A complex of buildings housing a museum and a school (a “Millennium monument”) overlooks Lake Jelonek in Piast Park in the western part of the city. A monument to Mieszko I and Boleslaus the Brave stands on the edge of the square. The Museum of the Origins of the Polish State can be found in the central wing. The main entrance to the complex is adorned with a convocation of eagles from the most distant past to the current coat of arms.
The Cathedral was erected on Lech’s Hill, also known as Royal Hill, where the first settlement grew up.
St. Wojciech Square was built west of Lech’s Hill in 1996-1997.
The archbishops palace lies on the eastern corner of ul. Łaskiego and ul. Jeziorna. Designed by the renowned architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, it was erected in 1830-1836 and rebuilt c. 1928 and again in 1994.
Several historical canons line ul. Łaskiego.
The statue of Boleslaus the Brave that stands in the vast square in front of the cathedral is the work of renowned Wielkopolska sculptor Marcin Rożek. The statue was unveiled in 1925 to mark the 900th anniversary of the coronation of Poland’s first king. It was destroyed by the Nazis in 1940, and reconstructed according to a design by Jerzy Sobociński in 1985.
A defensive embankment ran to the north, between the Cathedral and St. George Church, segregating the area around the grad (along with the Cathedral) from the ducal grad itself.
The bell tower, rebuilt in the baroque style, was erected on the eastern part of the cathedral in 1971-1975. This houses one of the heaviest bells in Poland – the Great St. Wojciech, which has a diameter of 2.08 m and a mass of 6,280 kg – along with four smaller rococo bells dating from 1760.
Relics of St. Stanisław’s chapel can be found between the cathedral and St. George Church. These are the remains of Poland’s first renaissance chapel, built by Abp. Jan Łaski as his grave chapel in 1523.
The small St. George Church was built higher and then rebuilt at the end of the 18th century with the utilisation of reused Romanesque cut stones. Marcin Rożek’s 1936 sculpture of St. George hangs over the baroque portal.
There is a group of historical canonry buildings behind St. George Church. The largest of these is Potocki’s canon house, built in 1736-1738. This was rebuilt in 1983-1989 and now houses the Gniezno Archdiocesan Museum and its extensive collections.
Central Gniezno sprawls out east of Lech’s Hill and includes the area of the former medieval city with the marketplace in the middle. The Brama Tumska (Cathedral Gate), also known as the Poznań Gate, stood in the middle of this street from the 13th to the 19th century. The red flagstone and the glass information pyramid commemorate its profile.
The Old Town includes the marketplace and its immediate vicinity. The marketplace once occupied a higher part of the hill known as Maiden Hill, which took its name from a Poor Clare Sisters convent. The city used to be walled and access was via the Poznań, Toruń and Pyzdry (Warsaw) gateways. The original planned urban layout was distorted by a fire in 1819 and by subsequent regulations. The present buildings of the marketplace and its neighbouring streets mostly date from the 1st half of the 19th century. The “circle of donors” – brass coats of arms of the cities that supported the renovation works – was immured into the new pavement. The buildings that once stood in the marketplace, including the town hall and scales, are represented by the red flagstone.
The Gothic Holy Trinity Parish Church is on the south side, 100 metres from the marketplace. This was erected c. 1420-1430 and rebuilt with a literary chapel in 1613 after a fire.
The Franciscan church and monastery is on the north side of the marketplace. This order was brought to Gniezno in 1259. The present building was created by merging the places of worship of the Franciscans and the Poor Clare Sisters.
The buildings of the former prison and court (now the Regional Court) lie to the west of this church on the site of an earlier Poor Clare Sisters convent demolished in 1837. The parents of the children who took part in the Września school strike of 1901 were tried in the Gniezno court.
Ul. Bolesława Chrobrego (Boleslaus the Brave St.), the city’s main thoroughfare, runs east from the marketplace and has the town hall from 1831 on one side and the Pietrak restaurant and luxury hotels on the other. The former Evangelical church, now the Catholic Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary Queen of Poland, was built in 1838-1842.
The Church of St. John is north of the marketplace in the Grzybowo district. Erected in the latter half of the 14th century (the monastery somewhat later), this is the most valuable heritage building after the cathedral. The polychromes have been partially preserved.
The 15th-century St. Michael Church is situated on a hill in ul. ks. Prymasa S. Wyszyńskiego (Abp. S. Wyszyński St.), east of the Old Town.
Park Miejski (Municipal Park) is in the eastern part of the city, in the vicinity of the former barracks. The northern part of the park has an early medieval Slavic hill fort.
The ancient St. Lawrence Church is south of the marketplace, near pl. 21 Stycznia (21 January Sq.). Burnt down by the Teutonic Knights in 1331, the present, substantially remodelled, building dates from the 16th century. The 17th-century Church of St. Peter and St. Paul is in the cemetery in the western part of the city.
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