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Poznań is a city on the Warta river in west-central Poland, in Greater Poland region. It is best known for its renaissance old town, destroyed during World War II and then rebuilt, and Ostrów Tumski cathedral. Today, Poznań is an important cultural and business centre and one of Poland's most populous regions with many regional customs such as Jarmark Świętojański, traditional Saint Martin's croissants and a local dialect.
Poznań is among the oldest cities in Poland and was one of the most important centers in the early Polish state in the tenth and eleventh centuries. The first center city was Ostrów Tumski, the natural island on the Warta river-very similar to the Île de la Cité in Paris. The first rulers were buried in Poznań's cathedral on the island. It also served as the capital for a short time in the 13th century, hence the official name: The capital city of Poznan. After the second partition of Poland Poznań was administrated by Prussia, and then, with the unification of Germany after the Franco-Prussian War of 1871, the province of Posen became part of the German Empire. Furthermore, the city of Posen was officially named an imperial residence city, leading to the construction of the Imperial Castle, the Imperial District, the Opera House, new city walls, railway station and many other sites which make a big part of its landmarks to this day.
Poznań is one of the biggest cities in Poland. The city population is about 550,000, while the continuous conurbation with Poznan County and several other communities (Oborniki, Skoki,Szamotuły and Śrem) is inhabited by almost 1.1 million people. The Larger Poznań Metropolitan Area (PMA) is inhabited by 1.3-1.4 million people and extends to such satellite towns as Nowy Tomyśl,Gniezno and Wrzesnia, making it the fourth largest metropolitan area in Poland. It is the historical capital of the Wielkopolska(Greater Poland) region and is currently the administrative capital of the province called Greater Poland Voivodeship. Poznań is today one of the largest Polish centers of trade, industry, sports, education, technology, tourism and culture. It is particularly important academic center, with about 130,000 students and the third biggest Polish university - Adam Mickiewicz University. It is also the residence of the oldest Polish diocese, now being one of the most populous archdioceses in the country.
|POPULATION :||• City 551,627|
• Urban 1.1 million
• Metro 1.4 million
|FOUNDED :||Established 10th century|
Town rights 1253
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone CET (UTC+1)|
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
|RELIGION :||Roman Catholic 89.8% (about 75% practicing), Eastern Orthodox 1.3%, Protestant 0.3%, other 0.3%, unspecified 8.3%|
|AREA :||261.85 km2 (101.10 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||Highest elevation 154 m (505 ft)|
Lowest elevation 60 m (200 ft)
|COORDINATES :||52°24′N 16°55′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 48.3%|
• Female: 51.7%
|ETHNIC :||Polish 96.7%, German 0.4%, Belarusian 0.1%, Ukrainian 0.1%, other and unspecified 2.7%|
|AREA CODE :||61|
|POSTAL CODE :||60-001 to 61-890|
|DIALING CODE :||+48 61|
Poznań (German: Posen) is the largest city in Greater Poland, in the west of Poland, and one of the largest metropoles in the whole country. Situated roughly equidistantly between Warsaw and Berlin, it serves as a major economic hub, and a centre for industry and commerce. The Poznań International Trade Fair grounds host the most important trade fairs and exhibitions in Poland, making Poznań an important business destination, but the city has plenty of history and attractions to share besides that. Its relative compactness and easy access by road, rail and air make it a convenient tourist destination for visitors to Central Europe.
Culture and sights
Poznań has many historic buildings and sights, mostly concentrated around the Old Town and other parts of the city centre. Many of these lie on the Royal-Imperial Route in Poznań – a tourist walk leading through the most important parts of the city showing its history, culture and identity. Portions of the city center are listed as one of Poland's official national Historic Monuments(Pomnik historii), as designated November 28, 2008, along with other portions of the city's historic core. Its listing is maintained by the National Heritage Board of Poland.
Results of new extensive archaeological research performed on Poznan's Ostrow Tumski by Prof. dr hab. Hanna Kocka-Krec from Instytut Prahistorii UAM indicate that Poznań indeed was a central site of the early Polish State (recent discovery of first Polish ruler,Mieszko I's Palatium). Thus, the Ostrow Tumski Island is more important that it was thought previously and may have been as important as "Gniezno" in the Poland of first "Piasts". Though it is currently under construction, "Ostrow Tumski of Poznan" should soon have a very rich historical exposition and be a very interesting place for visitors. It promises to include many attractions, such as the above-mentioned Cathedral, Church of St. Mary the Virgin, "Lubranski Academy" and the opened in 2012 "Genius Loci Archeological Park" as well as planned to be opened in 2013 Interactive Center of Ostrow Tumski History ("ICHOT") that presents a multimedia museum of the Polish State through many different periods. The "Palatium in Poznan" will be also transformed into a museum, although more funds are needed. When all the expositions are ready, in a couple of years, Ostrow Tumski may be as worth visiting as "Wawel" in Cracow. There is a very famous sentence illustrating the importance of Ostrow Tumski in Poznań by the Pope John Paul II: "Poland began here".
One of the most interesting places in Poznań is Malta with an artificial lake in its center. On one bank of the lake there are ski and sleigh slopes (Malta Ski), on the opposite bank a huge complex of swimming pools including an Olympic-size one (Termy Maltanskie). This whole recreational city "district" is unique in all of Poland or even Europe.
Perhaps the most important cultural event in Poznań is the annual Malta theatre festival, which takes place at many city venues, usually in late June and early July. It hosts mainly modern experimental off-theatre performances, often taking place on squares and other public spaces. It also includes cinema, visual, music and dancing events. Malta Theatre Festival gave birth to many off-theater groups, expressing new ideas in an already rich theatrical background of the city. Thus, Poznań with a great deal of off-theaters and their performances has recently become a new Polish off-theater performance center.
Classical music events include the Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition(held every 5 years), and classical music concerts by the city's Philharmonic Orchestra held each month in the University Aula. Especially popular are concerts by thePoznań Nightingales.
Poznan is also home to new forms of music such as rap and hip-hop made by a great deal of bands and performers ("Peja", "Mezo" and others). Poznań is also known for its rock music performers (Muchy, Malgorzata Ostrowska).
Poznan apart from many traditional theaters with a long history ("Teatr Nowy", "Teatr Wielki", "Teatr Polski", "Teatr Muzyczny" and several others) is also home to a growing number of alternative theater groups, some of them stemming from International Malta Festival: "Teatr Strefa Ciszy", "Teatr Porywcze Cial", "Teatr Usta Usta", "Teatr u Przyjaciol", "Teatr Biuro Podrozy", "Teatr Osmego Dnia" and many others – it is believed that even up to 30 more or less known groups may work in the city.
Every year on the 11th of November, Poznanians celebrate The Day of St. Marcin Street. A procession of horses, with St. Marcin at the head, parades along St Marcin Street, in front of The Imperial Castle. Everybody can eat delicious croissants, the regional product of Poznań.
Poznań hosted the 2009 European Young Adults Meeting of the ecumenical Christian Taizé Community.
Poznań also stages the "Ale Kino!" International Young Audience Film Festival in December and "Off Cinema" festival of independent films. Other festival: "Transatlantyk" (film music festival by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek started in 2011), Maski Theater Festival, Dance International Workshops by Polish Dance Theater, Made in Chicago (Jazz Festival), Ethno Port, Festival of Ice Sculpture, Animator, Science and Art Festival, Tzadik (Jewish music festival), Meditations Biennale (Modern Art). The full list of cultural annual events is even longer.
Poznań has several cinemas, including multiplexes and smaller cinemas, an opera house, several other theatres, and museums.
The "Rozbrat" squat serves as a home for squatters and as a centre of independent and open-minded culture. It hosts frequent gigs, an anarchistic library, vernissages, exhibitions, annual birthday festival (each October), poetry evenings and graffiti festivals. The city centre has many clubs, pubs and coffee houses, mainly in the area of the Old Town.
The main Poznań Information Centre is on the Old Market Square, on its southern side (building 59/60). In summer season (and during most important events – international fair, conferences etc.) open 9-21, in winter 10-19. Many free maps, leaflets about city and surroundings, souvenirs, books, albums, city-guide hire. Phone : +48 61 852 61 56, mailto:[email protected] (in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian).
