Situated on seven hills among lakes of the Wielkopolska region is Gniezno. It's Poland’s first capital city and the baptizing place of the first ruler of Poland, Mieszko I, in 966. Today a monumental Gothic cathedral occupies the spot featuring Gniezno Doors. It's a masterpiece of Romanesque art from the 12th century that is second to none in Europe. Covered in bas-relief, the monument tells the life of Saint Adalbert or Wojciech, the first Polish martyr and patron of the cathedral. It was in this church that many Polish kings were laid to rest and coronation ceremonies were held.
While in Gniezno, be sure to make a detour to nearby Biskupin, which is home to an almost 2,800 year-old settlement. Another interesting sight is the town of Pobiedziska, situated on the Piast Trail, where you can visit a replica of a medieval settlement. One of its highlights is an old siege engines exhibition.
The jewel of Gniezno, this grand basilica was once the epicenter of the religious orders of the country under the rule of the Piast Dynasty. Over its long, 1,000-year story, it’s seen countless coronations and even the foundation of the modern Polish state – by the king Mieszko I, way back in 966 AD. The Gniezno Cathedral itself is a wonderful medley of styles, from the old Gothic to the Baroque, while it’s the gilded bronze doors depicting the martyrdom of St. Adalbert that are the undisputed masterpiece.
In 1809, the French army installed a military warehouse in the Cathedral which was removed when Napoleon's troops left the area. In 1931, Pope Pius XI bestowed the title of the Minor Basilica Cathedral. In 1939, following the Invasion of Poland, the Nazis converted the temple into a concert hall. In 1945, another fire broke out which was caused by the intentional incendiary artillery shelling by the Red Army.
This partly ruined the Gothic vault, the pipe organs and other historical architectural details. The city was re-taken by the Soviets without any resistance offered by the Germans. At the turn of the 1950's and 1960's, the temple was fully restored in the Gothic style and all baroque architectural elements were later removed from the nave and the temple itself, giving it a more medieval look to specifically resemble the original structure present during the coronation of Polish monarchs eight hundred years earlier.
|Address||Wzgórze Lecha, Gniezno|
|Telephone||+48 61 428 40 80|
Biskupin near Gniezno
People of the Lusatian culture built Poland’s most famous reconstructed fortified settlement near Gniezno in the 8th century BC. Polish experts reconstructed the 3,000-year-old structure without using modern tools, accurately reproducing the ancient buildings. Centuries ago, 100 houses stood here in 13 rows. All of them had identical interiors. Each had a vestibule, a chamber, and a stone hearth and around 10 people were living there.
Visitors to the Biskupin open-air museum can try their hand at pottery-making, just like thousands of years ago. You can taste Slavic dumplings (garum), or a salty sauce made from fermented fish; and scone bread made from flour and water with honey and salt. They can also try their hand at ploughing a field, like it was centuries ago, with a moldboard plow pulled by oxen. The museum is worth visiting in late September when archaeological festivities are taking place here.
Ibis Styls Gniezno Stare Miasto - Gniezno Poland Hotels
Ibis Styles Gniezno Stare Miasto is set in the center of Gniezno, just 200 m from the Aleksander Fredro Theater and 900 m from the Gniezno Cathedral. The hotel houses a restaurant as well as a Family Food snack bar. The modern rooms are decorated in bright colors and feature private bathrooms. Ibis Styles Gniezno also features a large parking, 4 conference rooms and a Lobby Bar. Each morning guests can enjoy buffet breakfasts. Poznan Lawica Airport is 54 km away.