About the region

And this is Wielkopolska after all...

When thinking about Wielkopolska, one could paraphrase the above words of Stanisław Wyspiański, Polish playwright and artist. This is where Poland began because this is the place where the first Piast rulers established the foundation of the Polish nation. To this day, it is not clear where exactly they were baptized, whether it was on Ostrów Tumski in Poznań (a small island on River Warta), or on Ostrów Lednicki (a small island on Lake Lednickie), or in Gniezno (a town north of Poznań).

Wielkopolska enchants us with its landscape of slightly undulating plains and lusciously green open space with numerous lakes and forests. The most attractive among them are the Notecka and the Zielonka Forests.In this region are also the Wielkopolski National Park, a section of the Drawieński National Park, as well as 13 landscape parks with many nature preserves, including the Morasko Meteorite site in Poznań. It is in Wielkopolska that the world-famous and largest in Europe concentration of ancient oaks can be found in Rogalin, a village close to Poznań.

Awe-inspiring hills comprise three post-moraine ranges that are rather modest in altitude but rich in beauty. They stretch among the following towns: Leszno-Gostyń-Żerków, Gorzyń-Pniewy-Gniezno, and Piła-Wyrzysk. They along with numerous post- glacial lakes are the reminders of the presence of a Scandinavian glacier in this region’s distant past. Wielkopolska also boasts large clusters of lakes located in the Międzychód-Sieraków lake region and near Wągrowiec, Gniezno, Poznań, Leszno and Wolsztyn.

Archeologists have placed humans in this region around 12,000 years ago. Throughout centuries, the rich history of Wielkopolska has been reflected in the diversity of architectural styles dating from different periods of art history. The Romanesque Wielkopolska has been best documented along the Piast Route. The Gothic style visible in sacral architecture has left an indelible mark on the Gniezno and Poznań cathedrals, as well as on the Gostyń parish church. The Poznań Town Hall is a magnificent example of the Renaissance architecture. The Baroque structures built in this area have evolved into a regional variety of that style, including, for example, the town hall and churches in Leszno, the monasteries in Gostyń and Ląd, the Poznań parish church, and the Rydzyna castle. Classicism prevailed in secular buildings such as the Raczyńskich Library in Poznań and in the country palaces of Czerniejewo and Pawłowice. The Romantic style has been best captured in the Kórnik castle. Wooden architecture, both religious and secu- lar, is another quite significant part of local history. For example, the wooden town hall in Sulmierzyce and a remainder of the Dutch settlers’ presence near the town of Nowy Tomyśl.

The Wielkopolska Province covers the area of 29,826 km and is inhabited by over 3.3 million people. About 50% of the region is made up of farmland and up to 25% of forests. Poznań is the capital of Wielkopolska and the largest city whereas the town of Dolsk is the smallest. There are 109 towns and cities in Wielkopolska, and most of them are rather small but possess long histories. The greatest distance between the opposite edges of the province, i.e., between Okonek, the town farthest to the north, and Rychtał, the town farthest to the south, spans 292 km.


More interesting information about the  Wielkopolska region can be found on our tourist portal: www.wielkopolska.travel


About The Great Waterway Loop of Wielkopolska

The Great Waterway Loop of Wielkopolska is a water trail, covering a distance of 687.9 kilometres, and leading along the Warta River (from Konin to Santok – 338.4 km), the Noteć (from Santok to Nakło – 187.2 km) the Bydgoszcz Canal (from Nakło to Bydgoszcz – 15.7 km) and the waterway linking the Bydgoszcz Canal with the Warta (from Bydgoszcz to Konin – 146.6 km). The latter section is greatly varied and leads along the Górnonotecki Canal, the Upper Noteć River flowing through the following lakes: Wolickie, Sadłogoszcz, Wojdal, Mielno, Szarlej and Gopło. The Ślesiński Canal starts from Gopło Lake and leads via Lakes Czarne, Ślesińskie, Mikorzyńskie, and Pątnowskie to the Warta River. The water route traverses three provinces: Wielkopolskie, Lubuskie and Kujawsko-Pomorskie. It is accessible to vessels whose maximum length is: for the Warta from Santok to Luboń near Poznań – 41 m, the Warta from Luboń near Poznań to Konin – 24 m, the Ślesiński Canal – 57 m, Lake Gopło – 67 m, the Upper Noteć and the Górnonotecki Canal – 24 m, the Bydgoszcz Canal – 57 m, the Lower Noteć from Nakło to Krzyż – 41 m, the Lower Noteć from Krzyż Wielkopolski to Santok – 57 m. The permissible draught of vessels for specific waterways depends on the current minimum water depth for safe navigation which is published by the administration of the waterway on its website.


The Great Waterway Loop of Wielkopolska connects the waterways of Poland with a large network of waterways in Western Europe (via the Oder and the Spree Rivers) and in Eastern Europe (via the Vistula, Narew and Neman Rivers). The northern part of the Loop is part of European Inland Waterway E70 leading from Antwerp to Klaipeda.