- More information (English, German, polish) about the city, practical info (get in, get around, entrance fees) proposed tours, city-guide service : [www],mailto:[email protected]
- City-guide service, free help in preparing your stay in Poznań – in the Guides’ Club, mailto:[email protected]
For centuries before the Christianization of Poland, Poznań (consisting of a fortified stronghold between the Warta and Cybina rivers, on what is now Ostrów Tumski) was an important cultural and political centre of the Polan tribe. Mieszko I, the first historically recorded ruler of the Polans, and of the early Polish state which they dominated, built one of his main stable headquarters in Poznań.Mieszko's baptism of 966, seen as a defining moment in the establishment of the Polish state, may have taken place in Poznań.
Following the baptism, construction began of Poznań's cathedral, the first in Poland. Poznań was probably the main seat of the first missionary bishop sent to Poland, Bishop Jordan. The Congress of Gniezno in 1000 led to the country's first permanent archbishopric being established inGniezno (which is generally regarded as Poland's capital in that period), although Poznań continued to have independent bishops of its own. Poznań's cathedral was the place of burial of the early Piast monarchs (Mieszko I,Boleslaus I, Mieszko II, Casimir I), and later of Przemysł I and King Przemysł II.
The pagan reaction that followed Mieszko II's death (probably in Poznań) in 1034 left the region weak, and in 1038, Duke Bretislaus I of Bohemia sacked and destroyed both Poznań and Gniezno. Poland was reunited under Casimir I the Restorer in 1039, but the capital was moved to Kraków, which had been relatively unaffected by the troubles. In 1138, by the testament of Bolesław III, Poland was divided into separate duchies under the late king's sons, and Poznań and its surroundings became the domain of Mieszko III the Old, the first of the Dukes of Greater Poland. This period of fragmentation lasted until 1320. Duchies frequently changed hands; control of Poznań, Gniezno and Kalisz sometimes lay with a single duke, but at other times these constituted separate duchies.
In about 1249, Duke Przemysł I began constructing what would become the Royal Castle on a hill on the left bank of the Warta. Then in 1253 Przemysł issued a charter to Thomas of Guben (Gubin) for the founding of a town under Magdeburg law, between the castle and the river. Thomas brought a large number of German settlers to aid in the building and settlement of the city – this is an example of the German eastern migration (Ostsiedlung) characteristic of that period. The city (covering the area of today's Old Town neighbourhood) was surrounded by a defensive wall, integrated with the castle.
In reunited Poland, and later in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Poznań was the seat of a voivodeship. The city's importance began to grow in the Jagiellonian period, due to its position on trading routes from Lithuania and Ruthenia to western Europe. It would become a major centre for the fur trade by the late 16th century. Suburban settlements developed around the city walls, on the river islands and on the right bank, with some (Ostrów Tumski, Śródka, Chwaliszewo, Ostrówek) obtaining their own town charters. However the city's development was hampered by regular major fires and floods. On 2 May 1536 a fire destroyed 175 buildings, including the castle, the town hall, the monastery and the suburban settlement called St. Martin. In 1519 the Lubrański Academy had been established in Poznań as an institution of higher education (but without the right to award degrees, which was reserved to Kraków's Jagiellonian University). However a Jesuits' college, founded in the city in 1571 during the Counter-Reformation, had the right to award degrees from 1611 until 1773, when it was combined with the Academy.
In the second half of the 17th century and most of the 18th, Poznań was severely affected by a series of wars (and attendant military occupations, lootings and destruction) – the Second and Third Northern Wars, the War of the Polish Succession, the Seven Years' War and the Bar Confederation rebellion. It was also hit by frequent outbreaks of plague, and by floods, particularly that of 1736, which destroyed most of the suburban buildings. The population of the conurbation declined (from 20,000 around 1600 to 6,000 around 1730), and Bambergian and Dutch settlers (Bambrzy and Olędrzy) were brought in to rebuild the devastated suburbs. In 1778 a "Committee of Good Order" (Komisja Dobrego Porządku) was established in the city, which oversaw rebuilding efforts and reorganized the city's administration. However, in 1793, in the Second Partition of Poland, Poznań, came under the control of the Kingdom of Prussia, becoming part of (and initially the seat of) the province of South Prussia.
The Prussian authorities expanded the city boundaries, making the walled city and its closest suburbs into a single administrative unit. Left-bank suburbs were incorporated in 1797, and Ostrów Tumski, Chwaliszewo, Śródka, Ostrówek and Łacina (St. Roch) in 1800. The old city walls were taken down in the early 19th century, and major development took place to the west of the old city, with many of the main streets of today's city centre being laid out.
In the Greater Poland Uprising of 1806, Polish soldiers and civilian volunteers assisted the efforts of Napoleon by driving out Prussian forces from the region. The city became a part of the Duchy of Warsaw in 1807, and was the seat of Poznań Department - a unit of administrative division and local government. However, in 1815, following the Congress of Vienna, the region was returned to Prussia, and Poznań became the capital of the semi-autonomous Grand Duchy of Posen.
The city continued to expand, and various projects were funded by Polish philanthropists, such as the Raczyński Library and the Bazar hotel. The city's first railway, running to Stargard in Pommern (now Stargard Szczeciński), opened in 1848. Due to its strategic location, the Prussian authorities intended to make Poznań into a fortress city, building a ring of defensive fortifications around it. Work began on the citadel (Fort Winiary) in 1828, and in subsequent years the entire set of defences (Festung Posen) was completed.
A Greater Poland Uprising during the Revolutions of 1848 was ultimately unsuccessful, and the Grand Duchy lost its remaining autonomy, Poznań becoming simply the capital of the PrussianProvince of Posen. It would become part of the German Empire with the unification of German states in 1871. Polish patriots continued to form societies (such as the Central Economic Society for the Grand Duchy of Poznań), and a Polish theatre (Teatr Polski, still functioning) opened in 1875; however the authorities made efforts to Germanize the region, particularly through the Prussian Settlement Commission (founded 1886). Germans accounted for 38% of the city's population in 1867, though this percentage would later decline somewhat, particularly after the region returned to Poland.
Another expansion of Festung Posen was planned, with an outer ring of more widely spaced forts around the perimeter of the city. Building of the first nine forts began in 1876, and nine intermediate forts were built from 1887. The inner ring of fortifications was now considered obsolete and came to be mostly taken down by the early 20th century (although the citadel remained in use). This made space for further civilian construction, particularly the Imperial Palace(Zamek), completed 1910, and other grand buildings around it (including today's central university buildings and the opera house). The city's boundaries were also significantly extended to take in former suburban villages: Piotrowo and Berdychowo in 1896, Łazarz, Górczyn, Jeżyce and Wilda in 1900, and Sołacz in 1907.
After World War I the Greater Poland Uprising (1918–1919) brought Poznań and most of the region under Polish control, confirmed by the Treaty of Versailles. The local populace had to acquire Polish citizenship or leave the country. This led to a significant decline of ethnic Germans, whose number decreased from 65,321 in 1910 to 5,980 in 1926 and further to 4,387 in 1934. In the interwar Second Polish Republic, the city again became the capital of Poznań Voivodeship. Poznań's university (today called Adam Mickiewicz University) was founded in 1919, and in 1925 the Poznań International Fairs began. In 1929 the fairs site was the venue for a major National Exhibition (Powszechna Wystawa Krajowa, popularly PeWuKa) marking the tenth anniversary of independence; it attracted around 4.5 million visitors. The city's boundaries were again expanded in 1925 (to include Główna, Komandoria, Rataje, Starołęka, Dębiec, Szeląg and Winogrady) and 1933 (Golęcin, Podolany).
During the German occupation of 1939–1945, Poznań was incorporated into the Third Reich as the capital of Reichsgau Wartheland. Many Polish inhabitants were executed, arrested, expelled to the General Government or used as forced labour; at the same time many Germans and Volksdeutsche were settled in the city. The German population increased from around 5,000 in 1939 (some 2% of the inhabitants) to around 95,000 in 1944. The pre-war Jewish population of about 2,000 were mostly murdered in the Holocaust. A concentration camp was set up in Fort VII, one of the 19th-century perimeter forts. The camp was later moved to Żabikowo south of Poznań. The Nazi authorities significantly expanded Poznań's boundaries to include most of the present-day area of the city; these boundaries were retained after the war. Poznań fell to the Red Army, assisted by Polish volunteers, on 23 February 1945 following the Battle of Poznań, in which the German army conducted a last-ditch defence in line with Hitler's designation of the city as a Festung. The Citadel was the last point to fall, and the fighting left much of the city, particularly the Old Town, in ruins.
