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POZNAŃ: 5 spots to visit (not only) during springtime

11.05.2017 City

The spring has come! And it is giving us more light, more space, and more motivation to explore all the city nooks that keep awakening from the winter sleep. With you in mind and the map of Poznań in our hands, we’ve chosen 5 spots you just have to see during springtime. The PURO Mag selection guarantees the city’s best – best tastes, emotions, and experiences. Have a glimpse at Poznań through fresh, spring lenses!

KontenerART – a mobile center of art and culture

Our trip begins at PURO Poznań and leads us to the river nearby. This year commemorates the tenth anniversary of one of the most interesting socio-artistic projects in Greater Poland – KontenerART. In summer 2017, these 3000 square meters and several dozen containers located by the Warta river will host more than 130 events – concerts, (graphic art, music, design) workshops, meetings, exhibitions, stand-ups, and poetry slams… If you want, you may play an active role in the KontenerART community by engaging in the creative process or you can just relax in the hammock and enjoy the beach. A five-day season opening celebrations, beginning on April 28, will feature artists such as Bass Astral x Igo, Żywiołak, Biff, and Eklektiv Movement… You just have to be here! The summer season begins by the river!

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Śródka – where Raj means Paradise
Śródka 3

Close to the KontenerART haven there is the other side of the river – equally vibrant! Everything started in 2012 when a couple of travel enthusiasts opened a restaurant – LaRuina – to share their travel memories by offering cuisine from all over the world. Thanks to Monika and Jan’s experience as well as their passion for original African, Asian, South/North American cuisines, we have a chance to embark on a journey of tastes. Most importantly – none of the items on the menu has ever been “reworked” in our  fashion; the tastes are by no means European. All the ingredients and proportions are faithful to original recipes. Once our “stomachs are singing” (a Somali saying expressing how well you’ve eaten) and dessert time comes, a piece of one of 50 (!) different and already famous cheesecakes and a cup of exquisite Vietnamese coffee are a must. Is there anything else? Sure yes! A small, carefully renovated movie house where 22 viewers, with eyes fixed on a silver screen, can revel in a glass of eco tea brew or a mug of fresh, craft beer. Twins La Ruina and Raj have already become institutions of a kind, significantly influencing the revitalization of the Śródka district.

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Cytadela – all is green
al. Armii Poznań

Go back to the other side of Warta, head towards the Old Market Square, turn right onto Garbary and you’ll reach a unique place! 100 green hectares in the city, for the people – we don’t see that very often, do we? Cytadela – once the largest fort in Europe – serves totally different purposes these days. It’s the perfect choice for everyone who wants to enjoy their free time, be it alone, with a family, a kid, or a second half. Play football or badminton on the enormous green grass fields, spin a Frisbee, fly a kite, have a picnic or a BBQ if you feel like it. Three main alleys will satisfy everyone fond of economical means of traveling – scooters, bikes, rollerblades, and feet :) What’s more, labyrinths of concrete and ground paths, as well as lots of shade provide perfect conditions for runners. Enthusiasts of history and militaria may want to visit “Poznań” Army Museum and Museum of Arms with its open-air exhibition of tanks, airplanes, helicopters and military equipment. Cytadela also pays homage to art. There are sculptures by artists such as Michał Gąsienica Szostak, Jerzy Sobociński, Józef Murlweski, or Julian Boss-Gosławski. The most monumental work – “Unrecognized” (Nierozpoznani) – is an open-air installation of 112 cast-iron anthropomorphic figures created by Magdalena Abakanowicz to commemorate the 750 years of the city of Poznań. Some tidbits you might not know: Cytadela is famous for hosting the biggest Passion Play in the world; it’s also where a Star Wars fan film “Krypta Exara Kuna” was shot.

Stary Browar– where life meets art
Półwiejska 42

A few minutes walk away from PURO Poznań is enough to reach Stary Browar (the old brewery) where you can take a deep breath after all the city escapades. The site of the Hugger’s brewery dating back to the 19th century is where the old and the new – the classical and the postmodern – blend in harmony. This wonderfully designed building – built of 120 million bricks (!) – was finished and opened in 2003.  The main aim of owner Grażyna Kulczyk was to create a space that would embody the “50/50” idea – the space where business and art would live in symbiosis. Now, despite the fact that Stary Browar has new owners, the idea introduced by Kulczyk remains central to the philosophy of the place. The building, whose value was recently estimated at €290 mln, features a shopping mall with more than 200 stores (including Polish designers’ boutiques and premium brands), about 30 restaurants and cafés, a movie theater, music lounges, offices, and a medical centre, as well as an art gallery where numerous events related to art take place. There are workshops, meetings with interesting personalities, concerts, shows. Statistically, something new happens there every third day of the year! Interestingly, everyone who visits the place has a chance to see the permanently exhibited work of famous artists such as Igor Mitoraj, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, or Piotr Uklański. There is a 4-hectare large park on the site, especially famous during summer, which has become a popular meeting spot and a green calling card of Poznań.
Stary Browar has received 4 awards from the International Council of Shopping Centres in two categories – “the Best Shopping Centre in the world” and “the Best Shopping Centre in Europe” (medium-size shopping centers). The place has been winning other contests as well, including “7 New Miracles of Poland” by National Geographic Traveler. We absolutely recommend it – Stary Browar is a city within the city!

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Dragon – in the dragon’s den
ul.Zamkowa 3

Our spring trip around Poznań can end in only one way – by entering the dragon’s den. But be careful – Dragon is not an innocent place! Perhaps it is, but only during the day, when you can play table tennis next to quests enjoying their Eggs Benedict or Ethiopian flatbread for breakfast, or revel in the sun and have some tea in the yard surrounded by tall old houses. After dark, however, the beast gets rid of its innocent face. More and more guests arrive. Some painter drinking cherry vodka at the bar is talking to a journalist tasting Japanese whisky. A poetess in love with Pernod argues with a traveler who is sipping cognac. The French drink Żytnia with the Spanish. Enthusiastic and lively voices resonate in the air. Someone enters, someone falls asleep, some people have just met and now they’re kissing. The omnipresent semi-darkness sheds new light on how the owners managed to make this place feel sinful, decent, and sophisticated at once. The ground floor is hosting the 750th concert organized by this Beast since the beginning of its activity 12 years ago. No one can count how many theater performances, poetry readings and avant-garde meetings have taken place here… When you go downstairs, there’s Mordor with its dance floor next to the darkest place in the galaxy, the bar. People are crowding, squeezing, jamming, and losing their breath to get closer to … what? Here it is, the magic of Dragon!

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Text: Adi Kaniewski
Photos: courtesy of the places and restaurants

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