Opened and modern, marked by the history. Welcome to Gdansk.

Despite the fact, the city is over one thousand years old, it impresses with modernity. Proud from its incredibly rich history, opened to the world and the future. With the view to the Baltic Sea, Motlawa River, Tricity Landscape Park. With the Westerplatte Peninsula, where WWII began, September 1 1939, the former Gdansk Shipyard areas  and the historical gate no 2, the Gradowa Hill and the Vistulamouth Fortress, with its history form Napoleon times. Gdansk – the city at Motlawa River. A fantastic place to live, work and progress. The biggest city in the Northern part of Poland and one of its kind in the world.

Situated at the Baltic Bay, with the access to sandy beaches, which in Springs and Summers are full of life. Surrounded by picturesque forests of the Tricity Landscape Park and the close vicinity of Kashuby region. Gdansk is one of the most interesting cities on the map of Poland. It fascinates not only with the landscape but  with the history too.. This is here, where starting from the Golden Gate to the Green Gate, Polish kings walked and greeted the citizens. This is here, where on the Long Market stands the Arthur’s Court and the Neptune Fountain – symbols of Gdansk.

There are more of those symbols. One of them I also, situated at the Long Embankment, the Crane, the biggest and the oldest, preserved port cranes from medieval Europe, a construction which from XV c. gave a dynamic growth to the port of Gdansk.

Gdansk is the city where famous astronomer, John Hewelius was born, the great physician, Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit and the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. This is the place, where Polish soldiers from Westerplatte bravery defended the state, when Schleswig-Holstein, the III Reich battle ship in 1939 attacked Polish Military Transit Depot, and started WWII. This is the place, where at Gdansk Shipyard, in 1980 workers started famous straik which triggered slow stream of changes in Poland and Central – Eastern part of Poland.

Europejskie Centrum Solidarności w Gdańsku

The European Solidarity Centre, Fot. Pomorskie.Travel

The most interesting attractions in Gdansk

Today, Gdansk is described as the city of freedom and Solidarity. About the history of the trade unions, called “Solidarity”, we can learn more about visiting the unique in the international scale European Solidarity Centre. Extremely original when architecture is concerned (in a shape of a ship), shows the exhibition about the Solidarity movement and is a place of many cultural events.

Lech Walesa, the first leader of the trade unions, “Solidarity”, the former President of Poland and the laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize, has his office here as well.

From the European Solidarity Centre, situated in the former shipyard areas it is not far to the WWII Museum. This is the newest and the most modern museum in the city, built in a big scale. It tells the story about the war in a wide international context.

Gdansk is also a fine place, not only for history lovers, but also for the ones, Who like astronomy and general science. There is Hewelianum Centre situated in a former napoleon’s fort. In one of Gdansk district, called Wrzeszcz, there is a monumental building of Gdansk Technical University, one on the best technical school in Poland.

Talking about Gdansk, we cannot forget about the parks – beautiful and cameral Orunia Park and the unique and vary popular park in Oliwa, which is situated few steps from the XIV c. Cathedral.

The Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre, Fot. Dawid Linkowski

Those are just few, the most characteristic places on the map of this over half million city. Gdansk is the city that all the times develops, where new objects of culture appear, like the Shakespeare Theatre, sport objects (the football stadium in Letnica, which has an amber shape), as well as new and modern infrastructure objects – for example: the port and the container terminal, the airport, which in becoming one of the most important airport around the Baltic states.

Gdansk is a modern city which attracts young people and with its history and tradition elder generations. Gdansk is a city which joins. 

 

Check attractions and points of interest in the vicinity of Gdansk in Sopot or Gdynia.

Solidarity

Solidarity

     The Independent Self-governing Labour Union "Solidarity" (NSZZ Solidarność) was a historical phenomenon of social resistance against the totalitarian regime. Despite its country-wide reach, which echoed around the whole world, it was strongly connected with Gdańsk, and it is here that the numerous traces of its activity are to be found.

Solidarity, as the implementation of one of the famous 21 demands of the striKing workers of the Gdańsk Shipyard was created in September 1980 pursuant to the agreement signed there. It was part of the August settlements, an unprecedented contract between the public and the country's authorities. The way to the agreement was started by a solidary strike at the Gdańsk shipyard, with its workers willing to support their colleague, Anna Walentynowicz, a gantry operator, who was dismissed from work for her socialist and opposition activities. The shipyard strike quickly developed into a country-wide strike, with workers of various industries in Poland joining in. The representatives of Gdańsk Shipyard, which was named after Lenin, gathered in the BHP Hall and established an Inter-works KingStrike Committee, and it quickly grew into a body respected by the communist authorities. Negotiations took a long time and were held in a hostile atmosphere. Their result was a victory for the strikers, as the regime authorities accepted some of the demands of the strikers, including the first one out of 21. It agreed that free trade unions, independent from the State would be created, thus realising the idea of solidarity between the members of society oppressed by the communist system. The social movement gathered a momentum nobody ever expected. The Solidarity logo, designed by Jerzy Janiszewski, remained the symbol of ordinary people fighting for their rights for a long time.

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The trade union registered in Gdańsk held its first gathering in September 1981 in the Olivia hall, and Lech Wałęsa, an electrician, was elected its chairman and leader.


The victory of society over the regime did not last long. The country's economic situation was rapidly worsening, with renewed strikes and growing political chaos, culminating in the declaration of martial law in December 1981, which stopped the processes started by Solidarity for many long years. These processes could not be stopped completely, and Solidarity went underground for the whole of the 1980's. as the main opposition organisation, and surfaced again just before the collapse of the communist regime it fought with for long years.


Gdańsk is full of Solidarity references and related places. Next to the previously-mentioned BHP Hall and Olivia Hall, Solidarity Square is a must to see, with its monument to the shipyard workers killed in 1970. Its construction was one of the first three demands of the striKing workers in 1980. The exhibition "Roads to freedom" shows in detail the history of Polish and other nations' fight for freedom and is located in a Cold-War shelter several hundred metres away from the monument. Behind the monument the European Centre for Solidarity is being constructed. The main reason of the project is to maintain the memory of Solidarity as a historical phenomenon and heralding its character and achievements in Europe and the world. Another must-see on the Solidarity memoir track is the St. Brygid's Church where opposition activists gathered during martial law and afterwards. There also are gathered various souvenirs of the early Solidarity times can and other opposition.


Gdańsk is a city where several important historical events on a world scale occurred and the events of August 1980 and the creation of Solidarity was definitely one of them. It seems impossible to understand the contemporary history of Poland and Europe without visiting Gdańsk and "solidarity related" places.