Due to the expulsion and flight of German population Poznań's post-war population was almost uniformly Polish. The city again became a voivodeship capital; in 1950 the size of Poznań Voivodeship was reduced, and the city itself was given separate voivodeship status. This status was lost in the 1975 reforms, which also significantly reduced the size of Poznań Voivodeship.
The Poznań 1956 protests are seen as an early expression of resistance to communist rule. In June 1956, a protest by workers at the city's Cegielski locomotive factory developed into a series of strikes and popular protests against the policies of the government. After a protest march on June 28 was fired on, crowds attacked the communist party and secret police headquarters, where they were repulsed by gunfire. Riots continued for two days until being quelled by the army; 67 people were killed according to official figures. A monument to the victims was erected in 1981 at Plac Mickiewicza.
The post-war years had seen much reconstruction work on buildings damaged in the fighting. From the 1960s onwards intensive housing development took place, consisting mainly of pre-fabricated concrete blocks of flats, especially in Rataje and Winogrady, and later (following its incorporation into the city in 1974)Piątkowo. Another infrastructural change (completed in 1968) was the rerouting of the river Warta to follow two straight branches either side of Ostrów Tumski.
The most recent expansion of the city's boundaries took place in 1987, with the addition of new areas mainly to the north, including Morasko, Radojewo and Kiekrz. The first free local elections following the fall of communism took place in 1990. With the Polish local government reforms of 1999, Poznań again became the capital of a larger province (Greater Poland Voivodeship). It also became the seat of a powiat ("Poznań County"), with the city itself gaining separate powiat status.
Recent infrastructural developments include the opening of the fast tram route (Poznański Szybki Tramwaj, popularly Pestka) in 1997, and Poznań's first motorway connection (part of the A2 autostrada) in 2003. In 2006 Poland's first F-16 Fighting Falcons came to be stationed at the 31st Air Base in Krzesiny in the south-east of the city.
Poznań continues to host regular trade fairs and international events, including the United Nations Climate Change Conference. It was one of the host cities forUEFA Euro 2012.
The climate of Poznań is within the transition zone between a humid continental and oceanic climate and with relatively cold winters and warm summers. Snow is common in winter, when night-time temperatures are typically below zero. In summer temperatures may often reach 30 °C (86 °F). Annual rainfall is more than 500 mm (20 in), among the lowest in Poland. The rainiest month is July, mainly due to short but intense cloudbursts and thunderstorms. The number of hours of sunshine are among the highest in the country. Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).
Climate data for Poznań
|Record high °C (°F)||13.5|
|Average high °C (°F)||2.3|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−1.2|
|Average low °C (°F)||−4.6|
|Record low °C (°F)||−28.5|
|Source: Polish Central Statistical Office|
Poznań covers an area of 261.3 km2 (100.9 sq mi), and has coordinates in the range 52°17'34''–52°30'27''N, 16°44'08''–17°04'28''E. Its highest point, with an altitude of 157 m (515 ft), is the summit of Góra Moraska (Morasko Hill) within the Morasko meteorite nature reserve in the north of the city. The lowest altitude is 60 m (197 ft), in the Warta valley.
Poznań's main river is the Warta, which flows through the city from south to north. As it approaches the city centre it divides into two branches, flowing west and east of Ostrów Tumski (the cathedral island) and meeting again further north. The smaller Cybina river flows through eastern Poznań to meet the east branch of the Warta (that branch is also called Cybina – its northern section was originally a continuation of that river, while its southern section has been artificially widened to form a main stream of the Warta). Other tributaries of the Warta within Poznań are the Junikowo Stream (Strumień Junikowski), which flows through southern Poznań from the west, meeting the Warta just outside the city boundary in Luboń; the Bogdanka and Wierzbak, formerly two separate tributaries flowing from the north-west and along the north side of the city centre, now with their lower sections diverted underground; the Główna, flowing through the neighbourhood of the same name in north-east Poznań; and the Rose Stream (Strumień Różany) flowing east from Morasko in the north of the city. The course of the Warta in central Poznań was formerly quite different from today: the main stream ran between Grobla and Chwaliszewo, which were originally both islands. The branch west of Grobla (the Zgniła Warta – "rotten Warta") was filled in late in the 19th century, and the former main stream west of Chwaliszewo was diverted and filled in during the 1960s. This was done partly to prevent floods, which did serious damage to Poznań frequently throughout history.
Poznań's largest lake is Jezioro Kierskie(Kiekrz Lake) in the extreme north-west of the city (within the city boundaries since 1987). Other large lakes include Malta (an artificial lake on the lower Cybina, formed in 1952), Jezioro Strzeszyńskie (Strzeszyn Lake) on the Bogdanka, and Rusałka, an artificial lake further down the Bogdanka, formed in 1943. The latter two are popular bathing places. Kiekrz Lake is much used for sailing, while Malta is a competitive rowing and canoeing venue.
The city centre (including the Old Town, the former islands of Grobla and Chwaliszewo, the main street Święty Marcin and many other important buildings and districts) lies on the west side of the Warta. Opposite it between the two branches of the Warta is Ostrów Tumski, containing Poznań Cathedral and other ecclesiastical buildings, as well as housing and industrial facilities. Facing the cathedral on the east bank of the river is the historic district of Śródka. Large areas of apartment blocks, built from the 1960s onwards, include Ratajein the east, and Winogrady and Piątkowo north of the centre. Older residential and commercial districts include those of Wilda, Łazarz and Górczyn to the south, and Jeżyce to the west. There are also significant areas of forest within the city boundaries, particularly in the east adjoining Swarzędz, and around the lakes in the north-west.
For more details on Poznań's geography, see the articles on the five districts:Stare Miasto, Nowe Miasto, Jeżyce, Grunwald and Wilda.
Poznań has been an important trade centre since the Middle Ages. Starting in the 19th century, local heavy industry began to grow. Several major factories were built, including the Hipolit Cegielski steel mill and railway factory (see H. Cegielski - Poznań S.A.).
Nowadays Poznań is one of the major trade centers in Poland. Poznań is regarded as the second most prosperous city in Poland after Warsaw. The city of Poznań produced PLN 31.8 billion of Poland's gross domestic product in 2006. It boasts a GDP per capita of 200,4% (2008) of Poland's average. Furthermore, Poznań had very low unemployment rate of 2.3% as of May 2009. For comparison, Poland's national unemployment rate was over 10%.
Many Western European companies have established their Polish headquarters in Poznań or in the nearby towns of Tarnowo Podgórne and Swarzędz. Most foreign investors are German and Dutch companies, with a few others. Investors are mostly from the food processing, furniture, automotive and transport and logistics industries. Foreign companies are primarily attracted by low labour costs and by the relatively good road and railway network, good vocational skills of workers and relatively liberal employment laws.
The recently built Stary Browar shopping center contains many high-end shops and is considered one of the best in Europe. It has won an award for the best shopping center in the world in the medium-sized commercial buildings category. Other notable shopping centers in the city include Galeria Malta, one of the largest in Central Europe, and the shops at the Hotel Bazar, a historical hotel and commercial center in the Old Town.
Selected major corporations based in Poznań and the city's vicinity include QXL Poland Sp. z o.o. (Allegro), Poznań, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals SA, Poznań, Grupa Raben, near Kórnik, Poznań metro, Kuehne & Nagel sp. z o.o.,Gądki near Poznań, H. Cegielski-Poznań SA, Poznań, and Solaris Bus & Coach sp. z. o.o., Bolechowo, Poznań metro. The abbreviation "Sp. z o.o." stands for "Spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością", or Limited Liability Company, the equivalent of British Ltd. or German GmbH. The abbreviation for Public Limited Company (a stock company or PLC) is "Spółka Akcyjna" or S.A.
Poznań is divided into 42 neighbourhoods (osiedles), each of which has its own elected council with certain decision-making and spending powers. The first uniform elections for these councils covering the whole area of the city were held on 20 March 2011.
