Poland (pop. 38 million), officially the Republic of Poland (Polish Rzeczpospolita Polska), lies in Central Europe, east of Germany and west of Belarus and Ukraine and north of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Poland’s capital and largest city is Warsaw.
The name Polska (Poland), applied in the early 11th century, comes from an ancient Slavic tribe known as the Polanie (field or plains dwellers), who settled in the lowlands between the Odra (Oder) and Wisła (Vistula) rivers sometime after the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Poland, then united with Lithuania, was one of the major European powers under the Jagiełłonian dynasty. When the dynasty came to an end in 1572, Poland entered a long period of decline, culminating in the partition of the country between Russia, Austria, and Prussia in 1772, 1793, and 1795.
Poland was again established as a sovereign state after World War I 1914-1918). It was partitioned a fourth time in 1939 by Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). After World War II (1939-1945), Polish territory suffered a substantial net loss, as the land ceded to the USSR in the east was nearly double that acquired from Germany in the west. Communists ruled Poland from 1945 until 1989, when political and economic unrest among Poles resulted in the collapse of the regime and its replacement by a non-Communist coalition. Poland joined the European Union in May 2004.
The great periods of Western cultural and intellectual expression are paralleled by the history of Polish creativity. The Italian Renaissance inspired a great burst of culture in Poland. The Reformation sped the development of a Polish vernacular literature, and in the 18th and 19th centuries Poles were greatly influenced by French culture. During the Stalinist period, which lasted in Poland from 1949 to 1955, artistic freedom was severely circumscribed by the government. After 1956 Poland’s cultural policies became generally more liberal.
Poznan is a city on the Warta river in west-central Poland, with a population of 556,022 in June 2009. It is among the oldest cities in Poland, and was one of the most important centres in the early Polish state, whose first rulers were buried at Poznan's cathedral. It is sometimes claimed to be the first capital of the kingdom of Poland.
Poznan is now Poland's fifth largest city. It is the historical capital of the Wielkopolska ('Greater Poland') region, and is currently the administrative capital of the province called Greater Poland Voivodeship.
Poznan is an important centre of trade, industry and education, and hosts regular international trade fairs. It was the host city for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2008, a key stage in the creation of a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. Poznan is a candidate city for European Capital of Culture in 2016.
Poznan has been an important trade centre since the Middle Ages. Starting in the 19th century, local heavy industry began to grow. Several major factories were built, including the Hipolit Cegielski steel mill and railway factory. Nowadays Poznan is one of the major trade centers in Poland and is regarded as the second most prosperous city in Poland after Warsaw.
Poznan has many historic buildings and sights, mostly concentrated around the Old Town and other parts of the city centre. Many of these lie on the Royal-Imperial Route a tourist walk leading through the most important parts of the city showing its history, culture and identity. Perhaps the most important cultural event in Poznan is the annual Malta theatre festival, which takes place at many city venues usually in late June and early July. It hosts mainly modern experimental off-theatre performances, often taking place on squares and other public spaces. It also includes cinema, visual, music and dancing events.
Poznan has an extensive public transport system. Poznan International Airport serves direct flights from Warsaw, Frankfurt, Munich, London, Milan, etc. The main railway station is Poznan Central Station to the south-west of the city centre; train rides from either Warsaw or Berlin take approximately 3 hours. The main east-west A2 motorway runs south of the city connecting Poznan with Warsaw and Berlin (both some 300 km away). An intensive programme of road building and improvement in and around the city is underway in preparation for the hosting of matches in the Euro 2012 football championships.
The Championships will be hosted at the Poznan International Fair, located in the centre of the city, opposite of the railway station.
The fair owns the largest exhibition and conference infrastructure in Poland, including 16 high standard air-conditioned halls with a large exhibition area (over 110,000 sq.m. in exhibition halls and almost 35,000 sq.m. on open grounds) and 81 modern conference rooms.
|Poznan International Fair / MTP
ul. Glogowska 14
PL-60 734 Poznan
Telephone: +48-61-869 2000
A comprehensive list of the official championship hotels which are offered in a great variety of rates and facilities is available at the local site: