Offen und modern, von der Geschichte gezeichnet. Willkommen in Danzig.

Obwohl es über 1000 Jahre alt ist,  begeister es mit seiner Fortschrittlichkeit. Stolz auf seine Geschichte, offen für die Welt und Zukunft. Mit Blick auf die Ostsee, den Hafen und die umliegenden Wälder. Mit der Halbinsel Westerplatte, die noch den 1 September 1939 kennt, dem Werftgelände  und dem historischen Eingangstor Nr.2, dem Hagelsberg und der Festung Weichselmünde, die uns an die napoleonischen Zeiten erinnern. Danzig, die Stadt an der Mottlau. Ein fantastischer Ort zum Leben, Arbeiten und Entfalten. Die größte Stadt Nordpolens und die einzige solche in der Welt.

 

Es liegt an der Danziger Bucht mit zahlreichen Badestränden, die im Sommer und Winter voller Leben sind, mit umliegenden malerischen Wäldern des Dreistädtischen Landschaftsparks und in der Nähe der Kaschubei ist Danzig eine der interessantesten Städte Europas. Es begeistert nicht nur mit seiner Landschaft, aber auch mit seiner Geschichte. Hier zwischen dem Langgasser- und dem Grünen Tor fuhren die größten Herrscher Europas ein, hier am Langen Markt stehen der majestätische Artushof und der Neptun-Brunnen – die Wahrzeichen Danzigs.

Doch es gibt noch mehr Wahrzeichen. Dazu gehört auch das Krantor – der größte erhaltene Kran des mittelalterlichen Europas, ein Bauwerk, das Danzig seit dem XV Jhd. eine dynamische Entwicklung sicherte.

Aus Danzig stammen auch der berühmte Astronom Johannes Hevelius, der Erfinder Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit und der Philosoph Artur Schopenhauer. Hier auf der Westerplatte kämpften polnische Soldaten gegen die Besatzung der Schleswig-Holstein am 1 September 1939 als der II Weltkrieg begann. Hier in der Danziger Werft im Jahre 1980 haben die Werftarbeiter mit Iren Streiks den Anstoß für die Veränderungen in Polen und Mitteleuropa gegeben.

Europejskie Centrum Solidarności w Gdańsku

Europäisches Solidarność-Zentrum, fot. pomorskie.travel

Touristische Attraktionen in Danzig

Heute beschreibt sich Danzig als Stadt der Freiheit und der Solidarität. Von der Geschichte der hier entstandenen Bewegung der "Solidarność" berichtet  eine Europaweit außergewöhnliche Ausstellung im Europäischen Zentrum der Solidarnośc. Dieser auch architektonisch interessante Bau, der an den Rohbau eines Schiffes erinnern soll, seigt mit seiner Dauerausstellung die Geschichte der Entstehung der Solidarnosc-Bewegung und des Kampfes in allen Ostblockländern. Außerdem finden hier zahlreiche Kulturveranstaltungen statt. Hier hat sein Buero auch der erste Vorsitzende der Gewerkschaft Solidarnosc und spätere Präsident der Republik Polen und Nobelpreisträger, Lech Walesa.

Von dem Europäischen Zentrum der Solidarität ist es nicht mehr weit zum Museum des II Weltkrieges, das zu den modernsten Objekten der Stadt gehört und im international en Kontext uns den schlimmsten Militärkonflikt erklärt. 

Danzig ist nicht nur für Geschichtsinteressierte ein Eldorado, sondern auch für diejenigen, die sich für die Astronomie und andere Naturwissenschaften interessieren.  In den alten Befestigungsanlagen am Hagelsberg gibt es das Hevelianum-Zentrum. Im Stadtteil Langfuhr gibt es die über hundert Jahre alte Technische Hochschule, die in ihrem prunkvollem Gebäude zu den besten Schulen Polens gehört.

