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 oldest monuments of Sopot which can be classified in the "summer" category - e.g. the Sierakowski Mansion of two hundred years - represent forms of classicism. Houses of Sopot residents dating two hundred years back used to be brick constructions of simple shapes. This was the way Sopot looked at the times when Dr. Haffner started organising his first resort. In the second half of the 19th Century, the period of strengthening the position of Sopot as a health resort introduced various changes into the city's architecture. For any European in the 19th Century the image of the health resort was that of the Swiss modfels and as Sopot wanted to be well remembered it followed the pattern of architecture more typical of the Alpine regions.
However, the true eclectic character of the place was gained at the end of the 19th Century and first decade of the 20th Century. The "romantic historical style" became extremely fashionable then, a style which took full advantage of all the previous architectural periods and had full scope to develop in Sopot. Attention was not only paid to beauty and detail in the then being constructed houses and pensions but the rich decorations and original forms of the buildings were also promoted. The method was simple, and included lowering taxes on real property from the owners of property with decorated facades. This led to the accumulation of various bays, little balconies, towers, galleries, railings, cornices and everything that could be included in the facades of the newly-constructed buildings. Even secession found its place in this system, as it appeared with its curvy lines, not only in the architecture itself but also as the decorative element of Sopot's houses. The architectural mix referred to as the "Sopot style" in this city established in 1901 gave the place a specific atmosphere which can be felt even today.
Luckily Sopot avoided serious damage during WWII and the contemporary city not only values its architectural tradition but also makes sure that the new buildings do not strike you as looking too modern. It remains a place where beautiful buildings are constructed, despite the fact that some developments have also been criticised. The combination of the High-Street style in the main parts of the city with the cosy architecture of the less-popular areas and the monumental facilities of the resort - these are the main Sopot resort-style features.
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