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POZNAN

"FAVOURITE SHOPPING CENTRE IN EUROPE."
[Trip Advisor]

Poznan is one of the largest and oldest Polish cities, and, as one of the major trade centres in Poland, is regarded as the second most prosperous city in Poland after Warsaw. Many Western European companies have established their Polish headquarters in Poznan.

Even though Poznan is not a well-known tourist destination, its residents will make sure that you feel welcome and accepted. With a large number of students and business people, an unusual mix of different identities, combined with exceptional architecture and impressive landmarks, the city has a unique feel that can’t be found anywhere else.

The earliest mention of Poznan dates all the way back to the 10th century, when the Kingdom of Poland was first established, and Poznan and Gniezno were its main centres. In the 12th century, the city developed substantially because of its good connections to other European cities, such as Moscow and Berlin, and played an important role in trade and economy. The Golden Age of Poznan is generally thought to be in the 16th century prior to the Swedish Invasion. This began a series of epidemics and wars that considerably slowed down the city’s cultural and economic progress. In 1793, Poznan became part of Prussia and only regained independence at the end of World War I. When Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939, they started a process of Germanising the city’s people and many were murdered or deported. After the communists ousted the Germans, Poznan became a part of the Soviet bloc. Ever since communism came to an end in 1990, the city has been undergoing a process of rebirth.

SHOPPING

"Yes, there’s a Burberry store in Poznan. And an Armani. Even a Versace! You can wander through the vast, award-winning Stary Browar mall or the new Poznan City Centre spending zloty until you’ve solved the European debt crisis, but if you’re bringing gifts back to show your loved ones what Poznan is like, a Burberry bag from London won’t cut it...

That’s why, throughout this section, we’ve made an effort to list establishments selling gifts that actually say, ‘I went to Poland."

[inyourpocket.com]

SIGHTSEEING

Most of the city’s attractions are located in the Old Town, the most beautiful and vibrant part of the city. Many of the sights are on the Royal-Imperial Route, a tourist trail that leads you through the most important parts of the city, showing you its architecture, landmarks and overall magnificence.

POZNAN CATHEDRAL

The Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul (commonly known as Poznan Cathedral) is the city’s oldest monument, dating back to 968. Inside, you can find many precious works of art, as well as the fact that this cathedral marks the burial place of many past kings. In the crypt, you can see the remains of the temple that was originally on the site.

OLD TOWN SQUARE

This square used to be the centre of old Poznan and today provides us with a wonderful combination of architecture, museums, cafés and restaurants. Over half of the Old Town Square was destroyed during World War II, but has since been rebuilt, mostly in Baroque and Renaissance styles. It is one of the most charming squares, not just in Poland, but in all of Europe and there are plenty of places where you can sit in a café and admire its beauty.

ROYAL CASTLE

Not every European city can boast having two castles, but Poznan certainly can. The original site of the Royal Castle dates back to the 13th century. After suffering a great deal of damage over the years, a new project began in 2010 to completely restore it to its former glory. Since June 2015, the castle has once again been open to visitors, so, if you are interested in royalty, this will make for a very interesting trip.

IMPERIAL CASTLE

Designed in a neo-Romanesque style, the castle was built in 1910 during the reign of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Between WWI and WWII, the castle served as Poznan's University, and afterwards, it became a venue for numerous plays, concerts and other cultural events. Today, its basement houses the 1956 Uprising Museum, celebrating the first armed resistance against the Communist Regime. This large complex also includes several restaurants, cafés and shops.

NATIONAL MUSEUM

In the National Museum, you can admire a large collection of modern paintings by Polish artists, medieval art and plenty of canvases from 16th century onwards. There is also a good selection of Italian, Spanish and Dutch art on display and even a Monet painting recovered after it was stolen in 2000. It is truly a great place for art lovers.

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