Gdansk, on the north coast of Poland, is the country’s fourth largest city. The largest port in Poland forms part of the medieval history of this magnificent country but by the 20th century, this city became embroiled in a war that would rumble on for far too long. Invaded in 1939 by the Wehrmacht, the city became a victim of war by four decades on in 1980 solidarity was found and that lead to an end of the communist rule in 1989. Therefore, war and solidarity form an important part of this city but this is a city that is beautiful in many different ways, with cobbled streets, museums and a river running through the heart of it, it has plenty to offer all who visit this wonderful city.It has architecture dating back from its days as part of the Hanseatic League in the 1100’s.
Take in the view of the main town to the front of the Motlawa River. Behind the façade you will discover the main square called the ‘Dlugi Targ’. You will also find the Long Street ‘Ulica Dlugi’. These are both prominent locations in the old town. Much of this area was reconstructed after World War Two. These are great places if you’re looking for food and drink. There are beautiful cobbled streets and architecture. While there, look inside the Catholic Cathedral, the Basilica of St Mary. For history visit the former merchants house, Artus House, with a collection of local art and artefacts. Take in a show at the Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre.
Trakt Królewski (Royal Way)
The Royal Way as this is also known cuts right through the heart of the city but following this route will take you past a number of monuments and towards the Motlawa River. From Ulica Dluga and Dlugi Targ, Royal Way comes from its royal designation in 1457 when the king of Poland entered Gdansk. Beginning at the Upper Gate in the west and ending at the Green Gate, the way is hugged by tall tenements that are painted in random colours and topped with gables. Take a photo at Artus Court which is a renaissance meeting place and stock exchange that is now a part of Gdansk’s Historical Museum.
If you are on Long Market, then a short distance from Artus Court is Neptune’s fountain which is a symbol of the city. This Mannerist monument is made of bronze and dates back to 1615 although it was not put in place until 18 years later. Created by Abraham van den Blocke, it was positioned by the palatial townhouses where royalty would reside while visiting Gdansk. The sculpture shows Neptune bowing its head as a sign of deference and beneath him are ornamental fish and cherubs.
This is a part of Gdansk that is a symbol of the city. Located on the Long Embankment of the Motlawa River, it dates back to the 14th century. This machinery is part of the history of the city and a time when Gdansk was in the Hanseatic League and could lift a weight of four tons of carbo to a height of 11 metres. It was powered by humans with men walking in large wooden wheels much like hamsters. The crane was in use up till the 1800s and was also used as a waterside city gate. It is now maintained by the National Maritime Museum and inside you can see the wheels and an exhibition about the work done here and the life of the port from 1500 to the 1700s.
Dlugie Pobrzeze (Long Embankment)
Prior to the relocation of the port to the Vistula River in the 19th century, this is where all of the unloadings took place in Gdansk. This was a time where it was imperative that defence was a big consideration and so a water gate was installed to defend the streets that run away from the river. In total there are seven gates and there are old warehouses that sit on the opposite bank that look over the river giving it a certain charm and character. This is a popular outdoor area and somewhere where you can sit and enjoy a meal alongside the river.
At the west end of Long Street, you will find the Golden gate which formed part of the fortifications that stood in front of the Prison Tower and High Gate. The gate dates back to 1610 and was put in place to replace the Gothic gate that came before it. The same man who created Neptune’s fountain created the structure and the design is equally as powerful in its own way. On the roof is a balustrade and on either side, there are allegorical statues that represent the model citizen as based on the classical cardinal virtues which are Peace, Freedom, Wealth and Fame on one side and Harmony, Justice, Piety and Prudence on the other.
Museum of the Second World War
Inaugurated in 2017, the museum is positioned on land that was flattened during the war. Given the part that Poland played in the war, there is no doubt that a museum of this quality should be located in the city. There are over 2,000 exhibits that were given by families who were caught up in the war, giving it a more personable character and with a unique design, there are walk-through installations for you to immerse yourself in.
Map of Gdańsk
Events In Gdańsk
There are many events held throughout the year. These range from the Chistmas villages and markets in the winter, to the International Festival of Street in the summer. During the summer months you will also find many open-air theatres.
Pictures of Gdańsk
Hotels In Gdańsk
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