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(pôz`nänyə), Ger. Posen (pō`zən), city (1994 est. pop. 589,300), capital of Weilkopolskie prov., W central Poland, port on the Warta River. It is an important industrial and railway center and is the site of a major international trade fair. Manufactures include machinery, metals, and chemicals. Founded before the advent of Christianity in Poland, it became (968) the first Polish episcopal see and a nucleus of the Polish state. It remained in Poland until the second partition (1793), when it passed to Prussia. Poznań was included in the grand duchy of Warsaw in 1807, again passed to Prussia in 1815, and reverted to Poland in 1919. In World War II it was annexed to Germany, and thousands of Poles were expelled. The city is a Roman Catholic see (created 1821) and has a university (founded 1919). Since 1922 it has been the site of an annual international spring fair. In 1956 a workers' strike at a metallurgical plant in Poznań spread to other cities and led to changes in the high-ranking leadership of the Polish Communist party. The city has many old churches and museums with important art objects. Its most notable buildings are a Gothic cathedral (badly damaged in World War II) and a 16th-century city hall. A city-province, it is also the capital of Poznań prov.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city in Poland, on the Warta River, and the administrative center of Poznań Województwo. Population, 506,-200 (1974). One of the country’s most important economic and cultural centers, Poznań is also a river port and a major junction of railroad lines and highways.

Poznań’s main industry is machine building. The chief products are ship diesels, diesel locomotives, railroad cars (H. Cegielski Machine-building and Metal working Complex), machine tools, agricultural machinery, steel castings, ball-bearings, and measuring instruments. Other important industries are food processing, the manufacture of clothing, rubber (including automobile tires), and perfumes, woodworking, and printing. The city has eight institutions of higher learning and the A. Mickiewicz University. Cultural institutions include a philharmonic, opera and dramatic theaters, a botanical garden, natural history and archaeological museums, and the National Museum. Annual international and national fairs are held in the city.

One of the oldest cities in Wielkopolska, Poznań was founded in the early ninth century as a small settlement on the right bank of the Warta River. In the tenth and 11th centuries it was one of the residences of the Polish dukes, and Poland’s first bishopric was established here circa 968. During the Middle Ages the city was a major commercial and manufacturing center. In 1793 it was seized by Prussia, and from 1807 to 1815 it was part of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw. In 1815, Poznań became the capital of the Grand Duchy of Poznań, and after the Poznań Uprising of 1918–19 it was incorporated into the Polish state. Captured by fascist Germany in September 1939, it was liberated by Soviet troops on Feb. 23, 1945.

The historical heart of Poznań, called Tumski Island, is situated on the right bank of the Warta. Among its outstanding architectural works are the Romanesque Church of St. John (c. 1200–1512), a Gothic cathedral built between the 13 th and early 15th centuries on the site of tenth and 11th century churches (within the cathedral are tombs and gravestones dating from the tenth century), and the 15th-century Church of the Virgin Mary. On the left bank is the Old Town, which sprang up in the 13th century and has a regular layout. On the central Market Square stands the Town Hall, built in the 13th and 14th centuries and rebuilt in the Renaissance style in 1550–60. The square is ringed with houses built between the 16th and 19th centuries, many of them having arcades. There are numerous baroque monasteries and churches. In the 19th and early 20th centuries the city’s center shifted to the west of the Old Town. Here there are palaces and public buildings in the classical, eclectic, and contemporary styles. After World War II the destroyed architectural masterpieces were rebuilt. In the postwar period the city acquired a department store, the Hotel Mercury, a new city center, and new residential districts on the right and left banks of the Warta (Dębiec, Rataje, Winogrady).


Poznań we wczesnym średniowieczu, vols. 1–3. Edited by W. Hensel. Wroclaw-Warsaw, 1959–61.
Cichy, A., and A. Olejnik. Poznań. Poznan, 1967. [20–466–2; updated]
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a city in W Poland, on the Warta River: the centre of Polish resistance to German rule (1815--1918, 1939--45). Pop.: 661 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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