- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Visit Gdańsk, Poland
Gdańsk is a Polish city on the Baltic coast, the capital of the Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland's principal seaport and the centre of the country's fourth-largest metropolitan area.
Gdańsk is the capital of Gdańsk Pomerania and the largest city of Kashubia. The city's history is complex, with periods of Polish rule, periods of Prusso-German rule, and periods of autonomy or self-rule as a "free city". Between the world wars, the Free City of Danzig was in a customs union with Poland and was located between German East Prussia and the so-called Polish Corridor.
Things To Do And See In Gdańsk
St. Dominic’s Fair
Saint Dominic’s Fair is definitely one of the longest of the city’s traditions: it was first established in 1260 by Pope Alexander IV and is still running today. The fair takes place for three weeks from the last Saturday of July. The main attraction is a huge market with local and foreign sellers presenting antique, crafted, handmade goods and more. The market is accompanied by a series of cultural events such as street theatre, concerts, parades, sports events and competitions. Every year it attracts around 5 million people and about 1,000 artisans, merchants and artists.
The Royal Way
The Royal Way is a spectacular path from the old city gate to the Motlawa River. It is also the main Old Town street, famous due to the Polish kings who used to parade along its length when visiting the city. Some of the main sights on the way are the Golden Gate, the Torture House, the Prison Tower and the Neptune Fountain. It is advisable to read something of the old Polish history before going on a walk there, however it is also a good occasion to admire the beautifully reconstructed buildings, some dating back to the 14th century before they were restored in the 17th.
The European Solidarity Centre
The European Solidarity Centre is a very new museum, situated in the Gdansk shipyard. However, it has already become one of the best-rated tourist attractions in the city. It is spectacular in both its design and the exhibitions it contains. The Centre celebrates trades unions and their achievements, giving a lot of credit to the Solidarity movement in a series of thought-provoking exhibitions. The building is made of steel and its design is meant to resemble that of a ship, which makes it a worthwhile object for all architecture lovers.
Ulica Mariacka is one of the most beautiful streets in Gdansk’s old town. It contains stunning architectural pieces as well as many stalls and stores to get souvenirs to bring back home. For any visitor it is a must to have a cup of coffee in one of the lovely little cafes scattered along the street and visit the many amber jewellery shops that it is known for. It is a very romantic street, great for having a walk in the evening when it is all lit up, or a glass of wine in a spot like Literacka, surrounded by charmingly decorated, colorful old houses.
The Shakespeare Festival
Gdansk Shakespeare Festival is an annual festival held by the Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre in the last week of July or the first week of August. It is an international event combining theatrical performances with artistic events, workshops and meetings with theatre directors. The event takes place in a Shakespearean theatre built on the historical site of a 17th-century playhouse where English travelling actors used to perform. It is a must for all theatre lovers and is widely recognised on the international theatre scene.
St. Mary’s Church
St. Mary’s Church is a Roman Catholic church built during the 14 and 15th centuries, known for being the largest brick church in the world. The massive Gothic building takes center stage in the city and is an interesting architectural object both in its exterior and interior. One of the interior highlights is a huge wooden 15th-century astrological clock. It is strongly advised to rise the 400 steps to the top of the church’s tower, from where a beautiful view of Gdansk is revealed.