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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.

Its Old Town attracts almost as many people as that of Krakow or Warsaw. In the past the city enjoyed a high degree of autonomy, which together with its participation in Hanseatic League, led to great prosperity. During its Golden Age, the turnover of Gdansk was bigger than that of London's East India Company. Later periods in Gdansk’s history were complicated and sometimes even dramatic.

At present this maritime capital of Poland is an important cultural and academic centre. The economy is developing quickly and moving into new fields: the traditional shipping and amber trade is being joined by the petrochemical, electronic and telecommunication industries. The seaport and international airport make the city a significant transport hub.


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 has close links with Sopot (a popular spa resort) and Gdynia (an important seaport), and together they form a conurbation known as the Tricity, surrounded by the Tricity Landscape Park. All three lie in the Pomerania region, an attractive summer holiday destination where visitors from both Poland and abroad people the beaches in summer. Pomerania is marked by its small sandy hills wooded with pines, while Gdansk itself lies on a coastal plain. The Kaszuby region (Kashubia) is not far to the south, noted for its specific folk culture and its own language.

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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 >>)

coat of arms
Population: 456967 #6
Province: Pomeranian
Telephone: +48 58
Museums: 18
Districts: 28
Theatres: 8
Mayor: Paweł Adamowicz
Higher Education: 15