Gdańsk – over 1000 years of history of one city
Gdańsk is a unique city with over 1000 years of tradition. Its history is so rich that it could be divided between other cities of comparable size. At the same time guests who come here in great numbers every year emphasize the special character of Gdańsk – it has the extraordinary atmosphere which additionally proves the city’s originality.
Some historical data
Gdańsk is the capital of the agglomeration with over one million residents. Together with Sopor and Gdynia it forms Tricity. Thanks to the location near the Vistula River estuary Gdańsk was one of the most important members of the Hanseatic League even back in the Middle Ages, as well as made it to be a very rich city from early on. In spite of having been affected by many historical events, the city has been always rebuilt. It rose like a phoenix from the ashes everytime a natural disaster, war or fire happened. World War II started right here in Gdańsk. It was in Gdańsk that the first brick from the Berlin Wall was “pulled out” and “Solidarity” trade union triggered the collapse of the communist regimes in Central Europe. The numerous events over time have shaped the characters of Gdańsk residents. Despite all the turmoil and migrations, the locals still value freedom, openness and the right to express their opinion. They have the courage to say “no” even under the most unfavourable circumstances.
Not only for tourists
Gdańsk is also a very popular tourist destination. Located on the Baltic coast, full of magnificent Gothic buildings, historic churches, interesting museums and charming, filled with amber streets, Gdansk invariably impresses and fascinates. Its symbol, god of the sea Neptune, looks from his pedestal at over 2 million people who visit the capital of Pomerania every year.
Gdańsk’s numerous attractions determine its popularity. One of the attractions is European Solidarity Centre built in the place where during the communist era the biggest social initiative in Poland was started – “Solidarity”. A huge exhibition presents Poles' struggle against the oppressive communist regime. Only a few hundreds meters away there is the Museum of the Second World War. The building looks like a gigantic piece of glass stuck in the ground, which contrasts with the neighbouring buildings. Inside we will see an exhibition which graphically depicts the history of the most horrible conflict in the history of humanity. Going further we pass a modern lift bridge to Ołowianka island where the majestic building of the Polish Baltic Philharmonic is situated. Next we enter the Main City with its shops, cafes, restaurants, beautiful tenements and charming streets. It is right here that we can find all the wonderful and symbolic city objects: Neptune’s Fountain, St. Mary’s Church, Artus Court, Uphagen’s House, Gdańsk Town Hall, and the magnificent city gates. However, it’s not the end. Nearby there is a massive black cubic building of the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre where the English playwright’s works are staged. The Main City is the true heart of Gdańsk thanks to its remarkable character and atmosphere. After getting acquainted with this part of the city, it is worth to visit the majestic Oliwa Cathedral situated in a beauiful park. Inside the cathedral we can admire huge pipe organs which sound has been making an impression for 230 years!
Despite of all these attractions, most of all Gdańsk is a city strongly connected with the sea. During your stay we highly recommend to visit one of the several wide sandy beaches, stroll on the Brzeźno pier, or take a cruise on one of the White Fleet ships. If you go to Westerplatte, you will be able to see with your own eyes a place of heroic resistance of the Polish garrison against German invaders in September 1939, thus see the place where World War II started.
The present equals development
With all the tourist appeal of Gdańsk what is new is the emergence of modern shopping and technological centres on an unprecedented scale. Also, the world’s largest corporations locate here their branch businesses and offices.
Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa Airport is constantly and dynamically growing – it offers more and more direct flights to the most important European cities (including Munich, Hamburg, Dortmund, Cologne and Frankfurt), while the road and rail networks provide a safe and fast connection to southern Poland and western Europe.
What is important, especially for tourists: there are already 50 hotels in Gdańsk. If you also take into account guest houses and hostels, you get 19,000 sleep options to choose from!
Contemporary Gdańsk is a modern European metropolis with the economy based on knowledge, rapidly growing cultural, scientific, entertaiment and sport centre, popular tourist attraction and the world’s capital of amber.
The capital of the agglomeration
As mentioned before, Gdańsk is the capital of a large agglomeration. Together with Sopot and Gdynia it forms Tricity, which has over 750,000 inhabitants. The other two cities have a lot to offer too. Sopot is known as an entertainment centre of Tricity. There are countless pubs, restaurants and clubs, often open 24 hours a day. The famous promenade, “Monciak”, is located in Sopot. The city is also called the summer capital of Poland thanks to the longest wooden pier in Europe (511 meters) and the promenade. In Gdynia we can find the Oceanarium with hundreds of sea creatures and amazing ships – Dar Pomorza (Gift of Pomerania) and the ORP Błyskawica destroyer. The Emigration Museum is another place worth a visit – it presents difficult fates of displaced people throughout the history.
It’s not only Tricity, but the whole Pomeranian Region that is attractive for tourists. Even the residents often don’t know about all the interesting places. After all, the world’s biggest (as far as surface area is concerned) castle, the Teutonic fortress in Malbork, is situated only about 50 kilometers away from Gdańsk. The Kashubian region offers traditional cuisine and warm hospitality among its countless picturesque hills, clean lakes and old dense forests.
The pearl in this magnificent crown of Pomerania is Gdańsk - a city where everyone will find something special and will gladly come back.
See for yourselves!