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.


ORP "Błyskawica"

     Just behind Kościuszki Square at the beginning of the Southern Pier there is a warship painted in grey and blue triangles. This is where ORP "Błyskawica" can be found, as the living legend of the Polish navy.
The construction of "Błyskawica" commenced at the times when the dark shadows of the predicted conflict started to seriously gather over Europe. The English shipyard at Cowes received the order for a destroyer ship for the Polish navy. The works were finished almost exactly two years before WWII broke out. "Błyskawica" and her sister ship "Grom" were at the time onamong the fastest and most modern naval ships in the world. The Polish navy was proud of both of them and the ships' combat efficiency increased the doubtful national security morale. Ironically, neither "Grom" nor "Błyskawica" ever launched a bullet in defence of Poland, invaded by the Germans in 1939. They were both sent to the UK by a controversial order issued the day before the war started. The reason given was that such big warships were an easy target for the German air forces on the small Gdańsk Bay. The argument did not however convince the crew of the ships, as they wanted to fight and heard the news on the radio, in fact, while getting further away from their country. This way the odyssey of the Polish war ships stared, with "Błyskawica" appearing and fighting in many legendary battles and operations such as the Norwegian Campaign oand Overlord (the D-Day landings). She luckily came out untouched from all of its sea battles. She came back to Poland two years after the war ended to serve further the Polish navy still enjoying the reputation as the best Polish navy warship. The great days of "Błyskawica" were ended after 30 years of service with a tragic accident, during which steam coming from a broken water pipe killed seven sailors. It was decided that repairs were pointless after the accident but she still served as an air defence battery. The ship retired after forty years of service and became a museum ship located at the South Pier in Gdynia. Today it is the oldest destroyer existing in the world.

ORP "Błyskawica" is a compulsory element of sightseeing Gdynia. The ship herself, her equipment and the museum exhibition located under the deck, describe the history of heroic fighting by the Polish navy in battles and in its everyday service.