Not far from Poznan is the small city of Gniezno. It seems insignificant when we look at its size but it is a giant in the history of Poland. This is where our first capital was and this is where our first king, Mieszko I was baptised. This made him the legitimate ruler of the country.
The city itself was home to the Polish kings only until 1038 when the capital was moved to Krakow. It still has a big Roman Catholic cathedral, so it remains an important part of the Catholic church administration. I even saw a Polish cardinal near the cathedral talking to some people. I didnt actually know what he looks like, but people close to me pointed it out. They are much better Catholics than I am, I guess. He was giving an interview to some local radio station, from what I could gather.
I visited the Cathedral and like most cathedrals, it looked impressive. From what I found out it was destroyed and rebuilt several times, but now it remains the most impressive building in the city of Gniezno. A lot of tourists inside, but also a lot of people praying. It is after all a functioning Catholic church.
I took a stroll down the main street of Gniezno. A lot of the buildings looked quite new I thought. The street, however, looked hundreds of years old. Cobblestones everywhere reveal the actual age of this town. I read that the city was almost completely destroyed in WWII. Rebuilt after the war, but not all of the ancient houses were restored. This town, being quite important in history actually was destroyed or burned down many times before. So, apart from the 1000-year-old cobblestone street, everything else in that town is not original.
Still, it was a nice and pleasant walk. I didn’t plan to stay long there as I had a very full day ahead of me, but I did have time to enjoy lunch, some Polish pastry – paczki, to be precise. And I took some images too. However, I mainly just shot a video of the walk because I know that I would like to go back one day to the footage to enjoy the walk once again.
I am glad that I put the city of Gniezno on my itinerary, even if I only spend a couple of hours there. Below is a little video I did in that town.