Connected with the beginnings of the Polish State the Gniezno Land is an area through which the Piast Route runs. The name of the route derives from the Piast dynasty who ruled the Polish land in the early medieval times. The most important political centres of the Piast Poland mark out the route.
The Piast Route, extremely interesting as to the scenery and its history was marked out in the beginning of the sixties. It runs through the historic regions of north-west Wielkopolska and western part of Kujawy. Its symbol is a stylised white eagle on a red shield. The main part of the route leads from the important city of Poznań created in the early medieval period of the Polish State, via Pobiedziska, Ostrów Lednicki, Gniezno - the first capital of Poland, Trzemeszno, Mogilno, Strzelno, Kruszwica to Inowrocław. Its side routes run in the east from Poznań via Swarzędz, Kostrzyn, Giecz, Września, Czerniejewo to Gniezno; in the north from Gniezno via Rogowo, Biskupin, Żnin, Lubostroń, Barcin and Pakość to Inowrocław; in the south from Trzemeszno via Orchowo to Strzelno; in the north from Trzemeszno via Mogilno to Strzelno.
All places listed above possess precious monuments of the past connected with the beginnings of Polish statehood as well as later ones, representing all styles and epochs of Polish architecture.
The Piast Route is the most popular tourist route in Wielkopolska. Its centre - Gniezno - is a place from which it is worth to start the visiting of historic Piast settlements of ancient Poland. Good roads, numerous hotels, wayside inns,guest-houses, tourist farms and youth hostels will make the visiting of the route easier.
BARCIN - town upon the Noteć river. Neo-Romanesque church under the invocation of St. James of the beginning of 20th c. and a manor of the middle of 19th c. On the right bank of the Noteć river the so called St. Adalbert's Mountain - according to tradition raised at the place where St. Adalbert stayed.
BISKUPIN - village by the Biskupińskie Lake. On the peninsula - an archaeological reserve with partly reconstructed buildings and fortifications of a fortified settlement of the Lusation culture tribes of about 740 B.C., discovered in 1933. In the museum - an exhibition depicting the life of the people from the settlement. Next to the museum - a pen for such animals as Polish ponies, goats and heather sheep. By the settlement there is a station of the narrow-gauge railway Żnin - Gąsawa.
CZERNIEJEWO - town upon Wrześnica. Church under the invocation of St. John the Baptist of 16th c., next to it - a bust of priest Onufry Kopczyński - author of the first handbook of the grammar of Polish. In the northern part of the town - 18th c. palace of Lipski and Skórzewski families with former stable and coach-house of 18th c. and pheasantry of 19th c. The whole lot surrounded with a landscape park of 18th c.
GĄSAWA - village by the Gąsawskie Lake. In 1227 the place of the assembly of Piast princes. Wooden church under the invocation of St. Nicolas of 18th c. The village is the last station of the tourist narrow-gauge railway Żnin - Gąsawa.
GIECZ - village upon the Maskawa river. In the period of the forming of the Polish state one of the most important strongholds of Wielkopolska. An emplacement of the medieval stronghold preserved till today - the so called Grodziszczko - presently an archaeological reserve and a museum. Foundations of a palace and a rotunda of 11th c.; beside a wooden church under the invocation of St. John the Baptist. In the village - former market settlement - a Romanesque church of 12th c. under the invocation of the Assumption of Our Lady and St. Nicolas.