For certain administrative purposes, the old division into five districts (dzielnicas) is used - although these ceased to be governmental units in 1990. These were:
- Stare Miasto ("Old Town"), population 161,200, area 47.1 km2 (18.2 sq mi), covering the central and northern parts of the city
- Nowe Miasto ("New Town"), population 141,424, area 105.1 km2(40.6 sq mi), including all parts of the city on the right (east) bank of the Warta
- Grunwald, population 125,500, area 36.2 km2 (14.0 sq mi), covering the south-western parts of the city
- Jeżyce, population 81,300, area 57.9 km2 (22.4 sq mi), covering the north-western parts of the city
- Wilda, population 62,290, area 15.0 km2 (5.8 sq mi), in the southern part of the city
The phone numbers shown on this page are presented in the national format. All local numbers must be dialed with area codes, if you encounter a seven digit number, add '61' before the number.
Dialing a number from mobile
Depending on your phone operator and the network you roam into, you may want to try one of these: - dial the number as seen, e.g. 061 888 0000 - if unsuccessful, omit the initial zero, e.g. 61 888 0000 - if still unsuccessful, omit the leading zero, dial +48 before the number, e.g. +48 61 888 0000
There are Internet cafés around the Stary Rynek and Stary Browar shopping center offers free Wireless connection. There is also a 24 hour Internet cafe at the main train station which is perfect for when you have hours to wait overnight for the next train. There is also public wi-fi internet access in the surroundings of the Stary Rynek and plac Wolności.
Prices in Poznan
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€0.70|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€4.60|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€13.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€24.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€3.70|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€1.85|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€1.65|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€4.00|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€7.00|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.07|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€3.50|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€0.95|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€55.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€27.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€59.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€0.78|
34 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
97 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Poznań - Ławica Henryk Wieniawski Airport (IATA: POZ) has regular services:
- domestic: with Polish Airlines LOT and Eurolot to Warsaw.
- LOT - Frankfurt, Munich
- Lufthansa Regional - Frankfurt, Munich, Düsseldorf
- Norwegian Air Shuttle - Oslo-Gardermoen
- Ryanair - Barcelona, Bologna, Bristol, Dublin, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London-Stansted, Madrid, Milan-Orio al Serio, Oslo-Rygge, Rome-Ciampino, Palma de Mallorca.
- Scandinavian Airlines - Copenhagen
- Wizz Air - Barcelona, Paris-Beauvais, Cork, Doncaster/Sheffield, Dortmund,London-Luton, Rome-Fiumicino, Stockholm-Skavsta, Oslo-Torp
The airport is situated 7 km from the city centre and is easily accessible by public bus: 59 zł (from a stop between Kaponiera Crossing and Sheraton Hotel - approx. every 25–30 minutes - travel time approx. 22-24 min.) and fast line #L (from the Main Railway Station and from Sheraton - approx. every 45 minutes - travel time approx. 18-20 min).
Another option are the airports of Berlin (IATA: TXL and IATA: SXF)
Poznań is a crucial railway junction and all trains going between Moscow and Western Europe stop here. Trains to Berlin or Warsaw take approximately 3 hours in either direction and cost around €20 one-way. Trains to Kraków (approx. 8 daily) take around 6 hours and cost €15 one-way, Wrocław (more than 15 daily) will take around 2 hours and cost around €8. The journey to Gdańsk (6 trains daily) will take 5,5 hours and cost €12 and to Toruń (6 trains per day): 2.5 hours and €7.
Frequent and convenient train connection from Warsaw. Journey time about 3 hours. Cost from €10 (Inter Regio trains) through €14 (fast trains) to as much as €30 (Inter City Plus).
Poznań is also served by long-distance trains leading to popular beach- and mountain resorts: Zakopane (2 night trains in winter and summer season),Szklarska Poręba/Kudowa-Zdrój (2 daily + 1 in season), Kołobrzeg (Kolberg),Hel and Świnoujście.
Besides, Poznań and Wielkopolska region has a vast network of local connections. For tourist the most important can be trains going to:
- Gniezno (the Piast Route) - approx. 15-20 (depending on the day) trains daily
- Wolsztyn (the steam-engine depot) - 7 trains daily
- Konin (the sanctuary in Licheń) - 12-15 trains daily
- Wągrowiec (the Cistercian Route) - 8-10 trains daily
In some cases (going from or to Cathedral Island - Ostrów Tumski, the Old Town) it can be wise to use local train stop "Poznań-Garbary" instead of the main station.
Poznań is served by the Eurolines coach network. Count on fares of around €90 one-way to London or Amsterdam. Every day more than 200 local buses leave for town and even small villages everywhere in Wielkopolska region.
Polskibus, biggest polish coach connects Poznan with Berlin, Prague, Łódź,Warsaw, Bydgoszcz, Wroclaw, Gdansk and Torun. Tickets are available from 20 zł. for a ride. Sometimes are avaliable promotion tickets for only 1 zł.
The Poznań coach station (Poznan PKS) is situated under the train station. Galeria Poznan is has integrated the train and bus stations with a modern shopping mall. Near the coach station there are several city tram and bus lines:
- trams 6, 10, 11 and 12 - just 1 stop (left, when you leave the coach station) to the train station or as well 1 stop (to the right) to the Shopping Mall Stary Browar (the Old Brewery) or to shopping area nearby ul. Półwiejska.
- bus 71 (heading toward "Os. Wichrowe Wzgórze") giving access to the Province Office, the main building of the Poznań University, to the Opera House or to Mickiewicz Sq. with the Monument of Poznań Crosses (Uprising 1956).
Poznan has many bus connections with cities and towns in West Poland (Gorzów Wielkopolski, Zielona Góra, sea resorts, mountain resorts in Sudety Mountains), and there are coaches heading to: Lublin, Łódź, and Warsaw. There is a vast network of local and regional buses, especially to towns with poor (or no) train connection.
Transportation - Get Around
Poznań is a compact city, but has a decent (no longer cheap) public transport system, consisting of trams, fast trams (similar to metro), and buses operated by the city's transportation authority (MPK).
The center is navigable on foot, but if you decide to use trams (buses don't usually run in the center), here are the prices of tickets (valid from 2015):
- 10-minute which costs 3 zł
- 40-minute which costs 4.6 zł
There are also daily tickets and multi-day tickets available:
24-hour ticket which costs 13.6 zł, 48-hour ticket which costs 21 zł, 72-hour ticket which costs 27 zł
One-day, two-days and three-days tickets are valid for any public transport line (including the express ones) without additional fare. Besides that a 24h ticket validated between 8PM (20:00) on Friday and noon on Saturday is valid till noon on Sunday.
There Poznań Card is a combination of ticket and discount card. Prices: 30 zł (ca. €7.50) one-day, 40 zł (ca. €10) two-day and 45 zł (ca. €11) three-day (see for details here: [www])
Fifteen minutes on a tram is usually enough to ride a few stops in the city out of the peak hours. For more than 5-6 stops, use a 30-minute ticket.
You may transfer as many times as you wish, but ride as long as the ticket is valid. Night buses have the same tickets and fares. Express buses cost twice as much, but are far from being twice faster, so the advice is to avoid them (besides fast line "L" joining the airport with the main railway station.
Nobody checks the tickets as you enter, so remember to "click" (validate) your ticket as soon as the vehicle starts, or you might be fined 100-200 zł (€27-55) if controlled. The fine might not seem large, but will cause you trouble. Remember, the ticket is not checked upon entering the bus. In Europe, if your ticket expires, you have to use another one or leave.
Unless you study in Poland and you are under 26, you will not be eligible for discounts on public transport.
Luggage smaller than "65 x 45 x 25 cm" can be carried without a fee, so click (validate) another ticket for your backpack. Smaller luggage, small dogs, wheelchairs and prams can be taken for free. Bicycles can be refused during peak hours. On piece of luggage (bigger than 65x45x25) is free of charge in "L" airport-fast line
In winter 2009 a new internet serviced was launched: Jak dojadę (Polish for : How will I get to...) – enabling to find a connection and the proper timetable even without a good knowledge about the topography of the city. It's enough to write the place (street, famous building) where you plan to start and finish your trip and the system will find you the quickest way.
