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Probably each of us has heard about Gniezno. Few things that you probably associate with this city is the first Polish capital, the Gniezno Cathedral, and perhaps Saint Adalbert. Gniezno for the weekend has a lot to offer, and we had the opportunity to find out!
Gniezno is located in the Greater Poland Voivodeship. It is less than 30 kilometres from the A2 motorway and about 60 km from Poznań. The road from Kielce took us less than 4 hours. We left the car in the parking lot. Gniezno is compact enough that you can easily walk on foot in the city centre. If you only come for a moment, it is worth leaving the car at Cathedral Car Park at Słomianka Street. You can go to the Cathedral from the picturesque garden located on the hill behind the Archbishop’s Palace. An interesting fact is that the parking fee is a voluntary donation for the renovation of the temple.
History of the city
Everyone in Poland knows the story of Gniezno! It is strongly related to the history of our country. Lech Hill, Saint Adalbert, 5 coronations in the Cathedral of Polish Kings are just the beginning. While walking around Gniezno, we take an amazing historical journey. We can see buildings from various historical periods, and when visiting museums, we move even more. The history of Gniezno was, of course, associated with kings, but it was also an important transport hub. The first settlement in the area of today’s city dates back to around 8-10 thousand years ago, in the Paleolithic.
We left early in the morning because we did not want to waste the day. We have planned several stops along the way. We visited Biskupin and the village of Venice that encouraged its name. In Gniezno we were around 16 o’clock. Our base was the Hotel in Stara Kamienica. We left the car in the hotel car park, refreshed ourselves and went to dinner. During the afternoon walk, we found several kings and a few rabbits, but about them, I will write in a moment.
The second day was the most active. We walk over 15 km! After a delicious hotel breakfast, we went to the Royal Route (Trakt Królewski) to find more and more interesting places. During the day, we found all the kings and all the rabbits and most of the interesting buildings. After dinner, we had the opportunity to visit the Base of Steam Powered Trains. The facility made a huge impression on us. Returning from sightseeing, we ate waffles and watched the night procession with Saint Adalbert’s relics, which takes place every year on the occasion of indulgence in his honour. It’s nice to plan Gniezno for the weekend of the celebration.
On the third day, we saw all the “classic”. We started with the Museum of the Origins of the Polish Country. After visiting the permanent exhibition and temporary exhibitions, we went to the Gniezno Cathedral Church. We started from the inside, then went down to the basement and the tower. The last point was the Cathedral Museum. Then we walked through the old town and slowly headed towards the house. The weather succeeded because it started to fall on the way back. This is just a shortcut of our activities :)
Trakt Królewski (Royal Route)
The Royal Route is a tourist product that enjoys great popularity in Gniezno. It includes sculptures of kings, rabbits, models and other interesting objects. It’s best to get to know it with the “Rabbit GO” mobile application. We can get points in it, solve quizzes and, above all, get to know the city, its history, legends and famous inhabitants better. If you are going to Gniezno, it should be the first attraction on your list. I will certainly give her a separate text! We managed to get all the points! :) In the Tourist Information, you can also get a paper guide to the Route.
What to see?
Museum of the Origins of the Polish Country
Despite the fact that in the museum a lot of exhibits are copies, the narrative leading us through the history of our country is very successful. The originals of some of the exhibits can be found in the Cathedral Museum. The Museum of the Origins of the Polish Country is a place worth visiting, although if your children are small, they may have a problem with seeing the exhibits in the showcases (they are high and Zuzia could not see much standing on her fingers).
This cathedral is often the only destination for tourists visiting Gniezno. It is a very important object, although as you can see, you can visit a lot more. The cathedral is clearly visible from the Market Square and leads to it ul. Brave. In addition to the impressive interior in the Cathedral, it is worth visiting the underground. You will see the foundations of the church there, which stood there earlier. The fact that we are watching, among others the floor, after which the kings went to their coronation, or a fragment of the altar on which the reliquary of St. Adalbert, at which Otto III himself prayed, acts on the imagination. If you get bored underground, you can enter the tower in contrast. The height of a 14-storey skyscraper is to overcome. From the top, there is a view of the entire city. Right next to the Cathedral, there is the Museum where you can see sacred exhibits from various historical periods.
Old city and churches
Walking around the old town, we can definitely move in time. Tenement houses, despite the fact that not all are renovated, they are impressive. For lovers of sacral monuments, many churches are also open. Distances in the centre are not great, which is why in our opinion a walk is the best way to explore Gniezno. You will find there several parks and playgrounds. There are no problems with benches and sometimes sun loungers. If you will be in the Museum of the Origins of the Polish State or find a model on the Lech Hill, it will be easier for you to visualize the urban layout of the city over the years.
The base of steam-powered trains
This place was the biggest surprise and certainly will appear on the blog! The largest roundhouse in Europe is located in Gniezno. This is a place that still requires a huge contribution of work, but the passion that the members of the Gniezno Steam-powered Trains House Association put in to restore its splendour guarantees that success will come. The area of the object is huge. The buildings are impressive, and the stories told about the Gniezno, steam engines and technical aspects associated with this place stimulate the visitor’s imagination. You must look into this place, and if your guide is Krzysiek Modrzejewski, then each of your questions will be answered! When planning a tour, you must necessarily look at the website of the place, because it is open only in accordance with the current schedule.
What to eat in Gniezno?
Our culinary tries in Gniezno were mostly hit. We started with Dobry Browar, in which, apart from delicious beer, we also had a delicious dinner. On the second day, we visited Hola Ola with Mexican cuisine located next to the cathedral. On the last day, our choice was the Seventh Heaven, where dumplings turned out to be a very good idea for dinner. Strolling through the streets of the old town you will also find a lot of ice cream and confectioneries. Unfortunately, we did not take advantage of the ice-cream shop – the temperature did not encourage it yet.
Gniezno for the weekend is perfect! The attractive location of the city, its rich history and its compactness make it 100% recommended. Although we were worried about the weather during our visit, after a few hours it ceased to matter, and discovering new interesting places won! :)
We visited Gniezno for the weekend at the invitation of the Municipal Office in Gniezno.