Route 4: The Old Market Square and adjacent area - western part

On the western side of Stary Rynek, at the beginning of Franciszkańska Street, stands the late-Baroque Działyński Palace , constructed in 1773-87. Its classical façade is topped with richly decorated sculptures. The bas-reliefs on the attic depict a triumphal procession and a sacrificial one; in the middle, what catches your eye immediately is the statue of a pelican with outstretched wings. The magnificently ornamented Red Room is a venue for numerous prestigious meetings. Today, the palace houses various divisions of the Polish Academy of Sciences, including a branch of the Kórnik Library.

Leaving Stary Rynek and going up Franciszkańska Street brings you to the Franciscan Church . This late-Baroque building was erected in 1674-1728 to the design of Jan Koński, a Poznań builder. The three-aisle basilica with two chapels at both ends of the transept has an interior richly ornamented with sculptures and paintings on the walls, on the vaults and on the cupolas of the two chapels. The wall paintings are the work of Adam Swach, a local Franciscan, while his brother Antoni made the sculptures. In the presbytery stand richly carved oak stalls, inlaid and encrusted. There are also 23 surviving old Polish portraits, including about dozen coffin portraits. For over three hundred years, the church has housed a picture of the Miracle-Working Virgin Mary, also known as the Lady of Poznań.

Opposite the Franciscan Church stands the Royal Castle . Erected in the second half of the thirteenth century at the top of Przemysla Hill, it was part of the city fortifications. In the times of King Władysław the Elbow-High (1306-1333), the castle became the residence of general starostas of Wielkopolska; in the eighteenth century it was a city court and archive. It was frequently destroyed and rebuilt. Now the building houses the Museum of Applied Arts , whose permanent exposition features everyday, decorative and cult objects (from the Middle Ages to modern times), furniture, textiles, articles of gold and semi-noble metals, clocks, ceramic and glass vessels, objects from the Middle East and the Far East.

Climbing down Przemysla Hill and continuing along Zamkowa Street, turn left into 23 Lutego Street. When you reach Marcinkowskiego Avenue, turn left again. The building at No. 9 is the National Museum , the Gallery of Painting and Sculpture , constructed at the beginning of the twentieth century. It boasts rich collections of Polish painting, including works by Jacek Malczewski, Stanisław Wyspiański and Jan Matejko, Italian painting of the 15th-18th centuries, 17th-century Dutch painting and Flemish painting of the 16th-17th centuries. The permanent exhibitions are: the Medieval Art Gallery - Romanesque and Gothic exhibits from the 12th-14th centuries: sculptures, German and French altars from the territory of Poland, painting; the Foreign Art Gallery - the most valuable collection of Spanish painting in Poland, including works by Francisco Zurbaran and Jose Ribera to name but a few.

This article has more than one page. Choose below next page, to read further