Full price list is available here: [www]
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The Stary Rynek is full of stalls where you can buy handicrafts and toys. Good souvenir shops selling folk handicraft are situated in Woźna street (one of the streets from the Square eastwards).
- Stary Browar (The Old Brewery). – placed in the reconstructed buildings of the brewery built by Otto Hugger in 1870s in the city centre. In 2006 and 2007 it won a prestigious award for the best shopping mall of the world in the middle-size category. Many entrances: from Półwiejska street (which itself is a very popular shopping area), from Kościuszki or from the park between the Mall and Ogrodowa. Open: M-Sa 9-21 (the food supermarket in the underground 8-22); Sun 10-20 (supermarket 9-21).
- Kupiec Poznański (The Poznań Vendor), . Open: M-Sa 10-21, Sun 11-19. just few minutes from the Old Market Square, recommended for those who (being in the Old Town) have no time to walk anywhere further. You can find here a Biedronka supermarket, more than 50 other shops and an exchange office. Address: pl. Wiosny Ludów 2.
- Franowo Shopping Centre, . Open: Mo-Sat 10-21, Sun 10-19. – a huge complex (Ikea, M1 with a big supermarket and approx. 60 other shops & restaurants), a vegetable market (for retailers only) and some other shops in Franowo district. Far from the centre, but a visit here can be combined with a visit in Poznań Brewery (see above). ul. Szwedzka 6 and Szwajcarska 14. Accessible by buses #52, #81, #84 and direct fast line from the centre #A.
- Galeria Malta. Open: Mon-Sat 9-21, Sun 10-20. The latest mall in Poznan, and the biggest one in West Poland, on the shores of Lake Malta in one of the most picturesque parts of Poznań. The centre’s commercial space covers an area equal to 20 soccer fields and accommodates more than 170 establishments, including shops and boutiques bearing the most popular Polish and international brand names, service shops, restaurants, cafes, a multi-screen cinema complex and a fitness club. ul. Baraniaka 8.
- Auchan shopping mall – a typical suburban shopping centre. ul. Głogowska 432, phone: +48 61 656 86 00. Open Mon-Sat 8.30-22, Sun 9-20. Accessible by trams #5, #8 and#14 from the centre to the final stop Górczyn, from there bus #80. Another Auchan shopping mall is in Swadzim, approx. 14 km from the centre using road number 92.
- Pestka Gallery – located in Winogrady district, next to Poznań Fast Tram line (trams #12, #14, #15, #16 and #26) 47, Solidarności Av., open Mon-Sat 9.30 - 21.00, Sun 10.00 - 20.00
- King Cross Marcelin – a shopping centre in the western parts of the city, next to the street leading to Ławica airport, 156 Bukowska str., phone: +48 61 886 04 02. Open: Mon-Sat 9-22 (a food supermarket 8:30-22), Sun 10-20 (the supermarket 9-22)
- Poznan-Plaza – a small-sized, double-floored centre located in the north of the city, among the blocks of flats of Winogrady and Piatkowo districts, accessible by Fast Tram lines : #12, #14, #15, #16 and #26. 1, Kaspra Drużbickiego str., phone: +48 61 664 59 00. Open daily 9:30-22.
- Panorama – a small centre in the south of Poznan, there's no big choice of shops, but it's a very good place to buy shoes and clothes. ul. Górecka 30, phone : +48 61 650 00 65. Open: Mon-Sat 10-21, Sun 10-19.
There are many in Poznań, most are open all year round – maybe during the most severe frosts some stalls are closed and vendors are at home.
- A market on Wielkopolski Square – in the vicinity of the Old Town (2-3 minute walk) – mostly flowers, vegetables-fruit and sweets, some meat.
- Bernardyński Square – a little bit further from the centre, accessible on foot (5-6 minute walk from the Old Market Square) or by trams #5, #13 and #16 and buses #74 and #76. A good choice of flowers, a lot of vegetables and fruit.
- Jezycki Market – from the centre take trams #2, #17 or #18 to get there (if you're a good walker it's also accessible on foot) – mostly for the locals living in Jezyce district, a huge choice of meat, some flowers, vegetables, some clothes and shoes. Much better prices than in shops in the centre, but don't expect much English (or any other language). If you are a meat lover, just next to Jezycki, you will find Wilczura (Zdrowe Mięsa) (Poznańska 1/3), a specialized butcher offering wide range of less common meats and meat products, from horsemeat to coypu sausages. The prices are quite competitive and not much higher than more casual kinds of meat.
- Wildecki Market (trams #2, #9 and #10) – similar to Jezycki Market
- Łazarski Market (trams #5, #8, #14 and #18) – also assigned mostly for locals, apart from food, flowers and clothes – some toys and electronic equipment.
The cheapest places are so-called milk bars – established in the communist era, but still very popular, especially among younger people, for whom they're the cheapest (approx. €3 for a full dinner) option to have a normal meal (not fast-food).
- Bar Caritas, Plac Wolności 1 (just behind the Rzymski Hotel, only 250m from the Old Town), .
- Bar Apetyt, ul. Szkolna 4 (just 20 metres from the Old Market Square), . Popular first of all for dozens types of pancakes.
- Bar Przysmak, ul. Podgórna 2 (close to the Old Town), .
- Bar Pod Arkadami (Under the Arcades), pl. Cyryla Ratajskiego 10 (a bit more far from the Old Town, but still in the centre), .
- Bar Pod Kuchcikiem, ul. św Marcina 75 (in the very heart of the city), . In dinner time (13:00-16:00) full of students.
- Bar Duo Jeżycki, ul. Dąbrowskiego 39 (a little bit out of the centre, but still accessible on foot, about 10 minutes), . A good choice of traditional Poznań steam-dumplings with different supplements.
- Bar Euruś, ul. Głogowska 18. A short way from the centre, but very close to the railway station, International Fairs and the Palm House.
Other cheap options :
- Green Way, ul. Zeylanda 3, . A vegetarian bistro, led by the Adventists of the Seventh Day (a Protestant church). Seems to be far from the centre, but in fact just few steps from Kaponiera Crossing or central railway station.
- Piccolo bars – there are several of them within the city, but for tourists two will be most important: ul. Wrocławska 6 (phone: +48 61 852 89 57) and ul. Rynkowa 1 (phone: +48 61 851 72 51) – both only few steps from the Old Market Sq.
- Podbipięta, ul. Podgóna 19, . Serving traditional Polish food.
- Avanti, Stary Rynek 76, . Inexpensive fast-serve place to go for one of few kinds of spaghetti or lasagne. Served almost immediately - pasta and sauce are always ready. (Tip: go for carbonara pasta).
- Kociak (Kitty), ul. św. Marcin 28, . Very famous for its wonderful deserts and milk shakes. Don't be astonished with the interiors – it is a cafe bar, not a luxurious café.
- Cocorico Café, ul. Świętosławska 9/1 (Near Parish church), . 10:00 - 24:00. Little place, with nice jazzy and old French music.
- Pierogarnia Stary Młyn, ul. Wrocławska 18, .Traditional Polish restaurant with great atmosphere and service. Dough of traditional pierogi is even vegan.
- Alabama, Ul. Jaskółcza 15a, . Something between a good bistro and a poor restaurant, but well located in the Old Town; international cooking with an accent on American meals.
- Oberza Pod Dzwonkiem (The bell inn), Ul. Garbary 64, . A non-conventional inn with traditional Polish cuisine.
- Sól i Pieprz, Ul. Garncarska 2, . 11AM-10PM. The name means "Salt & Pepper" A cozy place (little difficult to find, between ul. Św. Marcin and Taczaka) Serving Polish food. Nice garden in summer. Tip: try the marinated Pork Loin in Honey-Mustard-Sauce. Main dishes from 17 zł.
- Czerwone Sombrero - ul. Piekary 17, Krzywoustego 72 and Półwiejska 42(The Old Brewery Shopping Mall). Original Mexican cuisine with live Latino music. [www], Phone : +48 61 852 61 01.
- Dramat, Stary Rynek 41, . 11AM-10PM. A cheap place on the Rynek serving Polish food. Perennially popular. €2 - €5.
- Tivoli, Ul. Wroniecka 13, . noon – 11PM.Bewildering range of pizza toppings.
