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Coat of arms
Motto: Nec Temere, Nec Timide
(Neither rashly, nor timidly)
Gdańsk is located in Poland
Coordinates: 54°22′N 18°38′E / 54.367°N 18.633°E / 54.367; 18.633
Country  Poland
Voivodeship Pomeranian
County city county
Established 10th century
City rights 1263
 - Mayor Paweł Adamowicz (PO)
 - City 262 km2 (101.2 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 - City 455,830
 Density 1,739.8/km2 (4,506.1/sq mi)
 Metro 1,080,700
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 80-008 to 80-958
Area code(s) +48 58
Car plates GD

Gdańsk, formerly known by its German name Danzig (see Names below), is a city on the Baltic coast in northern Poland, at the centre of the country's fourth-largest metropolitan area.[1]

Gdańsk is Poland's principal seaport as well as the capital of the Pomeranian Voivodeship. It is also historically the largest city of the Kashubian region. The city is close to the former boundary between West Slavic and Germanic lands and it has a complex political history with periods of Polish rule, periods of German rule, and two spells as a free city. It has been part of modern Poland since 1945.

The city lies on the southern edge of Gdańsk Bay (of the Baltic Sea), in a conurbation with the spa town of Sopot, the city of Gdynia and suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the Tricity (Trójmiasto), with a population of over 800,000.[1] Gdańsk itself has a population of 455,830 (June 2009), making it the largest city in the Pomerania region of Northern Poland.

Gdańsk is situated at the mouth of the Motława River, connected to the Leniwka, a branch in the delta of the nearby Vistula River, whose waterway system supplies 60% of the area of Poland and connects Gdańsk to the national capital in Warsaw. This gives the city a unique advantage as the centre of Poland's sea trade. Together with the nearby port of Gdynia, Gdańsk is also an important industrial centre. Historically an important seaport and shipbuilding centre, Gdańsk was a member of the Hanseatic League.

The city was the birthplace of the Solidarity movement which, under the leadership of Gdańsk political activist Lech Wałęsa, played a major role in bringing an end to Communist rule across Central Europe. It is also the home and birthplace of Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who is of Kashubian origin.



Zwantepolc de Danceke, 1228

The city's name is thought to originate from the Gdania River,[2] the original name of the Motława branch on which the city is situated. Gdańsk and Gdania are considered to be derivations from the Gothic name of the area (Gutiskandja),[3] however this has also been questioned.[4] Like many other Central European cities, Gdańsk has had many different names throughout its history.

The name of a settlement was recorded after St. Adalbert's death in 997 AD as urbs Gyddanyzc[5] and later was written as Kdanzk (1148), Gdanzc (1188), Danceke[6] (1228), Gdansk (1236, 1454, 1468, 1484, 1590), Danzc (1263), Danczk (1311, 1399, 1410, 1414–1438), Danczik (1399, 1410, 1414),[5] Danczig (1414), Gdąnsk (1636). See also Names of European cities in different languages.

In Polish the modern name of the city is pronounced [ˈgdaɲsk] ( listen). In English (where the diacritic over the "n" is frequently omitted) the usual pronunciation is /ɡəˈdænsk/ or /ɡəˈdɑːnsk/.

For much of its history, the majority of the city's inhabitants were German-speakers, who called it Danzig [ˈdantsɪç]  ( listen). This name was also used in English[7] until the end of World War II, and is still used in historical contexts. Other former English spellings of the name include Dantzig, Dantsic and Dantzic.

In the Kashubian language the city is called Gduńsk. The city's Latin name may be given as either Gedania, Gedanum or Dantiscum; the variety of Latin names reflects the mixed influence of the city's Polish, German and Kashubian heritage.


Ceremonial names

Regia Civitatis Gedanensis (Royal City of Gdańsk) coin of 1589, Sigismund III Vasa period.

On special occasions the city is also referred to as "The Royal Polish City of Gdańsk" (Polish Królewskie Polskie Miasto Gdańsk, Latin Regia Civitas Polonica Gedanensis, Kashubian Królewsczi Polsczi Gard Gduńsk).[8][9][10]

Kashubians also use the name "Our Capital City Gdańsk" (Nasz Stoleczny Gard Gduńsk) or "The Kashubian Capital City Gdańsk" (Stoleczny Kaszëbsczi Gard Gduńsk).


Foundation and the Middle Ages

Early settlements are associated with the Wielbark culture; after the Great Migrations, they were replaced by a Pomeranian settlement that probably dates back to the 7th century.[11] In the 980s, a stronghold was built most probably by Mieszko I of Poland who thereby connected the Piast realm with the trade routes of the Baltic Sea.[12] The first written record of this stronghold is the vita of Saint Adalbert, written in 999 and describing events of 997.[12] This date is generally[citation needed] regarded as the founding of Gdańsk in Poland; in 1997 the city celebrated the millennial anniversary of the year 997 when Saint Adalbert of Prague baptized the inhabitants of the settlement on behalf of Boleslaw the Brave of Poland. In the 12th century, the settlement became part of the Samborides' duchy and consisted of a settlements at the modern Long Market, craftmens' settlements along the Altstädter Graben ditch, German merchant settlements around the St Nicolas church and the old Piast stronghold.[11] In 1186, a Cistercian monastery was set up in nearby Oliwa, which is now within the city limits. In 1215, the ducal stronghold became the centre of a Pomerelian splinter duchy. In 1224/25, Germans in the course of the Ostsiedlung established a settlement in the area of the earlier fortress.[citation needed]

