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The Wyżynna (upper) Gate

The Wyżynna (upper) Gate

The Wyżynna gate used to be the main and most representative entrance to the city, as well as a defensive building. The Polish Kings were officially welcomed here and presented with the keys to the city.

It was built during the years 1574 - 1576 according to the design of Jan Kramer and located in the west row of the modern Gdańsk fortifications. The fortifications adjoining the gate used to include the tall earth embankment, which was supported by tremendous bastions. It was behind a wide moat filled with water, on which there were drawbridges. During the night, they were raised with ropes and six metal blocks, which are preserved to this day and are visible on the top part of the building. There were two posterns - passages in the embankment, ending at both sides of the west part of the Długa Street Gatehouse, known as the Torture Room - leading from the gate to the city.


In 1588, the brick facade of the Wyżynna Gate was interestingly decorated by the renowned sculptor Wilhelm van den Blocke. He framed the building with sandstone panels, decorating them with delicate plant ornaments. The attic received an unusually-rich sculpture decoration, as the artist equipped it with stone coats of arms of Poland, Royal Prussia and Gdańsk, framing it heraldically. Four sculptures of lions are located above.


Looking at the decorations of the Wyżynna Gate with more attention, it is possible to see three Latin sentences, reminding the rulers and citizens of the values most desired in the life of the State and society:


"Iustitia et pietas duo sunt regnorum omnium fundamenta" - "Justice and devotion are the foundations of all kingdoms";

"Civitatibus haec optanda bona maximae: pax, libertas, concordia" - "The goods most desired by societies are peace, freedom, harmony";

"Sapientissimae fiunt omnia que pro republica fiunt" - "The wisest deeds are those done for the Republic (of Poland)".


For over 290 years, the form of the gate was unchanged. In 1895, the embankments were torn down and the moat was filled. The guardhouse was relocated to the free-standing gate building in 1903. Following the demilitarisation of Gdańsk in 1920, this was the home of the Norddeutscher Lloyd travel agency. During the war of 1939-1945, the gate suffered slight damage. After the war, the building was occupied by the "Orbis" travel agency, while the side passageways hosted tourist information points. In 2002, the gate was overtaken by the Gdańsk Historical Museum. It is the current home of the Regional Tourist Information Centre, where the visitors to the city of Neptune can obtain credible and professional information on the attractions awaiting them in the Pomeranian Voivodeship.