Wenn man von Danzig spricht, darf man auch die vielen Parks nicht vergessen – den malerischen Hoehne-Park in Ohra (Orunia) und den bekanntesten Schlosspark in Oliva, in dessen Nähe sich auch die Kathedrale aus dem XIV Jhd. befindet.

Danziger Shakespeare-Theater, fot. Dawid Linkowski

Das sind nur einige Beispiele der Sehenswürdigkeiten der 460.000 Menschen-Metropole. Danzig entwickelt sich immer weiter. Es entstehen hier immer neue Kulturanstalten (das Shakespeare-Theater), Sportanlagen (das Fußballstadion in Lauenthal/Letnica, der in Form und Farbe an einen Bernsteinbrocken erinnert) und Industrieanlagen, wie der Containerhafen und der Flughafen, der sich langsam zum bedeutendsten Ostseeflughafen entwickelt.

Danzig ist die Stadt, die mit ihrer Fortschrittlichkeit  junge Leute und mit ihrer Geschichte und Klassik die Vertreter der reifen Generationen anzieht. Danzig ist die Stadt, die verbindet.

    

Pomorskie – the capital of amber

 

How old it is, nobody knows. However, it can be assumed that over 45 million! In the Vistula lands, it was manufactured thousands of years ago, and today there are also many enthusiasts of it. Amber. Gold of Pomorskie, the great Baltic treasure, the pride of Gdansk.

"Amber speaks to us", says Zbigniew Strzelczyk, a Gdansk amber artist. His amber gallery and workshop at Long Embankment glistens with brown and gold colours. "Oh, here you can see a lump of amber with a negative imprint of a tree. Here, in turn, we have traces of an animal paw," says the artist and craftsman. And Zbigniew Strzelczyk has enormous knowledge, because he has been dealing with amber for 45 years.

Pomorskie.travel: Where did amber come from in Pomorskie?

Zbigniew Strzelczyk: The truth is that Baltic amber, because today we call it that, had no connection with the Baltic. Baltic amber is at least 45 million years old, while the Baltic Sea is only about 18 thousand! Baltic amber deposits occur from the Baltic Sea region, especially the southern and south-eastern one, through the West Pomorskie Voivodship, Kurpie region, the Lublin Region, to Rivne in Ukraine.


How old it is, nobody knows. However, it can be assumed that over 45 million, fot. pomorskie.travel/Mateusz Ochocki
This line is a glacial trough, because it was this glacier that brought and deposited amber here. When? We do not know. How many years ago? We can only guess based on the age of the geological deposit in which amber occurs here. And geologists estimate this deposit from 45 to 75 million years old. Therefore, for the safety of amber dating, we say that Baltic amber is not younger than 45 million years.

Pomorskie.travel: Can we define how rich amber deposits we have in Pomorskie?

Zbigniew Strzelczyk: It is difficult to say because there was no comprehensive study of amber deposits in this area ...

Pomorskie.travel: But a tourist walking along the seashore can find a piece of amber on the beach?

Zbigniew Strzelczyk: Of course it can happen. Especially at the end of storms or after a storm. However, for this to happen, the wind direction is very important. It must be northeast. Sea waves blow seaweed, among which amber is carried. This is because the specific weight of amber is slightly higher than the specific weight of sea water. If we add vegetation and waving strength, the effect is that amber is thrown onto the beach.


Zbigniew Strzelczyk during work with amber, fot. pomorskie.travel/Mateusz Ochocki

Pomorskie.travel: Do you use only Baltic amber in your studio?

Zbigniew Strzelczyk: Yes. I only use Baltic amber. This is resin, and we evaluate it by hardness and by the amount of succinic acid, if not the oldest, is one of the oldest on Earth. First of all, it has beautiful, rich discoloration, which other resins do not have.

Pomorskie.travel: On the table in your studio I see different colours of amber - beer or milky. Are these natural colours or tooling effects?