About 1235, the town was granted city rights under Lübeck law by Pomerelian duke Swantopolk II, an autonomy charter similar to that of Lübeck which was also the primary origin of many settlers.[11] In 1300, the town had an estimated population of 2,000.[13] While overall the town was not that an important trade centre at that time, it had some relevance in the trade with Eastern Europe.[13] In 1308, the town was in rebellion and the Teutonic Knights were sent to restore order. Subsequently, they took over control the town.[14] Medieval massacre records of 10,000 inhabitants are perceived divergently in modern literature:[15] while sources state it as a fact,[16] other sources discard it as a medieval exaggeration.[15] The alleged massacre was used as evidence by the Polish crown in a subsequent papal lawsuit.[15][17] The knights colonized the area, replacing local Kashubians with German settlers.[16] In 1308, they founded Hakelwerk near the town, initially as a Slavic fishing settlement.[14] In 1340, the Teutonic Knights built a large fortress, which became the seat of the knights' Komtur.[18] In 1343, they founded Rechtstadt, which in contrast to the pre-existing town (thence Altstadt, "Old Town" or Stare Miasto) was chartered with Kulm Law.[14] In 1358, Danzig joined the Hanseatic League, and became an active member in 1361.[19] It maintained relations with the trade centres Brügge, Novgorod, Lisboa and Sevilla.[19] In 1377, the Old Town's city limits were expanded.[14] In 1380, Neustadt ("New Town" or "Nowe Miasto") was founded as the fourth, independent settlement.[14]

The medieval port crane, called Żuraw over Motława river.

After a series of Polish-Teutonic Wars, in the Treaty of Kalisz (1343) the Order had to acknowledge that it would hold Pomerelia as an alm from the Polish Crown. Although it left the legal basis of the Order's possession of the province in some doubt, the city thrived as a result of increased exports of grain (especially wheat), timber, potas, tar, and other goods of forestry from Prussia and Poland via the Vistula River trading routes, despite the fact that after its capture, the Teutonic Knights tried to actively reduce the economic significance of the town. While under the control of the Teutonic Order German migration increased. A new war broke out in 1409, ending with the Battle of Grunwald (1410), and the city came under the control of the Kingdom of Poland. A year later, with the first First Peace of Thorn, it returned to the Teutonic Order. In 1440, the city participated in the foundation of the Prussian Confederation which was an organization opposed to the rule of the Teutonic Knights. This led to the Thirteen Years' War of independence from the Teutonic Monastic State of Prussia (1454–1466). This intermittent warfare ended on May 25, 1457, when the city - jointly with Royal Prussia - became part of the Crown of Poland while maintaining its rights and independence as an autonomous city.[20][21]

Modern Ages

Green Gate inspired by the Antwerp City Hall,[22] was built to serve as the formal residence of the Polish monarchs.[23]

On 15 May 1457, Casimir IV of Poland granted Danzig the Great Privilege (German: Großes Privileg), after he had been invited by the town's council and had already stayed in town for five weeks.[24] With the Great Privilege, the town was granted autonomy from Poland.[25] The privilege confirmed to the town independent jurisdiction, legislation and administration of her territory, and the rights of the Polish crown were limited to the following: The Polish king was allowed to stay in town for three days a year, he was further allowed to choose a permanent envoy from eight councilmen proposed to him by the town, and received an annual payment, the Gefälle.[24] Furthermore, the privilege united Old Town, Hakelwerk and Rechtstadt, and legalized the demolition of New Town, which had sided with the Teutonic Knights.[24] Already in 1457, New Town was demolished completely, no buildings remained.[14]

Entry of Queen Marie Louise of Poland into Gdańsk, February 11, 1646.

Gaining free and privileged access for the first time to Polish markets, the seaport prospered while simultaneously trading with the other Hanseatic cities. After the Second Peace of Thorn (1466) with the Teutonic Monastic State of Prussia the warfare between the latter and the Polish crown ended permanently. After the incorporation of Royal Prussia by the Kingdom of Poland in 1569, the city continued to enjoy a large degree of internal autonomy (cf. Danzig Law).

King Stephen Báthory's attempt to subject the city, which had supported Maximilian II in the prior election of the king, failed. The city, encouraged by its immense wealth and almost impregnable fortifications, as well as by the secret support of Denmark and Emperor Maximilian, shut its gates against Stephen. After the Siege of Danzig (1577), lasting six months, the city's army of 5,000 mercenaries was utterly defeated in a field battle on December 16, 1577. However, since Stephen's armies were unable to take the city by force, a compromise was reached: Stephen Báthory confirmed the city's special status and her Danzig Law privileges granted by earlier Polish kings. The city recognised him as ruler of Poland and paid the enormous sum of 200,000 guldens in gold as payoff ("apology").

Beside the German-speaking majority, whose elites sometimes distinguished their German dialect as Pomerelian,[26] the city was home to a large number of Polish-speaking Poles, Jewish Poles, and Dutch. In addition, a number of Scotsmen took refuge or immigrated to and received citizenship in the city. During the Protestant Reformation, most German-speaking inhabitants adopted Lutheranism.

The Town Hall spire, with a gilded statue of King Sigismund II Augustus of Poland on its pinnacle (installed in 1561), dominates Long Market skyline.[27]

The city suffered a slow economic decline due to the wars of the 18th century, when it was taken by the Russians after the Siege of Danzig in 1734. Danzig was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia in 1793, only to be broken off by Napoleon as a pseudo-independent free city from 1807-1814. Returned to Prussia after France's defeat in the Napoleonic Wars, the city became the capital of Regierungsbezirk Danzig within the province of West Prussia from 1815. The city's longest serving Regierungspräsident was Robert von Blumenthal, who held office from 1841, through the revolutions of 1848, until 1863. The city became part of the German Empire in 1871.

