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Rzeszów - the largest city of south-eastern Poland, the capital of Podkarpackie Province and the centre of the Rzeszow Metropolitan Area. The seat of local government and province authorities, governmental and judicial institutions. It constitutes the economic, academic, cultural and recreational centre of south-eastern Poland. It serves as an important centre for aerospace, IT, chemical, commercial, construction and service industries. The capital of Podkarpackie Province has nearly 220 thousand inhabitants. In terms of number of students Rzeszow places first in the European Union (for every 1000 inhabitants there are 353 students). The average age of the inhabitants of the city is 39, so Rzeszow is often called the city of the young. Rzeszow is a place highly valued by its residents in terms of quality of life. They openly acknowledge that it is a clean, safe, convenient city, which provides life-time stability and satisfaction coming from personal and professional development. Rzeszow is the seat of the Aviation Valley, the biggest aviation cluster in Poland, with more than 150 companies representing the industry. The largest plant is Pratt & Whitney Rzeszow (formerly WSK „PZL-Rzeszow”), specializing in the production of aircraft engines. The chemical industry - ICN Polfa, Sanofi-Aventis, IT sector - Asseco Poland SA as well as packaging - Marma Polskie Folie, are also developing in the city. In Rzeszow, companies like Zelmer and Nestle (formerly Alima-Gerber) also have their headquarters. In Rzeszow there are two volleyball clubs with men’s team - Asseco Resovia Rzeszow and women’s team - Developers Rzeszow, which in 2017 won the bronze medal in the Poland’s championship competition. Asseco Resovia Rzeszow is a seven-time Polish champion, three-time Polish Cup winner and a Polish Super Cup winner. Volleyball has become a „national sport” in Rzeszow, matches taking place in the Regional sports and Entertainment Centre Jan Strzelczyk „Podpromie” are attended by nearly 4,000 supporters. Thanks to planned extension of the hall, it will soon be able to accommodate 7 thousand spectators. Another sport that is of great importance for the capital of Podkarpackie Province is speedway. Speedway races have taken place at the „Stal” City Stadium in Rzeszow since the 1950s. Speedway Stal Rzeszow has won the title of Polish Champion twice. Rzeszow is a place of numerous festivals and cultural events. The World Festival of Polish Folk Ensembles organized here every three years since 1969 has been permanently incorporated into the cultural map of the city. During the festival, troupes from all over the world come to Rzeszow. Another significant festival is the Rzeszow Carpathia Festival , which has been organized since 2005. During the four days of the festival, young singers and music bands present their skills. The East of Culture festival - European Stadium of Culture, which takes place yearly by the end of June. As part of the festival, we could see and listen to such stars as Guano Apes, White Lies, The Fratellis, Coma, T.Love, Myslovitz and many others. The biggest audience is attracted by collective concertsts - joint performances of Polish bands with guests from the east, from such countries as Ukraine, Belarus or Armenia.
The city is easily accessible, thanks to the A4 highway (east-west) and S19 expressway (north-south). These routes enable you to reach Western Europe as well as the Ukrainian border (border crossing in Korczowa) and Slovakia (border crossing in Barwinek). Recently deployed Intelligent Transport System and extensive road network enable smooth commuti ng around the city. The convenient locati on of the city, right at the crossroads of important transport routes, and the proximity of Poland’s southern and eastern borders intensify its signifi cance as a transport node, and is favourable to the development of economy, tourism and trade. Rzeszow features modern means of public transport. For ti cket informati on, see page 72 . The Rzeszow-Jasionka International Airport, which has the second longest runway in Poland, where even the largest airplanes can land, provides passengers with direct flights to London, Munich and Warsaw.
The close proximity to the Carpathian mountain range grants a rare beauty to the area, and there are many outdoor activities to explore. But you cannot neglect the charming Old Town and the vibrancy of this city. Admire historical landmarks, like the Lubomirski Palace, the two synagogues and the stunning market square, or visit some of the city's fine museums.
Due to its geographical position, Polish cuisine has absorbed the influences of the cultures and countries surrounding it and transformed them into distinctive national flavours. The cold winter climate has also played its part, creating a menu that is hearty and filling. The typical Polish diet therefore consists of thick soups such as Zurek and Bigos, a sauerkraut-based stew. A combination of meat is a particular favourite and is usually accompanied by the other staples of Polish cuisine like root vegetables, bread or dumplings.
Visitors coming to the city will undoubtedly be drawn to the Old Town, with its market squares and cobbled streets. This is the site of many of Rzeszów’s historical attractions and a thriving café and nightlife scene. Be sure to try some creamy homemade Polish pastries with a hot coffee while lounging in a downtown cafe.
After a day’s sightseeing, why not hit the town and join the locals with a shot or two of the local Wodka? Rzeszow's student population keeps the city's nightlife active, with lively bars and nightclubs, laid-back vibes and plenty of alternative live music. Be sure, also, to try some local brews.
Whatever your shopping needs are, Rzeszów will be able to provide whatever you are looking for. Here you can find small boutiques selling Polish craft items or malls providing the latest high street fashions. You will be able to stock up on gifts for family and friends back home and still have a lot of zloty left in your pocket. Speciality Polish craft items to look out for include paper cut-outs, woodcarving, tapestries, embroidery, pottery, hand painted glassware, wooden boxes and chests.
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