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1999 Photographs from Poznan | Panoramic Photograph | Poland Site Index | Home
Tuesday required an early rise to catch a 6:00am train headed for Poznan. It was too early for the hotel breakfast, so I would have to be satisfied with the half-loaf of bread remaining from yesterday. In my train car's compartment, I met a journalist traveling from Warsaw to Szczecin. We discussed our reasons for traveling and he was able to tell me a bit about the Podzamcze site I would see in a few days. "The place is vacant," he said, "No one lives there." Michael Jackson's desire to build an amusement park outside of Warsaw and another group's intention to build a new sports stadium near Kraków worked their way into our conversation. Apparently, there are only two other large stadiums in all of Poland. Other recreational sports gaining in popularity are bowling and golf.
A walk from the rail station to Poznan's center takes in one section of the city's new business area(s). A pair of large brick buildings marks an arbitrary entrance point along one of the main streets. Beyond these are a series of office buildings with glass windows and metal spandrel panels. The structures are not inspiring but simply mark Poznan's role as a business and commercial center.
After finding my hotel, it was time to look for an internet café and send some email messages back home. I did not have an address for any specific place so my only option was to wander. The university area seemed like a logical starting point and I found a sign "internet" after only 30 minutes of walking. It pointed to the side of a building with a small door at the end of an alley. The door opened to a small room with 10-12 boxes of computer hardware and few games on a shelf. No one was in the room. I heard some activity from the basement below and decided to take the stairs down. The room was illuminated only by computer monitors; about 10 screens along two walls of the space. At each, a teenage boy wore headphones and was engrossed in a Quake death match. Two men in their early 20's were sipping coffee in a corner and seemed to be running the place. I asked if they had internet access here. "Not yet." They pointed me to another location about 10 minutes away.
By the time I made it to the historic center of the city later in the day, the sun was nearly setting and the light was changing quickly. I found a good position, set-up my tripod and made a panoramic photograph of the Rynek. The central market square is different in Poznan than the other cities I had seen on my previous journey. Szczecin does not have one to speak of, Warsaw is an open square market and Krakow is dominated by the central Cloth Hall. In Poznan, several individual buildings are clustered within the center of the Rynek, including the City Hall. It was a pattern I would later find in several other cities. In Poznan, some these are structures from past centuries while several are also from the 20th. To my eye, the more recent structures appear a bit out of place but it is inappropriate to judge them since I do not know the circumstances behind their construction.
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