Opened and modern, marked by the history. Welcome to Gdansk.
Despite the fact, the city is over one thousand years old, it impresses with modernity. Proud from its incredibly rich history, opened to the world and the future. With the view to the Baltic Sea, Motlawa River, Tricity Landscape Park. With the Westerplatte Peninsula, where WWII began, September 1 1939, the former Gdansk Shipyard areas and the historical gate no 2, the Gradowa Hill and the Vistulamouth Fortress, with its history form Napoleon times. Gdansk – the city at Motlawa River. A fantastic place to live, work and progress. The biggest city in the Northern part of Poland and one of its kind in the world.
Situated at the Baltic Bay, with the access to sandy beaches, which in Springs and Summers are full of life. Surrounded by picturesque forests of the Tricity Landscape Park and the close vicinity of Kashuby region. Gdansk is one of the most interesting cities on the map of Poland. It fascinates not only with the landscape but with the history too.. This is here, where starting from the Golden Gate to the Green Gate, Polish kings walked and greeted the citizens. This is here, where on the Long Market stands the Arthur’s Court and the Neptune Fountain – symbols of Gdansk.
There are more of those symbols. One of them I also, situated at the Long Embankment, the Crane, the biggest and the oldest, preserved port cranes from medieval Europe, a construction which from XV c. gave a dynamic growth to the port of Gdansk.
Gdansk is the city where famous astronomer, John Hewelius was born, the great physician, Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit and the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. This is the place, where Polish soldiers from Westerplatte bravery defended the state, when Schleswig-Holstein, the III Reich battle ship in 1939 attacked Polish Military Transit Depot, and started WWII. This is the place, where at Gdansk Shipyard, in 1980 workers started famous straik which triggered slow stream of changes in Poland and Central – Eastern part of Poland.
The European Solidarity Centre, Fot. Pomorskie.Travel
The most interesting attractions in Gdansk
Today, Gdansk is described as the city of freedom and Solidarity. About the history of the trade unions, called “Solidarity”, we can learn more about visiting the unique in the international scale European Solidarity Centre. Extremely original when architecture is concerned (in a shape of a ship), shows the exhibition about the Solidarity movement and is a place of many cultural events.
Lech Walesa, the first leader of the trade unions, “Solidarity”, the former President of Poland and the laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize, has his office here as well.
From the European Solidarity Centre, situated in the former shipyard areas it is not far to the WWII Museum. This is the newest and the most modern museum in the city, built in a big scale. It tells the story about the war in a wide international context.
Gdansk is also a fine place, not only for history lovers, but also for the ones, Who like astronomy and general science. There is Hewelianum Centre situated in a former napoleon’s fort. In one of Gdansk district, called Wrzeszcz, there is a monumental building of Gdansk Technical University, one on the best technical school in Poland.
Talking about Gdansk, we cannot forget about the parks – beautiful and cameral Orunia Park and the unique and vary popular park in Oliwa, which is situated few steps from the XIV c. Cathedral.
The Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre, Fot. Dawid Linkowski
Those are just few, the most characteristic places on the map of this over half million city. Gdansk is the city that all the times develops, where new objects of culture appear, like the Shakespeare Theatre, sport objects (the football stadium in Letnica, which has an amber shape), as well as new and modern infrastructure objects – for example: the port and the container terminal, the airport, which in becoming one of the most important airport around the Baltic states.
Gdansk is a modern city which attracts young people and with its history and tradition elder generations. Gdansk is a city which joins.
The Bishop’s Hill. Gdansk district full of secrets
Bishop's Hill is an unusual place because of its authentic buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries fot. Mateusz Ochocki
One of the oldest districts of Gdansk. Located near Gdansk Main Town, with an amazing view of the city. Each tenement house writes its history here, and everyone who visits this unobvious and yet undiscovered area will be enchanted by its secret and hidden beauty. Bishop’s Hill. Gdansk district, which history is almost as long as the history of the stronghold on the Motlawa River.
We are shown around Bishop’s Hill by Ryszard Kopittke, a guide in the Tri-City, author of the master's thesis "Architecture and urban planning of Bishop’s Hill" and an educational path through the fortifications of Bishop’s Hill.
Pomorskie.travel: The Bishop’s Hill - Gdansk district located extremely close to the city centre and the main tourist attractions of the city, but for years forgotten and treated with no care. Fortunately, this is changing. Why is it worth visiting the Bishop’s Hill today?
Ryszard Kopittke: The Bishop’s Hill is an unusual place because of its authentic buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries. If someone is looking for authentic Gdansk, this is the place for him. It is a cosy district located in the centre, but completely cut off from it by the main road and therefore forgotten. The three streets that make it up – Biskupia Street, Na Stoku Street and Salwator Street are characterized by narrow staircases, facades of tenement houses in historicizing styles and still decorating the road with the cobble stones. Looking carefully around, we can find a pre-war door bell, remains of gas lamps or old signboards. Old inscriptions on tenement houses remind us of the pre-war times, when most of the inhabitants spoke German. There is a lot of greenery here, and explorers can discover the remains of modern city fortifications.