Throughout its long history Gdańsk/Danzig faced various periods of rule from different states before 1945 (in brackets the language of the majority of its inhabitants during that time):

  • 997-1308: as part of Poland (Polish)
  • 1308-1454: as part of the territory of the Teutonic Order (German)
  • 1454-1466: Thirteen Years' War (German)
  • 1466-1793: as part of Poland (German)
  • 1793-1805: as part of Prussia (German)
  • 1807-1814: as a free city (German)
  • 1815-1871: as part of Prussia (German)
  • 1871-1918: as part of Imperial Germany (German)
  • 1918-1939: as a free city (German)
  • 1939-1945: as part of Nazi Germany (German)

The inter-war years, and World War II

Monument to the defenders of Polish Gdańsk

When Poland regained its independence after World War I with access to the sea as promised by the Allies on the basis of Woodrow Wilson's "Fourteen Points", the Poles hoped the city's harbour would also become part of Poland. However, since a 1919 census determined that the city's population was 98% German,[28] it was not placed under Polish sovereignty, but, in accordance with the terms of the Versailles Treaty, became the Free City of Danzig, an independent quasi-state under the auspices of the League of Nations with its external affairs largely under Polish control. This led to a large degree of tension between the city and the surrounding Republic of Poland. The Free City had its own constitution, national anthem, parliament (Volkstag), and government (Senat). It issued its own stamps as well as currency.

German Nazi propaganda poster: "Danzig is German".

The German population of the Free City of Danzig favored reincorporation into Germany. In the early 1930s the local Nazi Party capitalized on these pro-German sentiments and in 1933 garnered 50% of vote in the parliament. Thereafter, the Nazis under Gauleiter Albert Forster achieved dominance in the city government, which was still nominally overseen by the League of Nations' High Commissioner. The Nazis demanded the return of Danzig to Germany along with an extraterritorial (meaning under German jurisdiction) highway through the area of the Polish Corridor for land-based access between the parts of Germany which had become physically separated after World War I.[29] The Polish government in principle agreed to this proposal until the Anglo-Polish military alliance in March 1939 effectively canceled the German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact of 1934 and ended Polish willingness to negotiate concessions. German-Polish relations deteriorated rapidly afterwards, even escalating into border skirmishes. The German Nazi Government, knowing that its military strength was inferior to the combined British, French, Polish, and Soviet forces, invaded Poland on September 1 only after having secured Soviet approval in late August, hoping to negotiate a peace solution with Britain and France after the end of hostilities.[30] This invasion of Poland is regarded as the beginning of World War II.

World War II began in Danzig, with a bombardment of Polish positions at Westerplatte by the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein, and the landing of German infantry on the peninsula. Outnumbered Polish defenders at Westerplatte resisted for seven days before running out of ammunition. Meanwhile, after a fierce day-long fight(1 September 1939), defenders of the Polish Post office were murdered and buried on the spot in the Danzig quarter of Zaspa in October 1939. To celebrate the surrender of Westerplatte, the NSDAP organized a night parade on Sep 7th along Adolf-Hitlerstrasse that was inadvertently attacked by a Polish hydroplane taking off from Hel Peninsula. The city was officially annexed by Nazi Germany and incorporated into the Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia.

"Danzig is German". Postage stamp issued by Nazi Germany to celebrate the incorporation of Danzig into Germany after the invasion of Poland.[31]

Most of the Jewish community in Danzig were able to escape from the Nazis shortly before the outbreak of war. Nazi secret police had been observing Polish communities since 1936, compiling information, which in 1939 served to prepare lists of Poles to be captured in Operation Tannenberg. On the first day of the war, approximately 1,500 ethnic Poles were arrested, some because of their participation in social and economic life, others because they were activists and members of various Polish organizations. On September 2, 1939, 150 of them were deported to the Stutthof concentration camp some 30 miles from Danzig, and murdered.[32] Many Poles living in Danzig were deported to Stutthof or executed in the Piaśnica forest.

In 1941, the Nazi Regime ordered the invasion of the Soviet Union, eventually causing the fortunes of war to turn against it. As the Soviet Army advanced in 1944, German populations in Central and Eastern Europe took flight, resulting in the beginning of a great population shift. After the final Soviet offensive began in January, 1945, hundreds of thousands of German refugees, many of whom had fled to Danzig on foot from East Prussia (see evacuation of East Prussia), tried to escape through the city's port in a large-scale evacuation involving hundreds of German cargo and passenger ships. Some of the ships were sunk by the Soviets, including the Wilhelm Gustloff after an evacuation was attempted at neighboring Gdynia. In the process, tens of thousands of refugees were killed.

The city also endured heavy Allied and Soviet bombardment by air. Those who survived and could not escape encountered the Soviet Army, which captured the city on March 30, 1945. The city was heavily damaged.[33] In line with the decisions made by the Allies at the Yalta and Potsdam conferences, the city became part of Poland. The remaining German residents of the city who had survived the war fled or were forcibly expelled to postwar Germany, and the city was repopulated with ethnic Poles, many of whom had been deported by the Soviets in two major waves from Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union, i.e. from the eastern portion of pre-war Poland.

Contemporary times

Example of the Dutch style buildings recreated in the Main Town after the world war - Old Arsenal by Anthony van Obberghen, Jan Strakowski and Abraham van den Blocke, 1602 - 1605.[34]

The historic old city of Gdańsk, which had suffered large-scale destruction at the hands of the Soviet Army, was rebuilt during the 1950s and 1960s. Boosted by heavy investment in the development of its port and three major shipyards for Soviet ambitions in the Baltic region, Gdańsk became the major shipping and industrial centre of the Communist People's Republic of Poland.

As part of German-Polish reconciliation policies driven by West German Chancellor Willy Brandt's Ostpolitik, German territorial claims on Gdańsk were renounced, and the city's full incorporation into Poland was recognized in the Treaty of Warsaw in 1970. This was confirmed by a reunited Germany in 1990 and 1991.

In December 1970, Gdańsk was the scene of anti-regime demonstrations, which led to the downfall of Poland's communist leader Władysław Gomułka. During the demonstrations in Gdansk and Gdynia, military as well as the police opened fire on the demonstrators causing several dozen deaths. Ten years later, on August 31, 1980, Gdańsk Shipyard was the birthplace of the Solidarity trade union movement, whose opposition to the Communist regime led to the end of Communist Party rule in 1989, and sparked a series of protests that successfully overturned the Communist regimes of the former Soviet bloc. Solidarity's leader, Lech Wałęsa became President of Poland in 1990. Gdańsk native Donald Tusk became Prime Minister of Poland in 2007.

