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Poznań – Strasbourg

From Imperial to European Affinities

Raczynski Library, from 20 August to 27 October 2022

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The exhibition Poznań – Strasbourg. From Imperial to European Affinities is presented in the Raczyński Library between 20 August and 27 October 2022. It is an accompanying event to the 23rd International Congress of Historical Sciences held in Poznań from 21 to 27 August 2022. The exhibition is part of a project involving an international group of researchers focusing on the spatial heritage of Poznań and Strasbourg and their respective regions. The project was funded by the German-Polish Science Foundation, the Poznań University of Technology, and the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.

The exhibition features four sections.

The first, Cross-relations. History of cities concerns the historic affinities between Poznań and Strasbourg, as well as the junctures and different chapters in both their histories, starting from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries.

The next section presents Dialogue and Tensions between the Prussian authorities and the residents. These were largely expressed in emphasizing the separateness and distinction of the specific communities: how they chose different architectural styles, how they created and demolished monuments, and how they doubled institutions of culture and science intended for different citizens who, nonetheless, shared the urban space.

The third section titled Inventing Traditions shows the models used to identify the particular groups: those promoted by the state and the grassroots initiatives. These constructed the urban image based on historic architectural styles and regional culture. The aim was to emphasize, or even create, the identity of a given community, or to impose one’s own vision of history. An especially evident example of these practices was the Wilhelmine period and the projects designed by the Nazis.

The last section, Modernisations, focuses on the changes which happened in the urban space of Poznań and Strasbourg after World War II. After 1945, both cities were reincorporated into Poland and France, respectively. This time, however, their political history parted ways situating them for over forty years behind opposite sides of the Iron Curtain. Still, regardless of their different national and political affiliation, the postwar history of their urban space was marked by the common characteristics of modernist architecture. This was a time of major modernisation projects implemented within the urban tissue of both Poznań and Strasbourg. 



Dr hab., prof. PP



Faculty of Architecture

Poznan University

of Technology


Prof. dr hab. inż. arch.



Faculty of Architecture

Poznan University

of Technology


Assoc. Prof. Dipl.-Ing.



École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Strasbourg (ENSAS)


Prof. dr



Université de Strasbourg

Professor for German and

European cultural history


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Dr hab., prof. UAM



Faculty of History

Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan


The Raczyński

The Raczyński Library is the oldest public library in Poland. The Library was founded 193 years ago by Count Edward Raczyński. The edifice at Wolności Square was the first building erected specially for library purposes (with the front modelled after the Louvre in Paris). Over 80 thousand readers are registered in the Library, and there is access to many reading rooms for children and adults in the whole of Poznań. The new building of the Raczyński Library (Al. Marcinkowskiego 23/24) houses the reading rooms and lending libraries for adults and for children. In 2022, after renovation, the historic building of the Library with a branch of music and art was made avaiable to readers.

 The Raczyński Library is one of the few libraries in Poland which is a municipal public library and a scientific library. This helps it realize projects that are both limited in scope and addressed to the general public. At present (sicne 1924) the Raczyński Library is a cultural institution run by the municipal gouverment. It is a public library which provides the residents of Poznań with library services, access to information and caters to the dissemination of knowledge and culture. Due to the functions of the public library, activities promoting readership and numerous cultural events are extremely important for attracting in the widest possible audiences, our potential readers. The Library’s book collection consist of almost w milion volumers.

The Raczyński Library has a status of a science library.  Our special collections (manuscrpits, old prints, cartography, iconography and the estates of Polish artists and collectors) have a huge historical and scientific value. This i show Poznań museus and studios, branches of the Raczyński Library, were created: Henryk Sienkiewicz Literary Museum, Józef Ignacy Kraszewski Studio-Museum, Kazimiera Iłłakowiczówna Apartment-Studio, and the Documentation Centre of Literary Community of Wielkopolska. 

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