The Euro Cup 2012 for soccer ended on Sunday with an exciting grand finale between Spain and Italy that held half of Europe with their noses stuck to the screen holding their breath for more than 90 incredible minutes. Our most sincere congratulations to Spain, the team itself and its fans and supporters.
Hosting a major sports event is usually a hard competition itself because normally nothing works better for a country willing to set itself in the public light; and Euro Cup 2012 has worked fine with millions of viewers not only in the old continent but in America as well, reaching the best results for a European soccer competition ever. Poland is quietly regaining its normality and trying to get rid of the proverbial hangover but also getting ready for the thousands of tourists that will now start to fill in their hotels and resorts for many years to come.
Four cities have been the places that the Polish partnership have chosen to hold the first rounds of the games: Gdansk, Poznan, Wroclaw and Warsaw. Let’s have a look on what these cities have to offer beyond stylish stadiums and soccer whirls.
Gdansk, home of the famous philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, is a harbour city located between the mouth of Vistula River and the Baltic Sea, in Northern Poland. The old town and port – with its well-known crane – reflects perfectly its glorious past history as a member of the Hanseatic League and, for us to enjoy, a lot of lavish buildings still remain from those times when income flocked to the city to trade its amber and shipping industry. This medieval city deserves some slow walks among its baroque style architecture – the old town is a must with its vivacious Dugla and Mariacka streets- but surely you don’t want to miss Oliwa Cathedral and St. Mary’s Church, King Arthur’s Court or Neptune’s Fountain. If you fancy WWII historic memories and have the gouts for it, European Solidarity Center and Westerplatte are worth a visit as well.
Considered by many the birthplace of Polish culture and nation, Poznan holds in its architecture and housing a deep taste of this national history. If you have plenty of time, treat yourself to a couple of days to truly enjoy this diamond in the rough; but if you just happen to be here for some hours but still want the whole Poznan experience, try The Royal-Imperial Route, a tourist walk designed to grasp Poznan’s most famous sights and monuments. Beginning in 2012 the 3rd of July,The Malta Festival – named after the local artificial lake – will again transform the city streets into an alive huge stage with performers from many different art disciplines. Feeling like a star? Come stay with us inNH Poznan among its wise blending of traditional and modern decor and facilities in the very heart of the city.
Wroclaw is one of those cities who aspire to a nickname related to Venice, since it’s built on several islands moored by dozens of bridges over River Oder. Few cities in the world can be proud of merging so many different styles in such a way that if you don’t pay enough attention, the transition from baroque to art nouveau is so discreet that you won’t realize you’re jumping over several centuries in a sigh. But Wroclaw is not going to stop, since major efforts are being undertaken to attract high-tech industries and foremost financial institutions, resulting in a rich city – it doubles the per capita income of the Polish average – that exults enthusiasm for sports and culture, as its election to be the 2016 European Capital of Culture certainly proves.
One of the major landmarks of the Polish capital is the Palace of Culture and Science, still the tallest building in the country – which will be overcome by the Sky Tower in Wroclaw by the end of 2012- and a perfect example of socialist architecture, given that Poland remained under soviet sovereign for many decades. But its population has made a commitment to a brighter future and the results are not only the astonishing new National Stadium or the Warsaw Rising Museum but a lively city full of designer bars, cultural events and concerts going on almost everyday, and a renewed Praga District where former industrial buildings have been turned into theatres and chic clubs that will satisfy even the coolest traveller. If you don’t want to miss the historical taste, you can follow the footstep of the magnificent Chopin joining one of the many tours that go all over the city or get yourself lost in the old town. And if you have a soft spot for palaces and royalty, the Royal Łazienki Museum and Wilanów Palace Museum worth a visit before you fly back home.