Route 8: Ostrów Tumski and adjacent area

The oldest part of Poznań are the districts of Śródka, Komandoria and Ostrów Tumski situated on the right bank of the River Warta. St. Casimir's Church stands hidden among trees on a hill in Bydgoska Street, close to Śródecki Square. This onenave church, built in 1663-85 to the design of Krzysztof Bonadura and Jerzy Catenazzi, has tunnel vaults with lunettes. In the recess over the trapezium-shaped entrance stands a nineteenth-century statue of St Casimir. Adjacent to the church are monastery buildings erected at the turn of the eighteenth century. The rococo furnishings of the interior date from the mideighteenth century. At present, the church belongs to a Polish Catholic parish.

In the very centre of Rynek Śródecki (Śródecki Square) stands St. Margaret's Church , built in the first half of the thirteenth century. Remodelled at the turn of the sixteenth century, in the years 1665-1805 it was a church of the Congregation of the Philippines. Its one-nave interior has stellar vaulting; in the porch are two early-Gothic portals going back to the first half of the thirteenth century. The other furnishings of the interior, which are in the late-Baroque style, date from the first half of the eighteenth century. You can also see a font made of white and red stucco, as well as two early seventeenth century pictures by Poznań guild painters.

The Cathedral Island (Ostrów Tumski) was one of the first major centres of the Piast-dynasty state. This is where the first Polish bishopric was established in 968. Built in the same year, the Cathedral was repeatedly damaged by natural and building disasters and wars. Now it is a three-aisle Gothic basilica with pre-Romanesque and Romanesque relics, surrounded by a semicircle of chapels. The two front towers and the three towers over its eastern part are topped with Baroque cupolas. The mid-fifteenth-century Gothic portal has modern-looking bronze doors made in 1979 and showing scenes from the lives of St Peter and St Paul. In a special remains of the pre-Romanesque and Romanesque cathedrals: fragments of walls, of a font and of the tombs of the first sovereigns of Poland. The high altar in the Gothic style with two pairs of wings was made in 1512. In the chapels are numerous tombs of bishops and secular dignitaries (15th-16th centuries). The famous Golden Chapel was erected in 1405 on the site of an earlier one. In the nineteenth century it became the mausoleum of Mieszko I and Boles¸aw the Brave, the first sovereigns of Poland, who are commemorated here with a Byzantine-style sarcophagus and a monument.

In the immediate vicinity of the Cathedral stands the Gothic Church of Our Lady , erected in the first half of the fifteenth century. Its three-aisle hall interior is covered with stellar vaulting. The 1954 wallpaintings, stained-glass windows and the altar in the form of a polyptych were designed by Wacław Taranczewski.

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