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Gdansk Gothic Route

The Gothic style in art and architecture evolved thanks to new structural solutions, which allowed to go beyond the previously applied principles of erecting buildings and to achieve a new type of solid. After the era of heavy Romanesque buildings, it was time for the slenderness of Gothic buildings. Thanks to this, it was possible to build not only much higher buildings, but also much better illuminated by larger windows. We invite you to follow the Gdansk Gothic Route!

8. The Great Mill (16 Wielkie Młyny Street), The Little Mill and Radunia Canal (9/12)
The Grand Mill
The Grand Mill
Gdansk Toursim Organization

Medieval factories could not exist without fast flowing water, which was the main source of energy for them, which is why the story about Gdańsk mills must be preceded by the mention of the Radunia Canal. The Teutonic Knights began to work on it in the first half of the 14th century: the canal was not only to provide energy for the planned mills, but also to become a source of drinking water for the city and a water supply system of urban moats. The canal begins with the Old Radunia in Pruszcz Gdański.

The Great Mill, or the largest medieval industrial plant in Europe, was built at the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries and operated continuously until 1945. Its building has only one storey, but under a huge roof it houses as many as six levels, which were used as warehouses.

The mill was a very important part of Gdańsk's economy - it provided flour for bread-making and malt for beer production, for which the city was famous. The plant, working 24 hours a day, processed 14000 tons of malt, 54000 tons of rye and 1500 tons of wheat each year. In order to be able to produce so much, the mill had to have enough energy: the canal flowed around the building from both sides, thanks to which it was possible to install more mill wheels - at first there were 12 of them, and then as many as 18. Since the 19th century, the existing energy sources have been replaced by more modern ones.

After 1945, the Great Mill performed various functions - exhibition space, warehouse, and even a game room. Between 1994 and 2016, the building housed a shopping centre. Currently, it is in possession of the Historical Museum of the City of Gdańsk.

On the opposite side of the mill - just behind St. Catherine's Church there is a building called the Little Mill, which according to many historians served as a granary for the Great Mill, and could also act as an auxiliary mill.