European Best Destination
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  • Miasto Gdańsk
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Gargoyles

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Gargoyle
Gargoyle
Fot. www.gdansk.pl

More or less terrifying stone creatures. The names are also not so pretty: gargoyles, spitters, brrr... The ornamental end gutters with fantasy shapes known back in antiquity, coming to Europe in the Middle Ages. Hundreds of them have prevailed in Gdańsk’s Main and Old Town. They were unusually placed: preceded by a stone trough, on the terraces instead of at the base of the roof. They are a characteristic element of Gdańsk architecture. The stone mouths of lions, dragons and sea monsters rarely spurt out rain water, for they lost their functions when storm drains arose. Such gargoyles adorn the streets of Gdańsk, especially Mariacka Street, where they are the most numerous, because almost all houses were preceded by rich terraces.

Mariacka Street

Mariacka Street
Mariacka Street
Fot. Gdansk Tourism Organisation

This secluded lane for centuries has attracted artists  and charms a romantic atmosphere. The alley, leading from St. Mary’s Church to the Long Embankment closed with the medieval Mariacka Gate, is a wonderful example of old Gdańsk construction with characteristic narrow terraces of richly decorated tenement houses once belonging to wealthy merchants and artisans. The terrace - a decorated stone carved porch between the street and the entrance to the building - when the weather was good, was the place of social life and a children’s playground for the residents. The lane recalls the wealth and splendour of the city during the Golden Age. It is also a testimony of Gdańsk’s taste and love of ancient art. Mariacka Street was often a film set location. Today it is dominated by jewellery workshops and galleries with unique amber jewellery, touring musicians, photographing tourists and here... lovers kiss!