Tuesday, 19 April 2011
Charlie's Second Holiday to Poland - Poznan's Ostrów Tumski
Poznan's Ostrów Tumski - it has Cathedral Island just like Wroclaw - is situated just to the east of the city centre in the middle of the Warta. This is the oldest part of Poznan and if you are looking for the foundation of the Polish State, it is not Krakow, but here, on this island that the first rulers of what would later become Poland set up camp.
Poland's ancient (well, ancient by European terms) history pretty much start on this island. The mechanics of what would eventually become the Polish state originated on Ostrów Tumski. And today, Poznan's Cathedral Island hosts the impressive Cathedral of Pozanan. Pretty, towering and of course, like Catholicism across this nation in general, a symbol of the city.
Inside the Csthederal, it is just as pretty as on the outside, but in contrast to many other Catholic places of worship that i have visited in Poland, it is quite stark and devoid of any obvious decoration, following its rebuild after WWII. Still, the pews fill up for mass, and the faithful flock here at all times to pray. As I have mentioned previously, Poland is Devout and whether you are comfortable or not with Catholicism it is a fact in this country. So just go for the ride, and enjoy it I suggest...
Around the island there are plenty of attractions including the usual ecclesiastical buildings attached to the Cathedral as well as a Museum (not open on a Monday). There is also a lot of parkland and a genuine water pump that you can play with! As I had visited the Cathedral just after the anniversary of John Paul II's death, there were also plenty of people paying tribute to the former Pope. Just like in other Polish cities, there is a statue to him outside the Cathederal, which he visited on one of his nine pastoral trips to his homeland.
Overall, this island is one of the prettiest parts of Poznan and is well worth the trip and time spent. Fascinating, some may say holy, and historical, take some time out and head here to Poznan's Ostrów Tumski...