With a population of half a million, Poznań is the largest city in western-central Poland. It is a major centre of trade, industry, culture and academia. In the earliest days of the Polish state, Poznań was the seat of Poland’s rulers and the cradle of the Christian faith. On the island of Ostrów Tumski on the river Warta there is the Cathedral of the Apostles Peter and Paul, the church in which Duke Mieszko, the first Christian ruler of our country, was baptised. The cathedral was also the burial place of the first rulers of Poland. Archaeologists have also uncovered the remains of Poland’s oldest Christian place of worship on Ostrów Tumski.
Poznań has a small but delightful old town quarter. The jewel in its crown is the Town Hall building, one of the most precious pieces of Renaissance architecture in Poland.
A historic city of 70,000 some 50 km east of Poznań, in the western-central region of Poland. At the turn of the 10th and 11th centuries, Gniezno was the first capital of the Polish state, and it was here that the foundations of a Christian culture and the Polish nation were laid. In the year 1000 Gniezno became the capital of the Polish Church metropolis (a title which it formally retains to this day). The city’s most important piece of historic architecture is the Gothic Cathedral of the Assumption, the coronation church of the first kings of Poland. It was here that the body of St Adalbert (Pol.: St Wojciech), bishop martyr and patron saint of Poland, was laid to rest. The story of St Adalbert is told in scenes cast in gunmetal on the “Gniezno Doors” (the main entrance door to the cathedral), a unique relic of Romanesque art.