Cathedral of Ostrów Tumski
It is one of the oldest Polish churches and the city's oldest historical building. It dates back to the beginning of Polish statehood and the creation of Poznan diocese in 968 when a construction of a 3-nave pre-Romanesque basilica was undertaken by Prince Mieszko I but was later pulled down after the death of King Bolesław Chrobry. The new Romanesque stone, two-tower basilica was accomplished about 1058. In the middle of the 13th century the eastern part of the church was demolished and the early Gothic brick presbytery was erected. About 100 years later a Gothic nave was added and at the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries a new Gothic presbytery was built. In the meantime most of the chapels surrounding the cathedral appeared. During the following ages, it was destroyed by fires, cataclysm, wars and when it was being rebuilt, new elements, typical for the époque, were added - in the 17th century it was redesigned in Baroque style and in the 18th in Classicism style. The cathedral was destroyed during World War II.
When it was rebuilt after 1945, it regained its Gothic form of the 14th and 15th centuries. A cross-ribbed vault in the presbytery and stellar vault in the nave and the aisles were reconstructed. The remains of the oldest structures can be found in the crypt beneath the nave. Next to the tombs of Mieszko I and Bolesław Chrobry almost half of the limestone Baptism Basin is preserved, of a diameter of 5m. This is probably what remains of a baptistery dating from Mieszko I times, before the first cathedral was erected. There are also fragments of walls of two first cathedrals, pre-Romanesque and Romanesque. The Romanesque wall face is also preserved in the lower part of the southern tower. Throughout 1000 years of its existence, the cathedral has been a place of numerous historical events such as royal funerals (it is the oldest necropolis of Piast dynasty), royal weddings (King Wacław II with Ryksa, Przemysław II's daughter; Casimir III the Great with Adelheid, daughter of Henry II, Landgrave of Hesse).
Today the cathedral is a 3-nave oriented basilica on a cruciform plan, with a presbytery on the east side. It is surrounded by 12 chapels (two of which make arms of the transept), 2 vestries and a southern porch. The unusual elements in Polish architecture, in the mass of the cathedral are flying buttresses, spread between the walls of the nave and the towers. It is 81m long and 43,5m wide. The nave is 24.5m tall, the towers are 62m tall and the little towers over the ambulatory are 44 m tall. The façade has a lancet arch fault portal from profiled and glazed bricks, and above it there is a Gothic rose window. The Baroque domes of the towers were reconstructed in 1952.
There are a lot of precious works of art inside the cathedral, e.g. late Gothic main altar from 1512, brought there from Silesia. Over the altar there is a late Baroque crucifix and two Baroque figures of the Virgin Mary and St. John. Late Gothic choir stalls were brought from Zgorzelec, late Baroque pulpit and a baptismal font from 1720, both come from the former Lutheran Church in Milicz. On the pillar over the Archbishop's Throne there is a precious Flemish 17th-century tapestry.
There are many precious works of art in the chapels as well. At the entrance to the Chapel of Jesus Heart there is an early Gothic tombstone of Teodoryk Pradel (died in 1383) found there in 1954 under the floor. In 1990 5 Gothic and Renaissance bronze tombstones returned to the Cathedral, having been taken out during the war to Germany and later found in the warehouse of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. In the alter of St. Martin's Chapel there is a painting by Krzysztof Boguszewski from 1628, depicting St. Martin's arrival in Amiens who has Prince Vladislav features.
It was founded in 1518 by Poznan bishop Jan Lubrański as the first academy in Poznan. It was placed in a 4-wing building with a small courtyard. Its present look is a result of the 1924-1925 alteration. In the 1970s plaster was removed from the elevation, uncovering the original wall. The academy did not have the privilege to grant academic degrees. It stopped functioning in 1780 after being integrated with Great Poland's Academy (former Jesuit College) to create Poznan Departmental School. The Lubrański Academy building was then used as a chapter library and a seminary. Since 1926 it has been a seat of Archdiocese Archive.
At the entrance are two small plaques with Bishop Lubrański's coat of arms. Among the graduates of the academy were Józef Struś (doctor), Klemens Janicki (poet) and Jan Śniadecki (mathematician and astronomer, professor of Cracow and Vilnius universities).
Fountain of Lions
In one of the castle's courtyards there is a fountain built at the beginning of the 20th century, being a copy of the famous Alhambra's Lions Patio fountain in Grenada. The Poznan fountain has a large basin supported by eight lions, complemented by a bowl leaning on Arabic columns. Water flows from the upper basin into the bowl below.
The library building, founded by Edward Raczyński, was built between 1822 and 1829. It is Classicial, with 12 pairs of cast-iron Corinthian columns, imitating the pattern of Louvre's Eastern Façade. It was destroyed during World War II, rebuilt between 1953 and 1956 and renovated in 1998.
Raczyński Library was the first public library in the Prussian territories of Poland, opened in 1829. The founder's will was for it to become city's property. The beginning of the collection was the donation of thousands of volumes by the founder and it grew to 165,000 volumes in 1939. In 1943 the most valuable volumes were evacuated to Obrzyck, Józef Aleksander Raczyński's estate. This way 17,000 volumes survived, mainly manuscripts, incunabula and antique books. The rest left in Poznan burned in 1945.
At present the library has 1.6 million volumes. The most valuable ones are: the manuscript of codex from 1460, containing a collection of theological treatise by Augustus Triumphus of Ancona, antique books - polonika, among them works by Stanislaus Hosius (1553), Łukasz Górnicki (1566), Mikołaj Rej (1568), Poznan's old prints from Melchior Nehring's printing house (1577) and Jesuits' printing house (17th and 18th century)
It was built between 1838 and 1842. The original late Classicial building had a façade on today's Paderewski Street. At the end of the 19th century the west wing was added in place of a demolished house, with a façade at Marcinkowski Street. During the times of partition of Poland, it was an important centre of Polish social and economic activities. In the ground-floor rooms there were Polish merchants' shop, among them Hipolit Cegielski's iron shop.
In the hotel Ignacy Jan Paderewski stayed a number of times, and the razing of the building in 1918 became a pretext for Great Poland's Uprising.
The Bazaar building was destroyed during World War II and rebuilt in 1949. Until 1988 it housed a hotel. After the renovation in 1990 it was returned to its owners. On its walls some memorial plaques are set, memorializing Cegielski's iron shop and Henryk Sienkiewicz reading his short story "For Bread" (Za chlebem) to the audience.