Today Gdańsk is a major shipping port and tourist destination and has been the setting for a number of major open air concerts, including Pink Floyd's David Gilmour and Jean Michel Jarre. The Rock band Queen staged a concert in the Shipyard in October 2008.[35]

Wikimania 2010 — the 6th annual Wikimedia Conference — is scheduled to take place in the Polish Baltic Philharmonic in Gdańsk, Poland from July 9–11, 2010.


Gdansk enjoys a temperate climate, with cold, cloudy, moderately severe winters and mild summers with frequent showers and thunderstorms. Average temperatures range from -1.0 to 17.2 °C (
  - Invalid output type
{4}="def", in {{Convert|-1.0|to|17.2|def|...}}. ) and rainfall varies from 31.0 mm/month to 84.0 mm/month. In general it is a maritime climate and therefore damp, variable and harsh.

The seasons are clearly differentiated. Spring starts in March and is initially cold and windy, later becoming pleasantly warm and often very sunny. Summer, which begins in June, is predominantly warm but hot at times (with temperature reaching as high as 30-35C at least once per year) with plenty of sunshine interspersed with heavy rain. The average annual hours of sunshine for Gdansk are 1600, similar to other Northern cities. July and August are the hottest months. Autumn comes in September and is at first warm and usually sunny, turning cold, damp and foggy in November. Winter lasts from December to March and includes periods of snow. January and February are the coldest months with the temperature sometimes dropping as low as −15 °C (5 °F).

Climate data for Gdansk
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 11.2
Average high °C (°F) 1.5
Daily mean °C (°F) -1.0
Average low °C (°F) -3.5
Record low °C (°F) -23.8
Precipitation mm (inches) 33
Sunshine hours 34 51 90 147 219 255 254 233 160 95 48 24 1,610
% Humidity 90 89 87 83 81 76 80 80 82 85 88 89 84
Avg. precipitation days 17 14 16 13 12 15 15 14 13 16 16 17 188
Source: {{{accessdate}}}
Source #2: {{{accessdate2}}}


The industrial sections of the city are dominated by shipbuilding, petrochemical and chemical industries, and food processing. The share of high-tech sectors such as electronics, telecommunications, IT engineering, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals is on the rise. Amber processing is also an important part of the local economy, as the majority of the world's amber deposits lie along the Baltic coast. The Pomeranian Voivodeship, including Gdańsk, is also a major tourist destination in the summer months, as millions of Poles and European Union citizens flock to the beaches of the Baltic coastline.

Major companies in Gdańsk:

  • Grupa Lotos- energy
  • Energa Trading - energy
  • GE Money Bank - finance
  • Gdańska Stocznia Remontowa - shipbuilding
  • Elnord - energy
  • Elektrociepłownie Wybrzeże - energy
  • LPP - retail
  • Polnord Energobudowa - construction company
  • Petrobaltic - energy
  • Delphi - automotive parts
  • Intel - IT
  • IBM - IT
  • Fineos - IT
  • Wirtualna Polska - internet service
  • Arla Foods - food processing
  • Acxiom - IT
  • Kainos - IT
  • Dr. Oetker - food processing
  • Lufthansa Systems - IT
  • Compuware - IT
  • ZenSar Technologies - IT
  • SII - IT
  • Suruga Seiki - IT
  • Thomson Reuters - media
  • ThyssenKrupp Johann A. Krause - steel, engineering, capital goods
  • Maersk Line - services & pick-up
  • First Data - finance
  • Masterlease - finance
  • Transcom WorldWide - business processing outsourcing
  • Jysk - retail
  • Meritum Bank - finance
  • Glencore - raw materials
  • Orlen Morena - energy
  • Fosfory Ciech - chemical company
  • Crist - shipbuilding
  • Dr Cordesmeyer - flour milling
  • Hydrobudowa - construction company
  • Mercor - fire protection systems
  • Cognor - steel, engineering, capital goods
  • Llentabhallen - steel constructions
  • Atlanta Poland - nuts and dried fruit importer
  • Ziaja - cosmetics and beauty company
  • Stabilator - construction company
  • Skanska - construction company
  • Young Digital Planet - IT
  • Flügger - paints manufacturing
  • Satel - security systems, IT
  • HD heavy duty - retail
  • Dresser Wayne - retail fueling systems
  • Maersk Line - services & pick-up
  • First Data - finance
  • Masterlease - finance
  • Transcom WorldWide - business processing outsourcing
  • Weyerhaeuser Cellulose Fibers - cellulose fibers manufacturing (planned)
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment - bookkeeping (planned)
  • Gdańsk Shipyard - shipbuilding
  • Stocznia Północna - shipbuilding

Main sights

Neptune's Fountain in the centre of the Long Market, a masterpiece by a Dutch architect Abraham van den Blocke, 1617.[36][37]
Royal Chapel of the Polish King - John III Sobieski was built in baroque style between 1678-1681 by Tylman Gamerski.[38]

The city has many fine buildings from the time of the Hanseatic League. Most tourist attractions are located along or near Ulica Długa (Long Street) and Długi Targ (Long Market), a pedestrian thoroughfare surrounded by buildings reconstructed in historical (primarily 17th century) style and flanked at both ends by elaborate city gates. This part of the city is sometimes referred to as the Royal Road as the former path of processions for visiting kings.

Walking from end to end, sites encountered on or near the Royal Way include:

  • Upland Gate (Brama Wyżynna)
  • Torture House (Katownia)
  • Prison Tower (Wieża więzienna)
  • Golden Gate (Złota Brama)
  • Long Street (Ulica Długa)
    • Uphagen House (Dom Uphagena)
    • Main Town Hall (Ratusz Głównego Miasta)
  • Long Market (Długi Targ)
    • Artus' Court (Dwór Artusa)
    • Neptune Fountain (Studnia Neptuna)
    • Golden House (Złota kamienica)
  • Green Gate (Zielona Brama)

Gdańsk has a number of historical churches:

  • St. Bridget
  • St. Catherine
  • St. John
  • St Mary (Bazylika Mariacka), a municipal church built during the 15th century, is the largest brick church in the world.
  • St Nicholas' Church
  • Church of the Holy Trinity

The museum ship SS Soldek is anchored on the Motława River and was the first ship built in post-war Poland.

