Travel Bug has been busily floating around, gathering 5 fascinating facts about Poznan, while he enjoyed his latest European mini-break…

Poznan is the 5th largest city in Poland. It lies around 150 miles east of Berlin and a little more than 200 miles northwest of Krakow. Poznan is one of the oldest cities in Poland and was one of the host cities of EUFA Euro 2012. These are the fascinating facts about Poznan the little guy has uncovered:

1: Poznan is famous for its fighting goats

No, seriously. There’s an ancient legend revolving around a great fire that destroyed the city’s town hall, which was promptly rebuilt and a celebration planned for its unveiling. A young chef was employed to prepare a feast of venison but was too excited to see the town hall’s new clock and popped out of the kitchen to explore, leaving the meal to burn.

Realising his mistake, he quickly stole two goats from a local farmer, intending to cook them for the gathered dignitaries. However, the goats escaped and were soon butting heads in the clock tower turret. The spectacle amused the guests so much, that the Mayor ordered two replica goats included in the clock design. Every day at noon, the mechanical goats of Poznan emerge from the clock tower and butt heads 12 times to signify midday. There is also another statue dedicated to the fighting goats of Poznan, as demonstrated by Travel Bug, above…

2: The city has a famous meat-filled croissant

One of the tastiest 5 fascinating facts about Poznan lies in its cuisine. It’s not French if it’s Polish, is what Travel Bug always says. And nothing is less French and more Polish than a meat-filled pastry. The St Martin’s Croissant, or rogale świętomarcińskie, is a savoury and sweet horseshoe-shaped snack that’s folded no less than 81 times. Each fold of the croissant has to be filled with a combo of poppy seeds, nuts, sugar, and other calorific but extremely tasty ingredients before being baked, smothered in icing, and quickly stuffed in mouths while still warm. What’s not to love??  A new museum dedicated to the croissant is located just off the main town square.

3: Poznan is the only city mentioned in the Polish national anthem

Poznan is the birthplace of Poland, so it’s probably no surprise that it made the cut. The anthem mentions Army General Czarniecki and his brave quest to defend Poland from invasion on many fronts throughout history. The relevant lines are: Cross the Vistula and Warta; and Poles we shall be; we’re been shown by Bonaparte; ways to victory; as Czarniecki Poznan town regains; fighting with the Swede; to free our Fatherland from chains; we shall return by sea.

4: The city has its own dialect

The residents of Poznan have their very own dialect. Poznan and other regions which were previously part of Prussia, use this distinct version of Polish in their day-to-day lives. The dialect is Gwara Poznanska and has its roots in both Polish and German lauguages. However, Travel Bug wasn’t really able to tell the difference between it and regular Polish, though. The only Polish word he knows is ‘biedronka’, which means ‘ladybug’. Obviously.

5: Poznan is the resting place of The Great Escape prisoners

The Military Cemetery in Citadel Park is the resting place for many soldiers from across the world. The most famous of these are the 5-10 escapees from Stalag Luft 2 in Zagan. These are the men who inspired the Hollywood movie, The Great Escape, starring Steve McQueen.

That’s it for travel bug’s 5 fascinating facts about Poznan! Until next time, friends…


TTB xxx