Gdańsk (/ɡəˈdænsk/ or /ɡəˈdɑːnsk/; Polish: [ˈɡdaɲsk]; Kashubian: Gduńsk; German: Danzig, pronounced [ˈdantsɪç]) is a Polish city on the Baltic coast, the capital of the Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland's principal seaport and the center of the country's fourth-largest metropolitan area.

The city lies on the southern edge of Gdańsk Bay (of the Baltic Sea), in a conurbation with the city of Gdynia, spa town of Sopot, and suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the Tricity (Trójmiasto), with a population near 740,000. Gdańsk itself has a population of 455,830 (June 2010), making it the largest city in the Pomerania region of Northern Poland.

Gdańsk is the historical capital of Gdańsk Pomerania and the largest city of Kashubia. The city was close to the former late medieval boundary between West Slavic and Germanic seized lands and it has a complex political history with periods of Polish rule, periods of German rule, and extensive self-rule, with two spells as a free city. It has been part of modern Poland since 1945.

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 center 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 Lech Wałęsa, played a major role in bringing an end to Communist rule across Central Europe.

 

Gdańsk Główny (Polish for Gdańsk main station) is the principal passenger railway station in Gdańsk, Poland. Close to the centre of the city, it is easily accessible thanks to the large number of transportation links nearby (trams and buses).

The station building hails from the end of the 19th century.

Prior to World War II, Gdańsk Główny was named Danzig Hauptbahnhof (German for "Danzig Main station"; some sources translate Hauptbahnhof as central station). At the end of the World War II, Soviet forces razed the station building almost completely (as with the rest of the city), and the entire structure was rebuilt after the war. The station shares its design with Colmar station in Alsace, France. Thus the buildings are 'twins' of one another.

 

Golden Gate (Polish: Złota Brama, German: Langgasser Tor) in Gdańsk (Danzig), Poland, is one of the most notable tourist attractions of the city.

It was raised in 1612–14 in place of the 13th century gothic gate (Brama Długouliczna). It is located at one end of Long Lane (Długa street, German: Langgasse), where, together with Brama Wyżynna and Wieża Więzienna, it forms a part of the old city fortifications.

It was designed by architect Abraham van den Blocke and was constructed by Jan Strakowski. The architectural style of the gate is Dutch manierism. Next to it is the late-gothic building of the Brotherhood of St.George.

Both sides of the gate have attiques, with figures symbolising citizen's qualities. They were designed in 1648 by Jeremias Falck ("Polonus"), and reconstructed in 1878 due to the originals being damaged by time and climate.

From the West side they represent: Pax (Peace), Libertas (Freedom), Fortuna (Wealth) and Fama (Fame). From the East side (Long Lane) they are Concordia (Agreement), Iustitia (Justice), Pietas (Piety) and Prudentia (Prudency). The Latin inscription on the gates reads: Concordia res publicæ parvæ crescunt - discordia magnæ concidunt, which means "In agreement small republics grow, because of disagreement great [republics] fall".

Destroyed in World War II, it was rebuilt in 1957. The original German inscription has recently been restored: Es müsse wohl gehen denen, die dich lieben. Es müsse Friede sein inwendig in deinen Mauern und Glück in deinen Palästen (Psalm 122)

 

The Holy Trinity Church in Gdańsk, Poland.

It is a part of the former monastic complex of the Lesser Brothers, which is composed of St. Anna’s Chapel, the half-timbered house and the monastery buildings with the garth adjoining the church from the south side.

It was built by the Gdańsk Franciscans. The Holy Trinity Church and its adjoining monastery comprised one of the centres, which hosted monks from various parts of the world, who also brought, besides the idea initiated by Giovanni Bernardone, i.e. St. Francis of Assisi, elements of the cultures in which they were raised.

The 16th Century arrival of the Franciscan group of monks from Wittenberg – the centre of Martin Luther’s religious “revolution” – at the monastery can be seen as the cause of the fact that it was the Franciscans who were the precursors of the reform in Gdańsk. This action was concluded with the gathering’s liquidation and the transfer of the church and monastery to the City in the year 1555 by its final guardian. This was the beginning of the various operations of the different institutions within the walls of the post-Franciscan complex.

The most important historical aspect of the monastic complex on the Suburb was its role as home to the Academic Gymnasium. This school, which fell just short of becoming a regular university, provided education to the Gdańsk intellectual and political elite for centuries, up to the year 1817.

 

The Long Lane (Polish: Ulica Długa, German: Langgasse) in Gdańsk, Poland, is one of the most notable tourist attractions of the city. It leads from Golden Gate (Złota Brama, Langgasser Tor) to Long Market (Długi Targ, Langer Markt) and Green Gate (Brama Zielona, Koggentor).

 

View on the Long Lane and the Main Town Hall from the Golden Gate.

 

Main Town Hall in Gdansk - Old Town Hall in the Main Town of Gdań„sk. It is a Gothic-Renaissance building, located at the junction of Long Lane and Long Market, which dominates the panorama of the King's Road, the most representative route of this part of town. Currently the Central City Historical Museum of Gdansk is located in this building.

 

Fountain of Neptune - a historic fountain in Gdań„sk, which was initiated by the mayor Bartholomew Schachmann and city council. It stands in the most prestigious part of Gdańsk - the Long Market, in front of the Artus Court.

 

Saint Catherine's Church is the oldest church in Gdań„sk, Poland. It was a Protestant church from 1545 until 1945, after which it became a Roman Catholic church.

 

St. Mary's Church (Polish: Bazylika Mariacka, German: St. Marienkirche) or, properly, Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Polish: Bazylika Mariacka Wniebowzięcia Najświętszej Maryi Panny w Gdańsku) is a Roman Catholic church in Gdańsk (Danzig), Poland, which is the largest brick church in the world. It was begun in 1379. (The tallest brick church is St. Martin's Church, Landshut, Germany).

St. Mary's is one of the largest European Brick Gothic buildings, which include castles. Between 1536 and 1572 St. Mary's Church was used for Roman Catholic and Lutheran services alike. Since then until 1945 it was the biggest Lutheran church in the world. It is 105.5 metres (346 ft) long, and the nave is 66 metres (217 ft) wide. Inside the church is room for 25,000 people. It is an aisled hall church with a transept. It is a co-cathedral in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Gdańsk, along with the Oliwa Cathedral.


source: en.wikipedia.org

- See the photographs of Gdańsk in the gallery -