With its beautiful architecture, Gdansk is considered one of the most beautiful cities along the Baltic Sea. While accessible by air, water, and land, travelers with a Eurail pass can choose to travel the more scenic route. With a population of nearly a million, this main seaport of Poland is located at the mouth of the Motlawa River, which is an offshoot of the Vistula River. European historians regard Gdansk as the birthplace of the end of communist rule within the countries of Central Europe.
History of Gdansk
The first settlers lived in the Gdansk region during the late Stone Age. During the Bronze Age, there are indications that people of Lausitz culture lived in the area. A different culture was formed within the area during the Roman period. Gdansk was officially founded in 997 when Mieszko I was determined to compete with the ports of Stetin and Jumne. By this time, Ottonian emperors gave Mieszko I a ducal title. In 1000 BC it fell under the Pomeranian territory assigned to the bishop of Kolberg. After that, several events happened that made Gdansk one of the many states, such as the territory of the Teutonic Order, the Polish kingdom, Prussia, Germany and back to the Republic of Poland in 1989, which it is today.
Things to do in Gdansk
What interesting things can be done in Gdansk? For museum enthusiasts, there are sites such as the National Art Museum and the Gdansk History Museum, which showcases the history of Gdansk as depicted by many Flemish artists. The Museum Morskie is actually four nautical museums with ferry trips. For those who love contemporary history, the European Solidarity Center is just half a mile away from the city center. For those who want an architectural experience, there is the Great Cane and King Arthur’s Court. King Arthur’s Court, or Dwor Artusa, is a huge meeting place; famous encounters took place at this location for hundreds of years. The Westerplatte is a historic site during the Second World War, as it fired the first shot of the cold-blooded war. The Green Gate, just 800 meters from the city center, is another Gdansk attraction. There is also the Neptune Fountain, the Vistula River Fortress and the Three Crosses Monument, which usually talk about Gdansk’s past. For those who must see religious sites, St. Mary’s Church is just 800 meters away. And for those who have children, almost six miles from the city center, the Oliwa Zoo is a great place to visit and walk around.