The other side of Poznań - part I

Rumour has it that the local cultural diversity does not have any limits and it stands for much more than "the fighting goats" or "Saint Martin's croissants". Even though the cultural clichés might be misleading, the city has much more to offer. Here we present the first part of an alternative guide to Poznań.

Most Jordana (Jordan's brigde) links Śródka with Ostrów Tumski
Most Jordana (Jordan's brigde) links Śródka with Ostrów Tumski

The Old Market Square with its renaissance town hall invariably attracts groups of visitors. The essence of Poznań cannot be uncovered, though, if one does not go beyond the narrow historical frames. Local students gradually discover the new areas of Poznań, which are not necessarily mentioned by the guidebooks.

Every spring and summer the western bank of Warta becomes vibrant owing to the cultural/leisure community - KonterART. Deckchairs and the micro-beach hidden among the metal containers near Chwaliszewo make a perfect counterpoint for the hustle and bustle of the streets Wrocławska and Półwiejska. But it is not only for their role as an avant-garde alternative - the place has much more to present. The most unexpected events are held in right there - workshops, poetic slams, dances and concerts.

The trending borough, experiencing its "renaissance" - Jeżyce - is on the rise as it goes for popularity. Formerly creepy and dilapidated buildings deterred any visitors, nowadays various restaurants and cafes attract more students than ever. The revival is apparently visible in the streets Wawrzyniaka and Kościelna. The connection between the old days and the modern times is provided by the cinema Rialto, which is still open.

Perhaps it is crucial in creating youth space to revive and redefine the deserted ones. That must have been an assumption made also by the founders of Nocny Targ Towarzyski (Polish: The Social Night Market) as they made the old railway hall shine again. The dynamic place was inspired by Asian markets, landmarks such as Berlin Markthalle and it works as a spot with many different roles. Food trucks, parties and cultural events make it a diverse and colourful meeting place, indeed.

The brilliant development concerns also unusually representative Centrum Kultury Zamek (placed in the old Imperial Castle), which is known for hosting festivals such as Poznań Poetów (poet festival), Ethno Port and Off Cinema Festival. Last autumn many students have visited the exhibition of Frida Kahlo's works and the popularity of the annual World Press Photo exhibition does not cease to exist.  The Palace Cinema  (Kino Pałacowe) presents a  film repertoire which includes certainly but not exclusively the works of Berlinale and the Cannes Film Festival.

The specific enclave is the best term to describe Śródka - inherent in students' consciousness. "The small town", which can be reached from the Cathedral Island within old St Roch Bridge (what surprising - relocated in 2007), used to be considered as a charming alley on the fringe of the dynamic city. It still lives its own life. Attractive restaurants, the picturesque mural and the closeness of the Poznań Gate have become local trademarks.

jd