In the 16th century, Gdańsk hosted Shakespearean theatre on foreign tours, and the Danzig Research Society founded in 1743 was one of the first of its kind. Currently, there is a Fundation Theatrum Gedanensis aimed at rebuilding the Shakespeare theatre at its historical site. It is expected that Gdańsk will have a permanent English-language theatre, as at present it is only an annual event.

Famous people


Gdańsk tram - Bombardier NGT6.

Train transportation provides connections with all major Polish cities, and with the neighbouring Kashubian Lakes region. The A1 motorway connects the port and city of Gdańsk with the southern border of the country.

Gdańsk is the starting point of the EuroVelo 9 cycling route which continues southward through Poland, then into the Czech Republic, Austria and Slovenia before ending at the Adriatic Sea in Pula, Croatia.


There are many popular professional sports teams in the Gdańsk and Tricity area. Amateur sports are played by thousands of Gdańsk citizens and also in schools of all levels (elementary, secondary, university). The city's professional football club is Lechia Gdansk. Founded in 1945, they play in the Ekstraklasa, Poland's top division. Their home stadium, Stadion Lechii, will be replaced by the under-construction Baltic Arena one of the four Polish stadia to host the UEFA Euro 2012 competition.

Politics and local government

Contemporary Gdańsk is the capital of the province called Pomeranian Voivodeship and is one of the major centres of economic and administrative life in Poland. Many important agencies of the state and local government levels have their main offices here: the Provincial Administration Office, the Provincial Government, the Ministerial Agency of the State Treasury, the Agency for Consumer and Competition Protection, the National Insurance regional office, the Court of Appeals, and the High Administrative Court.

Regional centre

Gdańsk Voivodeship was extended in 1999 to include most of former Słupsk Voivodeship, the western part of Elbląg Voivodeship and Chojnice County from Bydgoszcz Voivodeship to form the new Pomeranian Voivodeship. The area of the region was thus extended from 7,394 km² to 18,293 km² and the population rose from 1,333,800 (1980) to 2,198,000 (2000). By 1998, Tricity constituted an absolute majority of the population; almost half of the inhabitants of the new region live in the centre.

Education and science

Gdańsk University, Law and Administration Department

There are 14 universities with a total of 60,436 students, including 10,439 graduates as of 2001.

  • Gdańsk University (Uniwersytet Gdański)
  • Gdańsk University of Technology (Politechnika Gdańska)
  • Gdańsk Medical University (Gdański Uniwersytet Medyczny)
  • Academy of Physical Education and Sport of Gdansk (Akademia Wychowania Fizycznego i Sportu im. Jędrzeja Śniadeckiego)
  • Musical Academy (Akademia Muzyczna im. Stanisława Moniuszki)
  • Arts Academy (Akademia Sztuk Pięknych) [4]
  • Instytut Budownictwa Wodnego PAN
  • Ateneum – Szkoła Wyższa
  • Gdańska Wyższa Szkoła Humanistyczna
  • Gdańska Wyższa Szkoła Administracji
  • Wyższa Szkoła Bankowa
  • Wyższa Szkoła Społeczno-Ekonomiczna
  • Wyższa Szkoła Turystyki i Hotelarstwa w Gdańsku
  • Wyższa Szkoła Zarządzania

Scientific and regional organizations

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Gdańsk is twinned with:[40][in chronological order]

