Gniezno

Overview

Introduction

Located 28 mi/45 km northeast of Poznan and inhabited since the eighth century, Gniezno was once Poland's capital.

Gniezno's beautiful cathedral was the site of royal coronations for 300 years during the Middle Ages. Although the church was desecrated by the Nazis in World War II, it still retains its original 12th-century bronze doors with reliefs showing scenes of the life of Saint Adalbert and the silver sarcophagus of St. Wojciech (Adalbertus), patron saint of Poland.

The Museum of the Origins of the Polish State is also in town. It has an interesting multimedia presentation—available in English—about the development of medieval life in Poland. Gniezno is also associated with the historical figure Lech, leader of the Polonie tribe that gave the country its name.

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