- Al dente (сorner of ul. 3 Maja and Plac Wolności), .Inexpensive fast-serve place to go for good spaghetti or some pizzas. (TIP: Parmesan is separate in the menu).
- Sorella, ul. Ślusarska 4 (near Stary Rynek), . noon-11PM. Good relaxing atmosphere. Often quite busy in the evening, but rarely to the point of no free table.
- Sakana, ul. Wodna 7/1. Nice sushi bar near the main square. Not the least expensive one in town, but the food and service is good.
- Ali Baba, pl. Ratajskiego 10, . A good option, if the neighboring ‘Pod Kuchcikiem’ is overcrowded – many meals like steaks, kebab&chips etc.
- Kebab, ul. Wrocławska 20, . The name explains everything – the restaurant is only 2 min walk from the Old Market Square
- Karczma Polska (The Polish Inn), ul. Wielka 24/25 (entrance from ul. Klasztorna), . Typical Polish cooking, home-made dinners.
- Roti (the corner of ul. Jaskółcza and Szkolna), . A typical kebab-fast-food menu and (watch out!) kebab-dogs.
- Sioux Burger, Stary Rynek 68, . One thousand impressions about burgers, kebabs, steaks.
- Sphinx – 2 restaurants in the city: Stary Rynek 76, corner of ul. Gwarna and św. Marcin. Menu typical for this net restaurant: steaks, burgers, salads.
- Da Luigi, ul. Woźna 1, . Pizzeria in the Old Town + nice atmosphere = crowds.
- Cymes, ul. Woźna 2, . So far – the only Jewish restaurant in the city.
- Valpolicella, Ul. Wrocławska 7, . Italian trattoria in the Old Town, excellent service, good food, a big choice of Italian wines. Before 17:00 lunch menu in good price (from €5).
- Bażanciarnia, Stary Rynek 94, . 11AM – midnight.One of the most famous restaurants in town, their specialty is game. The service is excellent and their locale on the Rynek superb. Main courses range from €5 for vegetarian to €15 for foie gras.
- Delicja, Plac Wolności 5, . Centrally located, open from 12AM, serving mostly Polish, French and Italian meals, with a vast range of wines. Prices from €20 for a full meal, open-air tables from spring till autumn.
- Pod Pretekstem, . Św. Marcin 80/82 (the Emperor’s Castle), phone : +48 61 853 30 48 – restaurant and cafe with many cultural and art events. If crowded, you can move to the cellars, entrance from ul. Fredry.
- Nalewka, . , – in the middle of Old Market Square in the building of former Weigh House, Stary Rynek 2.
- Wiejskie Jadło, Stary Rynek 77 (entrance from ul. Franciszkańska), . A restaurant network stylized for a traditional old-polish peasant's house, located at the main square.
- Pieprz i Wanilia, ul. Murna 3a, . Classic English and Polish cooking, traditional peasant's party-table, professional grill, 2 rooms (60 seats) among the Old Town tenement houses.
- Wielkopolska Zagroda, ul. Fredry 12, . Famous for its traditional Polish, plentiful cooking in stylized interiors.
- Wieniawski restaurant, Ul. Bukowska 285 (airport), . Your last chance to try Polish cooking before airport check-in.
- Villa Magnolia, Ul. Głogowska 40, . Exclusive lunch and dinner in a splurge interior, only 300 metres from the International Fair Grounds.
- Pod Złotą Jabłonią (Under The Golden Apple-tree), ul. Garbary 48, . Artistic restaurant, popular among foreign guests, ideal for business or family meetings.
- Dark Restaurant, ul. Garbary 48, . A part of The Golden Apple-Tree restaurant, where all the meals are eaten in total darkness. As well several bans are essential for the guests: it's forbidden to walk without waiter's assistance, to use cell phones or any other devices, which can be a source of any light.
- Ratuszova, Stary Rynek 55 (on the old market), , e-mail: [email protected]. Traditional and modern Polish food arranged very elegantly. Beautiful location on the Market. Has outside serving, the inside is several unique smaller rooms in old charming building. 40 zł for mains.
Sights & Landmarks
Ostrów Tumski(Cathedral Island), famed as the spot on which Poznań was founded, is a quiet island, with a permanent population consisting mostly of bishops, priests and monks. It was supposedly here that the town was founded, after three brothers Rus, Lech and Czech met here after not seeing each other for years (poznać being Polish for 'to meet'). It is also the spot where Poland adopted Christian baptism in 966 and where the first church (still existing Poznań Cathedral) of polish territories was built (968). The island is accessible from the centre or Old Town by trams 4, 8 and 17 and bus 63 (other lines, not really useful for tourist are 67 and 83). The cathedral is open for visitors every day from 8AM to 4PM-7PM (depending on the day), but is closed for sightseeing during services (esp. Sundays). Admission : €0.70.
- St. Peter's and Paul's Cathedral - the first Polish cathedral and the only one between years 968 and 1000. Burial place of 8 polish dukes and kings from the Piast dynasty - original graves from 10th and 11th cent. of Mesko I and his son Boleslaus the Brave preserced in the cellar; as well as the baptism bowl - a probable baptism place of Duke Mesko I. In the cathedral pay attention to the chain of chapels around the main aisle, not touched by bombings in 1945 - the most precious ones are: the Golden Chapel (which a present memorial place of Mesko I and Boleslaus the Brave - in the sarcophagus on the right-hand side) and the Holy Cross Chapel.
- The Our Lady Church - built in late Gothic style (approx. 1430), not very significant for its present shape and values, but important for its role in the 10th century, when in the place the duke's palace and a small chapel were built. The chapel was probably erected one year before the official baptism of Poland. The interior (due to archaeological excavations) is closed for visitors.
- The Archbishop's Palace - built at the same time as the cathedral, but its present shape comes from the 2nd half of 18th cent. It is closed to visitors.
- The Bishop Lubrański University - the second oldest high school in Poland, founded by bishop John Lubrański in 1518. At the present - the Archdiocesan Museum.
- Psalter House was erected in the beginnings of 16th cent (by Bishop Lubrański) as a rehearsal-place for psalter singers. They were due to sing the David's Psalms in the Cathedral the whole day round. It is now used by Christian associations.
- canonries - mostly from 18th and 19th cent, built for noble priest working for the Poznań Cathedral and Archbishop.
Stary Rynek, the old town square, one of the finest in Europe. This is the centre of old, medieval Poznań, and has been superbly rebuilt after severe destruction in World War II. Cafés and bars line the square and it is a superb spot for ordering a drink and watching the world go by.
- Town Hall is the centerpiece of the Rynek. It was built in the a Gothic style in the first years of the 14th century. It was later rebuilt in Renaissance style by Giovanni Battista di Quadro from Lugano. It is said to be the most beautiful non-church renaissance building north of the Alps. The building houses the Historical Museum of Poznań (originally the headquarters of municipal powers and the city court), displaying exhibitions about the history of the city from the 10th century to the present day. Two things to watch out for here are the ornately decorated Great Entrance Hall and the mechanical goats which appear from the roof of the building each day at noon to butt their heads together a dozen times. The museum is open M,Tu,F 10AM-4PM, W noon-6PM and Su 10AM-3PM. Admission is €1.50.
- The City Church of St. Stanislaus and Our Lady - opened in 2007 after total refurbishment, one of the most beautiful baroque churches in Poland. It was built as a Jesuits' church; it is now the parish church for the Old Town. Many tourist come here for the sounds of its organs, built here in the 1870s by one of the most famous organ masters of that time: Friedrich Ladegast from Wesenfels (Germany). The organs can be heard during services (regular on Sundays and on weekdays: 3 or 4 in the morning and 1 in the evening) and during organ concerts (each Saturday, 12:15, entrance free). Entrance: €1,10 (2009).
- The former Jesuits' College - an old Jesuits' school build by the monk in the same period, as the neighboring church, now houses the City Office - so it's possible to get in to see the interiors, but only halls and corridors. In the early 19th century is was the quarters for emperor Napoleon I during his march toward Moscow. Few years later - the concert place for Frédéric Chopin (his original instrument is still exhibited in Poznań in the Museum of Musical Instruments). In front of the City Office is the monument of two goats - the symbol of the city.