Zbigniew Strzelczyk: I am not improving amber colours. In the necklace or bracelet, I only choose pairs of pieces with different colours. Transparent amber differs from the opaque one in which there are more air bubbles. The more air, the whiter the amber is. It's easy to check. White amber floats in plain water, transparent sinks. Some say that white amber is royal amber, older. But that's not true! Here is an example - a lump of amber cut in half. Here you can see elements of transparent and opaque amber. They come in one piece, so their quality is the same. They are also the same age.

Pomorskie.travel: What are our methods of amber approach?

Zbigniew Strzelczyk: A specific lump can tell us what to make of it. It suggests to us with its shape or colour. But amber only speaks to those who want to listen to it, who are humble. This material can be grateful, but not for everyone. The second method assumes that we have a project and are looking for a specific lump of amber for it. It cannot be too big, because then we will have too much grinding losses. The lump must have many shades as we had assumed. I will say it again: you have to be very humble about amber. It can repay with beautiful colours, a very nice composition, absolutely random, which the customer will later accept. But the lack of humility is the loss of these colourful values, and worse, the loss of inclusions! Because there are inclusions in amber. A piece worth PLN 50 after finding the inclusion in it will be worth PLN 1,000. So humility has its financial dimension.

Pomorskie.travel: What does the classic process of grinding amber look like?

Zbigniew Strzelczyk: Let’s imagine, I have a lump of amber that a tourist brought to the gallery. He found it on the beach. First of all, we need to check if it is real amber, not flint or quartz. When we know that it is amber, the client asks what I can create from such a lump. It often happens that I take a tourist to the back of the gallery, to my studio, sit next to the grinders and, according to my and the client's suggestions, do something that will later please the eye.
Amber processing is cutting it with a saw. Nevertheless, I use it very rarely. I try to choose one piece from which I create something specific. I sand with sandpaper in two or three stages. Then it's about pre-shaping, smoothing, pre-polishing and final polishing, or making a hole so that you can hang this piece of amber on a thong, for example.


Pomeranian ambers are considered one of the most beautiful in the world, fot.Pomorskie.Travel/Mateusz Ochocki

Pomorskie.travel: Amber is said to be gold of Pomorskie, our greatest treasure...

Zbigniew Strzelczyk: Until recently, amber was called "the gold of the Baltic" and then "the gold of the North". This is a very important element in life, culture and development of this region, which occurred as a result of contacts with buyers who came from southern Europe. Today we are talking about Pliny the Younger and his notes about expeditions from today's Italy. People came to the Baltic Sea in caravans. Such distant travels were decided because amber was found only here. It was not mined but found on the beach.

Its properties were known much earlier. Let me remind you that the ancient Greek name of amber is an electron (from electrostatic properties that are very important for a person wearing amber). Thanks to the content of succinic acid and the contact of amber with strong alcohol, we obtain a tincture (not suitable for drinking) for medicinal purposes, for inhalation, for applying compresses on the joints and for the treatment of other ailments. These properties of amber were the basis of interest in it. Due to the fact that people coming to Pomorskie came from a culture much higher than was represented by local people here, there was a rapid intellectual development, and thus the development of tools and utensils. Homer already recalls amber in Odyssey three times, right after gold in front of silver and ivory. Already then, amber was a valuable material.

Pomorskie.travel: Today, amber is still very popular, although in the 21st century its form is slightly different ...

Zbigniew Strzelczyk: Amber is a very important element of community development, but it is also a beautiful, very old material used in jewellery. The properties and desire to wear amber and the desire to enjoy beautiful objects made of amber have resulted in demand for these products. We have been interested in amber for many generations, but its renaissance took place after the economic changes in 1989, when the amber craftsmen was freed and We had opportunity to open private companies. We have the Amberif trade fair in Gdansk, the largest amber trade fair in the world, where several thousand buyers from all over the world come every year, exhibiting several hundred producers. Interestingly, manufacturers compete with each other not only in price, but also in modern designs. The saying that amber is the "grandma" style material is not valid any more. Today, amber is a colourful jewellery with modern design, which is very often bought by young people.

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