Situated in the Central West Poland, the Wielkopolska Region covers the area of 29, 826 sq. km, which makes it the second largest region in the country. With a population of 3.5 million, it is also the third most densely populated region in Poland. The administrative structure of the region consist of 35 poviats and 226 communes. Out of 109 cities of the region, Poznan is the biggest. The capital city Poznan with its suburbs has a population
of almost 550 000 (stand 2012) and is recognized as one of the leaders among Polish cities with the best development potential. It boasts economic and social activity of the inhabitants, great potential of the local market, the quality of the labour force, advantageous social conditions and technical infrastructure. In 2004 Poznan became a member of the Eurocities network together with some other Polish cities. The network is a platform of exchange of knowledge, experience as well as analysis of common problems
and working out fruitful solutions. It also represents member cities on the European forum through dialog with European institutions (European Commission, Parliament, Council and Committee of the Regions).
The area of the Wielkopolska Region is comparable to an average sized European state (for example, Belgium) and larger than some countries such as Albania and Macedonia. Its population is not much smaller than the population of Ireland or Lithuania.
Wielkopolska as a region of a historical significance prides itself on its own long history and tradition. It is often called a cradle of a Polish state. Just here nearby Poznan and Gniezno, in Xth century during the reign of Mieszko I, the first state was created, paving the path in this way to the beginning of thousand years history of Poland.
The Wielkopolska Region, situated at the junction of major European communication routes, on the crossing of big trade trials leading from the north to the south and from the east to the west, might be considered a bridge, in geographical sense, between the Eastern and Western Europe. It is at the crossroads of a major route from Berlin via Poznan to Konin and Warsaw and on to Moscow, and from Prague via Leszno and Poznan to the Baltic Sea. This
points to its strategic location and perfect environment for the international exchange of people, innovation, technologies and goods in this area. The regional airport Poznan Lawica is turning to one of the major airports in Poland and operates both domestic and international flights. There are regular connections to: Warsaw, Cracow, Bristol, Cork, Stuttgart, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Dublin, London, Liverpool, Edinburgh,
Oslo, Madrid, Milan, Barcelona, Rome, Paris and more.
Diversified industry, efficient agriculture, well-developed services and a constantly extended infrastructure provide good conditions for growth in Wielkopolska and boost its international cooperation with other regions in the world. The main goals of the cooperation involves such fields of activities as economy, local labour market, restructuring of country areas, communication infrastructure, environmental protection, science and education, culture,
tourism, sports and youth exchange.
The research infrastructure of Wielkopolska reflects a strong and significant scientific potential of the region, mainly concentrated around Poznan. In the Wielkopolska Region there are 28 universities and schools of higher education (20 of them located in Poznan). The capital city of the region is also the seat of the branch office of the Polish Academy of Sciences, with its 11 branch institutes and research units. Their work is mostly focused
and forestry environment, wood technology, natural fibres, metal working, applied chemistry and installation technologies. In Wielkopolska there are approximately 170 thousand students. There are over 8 thousand academic teachers and 1.5 thousand employees of research centres. Poznan's academic centre is third in the country, after Warsaw and Cracow. The research institutions and universities co-operate and share their scientific experience with acknowledged universities and schools in Europe and world-wide.
Many scholars from Poznań give lectures
and carry out research abroad, not infrequently are awarded honorary doctoral degrees by foreign universities, and are also members of Academies of Science in other countries.
The Adam Mickiewicz University and its scholars are a good example of recognition gained for high academic standards. The good reputation of the university is confirmed by its high ratings in the Ministry of Science and Higher Education and the prestigious prizes awarded by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland. Among other
educational achievements, the Poznań University of Economics ranks very high, after being granted additional funds for its activities by the European Integration Committee. This shows that research topics chosen by the university are considered to be on the right track in Wielkopolska. Moreover, the Poznań University of Technology was invited to become a member of the Conference of European Schools of Advanced Education and Research (CESAER) as the first technical university in Poland and one of
three in Central
and Eastern Europe.