- King's Castle - rebuilt by King Przemysł II in 1290s, but erected by his father, Duke Przemysł I as a duke's residence for Poznań county. The only remnants of the original building are the foundations, and - what tourists mostly look is the newer part of the building dated from the second half of 18th century. Now it houses the Museum of Applied Art and from the walls you can watch the panorama of the Old Town. Poznań King's Castle was the place of the Fist Prussian Homage in 1492 (however more famous is the second one presented on famous picture painted by Jan Matejko). The hill was also the place, where the arms of Polish first dynasty (Piasts) - the White Eagle - became the official national symbol.
- The Franciscan Church - it's a rather typical church from the turn of 17th and 18th cent, but is really worth coming here at least for a few minutes for its beautiful paintings on the vaulting and wood carvings created by two ingenious monk - brothers Adam and Antony Swach from the Czech territories. More religious visitors come here for the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Incessant Help - the Lady of Poznań (the picture in left side-aisle). The undergrounds of the church house two Models of Old Poznan.
- The Gorka Palace - the Gorkas were a famous late-medieval noble family in Poznań and erected their palace in mid 15th century, later rebuilt in 16th in Renaissance style (a marvelous portal from the eastern side). The palace houses the Archeological Museum (see below).
- The Holliest Blood Church - on Żydowska (Jewish) street, its erection is connected with a legend about desecration of the host done by a group of Jews. During services the priest stands backward to the people, and the church is used both by Roman Catholics and Greek Catholics (service each Sunday at noon in Ukrainian).
Środka district - located just few minutes from the Cathedral Island, it was a merchants' and craftmen's district working for the duke or king court in first half of 13th century, as the Cathedral Island had become overpopulated. The name come from the Polish name "Środa" (Wednesday), as weekly markets took place on Wednesdays.
- St. Margaret Church - late-Romanesque church (with some Gothic features) in the middle of Środka Market Square, nowadays a side-church for the cathedral parish. It's pretty hard to get inside, unless you come approx. a quarter before or after services.
- The church of St. John of Jerusalem - the first building on Polish territories built with bricks (before only wooden or stone building were erected) around the year 1188. The church was erected for the Johnnites order, who were running a hospital for the poor people nearby. The entrance is free, but as well limited to moments before or after services. This is also the only place in the city, where holy masses for dead people take place.
You can get from the Cathedral Island to Środka district using a pedestrians and cyclists' bridge, bearing the name of bishop Jordan (968-982), who was the first bishop of Poznań and Poland.
Just behind Środka a recreational area at the banks of Malta Lake start. They are 3 km away from the centre and include: an artificial skiing slope, an all-year-round tobogan slide, bike rental, ZOO (the biggest one in Poland), walking and jogging areas, a rollerskating track (5,5 km). The zoo is linked with the Środka district by narrow-gauge line, working from spring till autumn on workdays every hour, on weekends - every 30 minutes. Details : [www] (Polish only). Tickets - appr. €1.5, for kids €1, family tickets €4
The Emperor's district. The main building here is the Emperor's Castle, erected 1905-1910 by Franz Schwechten, the Berlin court architect of German emperor Wilhelm II. The huge neo-Romanesque building, which alludes to medieval constructions, was officially opened by the Emperor personally. It was the seat of Polish President in the inter-war period and Hitler's residence during WW2, when it was remodeled under the Albrecht Speer. The dominating element of the building is the Tower, originally 74-m high, after World War II was lowered (due to the damage in the lat period of the war) by approx. 20 metres. In the Rose Courtyard (opposite site to the main entrance) one can find a fountain modeled on the 13th century lions fountain in Allhambra (Spain). The castle houses the Castle Culture Centre, the Animation Theatre and many other institutions. It's also a place of many exhibitions, meetings, concerts and festivals.
- The system of forts surrounding Poznań in 19th century, all located nearby former round-road, just few km from the nowadays centre. Most of them are in poor technical state and are used for many (not really historical) purposes. Anyway it’s worth going to Fort VII (Polska str., accessible from the centre by trams #2, #17 and #18 to the final Ogrody stop, from the a short walk), where the Museum of Martyrology is located. The sightseeing of some forts on your own can be simply dangerous!
- A very unusual monument os. Stary Marych, at the very beginning of Półwiejska Str. (a shopping pedestrian zone), which is probably the only monument in the world of a man walking with a bike (all other cyclers ride). The Monumemo is dedicated to Stary Marych (Old Marych), a fictitious person, who features in local newspapers or in local radio stations (from 1983), and all his speeches about the actual problems are written (and read) in local Poznań dialect. It’s also the only monument of local dialect in Poland.
- The nature reservation "The Morasko Meteorite” – one of only two places like that in Europe (the second one is in Estonia) – a system of 7 craters left after a meteorite fall several thousands years ago. The name ‘Morasko’ comes from the suburban district placed approx. 1 km away.
Most of this attractions can be found on The Royal-Imperial Route in Poznań. This is a tour for tourist who would like to get to know better the history and culture of Poznań.
- Citadel Park, Wzgórze Cytadela. A fortress was built here by the Prussians in 1828; it was destroyed during fighting in 1945. It contains a cemetery for the Russian, Polish and British soldiers who lost their lives here.
Museums & Galleries
- National Museum in Poznań.Has several branches throughout in the city:
- Painting and Sculpture Gallery , al. Marcinkowskiego 9, phone: +48 61 856 8000, Tuesday – Saturday 10AM-5PM, 12 zł, free Saturday. This museum has a prominent collection of Italian, Spanish and Polish art. Many paintings have accompanying explanations in English.
- Museum of the History of Poznan - Stary Rynek 1, phone: +48 61 852 53 16, [www] - in beautiful and original (not damaged during World War II) interiors of Poznań Town Hall, shows objects and documents from the whole city history; from 10th century till present day. Open Tue-Thur 9-15, Fr 12-21, Sat-Sun 11-18. Admission 7 zł. Saturday admission free.
- Musical Instruments Museum, Stary Rynek 45-47, phone: +48 61 852 08 57, [www] Tuesday – Saturday 11AM-5PM, Sunday 11AM-3PM, 7 zł. With 2000 items from all over the world, this is the only exhibition of its kind in Poland. It also has an extensive collection of Chopin memorabilia.
- Applied Arts Museum, Góra Przemysła 1, phone: +48 61 852 20 35. Open Tu,W,F,Sa 10AM-4PM, Su 10AM-3PM. Displays crafts, furniture, precious metals and glassware. Admission 7 zł, free Saturdays. Closed for renovation till November 2012.
- Archaeological Museum, Ul. Wodna 27, . 10AM-4PM Tuesday – Friday, 10AM-7PM Saturdays, noon-5PM Sundays. With 42,432 artifacts, this is a large and fascinating museum. It specializes in the archeology of Wielkopolska and Egypt. admission: 8 zł (free Saturdays), English guide 70 zł.
- The Museum of Poznań Uprising 1956, Ul. Św. Marcin 80/82. Tu-F 10-17, Sa-Su 10-15. Placed in the interiors of Emperor's Castle shows exhibits connected with the Poznań workers' protest against the communist system in June 1956. On the exhibition there are photos of attendants and their personal belongings, and historical sources about the anticommunist opposition between 1945-1989. An interesting thing is a reconstructed tram, used by Protestants as a barricade. admission 4 zł, reduced 2 zł (free Saturdays).
- Literary Museum of Henryk Sienkiewicz, Stary Rynek 84, . Open M-F 10AM-5PM. Sienkiewicz, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1905, is best known for his work Quo Vadis?, an epic on early Christians in the Roman empire. He is Poland's most celebrated novelist, and this is the most extensive collection of items about his life and works. admission €0.70.
- Archbishopric Museum, Ul. Lubrańskiego 1, .Placed in the former Lubrański Academy - the second oldest (after Kraków) higher school in Poland. The exhibition shows church art, mostly from the Greater-Poland region, from early Middle Ages to present times, coffin portraits and a Treasury. Some interesting exhibits: baptism clothes of the Polish King Jan III Sobieski and a sword (given to the first Poznań bishop Jordan by the Pope Urban IX), used - according to the tradition - by St. Peter to cut off the ear of o Roman soldier short after Christ's death.
