Castles, palaces and mansions
Wielkopolska is a region rich in castles, palaces and mansions. Nowadays, these great buildings seat museums, corporate offices, institutions and research centres as well as hotels, conference centres and holiday resorts. In almost all, along with accommodation located in the historic setting, there are also restaurants.
Rydzyna Castle is one of the most beautiful baroque buildings in Poland. After war damage, its interior was reconstructed in accordance with historical records. Numerous cultural events, social gathering and conferences take place in the presentable rooms embellished with rich stucco works and ancient decorations. The castle houses a hotel, restaurant and museum. It is surrounded by a moat and historic park. Together with the urban buildings of Rydzyna they form a monumental complex called the Pearl of the Baroque in Poland. Rydzyna is located about 90 km south of Poznań.
Wolsztyn - Engine-House
Wolsztyn Engine-House, founded in 1907 is the only active engine-house in Europe, which is working with scheduled traffic. Around 30 locomotives, which are ready to run, are stationed there (including a few in scheduled traffic) with the pride of Wolsztyn - "Beautiful Helena", a Polish locomotive Pm 36-2 capable of a speed of 130 km/h. Whist visiting the Engine-House it is worth to see the Museum Chamber. Every year in early May, the famous Locomotive Parades are held in Wolsztyn attracting tourists from every part of the world, who admire the still active and beautiful machines. Wolsztyn is located about 75 km to the south-west of Poznań.
The Great Loop of Wielkopolska
"The Great Loop of Wielkopolska" tourist trail is an excellent choice for water rambling. It is the longest water trail in Poland. It has a total of 687.9 km leading through the Ślesin Lakes canal and Warta and Noteć Rivers. The trail of The Great Loop has a good infrastructure for boats, water crafts and canoes. By a powerboat the trail can be sailed around in an average of 30 days, including being on the water and visiting the many cultural and natural attractions. On the river Noteć one can admire original, historical locks - real antiquities of technology.
The journey to the centre of the Earth - Kłodawa Underground Tourist Route
The only possibility in Poland to sightsee an active salt mine is in Kłodawa. It is a place located about 150 km east of Poznań. The world's deepest underground tourist route is exactly there. Tourists flock in a lift with a breakneck speed of 6 m/s to the level of 600 m below ground in a little over a minute and a half; then paths lead to an underground chapel of St. Kinga, exploited salt chambers, machinery used in the mine and various peculiarities of salt mining. Kłodawa Salt Mine is the only one in Europe, where pink salt is still mined (the most popular as a material for lamps). The total length of underground corridors and chambers is about 350 km, and the total volume of post exploitation voids is about 15 million m³. The tourist route length is 1.5 km. The mine made it to the Guinness World Records in the category of "a concert at the biggest depth", when Kalisz Philharmonic Orchestra performed a symphony concert at a depth of 600 m below ground. The Underground Tourist Route is in the monuments register.
Kalisz on the Piast Route
The Piast Route is the oldest trail on Polish territory and its course combines the most important buildings and monuments of our history associated with the beginnings of the Polish state.
The most important place on the route is Gniezno - the legendary capital of Mieszko I State, as well as the oldest city in Poland - Kalisz. The oldest tribal settlement of Kalisz (from the mid-ninth century), and then the early Piast settlement rose on Zawodzie in the marsh of the Prosna river. Then in subsequent centuries, after taking possession of the castle by the Piast dynasty it was extended several times. The importance of the settlement is shown by the presence, within its borders, of a church founded in the first half of the eleventh century. Nowadays, within the area of the original settlement there is an archaeological sanctuary with replicas of early medieval buildings. During the tourist season in the "Piasts Kalisz Gród" (original settlement) there is a series of themed outdoor events where one can see the staging of various historical events, participate in crafts workshops, demonstrations and enjoy the medieval cuisine. Kalisz is located about 100 km south-east of Poznań.