The Crane

The port crane is one of the symbols of the city of Gdańsk. It is located at the quay by the Motława River. It is a branch of the National Maritime Museum

Mentions of the crane being able to lift many tonnes of cargo and raise masts date back to the 14th Century. The original structure burned down in the fire of 1442, while the one of today harks back to the Crane of the middle of the 15th Century. The structure is composed of two semicircular towers and a wooden construction with a hook between them. The Crane served not only industrial purposes, but also defence, and was also one of the numerous water gates of the city. Inside, there are reconstructed reels, which comprised the elevating mechanism. It was powered by people, the port workers, who walked on the beams fixed inside the reel.

Gdański Żuraw, widok z Wyspy Spichrzów, fot. P. Książek /

Because of the war operations of 1945, the wooden part of the Crane was burned down, while only 60% of the brick elements survived. After the war, the structure was rebuilt and presented for the needs of the National Museum of the Sea. Today, the interior serves the organisation of thematic exhibitions presenting the port life of the city.

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National Maritime Museum



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