Panorama of Gdańsk

See also




  1. ^ a b "Poland - largest cities (per geographical entity)". World Gazetteer. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  2. ^ From the history of Gdańsk city name, as explained at Gdansk Guide
  3. ^ Adrian Room, Placenames of the World, 2nd Ed. [1] Quote: "The city has a Gothic name, from Gutisk-andja, "end of the Goths," as these people's territory extended to here. The city's former German name, Danzig, misleadingly suggests an association with the Danes."
  4. ^ Dennis H. Green, The Visigoths from the Migration Period to the Seventh Century [2] Quote: "...the difficulty with Gdańsk, Gdynia and gudas... in the Polish coastal area centuries before the Goths are known to have occupied this region... casts doubt on the theory of Gothic origin."
  5. ^ a b Carl Tighe, "Gdańsk: national identity in the Polish-German borderlands", Pluto Press, 1990, [3]
  6. ^ Marian Gumowski: Handbuch der polnischen Siegelkunde, 1966
  7. ^ Britannica 11th edition (published in 1911)
  8. ^ Gdańsk, in: Kazimierz Rymut, Nazwy Miast Polski, Ossolineum, Wrocław 1987
  9. ^ Hubert Gurnowicz, Gdańsk, in: Nazwy miast Pomorza Gdańskiego, Ossolineum, Wrocław 1978
  10. ^ Baedeker's Northern Germany, Karl Baedeker Publishing, Leipzig 1904
  11. ^ a b c Hess, Corina (2007). Danziger Wohnkultur in der frühen Neuzeit. Berlin-Hamburg-Münster: LIT Verlag. p. 40. ISBN 3825887111. 
  12. ^ a b Hess, Corina (2007). Danziger Wohnkultur in der frühen Neuzeit. Berlin-Hamburg-Münster: LIT Verlag. p. 39. ISBN 3825887111. 
  13. ^ a b Hess, Corina (2007). Danziger Wohnkultur in der frühen Neuzeit. Berlin-Hamburg-Münster: LIT Verlag. pp. 40–41. ISBN 3825887111. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f Hess, Corina (2007). Danziger Wohnkultur in der frühen Neuzeit. Berlin-Hamburg-Münster: LIT Verlag. p. 41. ISBN 3825887111. 
  15. ^ a b c Hartmut Boockmann, Ostpreussen und Westpreussen, Siedler, 2002, p.158, ISBN 3-88680-212-4
  16. ^ a b James Minahan, One Europe, Many Nations: A Historical Dictionary of European National Groups, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000, ISBN 0313309841, p.376
  17. ^ Thomas Urban: "Rezydencja książąt Pomorskich". (Polish)
  18. ^ Hess, Corina (2007). Danziger Wohnkultur in der frühen Neuzeit. Berlin-Hamburg-Münster: LIT Verlag. pp. 41–42. ISBN 3825887111. 
  19. ^ a b Hess, Corina (2007). Danziger Wohnkultur in der frühen Neuzeit. Berlin-Hamburg-Münster: LIT Verlag. p. 42. ISBN 3825887111. 
  20. ^ From "Poland. Chronology
  21. ^ From Danzig - Gdansk until 1920
  22. ^ (English) The North Sea and culture (1550-1800): proceedings of the international conference held at Leiden 21–22 April 1995. Uitgeverij Verloren. 1996. p. 103. ISBN 90-65505-27-X. 
  23. ^ (Polish) "Zielona Brama w Gdańsku". 2007-02-18.,49422,3928314.html. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  24. ^ a b c Hess, Corina (2007). Danziger Wohnkultur in der frühen Neuzeit. Berlin-Hamburg-Münster: LIT Verlag. p. 45. ISBN 3825887111. 
  25. ^ Hess, Corina (2007). Danziger Wohnkultur in der frühen Neuzeit. Berlin-Hamburg-Münster: LIT Verlag. p. 45. ISBN 3825887111. : "Geben wir und verlehen unnsir Stadt Danczk das sie zcu ewigen geczeiten nymands for eynem herrn halden noc gehorsam zcu weszen seyn sullen in weltlichen sachen."
  26. ^ Bömelburg, Hans-Jürgen, Zwischen polnischer Ständegesellschaft und preußischem Obrigkeitsstaat: vom Königlichen Preußen zu Westpreußen (1756-1806), München: Oldenbourg, 1995, (Schriften des Bundesinstituts für Ostdeutsche Kultur und Geschichte (Oldenburg); 5), zugl.: Mainz, Johannes Gutenberg-Univ., Diss., 1993, 549 pp.
  27. ^ (Polish) "The Main Town Hall". Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  28. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica Year Book, 1938,
  29. ^ See Documents Concerning the German Polish Relations and the Outbreak of Hostilities between Great Britain and Germany on September 3, 1939. See also the Soviet archived, Documents Relating to the Eve of the Second World War Volume II: 1938-1939 (New York: International Publishers), 1948.
  30. ^ See Documents Concerning the German Polish Relations and the Outbreak of Hostilities between Great Britain and Germany on September 3, 1939. Hitler's change of position is well reflected in Goebbel's personal diary. See also the Soviet archived, Documents Relating to the Eve of the Second World War Volume II: 1938-1939 (New York: International Publishers), 1948.
  31. ^ Translation: The postage seal reads: "Danzig greets joyously her leader and liberator, Adolf Hitler."
  32. ^ Museums Stutthof in Sztutowo. Retrieved January 31, 2007.
  33. ^ Gdansk, history. Official website. (English)
  34. ^ (English) Beautiful historic Gdańsk. Excalibur. 1995. p. 769. 
  35. ^ According to
  36. ^ A history of architecture. Baker & Taylor. 1915. p. 293. 
  37. ^ (English) Poland. Nagel. 1964. p. 302. 
  38. ^ ROBiDZ w Gdańsku. "Kaplica Królewska w Gdańsku". Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  39. ^ "The Gdańsk Institute for Market Economics". Archived from the original on 2008-02-09. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  40. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Gdańsk Official Website: 'Miasta partnerskie'" (in Polish & English). © 2009 Urząd Miejski w Gdańsku.,62,733.html. Retrieved 2009-07-11. 
  41. ^ "Barcelona internacional - Ciutats agermanades" (in Spanish). © 2006-2009 Ajuntament de Barcelona.,4022,229724149_257215678_1,00.html. Retrieved 2009-07-13. 
  42. ^ "Saint Petersburg in figures - International and Interregional Ties". Saint Petersburg City Government. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  43. ^ Bytów official web site

External links

Redirecting to Gdańsk

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Gdańsk article)

From Wikitravel

Neptune fountain, Długi Targ (Long Market)
Neptune fountain, Długi Targ (Long Market)
Gdańsk [1], also known as Danzig, its German name, is a city in Poland on the Baltic Sea. It is the capital of Pomerania.

Gdańsk with nearby Sopot and Gdynia are often referred as Tri-city (pl: Trójmiasto). Gdańsk is considered the most beautiful city on Baltic Sea having rich magnificent architecture.


Its position on the Baltic has historically made Gdańsk one of the most important port cities in Northern Europe, and tragically also the scene of a rather disturbing past.

World War II was ignited by a dispute over the control of the city. By the end of the war the city lay almost completely in ruins. The German population was expelled and replaced by Poles as the city came under Polish rule and changed its name to Gdańsk. However, the impact of its former German ties is still evident. Although most of the old buildings were damaged or destroyed in WWII, they have been painstakingly restored or rebuilt.

In modern history, Gdańsk is known as the birthplace of Solidarity, the labor and democracy movement that helped to bring down the Communist government in Poland, and subsequently marked the beginning of the end of The cold war. The movement was led by the charismatic leader, Lech Walesa, who became Poland's first post-Communist president.

Do not be fooled by the fact that Gdańsk is famous for its ship yards, as it is a beautiful city with a charm of its own.

Tourist information

You can find a tourist information centre inside the Gdańsk Glowny railway station. There is also one just opposite the town hall.

