Apparently, the first pier in Sopot was built in the 18th century and served the Russians besieging Gdańsk as a transport harbour, but the first pier of Dr. Haffner's health resort, 31.5 m long, was built in 1827.
The Pier in Sopot is one of the symbols of the health resort. Its history going back to the idea of creating a resort in the small fishing village on Gdansk Bay. The idea was pursued by Jean Georges Haffner, a French Doctor, who arrived there as an Army Doctor serving Napoleon’s troops and who decided to stay in Gdańsk after the imperial plans of the French emperor had been demolished. He is the creator of the whole infrastructure of bathing and tourist attractions in Sopot, including the pier going into the sea.
How the most famous Polish pier was built…
The first pier from Haffner’s times was only 30 metres long and was deconstructed before each winter to preserve its parts from sea storms. In the 19th Century it was extended to 150 metres and at the beginning of the 20th Century it was over 300 metres long, but today’s length results from the reconstruction which took place at the end of the 1920’s. Precise information on its current length depends on various measuring points chosen. The safest bet is to say that the pier in Sopot is approximately half a kilometre long.
It remains the longest wooden pier in Europe and was recently quite substantially modernised. First, in the 1890’s, its tip was secured with a concrete head against the strong forces of the sea, and then in the 20th Century the pier underwent general preservation works and a yacht harbour was constructed at its southern end.
The current shape of the pier was given in 1928 after the largest reconstruction in the history of the pier, initiated a year earlier on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the city and the 100th anniversary of the pier (among others, the walking platform was significantly extended and the Kuracyjny Square was developed). In later years, modernization works were also carried out, involving the construction of a reinforced concrete head protecting the main pier against the vagaries of the sea, and the construction of a yacht harbor on the southern side.
This longest wooden walking pier in Europe consists of two parts: land and wooden. Land elements are primarily Skwer Kuracyjny, with a historic lighthouse, arcades and a band shell. The wooden part includes, in addition to the main pier with a length of 515 m, also the lower and side decks, which allow passenger ships to moor. Since 2011, a modern yacht marina has been operating at the pier head, which can accommodate up to 100 vessels.