venues in the capital city of Wielkopolska. The support in this area is provided by guides from the City Guide Poznań.

Why Poznań?
There exist a few legends behind the origin of the name Poznań

There exist a few legends behind the origin of the name Poznań. According to one of them, Poznań was the meeting place (or as you say in Polish: "miejsce poznania") of the legendary brothers: Lech, Czech and Rus. Here in Poznań Lech saw a white eagle against the background of the red sky burning from the setting sun. The second version says that the name comes from the meeting (or in Polish: "poznania") of true faith as it was here in Wielkopolska where the Baptism of Poland took place. According to the third version there once lived Posnan who managed the settlement located on the Ostrów Tumski on behalf of the prince.

The oldest part of Poznań
meet Ostrów Tumski

All three options lead to the oldest part of Poznań - Ostrów Tumski. Ostrów Tumski was home to the first settlements as well as a fortified settlement of Mieszko I, whose construction may be seen today in the Archaeological Reserve. Imagine a 20-meter wide and 10-meter high embankment. Non-conquerable in the 10th century!

Also, Mieszko I ordered to build a palace on Ostrów Tumski - a ducal palace with the first Christian chapel in Poland built for princess Dobrawa and a baptistery. The remnants of the palace and tombs of the first rulers Mieszko I and Bolesław I the Brave can be seen in the Archcathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul in Poznań, the oldest one in Poland since the first bishopric was established right here in Poznań, in 968.

Old Town
third largest market square in Poland

Next, we are headed to the Old Market Square - third largest market square in Poland and together with crowds of people, or as you say in Poznań with "wuchta wiary", we stop to watch the display of mechanical fighting goats played out at noon on the front wall of the Poznań Town Hall. The building towering above the city is the recently reconstructed Royal Castle and the nearby Fara Church organizes free concerts of organ music played on organs built by the best 19th-century organ builder in Europe - Friedrich Ladegast.

To gather strength before further sightseeing, we take a sit on one of the Old Market Square's open-air terraces and try a local specialty - excellent St. Martin croissant while watching, for example, a show made by a group reenacting the 15th Poznań Uhlans Regiment.

After leaving the Market Square we walk along the Paderewski Street named after a famous pianist whose charismatic speech given at the Bazar in Poznań led to the breakout of the Wielkopolska Uprising. The museum dedicated to the event is located in the building that once served as the Guardhouse on Poznań's Old Market Square.

19th and 20th-century Poznań
wide squares, wide streets and greenery create the city glitz

Paderewski Street leads toward the Wolności Square with the architecture of the 19th-century Poznań - wide squares, wide streets and greenery create the city glitz. The square is the location of the first public library in Poland - the Raczyński Library, in front of which there is an interesting monument where you can learn about the origin of the Polish word "prysznic" (in English "shower").

You should end your sightseeing tour by visiting the Imperial Castle, the last castle in Europe built for the living ruler. In the vicinity of the Castle you can see probably the most important monument of the city, a monument raised in the memory of Poznań June 1956 events, which are depicted in a documentary that can be seen in a museum located in the basement of the Imperial Castle.

On the next day you should visit Malta - the only such place in Poland comprising a lake, ski slope, roller coaster, public baths, zoo with a great elephant house and a narrow-gauge railway.


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