The research conducted by the Poznań University of Life Sciences is particularly useful for the region's economy. Its scientists are involved in all initiatives designed to modernise and increase the effectiveness of the Wielkopolska agriculture, and are introducing new technologies into food processing.
The Poznań University of Medical Sciences is a leading Polish medical centre, well equipped for research in basic medical sciences, clinical trials, diagnosis and treatment. Teaching and research are mainly based on co-operation with 5 Clinic Hospitals as well as other hospitals in the city. In 1991, the University decided to introduce study programs in English.
Selected higher education institutions and research institutes
Libraries in Poznań
Major cities and towns
Poznań (552,393 inhabitants)
Gniezno (70,141 inhabitants)
Kalisz (104,676 inhabitants)
Piła (74,930 inhabitants)
Leszno (64,722 inhabitants)
Konin (77,847 inhabitants)
(*population data for 2012).
It is one of the oldest cities in Poland, with its origins going back to the 9th century. Today, Poznań is a large industrial, trade, research and cultural centre. However, relics of the past are still the main tourist attractions of the city. Apart from architectural monuments, it is worthwhile to have a look at museum collections: painting and art collections, and unique exhibitions of musical instruments. Poznań is a city of greenery, with green
areas covering 20% of its total area. It is also a city where you can find lakes and bathing beaches, a zoological garden, a palm house and a botanical garden.
Main monuments in Poznań:
- Old Market Square: the third largest one in the country, next to the squares in Cracow and Wrocław, with historic tenement houses and palaces;
- Town Hall, a Renaissance monument from the 16th c., where at 12.00 you may see two moving figures of goats, the symbol of the city;
- Parish Church from the 18th c. where organ concerts are held every day at 12.15 in summer;
- St. Adalbert Hill: St. Adalbert’s Church from the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries, with a wooden bell tower from the 17th c.; and - - the Carmelite Church and Monastery from the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries;
- Ostrów Tumski: a complex of historic sacred temples (with first parts built as early as the 10th c.), and a cathedral from the 15th century. There is also newly opened (2014) Interactive Centre of the Poznan History – the cradle of Polish statehood Christianity “the Poznan Gate”.
- Kórnik: the Palace from the 19th c., a library and an arboretum;
- Rogalin: the Palace from the 18th c.; a painting gallery; a park with „Rogalin Oaks”, the largest cluster of old oaks in Europe; (due to renovation the palace is closed till 31.12.2014)
- Gniezno: the Cathedral which was first mentioned in historic documents in the 10th c., and later rebuilt in its present Gothic style;
- Biskupin: a reconstructed ancient Slavonic settlement from 550 B.C.;
- Ostrów Lednicki: an archaeological reserve with fragments of stone buildings from the turn of the 10th and 11th centuries; and a skansen with wood historic items from the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries;
- Licheń (near Konin): a Marian sanctuary, the largest church in Poland;
- Wolsztyn: the Engine House, the only steam engine skansen still open in Europe.
Scenery and climate
The Wielkopolska Voivodship is situated in lowland Poland. You will see here extensive open fields, meadows, large stretches of forest, and plains with meandering river valleys and moraine hills. Green areas cover ca 25% of the total area of the region. Wielkopolska has numerous landscape parks and natural reserves, and a part of its area is covered by a national park. Unique riches of the region are natural postglacial lakes.
Main natural attractions:
- Wielkopolska National Park
- Noteć Forest
- Drawsko Forest
- Zielonka Forest
- Landscape Reserve „ Morasko Meteorite”.
Information Centre (Centrum
ul. Ratajczaka 44;
phone: 61 851 96 45
Information Office (Biuro Informacji Turystycznej)
Rynek 59/60; phone: 61 852 61 56
Station, Main Hall (Dworzec PKP, Hala
Główna); phone: 61 866 06 67.
Detailed information about Wielkopolska on CORDIS Regional Gateway.