Poznań (UK: / POZ-nan, US: / POHZ-nahn, Polish: [ˈpɔznaj̃] or [ˈpɔznaɲ] (listen); German: Posen; known also by other historical names) is a city on the Warta River in west-central Poland, in the Greater Poland region and is the fifth-largest city in Poland. It is best known for its renaissance Old Town and Ostrów Tumski Cathedral. Today, Poznań is an important cultural and business centre and one of Poland's most populous regions with many regional customs such as Saint John's Fair (Jarmark Świętojański), traditional Saint Martin's croissants and a local dialect.
Poznań is among the oldest and largest cities in Poland. The city's population is 538,633 (2011 census), while the continuous conurbation with Poznań County and several other communities is inhabited by almost 1.1 million people. The Larger Poznań Metropolitan Area (PMA) is inhabited by 1.3–1.4 million people and extends to such satellite towns as Nowy Tomyśl, Gniezno and Września, making it the fourth largest metropolitan area in Poland. It is the historical capital of the Greater Poland region and is currently the administrative capital of the province called Greater Poland Voivodeship.
Poznań is a centre of trade, sports, education, technology and tourism. It is an important academic site, with about 130,000 students and the Adam Mickiewicz University - the third largest Polish university. Poznań is also the seat of the oldest Polish diocese, now being one of the most populous archdioceses in the country. The city also hosts the Poznań International Fair – the biggest industrial fair in Poland and one of the largest fairs in Europe. The city's most renowned landmarks include Poznań Town Hall, the National Museum, Grand Theatre, Fara Church, Poznań Cathedral and the Imperial Castle.
Poznań is classified as a Gamma- global city by Globalization and World Cities Research Network. It has often topped rankings as a city with very high quality of education and a very high standard of living. It also ranks highly in safety and healthcare quality. The city of Poznań has also, many times, won the prize awarded by "Superbrands" for a very high quality city brand. In 2012, the Poznań's Art and Business Center "Stary Browar" won a competition organised by National Geographic Traveller and was given the first prize as one of the seven "New Polish Wonders".
The official patron saints of Poznań are Saint Peter and Paul of Tarsus, the patrons of the cathedral. Martin of Tours – the patron of the main street Święty Marcin is also regarded as one of the patron saints of the city.
The name Poznań probably comes from a personal name, Poznan (from the Polish participle poznan(y) – "one who is known/recognized"), and would mean "Poznan's town". It is also possible that the name comes directly from the verb poznać, which means "to get to know" or "to recognize," so it may simply mean "known town".
The earliest surviving references to the city are found in the chronicles of Thietmar of Merseburg, written between 1012 and 1018: episcopus Posnaniensis ("bishop of Poznań", in an entry for 970) and ab urbe Posnani ("from the city of Poznań", for 1005). The city's name appears in documents in the Latin nominative case as Posnania in 1236 and Poznania in 1247. The phrase in Poznan appears in 1146 and 1244.
The city's full official name is Stołeczne Miasto Poznań ("The Capital City of Poznań"), in reference to its role as a centre of political power in the early Polish state. Poznań is known as Posen in German, and was officially called Haupt- und Residenzstadt Posen ("Capital and Residence City of Poznań") between 20 August 1910 and 28 November 1918. The Latin names of the city are Posnania and Civitas Posnaniensis. Its Yiddish name is פּױזן, or Poyzn.
In Polish, the city name has masculine grammatical gender.