This cheerful maritime city owes its present grandeur to a thousand year of Polish-German history, with a significant period when the town was a key member of the Hanseatic League. Reflecting those times is the exclusive architecture of the Old Town, including the largest brick Gothic church in the world. Home of Lech Walesa, in 1980 it witnessed the birth of the Solidarity movement, bringing the end of Communism in Eastern Europe.
Situated on the coast of the Baltic Sea, Gdansk is the capital city of Pomeranian Voivodship. Together with two other cities, Sopot and Gdynia, it forms a conurbation known as the Tricity with a total population of 750,000 (Gdansk itself has 456,000 inhabitants). While Gdynia serves mainly as a port and Sopot as a seaside resort, Gdansk is popular among visitors with its thousand-year history and impressive architecture.
Gdansk is situated on the coast of the Gdansk Bay, a part of the Baltic Sea enclosed in the north by the Hel peninsula. While the Vistula River has no distinct delta, it has formed several branches reaching the sea. One of them is the Motlawa, upon which the city is located. The granaries, houses, cranes and hotels on the islands of the Motlawa make it a very picturesque place to visit.
Gdansk's past has several characteristic features: a long tradition of being a free city, the multinational mix of Polish and German cultures and close relations with Western Europe as one of the main ports of the Baltic region. The first records of this town date back to 997, when St. Adalbert, the bishop of Prague, visited it as part of his Christian mission in Pomerania. Gdansk, originally ruled by the dukes of Pomerania, was soon settled by Germans. From the 14th the town was occupied by the... ( more >>)