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Exploring Poznan: Park Cytadela

Once we decided to spend a few days in Poznan, I started researching what I wanted to do there. The first thing that popped on my radar was the Park Cytadela. This large park stands where the Fort Winiary used to be.

This fort was Festung Posen’s primary structure and is where things started to be historically interesting for me.

Park Cytadela is huge, and you can find a military museum, some military cemeteries, remains of the old fortifications, rose garden sculptures, and lots of open spaces and walkways to enjoy the sun.

We were there for an entire afternoon and didn’t have time to explore everything that we wanted to. But we loved Poznan so much that we know we are returning to the city soon. We have plenty of time to see everything in Park Cytadela.

A Little Bit of History

Before Park Cytadela, that area north of the city center in Poznan used to be Fort Winiary. This first was the main factor in the system named Festung Posen (Fortress Poznan).

Fort Winiary was constructed in the 19th century when Poznan was still under Prussian rule. The plans for the fort were approved in February 1829, and the name came to be because the fort was situated on a hill with a village called Winiary. But this was only the inner defensive ring around the city. In 1876, an outer defensive ring was built around the perimeter of Poznan.

This defensive ring didn’t surround the town with a wall or anything like that. This ring was made of a series of forts, and most of them survived, and you can even visit some of them.

As you can imagine, the Fort Winiary and the Festung Posen were also used by Nazi Germany during the occupation of Poland. And, since the city had the stronghold status, it was to be defended at all costs. It didn’t last that long, and during the Battle of Poznan in 1945, Fort Winiary was the last point of resistance in the city.

After the Second World War, the area around Fort Winiary was converted into Cytadela Park. Walking through the park, it is hard to picture the place as a war area, but it was. Most of the fortifications were demolished, but a few structures can still be spotted between the trees.

A rosarium and military museum can be visited near the park’s northern edge, but we will discuss this in another post.

Military Cemeteries

On the southern part of the park, where we manage to find our way in, you will find a series of military cemeteries. At first, we thought it would be kind of weird, but the surroundings were not creepy.

There, you are going to find the Poznań Old Garrison Cemetery, which was set up after the First World War and contains graves from, mostly, prisoners of war and airmen who were killed during the bombing of Stettin.

There, you can see a Polish and a Soviet cemetery also. Overlooking the cemeteries, the Heroes Monument stands at the top of the long flight of stairs that form the main entrance to the park. And don’t be scared to climb those stairs!

Park Cytadela

The park is ideal for any outdoor activity like cycling, relaxing in the sun, and anything else you think about. There are many wide asphalt alleys where you can run, ride bikes, roller skate, or fly kites. If you are considering a picnic in Poznan, this is the place for you.

The park is where The Bell of Peace and Friendship Among Nations was erected in 1986. It’s a little late to spare the city from a turbulent past but right on time to play a role in remembering why it is there.

The bell weighs 850 kilos and stands more than 10 meters from the ground. We read stories online that can be heard from 10 kilometers away once it is ringed on holidays and special celebrations.

Exploring Poznan: The History of Park Cytadela

aleja Armii Poznań, 61-001
Poznań, Poland

I was invited to visit Poznan by the Poznan Tourism Center, and we traveled there thanks to Deutsche Ban.

Felipe Tofani

Felipe Tofani

Felipe Tofani is a passionate designer with a penchant for crafting unique experiences and a mixed taste in music. As the curator behind this blog's explorations, he takes pride in discovering fascinating destinations. Whether unearthing hidden gems or sharing captivating historical narratives, Felipe is the creative force driving the stories you find here. Join him on a journey of design, discovery, and the delightful rhythm of unconventional tunes.View Author posts