Interesting Regions

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The Most Fascinating Tourist Regions

Wielkopolska is blessed with at least a dozen regions and places whose sightseeing treasures really set them apart. The voivodeship’s beautiful natural surroundings, fascinating heritage, historical memorials and prosperous development have made it a tourist magnet. The towns and countrysides described below can be visited on daytrips or on sightseeing excursions lasting several days. Many of them make ideal holiday destinations. 

POZNAŃ


Poznań is one of the oldest cities and, with a population of just under 600,000, one of the largest in the country. With its many historical buildings and monuments, museums and modern facilities, Poznań is one of Poland’s major centres of learning, culture, trade and industry. The archcathedral basilica on the island of Ostrów Tumski (the oldest part of the city) dates back to the 10th century and contains relics of Poland’s first cathedral. The Old Town complex is definitely worth a visit to see its beautiful renaissance town hall and baroque parish church. Some interesting buildings, including a few impressive eclectic edifices around Adam Mickiewicz Square, were erected in the city centre in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Cemetery of Distinguished Wielkopolska Residents can be found on St. Wojciech Hill. Twenty museum branches, with the National Museum at the forefront, depict the history of art, engineering and biology, as well as the lives of outstanding Poles. Poland’s biggest palm house, the two large zoological gardens, Lake Malta, and numerous sports facilities (including an artificial ski slope) offer different kinds of attractions. Many trade fairs are held in Poznań throughout the year. There is plenty of accommodation, stylish restaurants and pubs, especially around the Old Town.

POZNAŃ ENVIRONS

Two towns especially renowned for their manor houses and beautiful parks lie to the south of Poznań. The castle museum in Kórnik once belonged to the Działyński family and the park and arboretum  house some 3,000 species and varieties of trees and shrubs. Rogalin was the Raczyński family estate until 1939. There is a palace museum, a church (actually a copy of a 1st century BC Roman chapel in Nîmes, France), a picture gallery and a park with centuries-old oak trees. Not far away, to the west of the Warta River, lies the Wielkopolska National Park – an extraordinary “museum” of post-glacial formations complete with hills, lakes and natural monuments - and the Rogalin Landscape Park. The biographical museum of writer and adventurer Arkady Fiedler in Puszczykówko and the National Museum of Agriculture and Agricultural Food Industry in Szreniawa, both at the edge of the Wielkopolska National Park, are well worth a visit.

To the north-east of Poznań lies Zielonka Wilderness, a popular recreational resort for the city’s inhabitants. The 15th-century Gothic Collegiate Church and the Górka Castle Museum, which houses a valuable collection of icons, are two of Szamotuły’s historical buildings. Several of the lakes around Poznań are suitable for swimming and sunbathing during summer.

GNIEZNO AND THE PIAST TRAIL

Wielkopolska is the cradle of the Polish state. A lot of Romanesque monuments from that time (i.e. the 10th to 13th centuries) can be found along the Poznań-Gniezno-Kruszwica route, better known as the Piast Trail. Gniezno, the first capital of Poland, is way out in front with its beautiful Gothic cathedral, its collections of historical memorabilia and works of art, its engrossing Museum of the Origins of the Polish State and Archdiocesan Museum, and its other heritage buildings, like the Gothic St. John Church with its 14th century polychrome.

Lake Lednica adjoins the Wielkopolska Ethnographic Park, a huge open-air museum, and its waters surround Ostrów Lednicki, the country’s most famous inland island. Around Imiołki, on the other side of the lake, lies Pola Lednickie (Lednica Fields). A youth gathering is held at a symbolic fish-shaped gate here every year (Lednica 2000). Models of famous Wielkopolska buildings are on display at the miniature open-air museum in Pobiedziska. Giecz has some valuable Romanesque building relics. Further east of Gniezno, churches of Romanesque origin grace Trzemeszno, Mogilno, Strzelno and Kruszwica. The Mysia Wieża (Mouse Tower) in Kruszwica, the remains of a 14th-century castle, is shrouded in legend.
 

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