SAINT WOJCIECH’S HILL AND CYTADELA

SAINT WOJCIECH’S HILL AND CYTADELA

Located in the virtual centre of the city, scarcely a few minutes’ walk from the Old Market, you will find the large green areas of St Wojciech’s Hill and Cytadela.

One of the oldest churches in the city, correspondingly dedicated to St Wojciech, is located on the hill. The church is renowned for its secession-style polychrome and stained glasswork designed by Wyspiański and Mehofer. The church crypt is often called the Poznań bed rock, because so many distinguished Wielkopolska residents have been buried there: among them Józef Wybicki, the author of the Polish anthem, Heliodor Święcicki, the founder of Poznan university, and Feliks Nowowiejski, who wrote the lyrics to “Rota”, a patriotic poem . In the church on the opposite side, a certain Skrzetuski is buried, considered by many to be only a character of fiction. Skrzetuski is a figure known from the stories of Henryk Sienkiewicz, who in fact lived in the times described in “Ogniem i mieczem" (By Fire and Sword), though he was not such a monumental character, and his first name was Mikołaj (whereas Sienkiewicz’s hero was christened Jan). On the side of the hill is the Cemetery of Worthy Wielkopolans. Distinguished residents of the region lie here, such as Cyryl Ratajski, Stanisław Mikołajczyk, Wojciech Szczęsny-Kaczmarek and the Cegielski family.

Walking from the northern slope of the hill, within several minutes you will reach the Cytadela – the largest – almost 100 hectares – park in Poznań. The name of the park is explained by its history. The Cytadela Park was created from the rubble of the former XIX century Prussian fortress. Walking along the paths, it is easy see the evidence of former events – moat, walls and bastions, shelters and ammunition stores… And among them, a memento already of the XX and XXI centuries: an armaments museum, one of the three Peace Clocks in the world, a military and civilian cemetery complex, a collection of sculptures and also artistic works, including the famous “Unidentified – Nierozpoznanych" of Magdalena Abakanowicz.

Speaking of the Cytadela, you could not possibly forget the ring of XIX century forts surrounding the former Prussian Poznań. Located at a distance of 5-7 km from the centre, they have with time been absorbed by the city. Some of them open to visitors in the summer, during open air events, and Fort VII, which during World War II functioned as a concentration camp is open to tourists every day.