City of Poznan
Poznań is one the largest cities in Poland (with a population of about 554,000) and it is also the capital of the Wielkopolska (Greater Poland) Province. This thriving centre of commerce can boast highly developed business traditions dating many centuries back. The most important event in the city is the annual Poznań International Fair, organised since 1925 and covering over 40 exhibitions in many areas.
Among the numerous historical landmarks of Poznań, the ones which deserve special attention are: the Renaissance Town Hall, the oldest Polish cathedral on Ostrów Tumski and the Prussian Castle. The Old Town also offers many tourist attractions, such as numerous museums, restaurants, pubs and cafes.
Poznań can also be a great starting point for travelling to other interesting places in Wielkopolska.
Near the city you can find the Castle in Kórnik, and the palace in Rogalin, where monumental oaks grow in the park surrounding the Raczyński family manor. Another place worth seeing is Gniezno, the first capital of Poland, and the unique of steam locomotives in Wolsztyn. The Wielkopolska National Park, located 15 kilometres from Poznań is a great recreation area. The city itself has many parks as well as an interesting sports and recreation complex located along the shore of Lake Malta, which is very popular among the Poznanians.
The Poznan District
The Poznan District creates 17 communities surrounding Poznan: Buk, Czerwonak, Dopiewo, Kleszczewo, Komorniki, Kostrzyn, Kornik, Lubon, Mosina, Murowana Goslina, Pobiedziska, Puszczykowo, Rokietnica, Steszew, Suchy Las, Swarzędz, Tarnowo Podgórne. It is one of the biggest districts in the country. It covers an area of 1899,88 square kilometers and counts more than 350 thousand residents.
District communities surround an agglomeration of Poznan lying at the crossroads of major international and domestic transport routes. Poznan District area is covered with a relatively dense network of railways of great importance for passengers and freight transport. These trains run on routes from Poznan in the direction of: Berlin, Szczecin, Koszalin, Bydgoszcz and Gdynia, Warsaw, Katowice and Kraków, Wroclaw and Wolsztyn.
Poznań District area is part of the Lake District Wielkopolska, and forests cover an area of 42,000 hectares. Walking enthusiasts can walk and hike on many trails around the district scattered in The Wielkopolska National Park, Zielonka Forest, Landscape Park “Promno” or on the outskirts of Poznan.
The District of Poznan has many valuable monuments of architecture, including recognized as a historical monument The Castle in Kornik.
The second largest region in the country (occupying nearly 30,000 square km), Wielko- polska is situated in the west of Poland. The Region has a population of nearly 3.5 million, and its capital is based in Poznan.
Wielkopolska lies at the crossing of many transportation routes. The Western Europe – Russia route runs through Poznan, while in the north-south direction lies the internatio- nal route from Gdańsk via Poznan and Leszno to Prague and further to the south of Europe. In 2011, construction of the A2 motorway fragment leading to the western border of Poland will be completed and will connect Warsaw with Berlin via Poznan. The EuroCity trains run along the Warsaw-Poznan-Berlin route ensuring fast transportation services, and the route is adapted to the European system of fast connections. Poznan is also home to the Poznan-Ławica Airport which, in terms of passenger carriage, belon- gs to the most dynamically developing airports in the country.
Wielkopolska is an excellent place for tourism. One may become acquainted with this beautiful region by following its several-hundred-metre-long cycling routes that are unique on the national scale. Wielkopolska is also the cradle of Polish statehood. Next to Poznan, other flagships of the region are towns situated on the so-called Piast Route: Ostrów Lednicki, Gniezno, Trzemeszno, Strzelno, Biskupin and Kruszwica. Here one can find tangible proof of the birth of the Polish State. According to recent studies, Ostrów Lednicki is the site where the first Polish ruler, Mieszko I, was baptised. On the other hand, Biskupin was the defensive settlement of the Lusatian culture. The Biskupin settlement is one of the few archaeological sites in Poland that can boast full-sized reconstructions of the defensive rampart, breakwater, gate, streets and residential buildings.
An interesting image of Wielkopolska in the next centuries can be seen as reflected in the magnificent palaces and manors of the region such as Kórnik near Poznan, Rydzyna near Leszno, Wąsowo near Kuślin, Krześlice near Pobiedziska, Porażyn near Nowy Tomyśl, Antonin near Ostrów Wielkopolski and Rogalin near Mosina. Finally, Wielkopolska and its capital, Poznan, is an example of the only victorious uprising in the history of Poland. In 1918, Wilekopolska’s inhabitants took up arms and freed the region from the occupier’s rule, on their own. Wielkopolska became a very important part of Poland, reborn after over 120 years of partitions. Today the region abounds in sites of remembrance about these events.
In June 1956, thousands of workers from the biggest Poznan factories and work places claimed the right to a dignified life in a country ruled by communists. The workers’ protests were ultimately suppressed after a bloody battle, but the memory of people dreaming about true freedom remained. The Poznan Crosses in plac. Mickiewicza in the capital of Wielkopolska bear full testimony to this fact. Wielkopolska can also boast of remarkable natural features, with the Wielkopolska National Park and a part of the Drawieński National Park situated in the region. There are twelve landscape parks there in total. To name a few: Lednicki, Sierakowski, Powidzki, Zielonka Forest, Rogaliński, Nadwarciański and Barycz Valley.
Wielkopolska is also famous for breeding Arab horses, in Iwno, Pępowo and Racot, as well as experimental breeding of the Polish primitive horse (konik). Wielkopolska has also long-lasting traditions in agriculture, and hop plant and wicker are just examples of unusual crops the region is known for. Wielkopolska is one of the richest and most dynamically developing regions of Poland. It is really worth visiting to see and feel the atmosphere of Wielkopolska economy and work for the region.