Gdynia, a  city where You always hear the seagulls singing

From all the Tricity cities, Gdynia is the one where tradition permeates with modernity, fot.

At the beginning of XX c. it was still a fisherman village. It was given a city law nearly one hundred years age, in 1926. Since then is one of the most interesting example of a deliberate example of a city planning, an example for the businessman and modernity lovers. This is Gdynia, he city from the sea and dreams, where You can hear the seagulls singing.

Gdynia was designed for a specific purpose. Due to the fact, that after WWI Gdansk became part of the Free City of Gdansk and the Second Polish Republic needed the access to the sea and the modern port, it was decided to develop Gdynia.

The city started the impressive development and what is more important it lasts till today. Gdynia is the seat of many modern companies and international corporations. In a big and modern building in Redlowo, there is a Pomeranian Technological and Science Park, where the new start up can develop.

In Gdynia, there is second, largest re-loading port. This is the place, where now ferries to Scandinavia leave and 100 years ago, where famous transatlantic ships (including, sorely missed passenger ship “Batory”) took people to USA and Canada.

Stories of those who decided to leave the country became the inspiration to open a new, unique Museum of Emigration. It is situated in a former Sea Station at the French Embankment.

Museum of Emigration   is situated in a former Sea Station at the French Embankment. Fot.

The modernism passionate will love the central part of Gdynia. Gdynia architecture in an example how 100 years ago new, modern cities were built, combining the classics with the new. It is worth paying attention to the houses in a centre as well as bigger buildings. For example a market hall complex, built in 30ties last century. Every day, even during the past, dark history days, this place was always full off life. You could buy everything here – from the vegetables and fruits brought to the jeans by the sailors from USA, perfumes from China or Persian carpets. The market halls were the symbols of modernity and openminded Gdynia, where You could meet “the whole world”. The complex of Gdynia Market Halls, still full of life, was registered on the list of stationary monuments.

Gdynia's modernism trail. The A. Ogończyk – Bloch and L. Mazalon Tenement House

Gdynia is a city where culture is very important. The younger European generation for sure recalls one of the biggest musical festivals – Open’er Festival. Stars like: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Depeche Mode, Pearl Jam, Rihanna, Coldplay or Radiohead played there. Gdynia is also the capital of Polish film business. Every September, all famous Polish film stars come to Gdynia for the Polish Film Festival. There are also Film Centre and the Film School in Gdynia. Close by there is a Musical Theatre with the name of Danuta Baduszkowa, famous from the most spectacular musicals.

Moby on Opener, fot.

If We want to admire this sea city, the port, the shipyard, the beach and the sea boulevard take a funicular to the Stone Hill. There is a picturesque city panorama from there. Those who prefer a stroll along the beach, inhaling fresh, sea air, we recommend going to Orlowo. Walking down the Orlowo pier it is worth entering the nearby Tawerna to try fresh fish and climb up the cliff, from where there is a view to the Baltic Bay, Sopot and Gdansk.

Kamienna Góra in Gdynia

Kamienna Góra in Gdynia

     This one of the most interesting districts of the city in terms of architecture and landscape is fully covered by heritage protection.

The area of Kamienna Góra (Stone Hill) was part of the Gdynia village, and, along with it, was attached to the monastery in Kartuzy. During the Prussian partition it was let to German settlers and in the early 19th Century received the name of Steinberg. In 1920, on the initiative of Ryszard Gałczyński the Steinberg land was purchased and given to the First Polish Sea Bathing Society to build a resort there. The Society had plans of establishing a culture and leisure centre similar to Zakopane. At first, the hill was named Kamieniec Pomorski, which was to recall the famous Polish writer Sienkiewicz's Kamieniec Podolski and constitute a bulwark of Polish identity in the north.

In the 1920s and 30s, as Gdynia developed, villas started appearing in the Kamienna Góra area. Initially, the villas were Renaissance Revival and Baroque Revival, in the style of Polish manors. They were low houses decorated with columns and porticoes, with Polish hip roofs. All this changed completely in the 1930s and the emergence of a new style in architecture, Modernism, which introduced simple, geometrical forms. Houses built in the 1930s feature no ornamentation, are plain and very often have streamlined elements, which were associated with the sea. Houses in both the old and new styles can still be seen during a stroll around Kamienna Góra, many of them renovated. Kamienna Góra was an exclusive residential district before and after WWII and not much has changed ever since.

Example villas from the 1920s built in the style of Polish manors include: the "Henryka" (8 Sędzickiego St.), "Nasz domek" (5 Sienkiewicza St.), "Poznanianka" (16 Sędzickiego St.), and "Szumka" (37 Sienkiewicza St.). The building of the "Polskarob" company (8/10 Korzeniowskiego St.), the Twin Villa on 25/25a Korzeniowskiego St. and the villa on 1a Sieroszewskiego St. represent the Modernism style of the 1930s.

Besides the preserved villas, Kamienna Góra features an observation spot which rewards the visitor a view of the city, its harbour and the Gdańsk Bay. The square includes a 25-metre Cross placed there in the 1990s and a monument to the Defenders of the Coast of 1939.

See more:

The Gdynia Modernism Route in Gdynia