Westerplatte – history of the resort

Today's Westerplatte Peninsula was created in 1847 as a result of the merger of two sandbanks (Ost Platte and West Platte), created by sanding from the west, the main mouth of the Vistula. By decision of the Council of the League of Nations, Poland was granted land in the port of Gdansk for the unloading of military goods. This is how the history of the Military Transit Depot 1921-1939 begins

Formation of the peninsula

The deposits of river silt and sand were deposited at the mouth of the Vistula, creating “sand islands”. The shape of the islands was influenced by sea currents and waves. The Western Plate, the West Plaate, was a kind of natural cover for the western branch of the Vistula River flowing this way to the sea. In the XVIIIth century, work took place to create and deepen a new waterway. The material extracted from the dredging was used to strengthen and enlarge West Plaate, which is how the present-day peninsula was created.

As a result of the breach of the dune of the Vistula Spit by the waters of the Vistula in 1840, the estuary near Westerplatte ceased to fulfil its previous role. The new mouth of the Wisla Smiala into the sea near the village of Gorki has slowed down the river’s speed; from this section to the mouth in Westerplatte, the river is called Martwa Wisla.

Westerplatte, fot. Pomorskie Travel

Westerplatte, fot. Pomorskie Travel

Westerplatte resort

In the XIXth century, the peninsula became a bathing area and resort thanks to Martin Daniel Krüger, who initiated a seasonal bathing facility with a restaurant. It took only ten years to transform Westerplatte into a seaside resort of local importance, which took place in 1839. In Seebad Westerplatte, kidney diseases, anaemia, paralysis, rheumatism and gynaecological diseases could be treated. Brine, water, sea and sun baths were fashionable and popular here.

At the end of the XIXth century, Seebad Westerplatte developed into a famous resort and health resort. It was managed from 1881 by the steam navigation joint-stock company and the resort “Wisla”. Major investments have been made in the way the resort is run. In 1894, a new spa house with a restaurant was opened. A promenade pier with a berth for cruise ships, women’s, men’s and family bathrooms, a beach hall, a hotel, bathing treatment facilities, tennis courts and a bowling alley were built.

There was also an inn with rooms for rent, a cafe, and a mineral water pump room. Summer villas, guesthouses, changing rooms and bathing cabins were built. A convenience was the supply of electricity with its own distribution station on the peninsula. Over 100,000 patients rested in 1900 and the number of those resting was growing.

The fall of the resort

A storm in the winter of 1914 was the beginning of the decline of the resort’s glory. The damage caused by the natural disaster was rebuilt and a new waiting room with a restaurant was built at the marina, but it did not save the situation of the Westerplatte resort.

The outbreak of World War I sealed the fall of the resort. Plots, guesthouses and villas were sold.

After the end of the war in 1919, most of the area of the former resort and bathing area was bought by the Bank of the Association of Profit Companies from Poznan. By decision of the Council of the League of Nations, Poland was granted land in the port of Gdansk for the unloading of military goods.



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