Old inscriptions on townhouses remind us of the pre-war times, when most of the inhabitants spoke German, fot. Mateusz Ochocki
Pomorskie.travel: The Bishop’s Hill already existed in the Middle Ages. This is one of the oldest parts of Gdansk ...
Ryszard Kopittke: The history of this district is almost as long as Gdansk itself. Some historians do not exclude the existence of settlement and watchtowers in this place between the 9th and 11th century. However, the history of the district begins in the late Middle Ages. The Pomorskie prince Świetopelk II the Great granted the bishops meadows close to Gdansk. A court was to be built here, where clergymen resided during their visits to the city. The Bishop’s Hill was also an ideal place to shoot at the city. On September 1, 1433, the hill was occupied by the Czech Hussites supporting King Jagiello in weakening the Teutonic Knights. Graf von Eisenberg also tried unsuccessfully to use the hill in 1520, during the Teutonic-Polish war. In 1577 the city was attacked Stefan Batory. The Polish king did not want to confirm the privileges of the city, from which Gdansk benefited enormously.
Townhouses looked much more impressive before the war. After the war, stonework elements were removed from the facades, fot. Mateusz Ochocki
Pomorskie.travel: The most interesting monuments that have been preserved so far on the Bishop’s Hill include, among others, the hostel tower, the Mennonite church and fortifications ..
Ryszard Kopittke: It is worth emphasizing the diverse buildings of the district. These include fortifications, earth embankments built in the 17th century and subsequent centuries, residential houses, allotments established in the interwar period, and buildings inscribed on the list of monuments: the former Mennonite church or barracks redoubt. The Mennonite church was built in 1818-1819. It is the only church in the city built in Classicist style. The whole building is supported by four larch columns placed inside. If the walls were dismantled, the roof structure would still remain. Newcomers from the Netherlands escaped from religious persecution, settled in the areas of Low Land.
One of the most important points is the building of the former youth hostel opened on July 26, 1940. The largest object of this type in the entire Reich was not accidentally placed here. Its construction began when Gdansk was still a Free City, ruled by the Nazi party NSDAP. The whole complex was to show who actually exercises power in the city. The newspapers propaganda wrote that one and a half million bricks were used to build the building and if they would be put one next to another, they would connect Gdansk with the Reich. The body of the building uses the figure of the god of the seas and other elements known from streets in Gdansk. Neptune looks at us from the corner, and the heads of sea monsters are placed around the observation deck.
Pomorskie.travel: In turn, tenement houses on the Bishop’s Hill are a separate story. Which, in your opinion, are the most beautiful and what stories are connect with them.
Ryszard Kopittke: Tenements looked much more impressive before the war. After the war, stonework elements were removed from the facades. In the 70s, there was a balcony and a fatal accident on Na Stoku Street. After this event, residential buildings were stripped even more. A few years later, one of the tenement towers on the Radunia Canal burned down. It was decided then to destroy its twin tower. Bridges over the canal were also dismantled. You can tell a lot about tenements. The youngest is from Biskupia 4 Street. Various designs from the late 1920s have been preserved in the State Archives. Biskupia 13 Street is the former house of the alderman or clerk who looked after the fortifications. Biskupia 24 Street is the former cloakroom of the sports club. Thirty-four belonged to the Mennonite community. Other peaks were designed here. Recently, the Municipal Real Estate in Gdansk planned to demolish the building at Biskupia 35 Street. Here, from the post-war period until 2010, the hairdresser Adolf Skokowski operated. The building has one of the oldest murals in Gdansk, made by Tomasz Bielak.
Radunia Canal and the neighboring Bishop's Hill, fot. Mateusz Ochocki
Pomorskie.travel: A walk around the Bishop’s Hill is an interesting idea for unobvious visits. What sightseeing route would you suggest to tourists?
Ryszard Kopittke: I recommend tourists to visit the Bishop's Hill with a local guide. Everyone tells different stories here, about tenements, old inscriptions. You can explore the district along with the film route. Over the years, a dozen or so titles were filmed here, including "Goodbye, see you tomorrow", "Jack of Spades", "Prince", "Soon the brothers will come." I have mentioned fortifications many times. From November, bastions can be followed by a new educational path, which was created thanks to winning the Citizens’ Budget. The first of five boards was placed at Pohulanka Street.
Pomorskie in books
Oliwa, a place with a soul
Zaspa- A block that became an art gallery
Pomorskie – the capital of amber
The Bishop’s Hill
Gdansk Lower Town
"The Last Judgment". The most valuable image in Gdansk
The Gdansk Water Supply Trail
Beach offer of the Tri-City
St. Mary’s Church
Wrzeszcz. A story about Gdansk from years ago.
The Gdańsk Brewing Tradition
Maritime Tradition and the Hanseatic League
The Main Town of Gdansk