GNIEZNO - town by the lakes: Jelonek, Świętokrzyskie and Winiary. Since 8th c. a stronghold of the tribe of Polans; in the times of Mieszko I and Boleslaus the Brave one of the most important centres of power in the country. The first capital city of Poland. Major monuments: gothic cathedral under the invocation of the Assumption of Our Lady and St. Adalbert of 14th c. with the remains of earlier buildings, surrounded with 14 chapels of 17th - 18th centuries, numerous precious monuments: the Gniezno Door of the 2nd half of 12th c.; confession of St. Adalbert with a coffin-reliquary of 17th c.,; tomb slab of archbishop Zbigniew Oleśnicki - masterpiece of Vit Stwosz. Next to the cathedral the monument of Boleslaus the Brave, St. George's church of 18th c., a complex of canonries of 18th and 19th centuries /one of them houses the Archdiocese Museum/; bishop's and archbishop's palaces of 19th and 20th centuries. Churches: St. John's church of 15th c. with precious polychromy, St. Franciscan church /connected to the former clarists' monastery of 18th c., St. Michael's church of 15th c.; St. Trinity church of 15th c. with preserved fragments of town walls at the side of Stroma Street; St. Laurence's church of 16th c.; by the Jelonek Lake a complex of buildings of the monument of Mieszko I and Boleslaus Chrobry with the Museum of the Beginnings of the Polish State including the museum, high school and aula. On the courtyard - the monument of both rulers. Beside - a new educational centre Collegium Europaeum Gnesnense. In Gniezno is the first station of the District Narrow Gauge Railway Gniezno - Anastazewo.
GUŁTOWY - village 9 km south-east of Kostrzyn with a church under the invocation of St. Kasimir of 18th c. and baroque-classicist palace of the Bniński family of 1780-1786.
INOWROCŁAW - capital of West Kujawy. Centre of salt mining; health resort with newly built brine twig towers. Romanesque church under the invocation of Our Lady of the beginning of 13th c. /on northern wall-stone masks of 12th c./. Neo-Romanesque church under the invocation of the Annunciation of Our Lady of the end of 19th c. Jan Kasprowicz museum.
KOSTRZYN - in the years 1298-1797 the town was the property of the nuns of the order of St. Clare from Gniezno. Late gothic church under the invocation of St. Peter and St. Paul of 16th c.
KOŚCIELEC - village upon Noteć. Romanesque church of the turn of 12th/13th centuries with added chapel of 16th c. in which there is the crypt of Jan and Janusz Kościeleccy of 16th c. Next to the church in the landscape park - late classicist palace of 19th c.
KRUSZWICA - town by the Gopło Lake. In 1967 upon the banks of the lake the By-the-Gopło Park of the Millennium was created. According to tradition here was born Piast - legendary founder of the first royal dynasty. Here is a Romanesque collegiate church under the invocation of St. Peter and St. Paul, built of granite and sandstone ashlars of the years 1120-1140. The Mouse Tower - remains of the 14th c. castle burnt down by the Swedes in 17th c. In the town square - church under the invocation of St. Teresa of 1922.
KWIECISZEWO - village upon Kwieciszewica on the border of historical Wielkopolska and Kujawy. Former market settlement and castellan's stronghold. 16th c. Church under the invocation of St. Mary Magdalene.
LEDNICKI LANDSCAPE PARK - created in 1989 around Lednickie Lake in order to protect the landscape as well as monuments of architecture and history connected with the beginnings of the Polish state.
DZIEKANOWICE - village on the south side of Lednickie Lake. Seat of the Management of the Museum of the First Piasts in Lednica. Neo-Romanesque St. Martin's church of, 1865.
IMIOŁKI - village on the western side of Lednickie Lake with the Gate of the Third Millennium and the priesthood centre of the Dominican Fathers from Poznań.
LEDNOGÓRA - village on the west side of Lednickie Lake with a Neo-Gothic church under the invocation of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception of 19th c.
MORACZEWO - village in the vicinity of the Poznań-Gniezno road. Very well preserved emplacement of a medieval castle. By the road - a hill with three 19th c. windmills, the miller's farmyard and barn.
OSTRÓW LEDNICKI - island on Lednickie Lake. Since 9th till 11th centuries one of the main centres of the Polans' State and of Poland. In the southern part- a stronghold surrounded with rampart and in it the remains of a palace and rotunda of 10th c. In the northern part of the stronghold - foundation of an 11th c. chapel with two tombs. On the east side of the lake - the so called Little Heritage Park with a 16th c. windmill, a village farmyard and a 17th c. granary, a fisherman's house and the Treasury which presents the history of Ostrów Lednicki.
