Gdynia Harbour

The chosen location was used in the years 1920-1923 as the “Temporary War Harbour and Shelter for Fishermen”. Then a real harbour was constructed, becoming a significant European harbour in the 1930’s, and the volume of cargo exported from Gdynia in 1933 surpassed Gdańsk. In 1935 the harbour had all its landing piers and basins. It was 12 metres deep which allowed for the biggest ships to arrive there. There was also a shipyard, Crops Elevator, Rice Mill and the Harbour Freezer, and was the second such facility in the world with regards to its size. The main exported cargo included coal and wood, with Scandinavian countries being the main customers.

Gdynia harbour in the 193O’s became a passenger harbour too. A maritime passenger station was constructed there in 1931, with emigrants checking out for South America and elsewhere.

The rapid growth of trade was stopped by WWII and during the war the harbour was the German naval base, Kriegsmarine. This was the reason why the harbour got heavily damaged by the Allies’ air rides. The end of the war brought heavy destruction of equipment, and the entrance to the harbour was blocked by sunken Nazi ships.

After the war, in order to reconstruct the harbor, the area had to be unblocked and cleared of mines. Then the landing piers and other buildings were reconstructed. By the end of 1949 most of the works had beencompleted and in 1951 the ship Gneisenau was salvaged which had been used to block the entrance to the harbour. In the 196O’s the operational capacity from before the war was achieved and the harbour became the main place for reloading crops. The historic post-war 500-millionth ton was reloaded there on 15 January 2005. Currently the harbour is developing further and with modernised piers next to merchant ships it also hosts large passenger cruisers.

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