Poznan is surprisingly green. I say surprising as the Polish do not seem so keen on their urban spaces, but are more keen on heading out to the countryside itself. But unlike the other cities I have seen in Poland, there are some huge parks within Poznan!
This is Malta, an absolutely massive stretch of green just to the East of the city centre. With a boating lake, a dry ski slope, a miniture railway and a new aquatic centre being built, this has to be one of the funkiest parks I have visited in all my travels world wide. And I have been to a few of them. This may not be the world’s biggest urban park, nor the prettiest, but it certainly has to be one of the most diverse. With bits of modern art dotted around plus one of Poland’s oldest brick buildings within the park, this is a great place to spend a few hours strolling along – especially if the sun is shining!
The next big park has to be Citadel Hill. Situated a tram ride north from the centre it is a grand affair. Sunday is the day that after church the families come out. Mum, dad, children and grandparents enjoy the sun, some ice cream and candy floss, as well as the weird statues that you will find here:
Citadel Hill also houses one of the funkiest war museums I have seen. Small but perfectly formed, there are old aircraft and tanks on display, as well as a history (in Polish only) of recent conflicts in Poland and that the Polish people took part in. Even without the translation, it pictures the brutality of Poland’s recent history.
But you do not have to venture far out of the centre. There are so many little green squares and parks within the centre of Poznan itself. By the university are the gorgeous grounds of the castle, and whisk along the tram lines to see many little plazas and squares. Now that spring had started to bloom, Pozanan’s parks looked really pretty in the sunlight…
Pozanan is a riverside city, and the authorities have (wisely) decided not to build right up to the river banks. Striding the confluence of the Warta and Cybina this is a place that would be subject to many floods. But instead of luxury apartments of unsuitable land (like in London), there is green on either side of the waterways. What is bad for private developers is great for the city dwellers allowing a breath of fresh air through the city centre.