RYBITWY - village on the west side of Lednickie Lake with a complex of enthnographic buildings - a windmill, a farmhouse, a barn, a granary, a school - branch of the Museum of the First Piasts.
WIELKOPOLSKI ETHNOGRAPHIC PARK - on the east side of Lednickie Lake. One of the largest heritage parks in Europe. Created in 1975. Here are gathered about 70 18th and 19th c. village buildings from the area of Wielkopolska.
LUBOSTROŃ - village upon Noteć. In the landscape park - a classicist palace of the Skórzewski family. In the neighbourhood - the so called Old Palace of 18th c. and a 19th c. stable and coach-house. In the palace Stefan Gorczyński was brought up and Adam Mickiewicz and Wincenty Pol were its guests.
ŁUBOWO - village, 10 km west of Gniezno. 17th c. wooden church under the invocation of St. Nicolas; Neo-Gothic church under the invocation of the Assumption of Our Lady of the beginning of 20th c.
MARCINKOWO GÓRNE - village 10 km south of Żnin. The place of death of the Kraków-Sandomierz prince Leszek the White, murdered in 1227 during the assembly of the Piast princes in Gąsawa. Leszek the White's monument of 1927 /reconstructed in 1973/. A baroque 18th c. manor, 3 leans-to of 19th c. and a landscape park.
MOGILNO - town by Mogileńskie and Wiecanowskie tunnel-valley lakes. Since 11th c. a Benedictine Abbey. Post-Benedictine church and monastery under the invocation of ST. John the Evangelist, baroque in its present form of 18th c. with Romanesque fragments /apse, two crypts and a well in the cloister garth/.!6th c. gothic church under the invocation of St. James.
NEKLA - town on the Wrzesińska Plain. Neo-Romanesque curch under the invocation of St. Andrew of 1900. Eclectic palace of about 1870, surrounded with a landscape park.
ORCHOWO - village by Orchowskie Lake. 18th c. wooden church under the invocation of All Saints, 19th c. post-evangelical church under the invocation of Christ the Good Shepard.
PAKOŚĆ - town upon Noteć. Church under the invocation of St. Bonaventure on the foundations of former castle, chapel of Our Lady of Pakość with the sacred reliquary of the cross. Calvary - the only one preserved as a whole in Wielkopolska and Kujawy - consisting of 25chapels of 17th c. On the Calvary Hill - church under the invocation of Christ the Crucified and Our Lady the Sorrowful.
POBIEDZISKA - town by Biezdruchowskie Lake. Royal town. Early-gothic church of 13th/14th c. with a wooden belfry of 19th c. In the vicinity an 18th/19th c. brick-wooden house. In Pobiedziska - Forest Holiday Resort - Miniature Heritage Park - exposition of models of historic buildings from the area of Wielkopolska.
POZNAŃ - provincial city upon Warta. One of the main centres of business, culture and science in Poland. Major historical monuments: complex of ecclesiastic buildings on Ostrów Tumski with the 14th/15th c. St. Peter and St. Paul's cathedral in the gothic form with fragments of a building of 10th c. In the neighbourhood of the cathedral - a 15th c. gothic church under the invocation of Our Lady, a 16th c. Psaltery, a 16th c. renaissance building of the Lubrański Academy - seat of the Archdiocese Museum; Old Town Square buildings with the 16th c. renaissance town hall - Museum of the History of the City of Poznań, Przemysł 2nd's castle on Przemysł Mount - Museum of Applied Art; the Działyńskis' Palace; late-Romanesque church under the invocation of John of Jerusalem of 12th c.; renaissance palace of the Górkowie of 16th c. - Archaeological Museum; parish church of the turn of 17th and 18th centuries - one of the most magnificent baroque temples in Poland, 15th c. St. Adalbert's gothic church with the crypt of the Wielkopolans of merit.
