Poznan (Poznań) was one of the cities I had been planning on visiting for a while. What I hadn’t realised was the fact that the cathedral is on an island, which is aptly known as Cathedral Island or Ostrów Tumski in Polish. As that seemed a little unusual to me at the time, with the cathedral’s history, and the fact that this is the oldest part of Poznan, it is this week’s Foto Friday.
The history of this cathedral dates back to the 10th century, which was at the beginning of Christianity in Poland. It was all down to Duke Mieszko I and King Boleslaus the Brave who wanted to build a state. On the site of Cathedral Island, as we call it today, they built a settlement in order to protect this new country. This was the location of the first cathedral in Poland.
In order to protect the country, the Polish monarchy used to move around the country. Because of that, the capital city rotated depending on where the king was at the time, and Poznan was one of those rotating capital cities. The palace, which was built on this site, was used up until the 18th century. After that, it was abandoned and subsequently fell into ruin. It wasn’t until 1999 that it was rediscovered. Apparently, the palace is still buried.
During the Partition of Poland in the 19th century, the cathedral helped to preserve Poland’s national identity, which was obviously very important. Like many buildings, the cathedral was destroyed during the Second World War. Strangely, that turned out to be beneficial because they discovered remnants of the original cathedral, and the tombs of Poland’s first rulers.
Although you don’t get the full view of the cathedral in this photo, I love the composition as well as the seagulls flying around, which is unusual for photos of cathedrals. I took this photo on the other side of the love lock bridge beside Porto Posnania, a multimedia centre dedicated to telling the story of Cathedral Island.
Cathedral Island is a bit of a walk from the centre, but it’s worth it because this is the oldest part of Poznan, and there is so much history attached to it. It really would be a shame to miss it. You can pay to have an audio guide to walk around the island. I didn’t do that, but a local who did told me it was worth it.
TIP: I was told by a local that the children’s version of the audio is better because you are set challenges, which makes the audio guide more fun.
Have your say
Have you been to Poznan Cathedral? Did you use an audio guide? If so, what did you think of it?