Poznań is a city on the Warta river in west-central Poland, in the Greater Poland region. It is best known for its renaissance old town, destroyed during World War II and then rebuilt, and Ostrów Tumski cathedral. Today, the city is an important cultural and business centre and one of Poland's most populous regions with many regional customs such as Jarmark Świętojański, traditional Saint Martin's croissants and a local dialect.
Poznań is among the oldest cities in Poland and was one of the most important centers in the early Polish state in the tenth and eleventh centuries. The first center city was Ostrów Tumski, the natural island on the Warta river-very similar to the Île de la Cité in Paris. The first rulers were buried in Poznań's cathedral on the island. It also served as the capital for a short time in the 13th century, hence the official name: The capital city of Poznan. After the second partition of Poland Poznań was administered by Prussia, and then, with the unification of Germany after the Franco-Prussian War of 1871, the province of Posen became part of the German Empire. Furthermore, the city of Posen was officially named an imperial residence city, leading to the construction of the Imperial Castle, the Imperial District, the Opera House, new city walls, railway station and many other sites which make a big part of its landmarks to this day.