ROGOWO - village on the pass between Zioło and Rogowskie lakes. Classicist/neo-gothic church under the invocation of St. Dorothy. Manor of 1830, surrounded with a landscape park of 18th/19th centuries. On the square - statue of St. John Nepomucen of 19th c. and pilots' monument.
SIEDLEC - village 5 km east of Kostrzyn. 17th c. rococo church under the invocation of St. Nicolas, 17th c. baroque-classicist palace surrounded with a landscape park. In the neighbourhood of the church - an emplacement of a cone stronghold in the place of the 14th c. castle.
STRZELNO - town on the border of Wielkopolska and Kujawy. From 12th c. till 18th c. - property of the Norbertine cloister. Here was born the American physicist Albert Abraham Michelson - the Nobel Prize Winner of 1907. On St. Adalbert's Hill - Romanesque rotunda under the invocation of St. Prokop of 12th/13th centuries and 12th c. post-Norbertan church under the invocation of St. Trinity, converted in the of gothic and baroque periods, with numerous Romanesque elements (2 tympans and 4 carved columns). In front of the church - a set of erratic blocks - probably former pagan altars. At the foot of the hill - St. Adalbert's statue.
SWARZĘDZ - town by Swarzędzkie Lake. Church under the invocation of St. Martin of 17th/18th centuries. In the park of 19th /20th centuries - a beekeeper heritage park with a collection of over 200 beehives.
TRZEMESZNO - town by Trzemeszeńskie and Popielewskie lakes. In10th c. a stronghold and location of one of the oldest Benedictine cloisters In Poland. Since 12th c. the seat of the Augustinians. The place of birth of Jan Kiliński - the hero of the Kościuszko uprising. In the years 1773-1863 the seat of the famous high school. Historical monuments: 18th c. post-cloister church under the invocation of the Assumption of Our Lady, building of former high school - the so called Kosmowski's seminary of 18th c. and a complex of buildings of former St. Lazarus' hospital of 18th c.
UZARZEWO - village in the valley of the Cybina river, by Uzarzewskie Lake. St. Michael's brick-wooden church of 18th c. In the landscape park - eclectic manor and stable of 19th c. - Museum of Natural Environment and Hunting.
WENECJA - village between Biskupińskie, Weneckie and Skrzynka lakes. Ruins of a 15th c. gothic castle of the Nałęcz family; 19th c. neo-gothic church under the invocation of the Birth of Our Lady. At the station of the narrow-gauge railway Żnin - Gąsawa - Museum of the Narrow-Gauge Railway - heritage park of railway rolling stock and railway equipment and aplliances.
WRZEŚNIA - town upon Wrześnica. The place of the famous school strike in 1901. Historical monuments: parish-church under the invocation of the Assumption of Our Lady and St. Stanislas of the half of 15th c., neo-gothic town hall of the beginning of 20th c. The Września Children District Museum.
WYLATOWO - village by Szydłowskie Lake. Since 12th c. property of the cloister in Trzemeszno. On the former emplacement of a stronghold - a three-nave wooden church under the invocation of St. Peter and St. Paul of 1761 - the only one in Wielkopolska.
ŻNIN - town on the pass between the lakes: Large Żnińskie and Small Żnińskie. Birthplace of Jan and Jędrzej Śniadeckis, among others. Late-gothic parish church under the invocation of St. Florian of 15th c. Classicist manor - the so called suffragan see of 18th c. - Museum of Sacred Art. 15th c. gothic town hall tower - Museum of the Pałucka Land. Neo-gothic post-evangelic church under the invocation of Our Lady the Queen of Poland and in the Góra suburb - 15th c. St. Martin's church. At the beginning the first station of the narrow-gauge railway Żnin- Gąsawa.