Poznań, pôz'nän-y', Poland, the capital of Wielkopolskie province. It is on the Warta River, a tributary of the Oder, almost midway between Warsaw and Berlin. Poznań is an important manufacturing, marketing, and transportation center. It is also one of the oldest religious centers of Poland.
Poznań's industry began developing rapidly after the rebirth of Poland in 1919. Heavy machinery, precision instruments, chemicals and drugs, and processed foods are produced. As a trade center, Poznań handles agricultural products and lumber. Iron and copper are mined in the area. The city is a road and rail junction for much of western Poland. An airport is immediately to the west of the city.
The Roman Catholic cathedral, one of the first in Poland, was originally built in the 10th century. It was rebuilt in the 14th and 18th centuries, and again after World War II. The 15th-century St. Mary's church and an 18th-century palace are also here. A castle built by the German emperor Wilhelm II in 1905 was used by Poznań University after its founding in 1919. The Raczynski library, constructed in 1829, was rebuilt after World War II. Poznań has technical institutes, several museums, an opera house, and theaters.
Poznań, in the 10th century, became one of the first centers of Christianity in Poland. With the shifting of Poland's borders throughout history, the city passed to Prussia in 1793 and again in 1815. Renamed Posen, it was a Prussian city until the reestablishment of Poland in 1919, after the end of World War I. While occupied by the Germans during World War II, Poznań was badly damaged by Allied bombs.