Gdynia, a  city where You always hear the seagulls singing

From all the Tricity cities, Gdynia is the one where tradition permeates with modernity, fot.

At the beginning of XX c. it was still a fisherman village. It was given a city law nearly one hundred years age, in 1926. Since then is one of the most interesting example of a deliberate example of a city planning, an example for the businessman and modernity lovers. This is Gdynia, he city from the sea and dreams, where You can hear the seagulls singing.

Gdynia was designed for a specific purpose. Due to the fact, that after WWI Gdansk became part of the Free City of Gdansk and the Second Polish Republic needed the access to the sea and the modern port, it was decided to develop Gdynia.

The city started the impressive development and what is more important it lasts till today. Gdynia is the seat of many modern companies and international corporations. In a big and modern building in Redlowo, there is a Pomeranian Technological and Science Park, where the new start up can develop.

In Gdynia, there is second, largest re-loading port. This is the place, where now ferries to Scandinavia leave and 100 years ago, where famous transatlantic ships (including, sorely missed passenger ship “Batory”) took people to USA and Canada.

Stories of those who decided to leave the country became the inspiration to open a new, unique Museum of Emigration. It is situated in a former Sea Station at the French Embankment.

Museum of Emigration   is situated in a former Sea Station at the French Embankment. Fot.

The modernism passionate will love the central part of Gdynia. Gdynia architecture in an example how 100 years ago new, modern cities were built, combining the classics with the new. It is worth paying attention to the houses in a centre as well as bigger buildings. For example a market hall complex, built in 30ties last century. Every day, even during the past, dark history days, this place was always full off life. You could buy everything here – from the vegetables and fruits brought to the jeans by the sailors from USA, perfumes from China or Persian carpets. The market halls were the symbols of modernity and openminded Gdynia, where You could meet “the whole world”. The complex of Gdynia Market Halls, still full of life, was registered on the list of stationary monuments.

Gdynia's modernism trail. The A. Ogończyk – Bloch and L. Mazalon Tenement House

Gdynia is a city where culture is very important. The younger European generation for sure recalls one of the biggest musical festivals – Open’er Festival. Stars like: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Depeche Mode, Pearl Jam, Rihanna, Coldplay or Radiohead played there. Gdynia is also the capital of Polish film business. Every September, all famous Polish film stars come to Gdynia for the Polish Film Festival. There are also Film Centre and the Film School in Gdynia. Close by there is a Musical Theatre with the name of Danuta Baduszkowa, famous from the most spectacular musicals.

Moby on Opener, fot.

If We want to admire this sea city, the port, the shipyard, the beach and the sea boulevard take a funicular to the Stone Hill. There is a picturesque city panorama from there. Those who prefer a stroll along the beach, inhaling fresh, sea air, we recommend going to Orlowo. Walking down the Orlowo pier it is worth entering the nearby Tawerna to try fresh fish and climb up the cliff, from where there is a view to the Baltic Bay, Sopot and Gdansk.

"Dar Pomorza"

     The White Frigate, the legendary Polish sailing craft and the symbol of dreams about sea adventures to every Pole, is moored at the quayside in Gdynia as a museum ship.  It has not voyaged for a long time but still the elements of sea life atmosphere and history are there, with the memories of the first maritime experience for thousands of sailors.
Over a century ago a new ship was built in Hamburg shipyard which was earmarked for the German merchant marine. It was then called "Prinzess Eitel Friedrich", to honour a German princess, the daughter in law of Emperor Wilhelm II. It served the Germans for only 10 years and then was taken over by the French, who sold it to some nobleman who wanted to transform it into a luxury ocean yacht. Two years later it was bought by the Poles and the story of the White Frigate called "Dar Pomorza" (Pomerania's Gift) started. The first name of the ship under the Polish flag was just "Pomorze" but it was quickly decided to honour all the donors who gathered money for the new school ship, with the Pomeranian residents being the most generous, hence the name meaning "the gift from Pomerania.

The new ship was launched in the new Gdynia harbour and in 1930 it went ob its first training trip, boarding the students of the Maritime School, which was then moved from Tczew to Gdynia. The ship replaced the legendary training ship "Lwów" which used to serve the future Polish sailors.

For half a century of its operation there were over ten thousand students trained there, on a total of 102 sea trips, covering half a million sea miles thus, circumnavigating the Earth 25 times. After fifty years it retired and became a museum ship, presenting the history of the beginning of the Polish maritime.

A visit to "Dar Pomorza" should be considered compulsory for anyone who comes to Gdynia, even moreso because there is no other place offering so much information on the history of Poland's existence on the sea and depicting the human desire to explore endless oceans following the call of the sea.