None of Polish towns can be proud of the older written specification than Kalisz. This specification is 1800 years old. In II century A.D. Greek geographer Claudius Ptolemeus explicitly mentions a town Calisia in his "Geography Outline" and this town is identified with today’s Kalisz.
In the ancient times there was an amber route through Kalisz which connected The Roman Empire with the Baltic coast. And already then it was a trade settlement where the Roman merchants stayed in their way to the north looking for the Baltic amber. The traces of living in a place of today’s Kalisz are even older than the specification of Ptolemeus. They reach 8 thousand years B.C. and - which is confirmed by the archeological researches - keep the continuity till our times.
During the history the town has been worried by many pests, floods, fires and turmoils of war. But it always revived keeping its range and gaining in value. In August 1914 the Prussian army shot at, bombarded and then set fire to Kalisz for unknown reasons. As a result of this tragedy nearly the entire historical city center laid in ruins. The population that did not manage, or refused to flee, was decimated, so that out of the almost 70 thousand people, at the end of the August 1914, a little over 5 thousand were left in the city. Among the civilian population of Kalisz there were at least 250 casualties. When it comes to the material aspect, one can say that nearly 450 buildings were damaged in the city, and the total losses - reported still during the war - were estimated to over 33 million rubles.
In XI and XII centuries Kalisz was a castellan’s city, in XIII century became a capital of the duchy and since XV century it has been a capital of the province. Often mentioned in the same range as Cracow, Poznan, Gdansk, Lvov... During the first Prussian rape and The Grand Duchy of Warsaw Kalisz was a capital of the department, in The Congress Kingdom of Poland (in the Russian rape) was a capital of the province and since 1837 - a capital of the guberniya. After the I World War Kalisz became a capital of the administrative district and in 1975 (till 1999) - again a capital of the province.
Many hundred years old tradition of the frankness and hospitality is an advantage of Kalisz which simplifies the wide cooperation with abroad centres. There are many contacts between school childrens, musicians, doctors, teachers, officers, firemen, policemen, philatelists and businessmen. Kalisz has similar and partner’s contacts with the following cities: Hautmont in France (since 1958), Heerhugowaard in Netherlands, Erfurt and Hamm in Germany, Kamieniec Podolski in Ukraine, Preston and Southampton in Great Britain, Adria in Italy, Martin in Slovakia and Tongeren and La Louviere in Belgium.
- Emplacement of Zawodzie - IX-X centuries - archeological reservation.
- Scraps of fortified walls.
- St. Nicholas Cathedral - built in 1253 thanks to the foundation of prince Boleslav Pious.
- Basilica under the invocation of The Holy Virgin Assumption with the miraculous picture of The Holy Family - built in 1353.
- Franciscan monastery - founded in 1257 by the prince Boleslav Pious and his wife Jolanta.
- Bernardine monastery - XV-XVII centuries with the polichromy from XVIII century.
- Church formerly belonging to the Jesuits - built for the Jesuits in 1587-1595 according to the project of Italian architect Jan Maria Bernardoni.
- St. Wojciech Church - in XI century already was a parish of former Kalisz borough.
- Stone bridge - monument of engineering art., built in 1824-25.
- The Wojciech Boguslawski theatre.
- Park in Kalisz - the oldest town’s park in Poland.