This is our 2nd day in Poznan – you can read about yesterday here.
Poznan is positively amazing. It has only been a day, and we are so pleased we made it to Poznan. We flew with LOT airlines from Budapest to Warsaw, then a train to Poznan.
First, on the list today was to see how St. Martin’s Croissants were made. The entrance is at the rear, and the street funds parallel to the main square, so it is easy to find.
We are pretty excited and are first to arrive. This is perfect as we are then selected to help. The main guy referred to as “Uncle Biniu”, is hilarious, and he has an offsider named “Croissant”. Some of the friendly people of Poznan!
Soon the room is packed, and people are even standing on the sides.
Some of us have been selected to wear a ‘pudding hat’, an apron and to take part in the show.
Explorason is first up, kneading the dough. People get involved, so we all meet and have a great time and interact.
Then it is a fun time for Explorason too. Kids love ‘hands-on’ activities, and Poznan has a lot of them available. They get to bang and pound the dough to get the air bubbles and their frustration out. They have to imagine getting really mad and angry and thump away.
A bit later I am selected to cut the pastry into long thin triangles. It is no ordinary knife but a machete, but this goes with the legend of how the famous St. Martin Croissant also is made.
There is a lot to learn, and more of the famous legends of Poznan are shared. You need to visit this show if you come to Poznan. For us, it was one of the highlights, but I am not going to spoil the story. You must go and learn for yourself. It is a great time, and we had a LOT of fun and laughs.
We went to the 11:00 a.m. time slot, and this was perfect. A side bonus was that at 12:00 noon the clock tower at the Town Hall opposite has a special event. So with windows open, we are about the crowd and perfect for photos.
Out came a bugle player on the balcony, and then the two head-butting goats come out of a door and proceed to butt heads. There is another legend about why this happens, but you need to visit Poznan to find that out for yourself too. These goats are famous, and Poznan is a great place to learn about the history and folklore of Poland.
Because the marketplace was in the center of town, these buildings use to be the homes for the locals who traded here. They would pay taxes on the size of the land they owned, so houses go up, and not out. Each place is colorful and individually decorated.
Behind the town square is this statue.
The Prussians and Saxons came many years ago to this area. She depicts one of the workers, carrying jugs of wine. My Mum used to have an old small bell with a lady just like this, except she has two buckets, not jugs. I have this bell somewhere in storage in Australia now, and it was a special time to see this statue for me, and imagine the fountain with water in when summer comes around in Poznan.
We wandered on to near where you can see the remains of the old town wall. There is a reconstructed Castle tower, and it is about to open its doors any day. So when you visit Poznan, you will be able to do something we didn’t get to do- and that is; go inside!
Our tour guide then showed us around, and opposite the Government prestigious building are the two head-butting goats, so we had a bit of a laugh mucking around on these.
Three of the four town square corners have a fountain on them. So our guide talked to Explorason about the history and the association with Greek gods like Neptune. World-schooling encompasses moments like this.
So why is this article named ‘Positively Poznan Poland – Pastries Prayers and People’ you might ask?
Because next up we visited the Roman Catholic Church to the side of the old town square. Here as we enter the congregation is in prayer.
This is a heavily decorated church and has an incredible organ in it too. We managed to enter here near the end of the church service, so we were able to hear the singing and the organ. Then as people left, we had the chance to look around.
Our guide was great – another friendly Poznan person. She really taught us so much. I call this ‘outsourcing education’.
Here is another of the brass models they use around the town to help the vision impaired. Poznan really does cater for the tourist. Even if you were blind, you could feel the braille, or touch the model to experience what the old town offers.
Next up we walk to the newest Castle in all of Europe – Emperor’s Castle. We enter and the view across from the Empresses private quarters was breathtakingly beautiful.
One hundred years old approximately. Built for the Emperor and Empress, who barely even visited it.
Explorason was fascinated by this place. Sadly as our tour guide showed us a book with photographs of the inside from the second world war period and prior, you see the grandeur of this property.
Then Adolph Hitler got his hands on it and ruined it. He decided he was going to live here and had them strip most of the interior.
This sickly weak man added things like verandah heating, and removed all the decoration, and replaced it with plaques of strong men (because he wasn’t physically strong). He liked plain and simple, so the corner large urns covered the air ventilation, and most of the ornate masterwork, and wall decorations, and even the carpets and flooring were stripped.
The throne was then placed within the entrance – which really is where they drove in – like a garage.
This is the royal throne!
Hitler never came to live here. He never won the war. He just ruined another piece of history. So very sad.
There is a hallway lined with fairly modern interpretations of history that were added in the Communist era. This is one paneled section.
Next to this section leads a door to a surprise.
The surprise – an ultra modern theatre area and Świetlica restaurant/cafe with a bookshop opposite.
We enjoyed our lunch here. Świetlica were really busy, and even though it was a rainy day, people thronged to this cafe as a relaxed meeting place.
The heavy scent of hyacinths permitted the air and blended with the fresh aroma of coffee. We ended up staying over two hours here. It was a beautiful place, and tastefully connecting the old and new of Poznan.
Our night ended in a rather different way. We had met a family from Poznan when we were in Antigua, Guatemala. We later friended on Facebook, and she invited us over to their home. It was so nice to share a cup of tea and gorgeous organic cheesecake, whilst the kids all played with their giant rabbit. We talked about family travel, and it was great to reunite.
One of the greatest joys of travel, are the people you meet along the way. We really miss our family and ‘old’ friends, but we welcome the new friends we connect with too. More of the friendly people of Poznan.
As she drives us back through the cobblestone streets of Old Poznan, we absorb the cultural experience of being here. One way streets; trams rolling by; and a mix of old and new. It seems like a very liveable city.
If you ever get the chance to come to Europe, add Poland to your list, and be sure to include Poznan too.
St. Martin’s Croissant Museum & Experience: http://www.poznan.travel/en/r/warto-zobaczyc/rogalowe-muzeum
Emperor’s Castle: http://www. poznan.travel/en/poi/show/id/865