Situated on the Baltic coast, confined by Motlawa, a branch of the Vistula River delta, the Hel peninsula and the Gdansk bay, this city of the same name represents one of them most popular resorts of Poland.
Not only the natural landscape, but also the man-made scenery make up a beautiful dwelling which attracts a great number of visitors. The Vistula River has a very wide delta which has formed many little islands filled with beautiful architecture buildings: hotels, cranes, houses and granaries which confer the place a picturesque atmosphere and looks.
The historical area where the city of Gdansk is located in the heart of the Pomeranian Voivodship and together with two more cities, Sopot and Gdynia, it forms a conurbation that goes by the name of the Tricity, counting more than 750,000 inhabitants. Each location seems to have developed a strict role: while Gdynia is mainly a port, Sopot is a popular seaside resort and Gdansk is considered an important historical, economic and cultural center in the area and in the entire Poland.
The first official reports of Gdansk are known to date since 997 a.D., when the bishop of Prague, Saint Adalbert paid a visit in this area on a Christian mission in Pomerania, which was ruled by the dukes of Pomerania; afterwards, German settlers have arrived in a greater number and in the 14th century, the area was taken over by the Teutonic Knights, who renamed the place Danzig and turned it into a major trade center.
Throughout centuries, it was influenced by Scottish settler, by Prussian politics, by German impact, by French imperialism, each mark bringing a surplus of expressiveness on the face of the city.
The Old Town attracts many tourists, almost as any other touristic spot in Poland, like Warsaw or Krakow. A walk along the river bank Motlowa gives you the chance to find some of the finest restaurants that serve seafood dishes. Here you will be able to walk among ambulant vendors and purchase various amber or crystal objects of rare beauty, you can visit the Maritime Museum or you’ll be able to rest in a floating cafe.
After pass through the Green Gate, down the Long Street, you will face the river Motlawa. The view that opens from this place will also provide first contact with the way of life in Gdansk. But your eyes will quickly be attracted by the medieval crane of the port. Its silhouette looming over the water seems to be sitting on throne showing the physical evidence of the hundred-year relationship between Gdansk and sea. The crane was built in 1444, which makes it the oldest in Europe. If you go under it you’ll be able to see its intricate mechanism, massive chords and other tools.
On the Polish maps you’ll find this street under the name of “Dluga”. From one end to another there is gathered a vast majority of sightseeing in Gdansk. The Long Street is the cultural and historical center of the city. Here are numerous museums, works of architecture, cafes, shops and obviously many opportunities for you to capture the most interesting snapshots.
Alongside this street there are countless attractions, such as the Holy Mary Church, which is the largest brick church in the world and climbing the roof will offer you a great view over the city. Before you soar to climb the 400 stairs that will lead in turn, give yourself a few moments to enjoy the extremely cold but enjoyable atmosphere in the church. Here you will see relics of the past, including a Pieta sculpture of wood, an astronomical clock 500 years old and a three-dimensional triptych of the Last Judgment.
You can also visit the monument built in honor of the naval workers, dedicated to events in the more recent history, when the social movement Solidarnosk, led by Lech Walesa, managed to impose themselves in front of the government and obtain acknowledgement after many persecutions.
The Great Mill is now a shopping center, but between 1350 and 1945 it was the largest medieval mill in Europe. If you venture inside you’ll be able to see objects found during the excavations. In its original form, the structure served as flour mill, barn and bakery. Outdoor water wheel is still found.
Besides that, there are many other beautiful places waiting to be discovered and lots of restaurants and pubs on all tastes and preferences that will allure you with the delicious Polish gourmet, and not only.
Photo source Picture 1: http://agnieszkabera.com; Picture 2: www.tourhq.com; Picture 3: easyjet.com; Picture 4: http://velcure.com; Picture 5: commons.wikimedia.org; Picture 6: http://estonianexperience.com