One of the oldest cities in Poland, Poznań has been around for 1,200 years. Today Poznań combines old-style charm with a modern city, business center and western atmosphere. It features interesting museums to visit and an old-world square during the day, and an energetic nightlife. Shortlisted for European Best Destination 2019, Poznań is one of Poland’s gems shining bright.
It is said that long ago there were three brothers were on a hunt, and they each followed a different prey to what is now known as the Slavic nations of Poland, formerly Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic and Slovakia), and Russia. One brother, Lech, journeyed to what is now Poland and united the western Slavic areas with his brothers.
This story, and other tales of old, are obvious foundations in a city that heralds in the new – while honoring the old. In the town square is the Town Hall, erected in the early 14th century, where everyday at noon two iron billy goats emerge and butt heads – which they have been doing since 1551. With its grand architecture and well-lit façade, the Town Hall is reminiscent of beauty from the past. Also along the side of the Old Town Square are slim, multi-storied, and multicolored homes. The energetic movement of the crowd combined with a gorgeous 360-degree view of the square are a staple of life in Poznań.
Poznań does museums right. Just opened as of September of this year, the Museum of Musical Instruments has over 2,000 items from Poland and around the world. Music, history, and ethnography are combined into a cultural timeline of the sounds that form our dreams and memory. Three floors of exhibits include lutes dating back to the 15th century, 160 pianos, and items from the life of Frederic Chopin. To add onto this, the soon-to-be-opened Enigma Museum will commemorate three Polish mathematicians (Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski) that cracked an encryption machine developed by the Nazis called Enigma. This heroic deed helped the allies decode Nazi messages and movements which shortened the war.
One of the culinary treasures of Poznań is the traditional Polish croissant. This pastry is folded 81 times and forms the shape of a horseshoe. The filling is comprised of a tasty concoction of poppyseed and almond paste. A legally protected cultural heritage, it is recognized by the European union as a Protected Geographical Indicator. Not only is this treat worth a taste, but it is featured in the St. Martin’s Croissant Museum. Only one block from the main square, this celebration of the savory and sweet delight is worth a visit.
From December 7th to 8th, Poznań hosts the largest Ice Sculpture Festival in Europe. Set in the Old Market Square, 12 two-person teams of professional ice carving artists travel to Poznań from the around the world to compete.
Poznań is more than a tourist destination. It has cultural relevance. It the birthplace of the Polish nation as we know it. Poznań is ready to receive the traveler with its vibrance during the day and excitement at night. That’s why the Polish Tourism Organization wants to get the traveler out and about in Poznań’s welcoming atmosphere.
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