- Motoring Museum, Rondo Kaponiera (entrance in the Kaponiera roundabout underground walkway), . Tuesday – Sa 10AM-4PM (closed Thursdays), Sundays 10AM-3PM. Run by the Wielkopolska Motoring Club, features a range of vintage and notable vehicles. admission €0.90.
Things to do
Fans of steam trains will be in their element in Poznań. A fun day trip is to take a steam train to the Wielkopolska National Park. Take the 8:15 train from Poznań Główny station to Stęszew, a thirty-five minute journey. Walk to the road crossing, turn left and continue until you enter the park near Lake Witobelskie. Follow the blue path to Mosina where you can catch the train back to Poznań. You can book a seat next to the driver for €4.50 by calling 068 348 2008, ext. 368.
- The Polish Dance Theatre, ul. Kozia 4, phone: +48 61 852 42 42
- The Music Theatre, ul. Niezłomnych 1, phone: +48 61 852 17 86
- The New Theatre , ul. Dąbrowskiego 5, phone: +48 61 848 48 85
- The Polish Theatre, ul. 27 Grudnia 8/10, phone: +48 61 852 56 27
- The artistic platform "Obora" [www], ul. Fredry 7, phone: +48 61 665 88 00
- Brewery sightseeing tour, , e-mail:[email protected]. It's possible to arrange a tour in brewery (ul. Szwajcarska 11), where guest accompanied by a local guide can watch all the production processes; finally the tour is ended with a short competition about beer and - of course - with tasting of some golden drink from Poznan. Cost 12 zł, you have to be 18 or older.
- The models of Old Poznan (since Oct. 2008 there are two of them), . It's not a typical model, where you simply watch small plastic houses. It is an interactive 30-minutes show presenting the history of the city from its founding at the turn of 9th and 10th century till 18th century. The new model presents the beginnings of the city and its capital role played by Poznań during the reign of two first Polish rulers. Both models can be found in Ludgardy street in the cellars of Franciscan Monastery. Shows are organized daily from 9:30 every 45 minutes, additional shows in summer evenings. The choice of several languages: Polish, English, Spanish, German, Russian and Italian. Entrance: 14 zł.
Festivals and events
- The International Theatre Festival "Malta" – dozens of plays (both street ones and in theatres, museum, other closed space), on the turn of June and July
- Judaic Days – events (exhibitions, Torah reading, etc.) about Jewish culture, every year in mid-January.
- The Days of French Culture – March/April (depending on the Easter time) in "Dom Bretanii" (The House of Bretagne) on the Old Market Square.
- The Contemporary Music Festival "The Poznań Music Spring” – in the first half of April.
- The Bible Marathon – always in February in many churches (including monumental ones in the centre). Have a look how hundreds of people (mostly young ones) read whole Bible during few days.
- Kaziuki – an event celebrating St. Casimir, the patron of Lithuania – a good moment to buy a Vilnius palm or to eat a cepelin – yearly in the first weekend of March.
- The Passion of Christ – the biggest show in Poland presenting events from 2000 years ago, gathering every year in the Citadel Park approx. 120 thousand people. Always 8 days before Easter, on Saturday on the meadow next the Bell of Peace, around 19:00.
- The Horse Cavalry Day – usually the third weekend of April – events in the horse centre ‘Wola’ in the suburbs and in the Old Town, especially on the Old Market Square and nearby the 15th Poznań Cavalry Unit Memorial in Ludgardy street.
- The Fair of St. John – takes place always on the Main Square and surrounding streets in the second half of June.
- The Anniversary of Poznań Uprising on 28 June 1956 – every year on the Mickiewicz Square (nearby the Castle and railway station) on 28 June.
- The Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul – the patrons of the city, on 29 June.
During summer holidays
- The Old-Town Jazz Concerts (Saturdays) and Cameral Concerts (Sundays) on the Town Hall stairs.
- The Promenade Concerts – every summer Sunday in Wilson's Park (from the centre trams: #5, #8 i #14 to the stop Park Wilsona).
- Summer Town-Hall Concerts – every Wednesday evening in the Renaissance Hall inside the Town Hall (2nd floor).
- The Old-Town Organ Concerts – Thursday evenings in the Parish Church.
- The Solacz District Concerts – every Sunday in Solacz Park (accessible from the centre by trams #9 and #11 and buses #60 and #78).
- Summer Cinema on the Malta Lake shore – from Wednesday to Saturday just next to the Malta skiing slope.
- The International Animated Films Festival – in mid-July.
- The National Feast of France in Poznań – always on 14 July.
- The Parish Church Festival "Madlaine’s Tress” - in most cases the only opportunity to visit (usually closed) parts of the post-Jesuits’ complex : the Chapter Chamber, organs, the garret. Always during the weekend about July 22.
- The Feast of Poznań Bambers – always on 2 August, in the anniversary day of the arrival of the first settlers’ group from Bamberg (Germany) to Poznań in 18th century.
- The Tzadik Poznań Festival – the feast of Jewish culture in the former synagogue, turned during World War II into a swimming pool – mid-August
- The Festival of Good Taste – the feast of Greater-Poland cooking traditions, in mid-August on the Old market Square.
- The Contemporary Dance Workshops – workshops of more than 50 dance techniques, inspired by the famous Poznań Dance Theatre and its conductor Ewa Wycichowska, yearly in the second half of August.
- The Gypsies’ Culture Meetings – last two weekends of August, on the Plac Wolności Square, Old Market Square and on the courtyards of the Emperor’s Castle.
- The days of Pyra-Land (pyra in local Poznań dialect means potato – the feast of potato cooking – try it made in more than 100 ways! – the first weekend of September in Łęgi Dębińskie Park (accessible from the centre by trams #2, #9, #10 and bus #76)
- The Lviv Days in Poznań (Lviv – a city in western Ukraine, formerly belonging to Poland, deeply rooted in Polish culture) – a series of meetings, lectures and workshops – mid-September.
- The Bread Festival – organized by bakers from Poznań and Greater Poland, associated by bakery-goods tasting – second weekend of September, the Old Market Square.
- The Kid Films Festival 'Ale Kino' (‘What a Cinema’) [www] – a festival of films produced for young watchers, yearly from 1983 in December.
- The Christmas Market "The Poznań Bethleyem” – stalls with souvenirs, with Christmas decorations, hot wine, on the Old Market Square and nearby the west entrance to the Stary Browar Mall. Always three weeks before Christmas.
- The commemorations of the Greater Poland Uprising (from 1918-1919) – always on 27 Dec.
- SQ, ul. Półwiejska 42 (Stary Browar shopping mall).
- Alcatraz, ul. Nowowiejskiego 13/15, .
- Głośna, św. Marcin 30 (Left outbuilding, first floor). Cafe and bookshop.
Most night clubs in Poznań are to be found on and around the Stary Rynek.
- Cafe Mięsna, ul. Garbary 62, entrance from ul. Mostowa.
- Cuba Libre, Wrocławska 21, . 20-5. Latin music, most nights the owner gives a basic salsa-lesson early at night, before that Latin Parties with different DJ's and music. Cuba Libre €4.
- Dervish Café, Nowowiejskiego 8, pl. Wolności. Arabic, Balkan, Indian, Oldies, Reggae, Rnb Music. Bollywood and Bellydance shows.
- Proletaryat, Wrocławska 9, .
- Pruderia Exclusive Striptease Club, Półwiejska 24, . 9PM-4AM. A striptease club with two locations, in Poznań and Wroclaw. This is a location for your stag event, but it is also a hit with local businessmen looking to relax and enjoy themselves at the end of a hard day's work.
Things to know
In the city center, you will have no problem getting by with English, but outside of it English is quite limited. Even at the train station, you might find that you need to communicate with store vendors using body language (note: the international train office employees do all speak fluent English). If you need directions, try to ask young people who look like they might attend university. If you speak Russian, try talking to older people many of who still speak it at least basically. Despite Poznan's proximity to Germany, very few people speak any German, and if they do, it is often nothing more than a few words.
Safety in Poznan
Poznań is generally a safe city, with levels of crime comparable to elsewhere in central Europe. However, by comparison with major cities in western Europe there is less tolerance of diversity in racial or sexual orienation and care should be exercised outside of the city centre.