Gniezno is generally regarded as the first capital of Poland, though there are contentions from other places. Gniezno's story dates back to the legend of Lech, the founder of Poland. It's said that he came across a white eagle guarding her nest (gniazdo) and decided to settle there, naming it Gniezno and adopting the white eagle as his emblem (which today is still the symbol of Poland). From recorded history, Gniezno's importance came about as the coronation site of Poland's first king, Bolesaw the Brave. The capital has moved on, but Gniezno has not turned into a sleepy town propped up by school excursions. The cobblestoned Old Town has brightly painted early-19th-century tenement houses, sunshine-filled beer gardens, and side streets filled with quaint, time-warped shops. It is an easy day trip from Poznan.
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