Poznań – the Seat of the First Polish Rulers
Poznań is a city stooped in artistic and trade traditions, with many schools of higher education, museums and avant–garden theatres. It is also the site of the Poznań International Trade Fair. On the island of Ostrów Tumski, washed by the Warta waters, stands a 10th century cathedral containing the tombstones of ancient Polish rulers. The Old Town Square is dominated by the town hall, a magnificent Renaissance building. Not far from the Market Square stands the former Jesuit church, considered to be the most beautiful Baroque building in Poland. Many famous people were hosted by the nearby Jesuit College, including Napoleon Bonaparte and Frederick Chopin, who once gave a recital here. The Raczyński Palace houses the oldest public library in Poland. The Działyński Palace contains the collections from the Kórnik Library, including the priceless 1543 edition of Nicolaus Copernicus’ De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres). Next to the Adam Mickiewicz University stands the Monument to the Victims of June 1956 Events, commemorating one of the first mass protests against the communist regime in Poland. Poznań’s Malta park is a large water sports centre. Regattas on Lake Malta attract many rowers and motorboat helmsmen. The park hosts the second largest International Theatre Festival in Europe (after Edinburgh). The Wieniawski International Violin Festival and the Poznań boys’ choirs are well known to music lovers worldwide. Every year, the Poznań International Trade Fair management organises several dozen events, including art fairs, building constructions, computer systems, electronics and agricultural products. St Martin’s Fair is a very special event during which all sorts of things can be bought at reduced price. In Poznań, a reputable trading town, your bargaining skills will be well appreciated. Every day at noon, the little doors on the town hall tower open and two goats appear, butting horns 12 times. According to the legend, they once saved the town hall from fire. With time, they have become the symbol of the city and of its witty, stubborn and hardworking citizens.