Poznan & surroundings

Poznań, which originates from the Polish for “to meet someone”, has been a gathering place throughout its history. The city is Poland’s largest trades fare centre and being half-way between Warsaw and Berlin, it has been a crossroads of cultures throughout history.

  • Old Town

1 old town5

Poznań is one of the oldest towns in Poland. Extended by the first Polish rulers: Mieszko I and Boleslav the Brave, it was the capital city in the 10th and 11th centuries. The first cathedral was founded in 986 on Tumski Is-land. Pride of place in the catherderal is given to the Mieszko I tomb and the enormous Gothic altar dating from 1512. In the Old Market Square the majority of buildings date back to the 15th century. The Town Hall, founded in the 13th century and later extended in Renaissance style, has one of the most precious Renaissance interiors in Northern Europe. Drive down St. Martin Street which has a monument commemorating victims of the Poznań Spring of 1956 – the first revolt against the communist regime in Poland. Drive by the most beautiful buildings in Poznań: the Archaeology Museum, the Renaissance Górków Palace, the 18th century Jesuit church – one of the best examples of Baroque architecture in Poland; the Raczyński Library, Collegium Maius, the Opera House, and Mickiewicz University.

 

  • Kornik castle

2 kornik castle

Drive 20 km south from Poznań to Kórnik: castle built in the 16th century, rebuilt in the 19th century in English Gothic style, former property of Zamoyski family. The castle has a collection of furniture, paintings, sculptures, armour and oriental weaponry. Surrounded by a stylish park dating back to the 16th century, now arboretum with numerous exotic plants. Then 10 km west to Rogalin, with a Rococo-Classical palace founded in 1770. The forest here has the highest concentration of old oak-trees in Europe (over 900 trees of 2 m or more in diameter).

 

  • Gniezno and Biskupin

3 biskupin

50 km drive east from Poznań to Gniezno – the Nest”. According to legend, the founding father of the Polish people, Lech, looked up into a tree here and spied an eagle’s nest. The eagle became the emblem of Poland and Gniezno, its capital. The coronation of Bolesław the Brave, the first king of Poland, took place in the cathedral built by his father, Mieszko I, founder of the Polish state. Boleslaw also received the Holy Roman Emperor, Otto III in the city in the year 1000. A year previously, relics of St. Adalbert were buried in the cathedral and a bronze gate manufactured in 1170 shows scenes from his life and martyrdom. 20 km north of Gniezno lies Biskupin – a pre-Slavonic defensive settlement from 700-400 BC, discovered in 1933 by a local teacher. The imaginative reconstruction was based on excavated remains. Located on a peninsula on the lake, the settlement consists of 105 wooden houses, 11 parallel streets, defensive walls, gates and a wooden bridge.

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