Among all the seaside resorts competing to be the summer capital of Poland, Sopot seems the most deserving. This is a fantastic holiday destination with sunny beaches, the longest wooden pier in Europe, and an active nightlife provided by its numerous bars, pubs and clubs. The Art Nouveau buildings remind us of the times when Sopot was the most fashionable seaside resort of pre-war Germany. Two other interesting cities nearby are Gdansk and Gdynia.
Sopot is the smallest town of the Tricity metropolis, situated just between Gdansk and Gdynia. Its population of only 40,000 is modest in comparison with the 2 million tourists who visit it every summer. Many of them are lured by Sopot International Song Festival, the largest event of its type in Europe after the Eurovision, and which takes place at the Forest Opera house every August.
Sopot owes its popularity to its location on the coast of the Baltic Sea. The town is located on a high scarp, dividing it into two parts (high to the west and low to the east), and along its foot lies the beach. The hilly part of Sopot is mainly covered with an ancient forest of beech, oak and pine, riven through by several brooks.
The name "Sopot" is first mentioned in 13th century records. It was primarily an old Slavonic settlement dating back to the times of the early Middle Ages. It occupied an area overgrown with old beech and oak trees, surrounded by wood-and-earth fortifications. The inhabitants made their living from fishing and a range of crafts. Its general prosperity was almost completely lost with the foundation of the ducal fort in Gdansk in the 13th century. For a long time Sopot belonged to the Cistercian a... ( more >>)