  • Tourist Information Centre, 27 Heweliusza Street, +48 58 301 43 55
  • PTTK Gdańsk[2], 45 Długa st., +48 58 301 91 51, +48 58 301 37 52, email:,
Lech Wałęsa Airport
Lech Wałęsa Airport

By plane

Lech Wałęsa Airport[3], 14 kilometers west of Gdańsk, has become a popular destination for low-price flights. Destinations include Bergen, Cologne, Copenhagen, Dortmund, Dublin, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Liverpool, Doncaster, London, Munich, Oslo, Shannon, Turku, Weeze and Stockholm. Domestic flights are also available to Kraków, Warsaw. A connection to Helsinki starts in April 2007, providing great connections to Asia and New York. A new connection with Brussels started in October 2008.

Do not change money at the airport unless you have to, since the rates are terrible.

Avoid the unofficial rip off taxis who will pounce on you as soon as you have cleared security, unless you know how to deal with them.

Transfer buses go to the central station about every half hour. Walk right as you exit the airport to get to the bus stop, from where you take bus 210 (formerly B). The fare is 3 zł - make sure you have some small banknotes or change with you. You need to buy 1 hour ticket for 3,00 zł (4,00 zł when bought on board). These tickets are sold at news stands or shops marked "bilety". The bus trip takes about 35 minutes, but if you get caught in rush hour traffic this may easily double. Remember this when you plan your home trip. The Bus 210 drops off right in front of the main train station, but continues onward from there so be awake. On the way back to the airport, it picks up on the other side of the road, near the front of the Holiday Inn hotel (look for the signs that have the 210 on them).

By train

The main railway station, Gdańsk Glowny, is a beautiful historic building, although a rather confusing experience to non-polish tourists. Information in other languages than polish is almost non-existent.

Beware of pickpockets and people who may try to intimidate you for money around the railway station, especially late at night. There is very little available in the way of food outside of business hours except for a tiny coffee / snack stall at the rear of the station with only one small table outside.

From here you can get to all important Polish cities as well as many other European destinations. Train timetable is available online[4]. Be aware that the trains and offices marked "PKP" operate the long distance routes, for instance Gdańsk-Warsaw. You buy a ticket before you enter the train. It is advisable to write the name of your destination on a piece of paper and then show it to the ticket sales person, as other languages than polish are rarely spoken. Foreigners trying to pronounce the name of polish destinations often cause confusion.

If traveling in the coastal area Gdańsk, Sopot and Gdynia, then look out for the SKM commuter train which connects Gdańsk and Gdynia. It is a 35 minute ride which stops at all the in-between smaller stations that the PKP trains do not. The SKM runs very frequently, about every 15 minutes. As a rule, tickets are valid for travel by one specific type of train, only. At the Gdańsk Glowny (Gdańsk's main railway station) you find the SKM on the right side when entering the station. Tickets may be bought from a vending machine at the platform. Never enter these trains without a valid ticket as ticket controls checking passengers tickets are frequent. Also, don't try to travel on a student ticket unless you have an ISIC student card, even they sell you the ticket. The ticket inspector also asks for your student card, and if you just have a normal student card, they will likely refuse you.

By car

The town is easily accessible by the A1 motorway (A1) linking Gdansk with Torun (completion by Nov. 2008) and further Lodz and Katowice to the south, or the S7 route, connecting Gdansk with Warsaw and Krakow.

By bus

The bus station is found immediately behind the main railway station. It is mainly of interest when you wish to visit regional destinations that lack railway connections, like for instance the concentration camp in Sztutowo.

By boat

From Sweden:

  • Nynäshamn (just south of Stockholm)-Gdańsk, 18 h., approx 70 euros. Operated by Polferries[5].

Get around

Trams and buses are cheap and frequent. Locals are keen to help with directions but always ask several people and see if they agree.

  • Tickets are based on travel time, so you need to estimate the duration of the journey or have a few tickets extra to check when the previous expired. The tickets are stamped in machines on the buses.
  • There is a 24 hour-ticket (9.10 zł) valid on all trams, buses during the day and on night buses.

Use the commuter train (SKM) to quickly go to Sopot and Gdynia.

The huge St. Marys Church
The huge St. Marys Church
  • Old Town, wander around the old streets admiring the architecture
    • Long Street and Long Market
    • The Hall of the Main City
    • Artus Court
    • Neptune Fountain - statue of Neptune - patron of the city.
    • Crane over the Motława River
    • Długie Pobrzerze (Motława River bank) - Impressive colourful rich houses stand along the river bank. They can be nicely observed from the other bank of Motława.
    • Golden Gate
    • Green Gate
    • Golden House
    • St Mary's Street
    • St Mary's Church - one of the largest gothic churches in Europe. There is space for more than 20,000 people in the church.
    • St Nicholas Church
    • St John’s Church
    • St Catherine's Church
    • St Bridget’s Church
    • Sołdek Ship (Museum)
    • Royal Chapel - differs from typical Gdańsk architecture.
    • Grand Mill
  • Oliwa Cathedral, Oliwa Park
    • Highland Gate
    • Hall of the Old City
    • New City Hall
  • Nowy Port Lighthouse
  • Memorial to fallen Shipyard Workers in Solidarity Square
  • Brzezno peer
  • Gdańsk Post Office
  • Uphagen house
  • Maiden in the window
  • Dominician Fair
    • Archaeological Museum
    • Tower Clock Museum
  • Roads to Freedom Exhibition (Drogi do Wolności), ul. Wały Piastowskie 24, +48 (0/58) 308 44 28, (+48 (0/58) 308 43 19, fax: +48 (0/58) 308 42 34), [8].  edit
  • Gdańsk History Museum.  edit
  • Maritime Museum (Centralne Muzeum Morskie), +48 (0/58)301 86 11 (, fax: +48 (0/58)301 84 53), [9].  edit
  • There are sightseeing ferries that leave from the sea-side end of Dlugi Targ in the Old Town, which give you very nice views of the Gdańsk harbour and shipyards, with destinations such as:
    • around Gdańsk port
    • to Westerplatte
    • to Sopot and Gdynia. Bear in mind that many of the boats to Sopot, in particular, end up fully-booked and that you can't buy your ticket at the boat itself. This is a harsh lesson to learn when you have already waited in a huge queue. Tickets for the Sopot ferry must be purchased from an office directly across from the terminal.
    • to Hel
  • Swim in the sea (often cold)
  • Make a canoe-tour through the canals
  • Sail Gdańsk, [10].


