Thursday, 9 June 2016

A visit to Gdansk

With the upcoming summer months, we all think of new travels and new adventures. Seaside resorts are already full of people (I can't believe that in less than a month they will be so much more crowded), people spend every possible moment outside, in the sun. We all can't wait for the weekends to spend them somewhere possibly outside the big cities, even if that's only a few hours' getaway.

But big cities can be worth a visit, too.

And today I'll try to convince you to visit one of the Baltic pearls. Over a thousand years old Gdansk.

I have already written a post or two or three, showing you the beauty of the city. Its narrow streets, maritime museum, the famous crane, the colourful old town.

What else is there to do in Gdansk?

If you are a fan of museums, you can surely visit the European Solidarity Centre. Gdansk is the city where the Solidarity Movement was born. Gdansk is the city where Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Lech Walesa, was working in the shipyard and was fighting for freedom. If you want to learn about that revolution, European Solidarity Centre is the place to visit. Do not get discouraged by the outter looks of the building. It is "on purpose", which I don't get, but someone had an idea, a vision... The insides are much better than that.

If you like visiting churches, there's plenty to choose from in and around Gdansk Old Town, but not only.

The Cathedral in Gdansk Oliwa is famous for its great organ. It's really worth it to sit and listen to a concert there. There's plenty to choose from, especially during summertime.

Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (or St. Mary's Church) is one of the most famous churches in Gdansk. Home to Memling's Last Judgement (now in National Museum of Gdansk), it's famous also for the following decorations:
  • High Altar, 1511-1517, Michael of Augsburg,
  • Ten Commandments, approx. 1485,
  • Gravestone of Simon and Judith Bahr, 1614-1620, Abraham van den Blocke,
  • Pieta, approx. 1420,
  • Holy Mother of God sculpture, approx. 1420,
  • Gdansk astronomical clock, 1464-1470, Hans Dueringer of Torun, reconstructed after 1945,
  • organ set, partially transferred from St. John's Church,
and many more. Besides, you can always climb the church's tower for the panoramic view of Gdansk. If the weather is good, you'll be able to see the Amber Arena (a football stadium, currently known as Energa Arena) and the sea. But it is almost 500 steps to climb, so it's not for faint hearted. Mind you, there's no lift ;)


St. Bridget's Church was the church of the Solidarity Movement. It is famous for an attempt to build an altar made purely of amber. Go and check the progress of works.

And many more to add to the list.

If you are looking for social/commercial events, do not miss St. Dominic's Fair. It's one of the oldest fair's in Poland, taking place each year at the beginning of August. This year it will start July 30th and end August 21st. With stands and booths in all the narrow streets of the Old Town, it attract those looking for unique, hand-made things as well as those searching for antiques. Unfortunately, there's a lot of cheap "made in China" junk as well. But you can find some gems, eat local food and have a lot of great time. There are concerts, plays and other cultural events during the fair as well. I love the event. There were years when I simply couldn't miss spending at least one day at the event. Last time we went to St. Dominic's was four years ago and we're going to miss this year's edition also (we'll be on our Eurotrip, so actually no regrets).

Gdańsk is often uderrated. Skipped by those visiting other Polish cities, mainly Cracow and Warsaw. Not to mention those visiting other European cities. And Gdansk has so much to offer - history, museums, churches, but also social and cultural events, beautiful architecture and its right on the coast. So sunny beach days - feel free to spend the days on beautiful white sandy beaches. