Greater Poland – updated 22 September 2022
Greater Poland (Wielkopolskie) is often referred to as being the “Cradle of Poland” and if you want to experience the essence of Poland’s eventful history, this is the province to head to.
The Polish state was founded here in the Middle Ages with the cities of Poznan and Gniezno being the early centres of royal power. Gniezno was once the capital of Poland prior to being moved to Krakow.
Today, Greater Poland is a historical province with an immense pride in its long history, the largest city is Poznan, followed by Kalisz, which is the oldest city in the country.
Kalisz was first mentioned in the 2nd century AD as Calisia, a trading settlement on the Amber Route between the Roman Empire and the Baltic Sea. Gniezno has a charming Old Town with winding streets and colourful, slope-roofed buildings. Both towns provide attractions worthy of a day trip.
Wielkopolska National Park
15 km south of Poznan is an area of around 75 square kilometres of forest and lakes, which forms the Wielkopolska National Park. The province also contains part of Drawa National Park and has several Landscape Parks including the Rogalin Landscape Park, which is famous for its 2000 monumental oak trees.
The city of Poznan has many interesting sights, a huge student population and a very lively vibe. The city centre is buzzing at all times of the day and night and is packed full of restaurants, bars and clubs.
Iron Age settlement
Away from the cities, you will find delightful towns, rural scenery and a good choice of attractions including the Iron Age settlement in Biskupin, the great cathedral of Gniezno, castles, palaces and churches.
The sleepy lakeside town of Kórnik is very popular with tourists because of its small, distinctive castle, the town of Żnin attracts railway enthusiasts due to its steam train and Rogalin Palace Museum helps visitors understand Poland’s historical noble and opulent past.
The pearl of the Polish baroque
Rydzyna is a historic town within the region and was the seat of King Stanislaus I during his first short reign from 1704 to 1709. The town has a delightful preserved old town and a multitude of historical buildings and is often referred to as ‘the pearl of the Polish baroque.’