Motto: "Eastern energy, Western style"
Euro Stadium: Stadion Miejski (43,000)
Major Clubs: Lech Poznan
Welcome to Poznan for Euro 2012
Be honest; had you heard of Poznan before the little known Lech Poznan played Manchester City in last season's Europa League and the City fans adopted the Polish fans' bizarre terrace ritual of jumping up and down, arms locked, facing away from the pitch? Probably not. Now welcome to the birthplace of that ritual for next summer's European Championships.
Like most cities in Poland, Poznan has had to deal with its fair share of war, but after surviving Swedish invasion of 1655 and the outbreak of the first world war in 1918, the city began to make cutural strides by setting up Poznan University in 1919, and in 1925 the Poznan International Trade Fairs.
Forty-four years of battling communist rule followed the second world war but once the Soviet bloc fell, Poznan has led the way for cultural and economic exchange for western Poland.
'The Poznan'! The aforementioned terrace tradition of jumping up and down, arms locked with the similarly crazy fan next to you, facing the back of the stand instead of the action unfolding on the pitch. Sounds mental, but looks awesome. Manchester City fans adopted it after playing Lech Poznan last season, but are doing it less this year. To be fair their team is far more entertaining to watch than the Polish minnows.
Places To Stay
- Hotel Rzymski (right): Situated right in the city centre, this 150-year-old hotel is a mix of the old and the new. And you don't have to go far for decent food: the attached restaurant, De Rome, serves a variety of Polish and international dishes.
- Frolic Goats Hotel: Yes, you did read that right, the Frolic Goats Hotel offers cheerfully decorated rooms and each housing four, eight, or 12 beds, as well as two private rooms. The prices are very reasonable, especially if booked in advance.
- Cinnamon Hostel: Sadly not a building from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, but a cute hostel just two minutes walk away from the old Market Square and 10 minutes away from the central train station.
- Monument for victims of June 1956: One of Poznan's most significant memorials, this monument commemorates the ill-fated workers' protest, and consists of two 20m-tall crosses bound together. An important part of the city's history.
- The Stadion Miejski (right): Obiously if you're in Poznan next summer, you'll be planning a trip to the Stadion Miejski, home of Lech Poznan, and venue for some of the group games.
- Citadel Park: A fortress built on a former vineyard that now houses the graves of Polish, British, Soviet and Commonwealth soldiers. That's the Citadel Park in a nutshell, another important part of Poznan's history.
Lawica Airport in Poznan is the oldest in Poland, having been in operation since 1921.
Famous Face from Poznan
Tomasz Radzinski. The former Everton and Fulham forward was born in Poznan but moved to Canada at a young age and chose to represent the red and white of the North American country rather than the white and red of Poland at international level. Still playing, apparently, and available on a free transfer for anyone that's interested.