Teaching english is the best option. Possible film extras needed late 2008-2009, see [11].


Gdańsk is sometimes called the Amber Capital of the World. The surrounding area is the richest known source of this semi-precious stone, and the product can be found in many of the city's shops. The ones with insects in are much more expensive! Best shopping guide run by Tourist Board:

  • There's a Bar Mleczny (Milk Bar) roughly at the middle of ul. Długa (Long Street). Hearty polish food at affordable prices. The name of the restaurant is Bar Neptun.
  • Soda Cafe, ul. Chmielna 103/104 (across the river after Długi Targ), +48 58 3051256. Tasteful orange interiors and very tasty food. Try the "Walking on the Moon" goose breast for 21 zł. The lower level night club is open from 7PM "until the last guest leaves". Expect plenty of dance music from the early 1990s, but the punters are up for a good bit of jigging and it's definitely a good laugh with the drink prices not expensive at all.
  • Rooster, ul. Długa 4, +48 58 3208093[12]. It's a miracle that the U.S. restaurant chain Hooters hasn't sent an army of lawyers yet. Rooster uses the exact same concept with waitresses in revealing clothes, and even the logo is copied with the double O:s used as bird's eyes. Nevertheless, it's the place to go when you're hungry and it's late - it's open until midnight weekdays and 1AM weekends. Women come here too, although most likely not the most militant feminists. Food is good as long as you stay away from the so-called "spaghetti". Mains around 18 zł.
  • Fish on one of bars on Motława River bank (25 zł/meal)
  • El Paso, 7 Stary Rynek Oliwski St., +48 58 552 06 41. Mexican restaurant. Good food, friendly staff, nice place.
  • Restaurant Goldwasser, on the waterfront just behind Dlugi Targ. [13] Wonderful, hearty Polish fare at good prices. End the meal with a Goldwasser Liqueur. Vodka based, creamy and has very small pieces of gold leaf in the drink.

"Smojski Smak" is good value, nice food, in a nicely decorated venue.

  • Restauracja Gdańska, ul. Św. Ducha 16, +48 58 3057671, [14]. An entertaining place to visit. The rooms are filled with antiques according to the principle less is not more, and the waitors are dressed like in the good old days. You can get a main for 18 zł although most dishes are more expensive than that, up to about 100 zł.
  • Browarnia Gdańska, 9 Szafarnia Street, on the other side of the river next to the old city. A mini brewery making their own really good beers in the basement of a hotel. Nice and cozy place to sit down for a few beers, although not the cheapest one in the city. 10zł for a 0.5l beer, and they also serve food.
  • Dom Harcerza, ul. Za Murami (200 m. east of Długi Targ), [15]. Simple but very clean and tidy rooms. Singles at 50 zł, double at 120 zł. Generous breakfast offered by the café in the back at 9 zł.  edit
  • Baltic Hostel, ul. 3 Maja 23 (5 min. walk north of Gdansk Gl. train station. Entrance on bridge side of building.), 48 58 721 96 57 (), [16]. Simple but clean rooms in a mammoth old building. Dorm rooms at 40 zł, private rooms at 60 zł. Breakfast included. Free internet, coffee, tea..  edit
  • Gdańsk University of Technology, Traugutta 115 (Take a bus 115 or 199 from Gdańsk Wrzeszcz railway station), +48583471597. 50 zł/single room, 70 zł/double.  edit
  • Hotel Willa Litarion, ul. Spichrzowa 18, +48 58 320-25-53, [17]. This small modern hotel is conveniently located in the centre of Gdansk’s old town, just 150 metres from the Długi Targ market and the famous Green Gate. All the major historical buildings, museums, theatres and the marina as well as many pubs, cafes and restaurants are situated within a mere 400 metres from the hotel. Comfortable, carefully arranged rooms with convenient bathrooms have: TV, telephone, free wireless internet access. Prices begin at 255zl per night.  edit
  • Hotel Parnas, ul. Spichrzowa 27, +48 58 320 12 75, [18]. A quiet, small and elegant hotel run by an older gentleman. Rooms are spacious and tastefullt decorated. Located right in the heart of the city. Prices from 300zl per night.  edit
  • Qubus Hotel Gdańsk, ul. Chmielna 47/52, +48 58 752 2 100 (), [19]. Opened in 2009 Qubus Hotel Gdańsk offers richly equipped rooms with a stunning breakfast, free internet access and unique view of the Motława River and the Gdańsk Old Town. Debut Of The Year 2009 according to the Top Hotel Awards.  edit
  • Hotel Wolne Miasto, Św. Ducha 2, +48 58 322-24-42 (, fax: +48 58 322-24-47). The Hotel Wolne Miasto is very pleasant, with helpful staff, very pleasant rooms and a good, central location. 320+ PLN.  edit

Stay safe

If you take the usual precautions against pickpockets, you will feel perfectly safe wandering around in Gdańsk. Gdańsk seems very well organized from a tourist's point of view. There are frequent police patrols and visitors usually get the feeling of Gdańsk being a secure and tourist-friendly city.

Dont walk around in dolne miasto and old orunia area. Thoose areas are very poor and its unsafe for a tourist to walk there even in daytime. Avoid to show that you have a lot of money when you are going to suburbs.

Get out

Gdańsk Bay:

  • sea resort Sopot with the longest European molo
  • sea resort and port Gdynia with the biggest Baltic port
  • sea resort Puck

Vistula Bay:

  • medieval town of Elblag
  • sea resort and medieval town of Frombork with the grave of Nicolaus Copernicus
  • sea resort Kadyny with one of the best European studs

Kashubian Coast:

  • Kashubia Agrotourism [20]

On the Hel Peninsula:

On the Vistula Peninsula:

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also Gdańsk, and Gdaňsk


Proper noun


  1. Alternative spelling of Gdańsk.

Simple English

Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this name.


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