Gdansk City


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Gdansk is the biggest Polish sea port, the city with reach history and active present. For years it was an independent “Free Town of Gdansk”, but it is strongly connected with the most important moments of Polish history.

Gdańsk was first mentioned in 997, in st. Adalbert vita, as a settlement separating “the realm of the duke and the sea”. In Middle Ages the city was first under Polish rule, then, in 1308, it was lost to the Teutonic Knights. From that times origin the main shape of two central district – Old Town from Polish times, and Main Town (Rechtsstad) from Teutonic reign. In 1361 Gdańsk joined the Hansaeatic League, which has huge influence in city development during next centuries. In 15th century Gdańsk came back to Poland, and in 17th, after the Partition of Poland, it became a part of Prussia.
The biggest role Gdańsk played in 20th century, when it became “The Free Town of Gdansk”. The attack of the ship Schleswig-Holstein at the Polish Post Office at Westerplatte is considered as a beginning of the second world war and one of most heroic Polish defence. In 80s Gdańsk was the centre of anti-communist resistance and a birthplace of solidarity movement.
Visiting Gdansk should start from Golden Gate, beginning of Długa Street, which passes by the most important city monuments. There is located Amber museum, The Uphagen's House with preserved interiors from 18th century, and the Town Hall from 14th – 16th century. From The City Hall the street broaden, and changes name to Long Market. Here can be found two most recognized Gdansk features – the Neptune Fountain, and Artus' court. This beautifully decorated building was originally the meeting place of wealthy merchants, and a centre of social life. Long Market finnishes with Green Gate, over the Moltawa river. Also over Moltawa stands symbol of the city – Medieval crane, called Żuraw.
Apart from city centre, the memorials of important historical events are located in different parts of city. The Westerplatte Post Office is now a ruin with small museum and with monument of coast defenders. Next to the shipyard rise three heaven-reaching crosses – the memorial of Shipyards Worker fallen in 1970.

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