A ramble round Gdańsk main town

First a bit of Gdańsk background. Began life in the 7th century as a fishing hamlet. 997 the inhabitants christened, marking the year of foundation. 1308 attacked by the Teutonic Knights who built Malbork Castle (an astonishing sight from the train). Joined the Hanseatic League in 1361, a rich seaport and a centre of trade, attracting Germans, Poles, Dutch, Russians, Jews and Scots. Knights defeated in 1410. Became Prussian in 1772 in the First Partition and renamed Danzig. Freed by Napoleon. Back into Prussian hands in the Partition of 1815. After WW1 becomes a free city to sort out German and Polish claims, with Gdynia becoming the Polish corridor. 1930s the free city comes under Nazi control. WW 2 begins with an attack at Westerplatte.  Slaughter of Polish intelligentsia. What’s left seized by the Russians in 1945. Shipyard strikes in 1970s. 1980 Solidarity calls a general strike. Communism collapses!

My introduction to the beauties of Gdańsk was the railway station, a grand eye-catching brick building. There was no Łódź drama finding my accommodation, and beautifully central it is too. I’ve seen neither a tram nor a bus, unless you count the ferry tram. And the taxi drove me straight to the Happy 7 Hostel (yes. That’s what it’s called!) 

Contrary to my usual custom I’m not walking at daybreak, and it shows. People everywhere. However the city is a photographer’s feast, almost excessively so, and if I get a chance I’ll be back for a 5 am stroll, when I’ll be more selective. For my reconnaissance, I walked along the Motława and into ul Długa, my eye drawn by gates (the Green Gate, the Huckster’s Gate, the Breadsellers Gate), doors, facades and rooflines, a splendid fountain, a medieval crane rebuilt after WW2, and miscellaneous bits and pieces. Stroll with me and have a look round.

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About morselsandscraps

A retired Australian who spends a lot of time in Warsaw, and blogs as a way of life.
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20 Responses to A ramble round Gdańsk main town

  1. Sue says:

    Looks a great place, Meg, right up my street….love the very Hanseatic gables, and the old architecture generally. I need to visit!!


  2. findingnyc says:

    You took some great photos, Meg, and it looks like it was a lovely day, with those blue skies and fluffy clouds.


  3. Lucid Gypsy says:

    When I saw the first few [photos I thought it isn’t the most attractive Polish city that you and Jo have shown me, but then my jaw dropped one again, it’s incredible. So what were you doing in Gdansk? Sue is going to see you soon isn’t she?


    • I’m relieving J of my presence so he can roam the apartment at midnight and play his Polish tapes as he does the housework! Oh, and I was drawn by Solidarity and the Baltic (which I haven’t seen yet) and a desire to explore a bit more of Poland. I was startled by it too – and yet again need to remind myself it’s largely a post-war rebuild. Sue and Viveka on Thursday / Friday this coming week. I hope yours is full of good things too.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. desleyjane says:

    What a lovely stroll Meg. Reminds me a teeny bit of some parts of Amsterdam, mainly because I miss it I guess.


  5. Rosemary Barnard says:

    What a fantastic city. I wasn’t expecting so much history as all I knew of it was modern and industrial. I was also surprised by the crowds as I did not know that it was a tourist drawcard. Is it the main city for Baltic Poland?


    • It’s summer. It’s the Baltic. There are crowds. I think I might have just got here in time before it’s all used up! Friday’s rain was a godsend – it cleared the streets a bit. I really like it because there’s the sense of it as a working city in past days – granaries, the mill, the crane, the waterway – even if this isn’t the case now. And then the more recent shipyard history – that was visible in yesterday’s visit to the Solidarity museum.


  6. restlessjo says:

    Tap dancing! I’ve found a post! 🙂 🙂 🙂
    There is one shot through the gates that absolutely is a prize winner, Meg! What a beauty! You did the potted history admirably too. The city looks to be on a huge scale, with that vast waterfront. I sense aching feet. 🙂 Oodles of great captures and I shall go back and drool in a minute, but there’s another post too! 🙂 It is and it isn’t what I expected. It combines some of the very best bits of Polish architecture. Hugs, sweetheart. Off to wander a bit more. 🙂


  7. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : a Tale of 3 Churches | restlessjo

  8. Debbie Smyth says:

    Great post, Meg. I enjoyed the historical intro, and you have certainly captured the city’s beauty.
    It is still on my to visit list. I was in Warsaw in 1980 and nearly got stuck there as all the public transport came to a halt. I got out by finding a friendly Russian conductor who found me a cabin on a train coming through from Moscow! But Gdansk has been on my list since those Solidarity years.
    Looks like something for late summer.


    • In 1980! What a year to be here. Solidarity is what drew me to Gdańsk – I’m working on a post about the museum and that history now. I love your photos – I’ll look forward to your photographic take on Gdańsk. End of summer it’ll probably be packed, and it’s a cruise ship destination, which means multitudes of tour groups.


  9. Heyjude says:

    I knew nothing about Gdansk until I read this post, but those doors are fabulous – a stork? I could spend hours just photographing doors.


  10. freebutfun says:

    Had to come back here and take a look at your posts about Gdansk as we booked (free) flights there later this year. Judging by these pictures and the other posts of yours, I think I’ll be happy to inhale Gdansk.


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