culture in Poznań

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Forts for the ninth time

Poznań's forts, bomb shelters, anti-aircraft ditches, casemates, caponiers, posterns and mine galleries will once again open to tourists.

Underground corridor lit by two light bulbs and 3 people walking down the corridor - grafika artykułu
A previous edition of Poznań Fortress Days: photograph by Sławek Wąchała

The last weekend of August has traditionally been the time to enjoy one of Poznań's most popular tourist events: Fortress Days. This year, as part of its ninth edition, members of the public will get to see at least twenty major military defensive structures that once made up the Poznań Fortress. The largest of them are the forts, each requiring at least two hours to visit. This year, the public will get their chance to see Fort Ia in Starołęka, Fort IVa in Wilczy Młyn, Fort Va in Piątkowo, Fort VI at ul. Dojazd, and more. The otherwise inaccessible interiors of Fort VII, which is currently under renovation, will also open to visitors. 

A category of defensive structure that is slightly smaller than forts is bunkers, of which Poznań is still home to over a hundred. Several of them, dating back to different historical periods, each of a different type and design, will also be on view during Fortress Days. A definite must-see bunker is the presidential one at ul. Słupska in Krzyżowniki. In addition to guided tours, the World War I shelter at ul. Babimojska has prepared presentations on the involvement of Wielkopolska residents in the Silesian Uprisings. Armoured doors will fling open to allow members of the public to view the World War II air-raid shelters at ul. Kościelna and in Wilson Park. 

Only on Fortress Days does the public ever get to explore the top-secret family shelter of Arthur Greiser under the Poznań Radio building at ul. Berwińskiego. And there's more: the Poznań Exploration Group will offer tourists a peek into the hitherto unseen bunker in Marcinkowskiego Park and the underground facilities and bunker below the monument to the Poznań Protests of June 1956. An air-raid shelter tour takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. 

Fortress Days are not only about sightseeing. The forts will present weapons and other military equipment, hold demonstrations and battle re-enactments, and of course dispense military-style meals. Fort IVa at Wilczy Młyn will have a brotherhood of knights recreate medieval fighting. Fort VI will offer a 1940s-themed café and a field military hospital while Fort Ia in Starołęka will allow its youngest visitors to take part in re-enactments featuring military units from periods ranging from that of the Duchy of Warsaw to the present day. This year's Fortress Days will additionally reopen the little known but remarkable and mysterious Railway Caponier, which has lent its name to the Kaponiera roundabout. 

A detailed programme of events with addresses and a venue map will be available in late August both on paper and online.

Szymon Mazur

translation: Krzysztof Kotkowski

  • 9th Poznań Fortress Days
  • www.dnitwierdzypoznan.pl
  • 28-29 August 2021

© Wydawnictwo Miejskie Posnania 2021