By Monica Dolecka
Poznań in a Snapshot
Poznań is considered the Wielkopolska capital and is a beautiful and scenic city located in west-central Poland. It is one of the oldest and biggest cities with a much larger population of residents than the most cities in Poland, currently home to over 550,000 people.
Poznań is one of the most prominent trade, sports, education, culture, tourism and technology hubs in Poland today. It is home to the third biggest Polish university, Adam Mickiewicz University, being a popular place of continuing education for students who come there from all over the country.
Lying gently on the Warta river, Poznań is a scenic city displaying an eyeload of attractive historic and profoundly religious, as well as cultural sites. Here are among the top 5 most popular and revered places to experience in Poznań:
- The ancient Imperial Poznań Castle (Zamek Cesarski)
The famous palace was completed by architect Franz Schwechten in 1910 for the then German Emperor, William II. The palace accommodated many German government sectors during this time and up until the World War II, and at one point served as a temporary place of residence for Hitler. Today, sections of the palace continue to serve in the city’s public administration division. Other branches of the castle still in use today are the Throne Room, which functions as a cinema room, along with the art galleries, restaurants, and puppet theatres founds throughout the building, and the courtyard which entertains guests outdoors with concerts and movie shows during warmer months.
- Central Market Square
Promenade this historic common square and in no time you’ll be quickly transported back to the days when horses and carriages ruled the cobblestone Poznań streets and people greeted each other with a tip of the hat or a curtsy.
The ‘Old Town’ district hums with life and curiosity as wanderlusters from around the world gather here to absorb the historic Poznań vibes. In the evening, the square is a popular magnet for younger crowds and a great spot for trying out traditional-modern hybrid restaurants, pubs and dance clubs. Like Manhattan, this part of the city is always alive.
- Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra
You don’t have to be a classical music enthusiast to enjoy the beauty and serenity of the orchestra. Formerly called the Poznań Philharmonic, the current Philharmonic Orchestra was created in 1931and was then comprised mainly of members belonging to the previous Orchestra. Concerts are held at the University Auditorium, which has a highly distinctive and world-class sound system that entertains thousands of guests each year. Famous performances of the orchestra include playing in the premier of the Chopin competition in Warsaw in 1949, shortly after the war. Tourists can see a wide array of scheduled shows, galas and competitions such as the famous International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition and the National Jan Rakowski Viola Competition.
One of the more natural oriented and recreational spots, Malta Lake is a great spot to unwind from the renaissance vibe of ‘Old Town’. Almost 1.5 Miles long, the lake features Maltese baths and one of the most exciting and largest Thermal Aqua Parks in Poland, (Termy Maltanskie) which also offers a relaxing sauna and hot tub experience, in addition to the Olympic sized outdoor swimming pools. Cleanly groomed biking and walking trails line the park, and during the winter, the Malta ski slope attracts skiers for a day of fun in the snow. There is also an ice rink, one of the first ones built during Communist times, and a zoo where families can spend the day together.
After a refreshing day out in nature, visitors can satisfy their built up appetites with an array of exclusive Poznań restaurants, and afterwards, many choose to stick around to enjoy an art show, or music/dance concert featured in the outside concert hall.
Sources: Wikipedia, lonelyplanet.com, wieniawski.com