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.

Maritime Tradition and the Hanseatic League

Maritime Tradition and the Hanseatic League

     The past significance of Gdansk, its great monuments, the meaning of the urban centre on the map of the region and Europe, all these result from the city’s location at the mouth of a great river. Gdansk became a natural connection with the rest of the world for the huge basin of the Vistula, allowing economic and cultural contacts through its harbour.

It is unknown when the harbour was founded and by whom. It goes back to the times when the city itself was created and occurred so long ago that the exact dates are untraceable. Archaeological studies give only a general idea about the shape, the period of origin of various parts of the city and offer a huge potential for interpretation. It is certain, however, that the connection of the city with the harbour and maritime navigation has always been obvious and was the very reason the city was created and gained a significant position in the economic system of this region of the world.


The location of Gdańsk created its crucial advantage in competition with other commercial centres in the area. There were, however, other ports similarly located which then grew into harbour centres. The alliance of these ports and cities, called Hansa, was a supranational and supraethnic union of a political and commercial character which stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea. Gdańsk had belonged to Hansa since the middle of the 14th century. The significance of the members of the Hanseatic League grew, thanks to the transparent rules which unified the common interests of merchants, by good organisation and the ability to exercise solidarity in defence of their common interest. Even kings and emperors had to observe it. The most interesting episode of Gdańsk's participation in the Hansa is the war it had with the English king, in which Gdańsk's fleet participated by operating in the North Sea at the mouth of Thames. During that war Pawel Beneke, the most famous sailor from Gdańsk, on the ship called "Peter from Gdańsk" (Peter von Danzig) managed to win the "Final Judgment" by Hans Memling, the most precious piece of art which still remains in the art collections of the city.


Gdańsk's power and glory resulting from its location and alliance with Hansa outlived the League. This was possible thanks to the city's economic background, the huge Kingdom of Poland and then the Republic of Poland, and thanks to the great demand for agricultural and forest products in the western Europe. The connection between the demand and supply allowed Gdańsk to participate and take advantage. Gdańsk connected Poland to the rest of the world and made enormous profits from its services. The position of Gdańsk established during the 15th century as an autonomous urban republic protected by the Polish monarch, guaranteed by the king's privileges, allowed the concentration on profitable trade in Polish crops, wood and other goods on an unprecedented scale. The profits gained here went mainly to the merchants but the whole city also profitted. The harbour located on Motława and the warehouse area on the Granary Island (Wyspa Spichrzów) generated income allowing the implementation of projects such as St. Mary's Church, the City Hall and other objects which are now admired by tourists. The source of Gdańsk's glory was favourably remembered by its residents and accented, among other things, by locating the fountain of Neptune, the god of the sea, on the central square, which became one of the city symbols.


The golden age of Gdańsk, as the period of the great economic and political affluence of the city was referred to, ended when the commercial tracks diverted (mainly after both Americas got involved in the worlds' economic system) and the Republic of Poland lost its political stability. During the Prussian rule some efforts were made to modernise the structure of Gdańsk harbour, but, without the western demand and Polish products, the city had no chance of regaining its old significance and size. Between the both worldwars Gdańsk harbour witnessed the development of its strong competitor - Gdynia. During the communist regime times the largest harbour project, the Northern Harbour (Port Północny) was located in Gdańsk. The current Gdańsk harbour remains an important cargo transfer point, but its significance is nowhere near as huge as the one it had several hundred years ago.


The maritime traditions of Gdańsk, rediscovered after decades of a "diversion from the sea" of the whole city and its residents, became more and more present in its urban space. These traditions are enjoying growing interest from tourists who arrive from distant places, particularly because the layout of Gdańsk harbour allows experiencing several hundred years of its great history during one trip, including close examination of its modern equipment and projects.