Sopot – romantic, crowded and charming.
Sopot, not a big city, situated between Gdansk and Gdynia. On one side surrounded by the waters of the Baltic Bay and from the other by the Tricity Landscape Park. For some group of people, it is the most romantic city in Poland, for others the destination for health treatments, the rest come here to relax and to have fun.
Sopot is a health sea resort. Every year people from all over Poland come here to have health treatments and drink special salt brine and the iodine water from the deep ground.
Sopot is a city with rich history with its characteristic symbol of Poland – the pier. This pier is a symbol of Sopot as well as the longest such object in Europe. It was built Between XIX /XX c. The walking section is over half kilometre long, with its 450 metres leading into the Baltic bay waters. Gradually renovated and modernised, today the pier is proud to have a modern marina, where luxurious yachts and boats can come. Pier is Sopot is the place for strolls and relaxation. You can have a rest on one of the benches, direct Your face towards the sun, listen to the waves and the birds singing, to feel the true happiness.
The pier in Sopot with modern marina, fot. Pomorskie.Travel
Near the pier there are two historical parks – the Northern Spa and the Southern Spa. We can find over 60 different kinds of trees and plants under protection. There is a recreation park, small football pitch, picturesque walking paths and the cycling paths. In the southern Spa there are also so called inhalation mushrooms, where You can try the healthy salt brine.
Sopot - unobvious attractions
Sopot is also the place with a big number of walking paths along the sea shore, where we can walk (or cycle or use a pedicab or roller skaters) towards Gdynia or Gdansk. Along the walking paths there are plenty of bigger and smaller restaurants, serving mainly fish. There are also luxurious hotels along, including almost 100 years old Grand Hotel and spa and health facilities. There is also a Balneological Hospital which offers swimming in salt brine pools and the former lighthouse, from which there is a beautiful view to the pier, beach and the Baltic Bay.
Legendary Grand Hotel, fot. mat. Sofitel Grand Sopot
The central part of the spa is a pedestrian street called The Heroes of Monte Cassino. This is the place where are most of cafes, restaurants , clubs and the Chamber Stage of the Cost Theatre and characteristic due to its architecture Crooked House. Walking down the city towards South – West we reach the forested part of Sopot with the famous Forest Opera. It is an amphitheatre, which since 1909 is one of the most important point on the concert map of Poland. There are shows, festivals and concerts organised here till today.
Along the Haffner Street (the city founder, by the way), there are the most imposing houses and mansions in Sopot and the archaeological open air museum – “Grodzisko” in Sopot. It is something for the history lovers due to the fact that this was the place where the first settlement was located at VIII c.
Sopot is full of life all year long. It is worth coming here during the summer, when the streets are all the time crowded, as well as in the Winter time, when You can only hear the waves and the seagulls…
The Forest Opera in Sopot, center of artistic life in the resort
The Grand Hotel
The Hotel was built in the 1920's, and was dedicated to the most prosperous visitors to the resort and the Sopot casino goers. "Kasino Hotel", as it was called at the time, was designed by architects of the Gdańsk University of Technology and was the main project of the Sopot authorities during the interwar period. Its construction did not avoid scandals. First someone noticed its similarity to some other hotel built a decade earlier in Szczawnio-Zdrój in Lower Silesia. The plagiarism accusations were withdrawn following a settlement. Moreover, after a few years it turned out that serious financial malpractices occurred during its construction in which the representatives of local authorities participated. This led to the arrest and consequently the suicide of the Sopot Chief Mayor.
The unfortunate beginnings were fast forgotten with the hotel efficiently fulfilling its function. As the most elegant, exclusive and expensive hotel in Sopot, it offered services at the highest levels and welcomed guests who were members of the Worlds economic and political high class circles, including royalty. The "Kasino Hotel" was also a venue of great historical events. The elegant rooms and hotel halls hosted in 1939 the German commanders who organised the attack on Gdynia and Hel Peninsula. The Hel defenders signed their capitulation there after two months of holding flanks under German attack. Even before that, Adolf Hitler was a guest and made the hotel his main quarters. At the end of WWII the hotel had a more tragic episode of being an army hospital and after the Russians arrived in Sopot it became the Red Army headquarters. Its traditional function was however quite quickly regained with the change of its name to "The Grand Hotel". Thanks to its legendary status and high standards over the post war years it retained the specific pre-war character enjoyed by the diminished members of the long-gone era.
Since the sixties Sopot's "Grand" has also been the venue for cultural events. "Czerwone Gitary" made their debut there in 1961. In the hotel many films were made and radio programmes recorded, and it also hosted prestigious conferences. Participants in the annual song festival in Sopot found their accommodation in the Grand Hotel. At the beginning of the nineties a casino was opened in the hotel, which remains an attractive feature of the place these days, as opposed to its previously being the reason for its construction and the justification of its existence. The guest list of "The Grand", apart from the previously-mentioned Nazi Germany leader, also included Marlena Dietrich, Fidel Castro, Jan Kiepura, Reza Pahlavi and hundreds of other celebrities from the last hundred years.
Today's five-star "Grand Hotel" still maintains its representative and most elegant hotel status in Sopot, and is used by the most important and wealthiest guests from the region.
Bohaterów Monte Cassino - "Monciak"
The Pier in Sopot
The fishing harbour and fishing houses
The Grand Hotel
Jean Georges Haffner
The Sopot Health Resort
Night life in Sopot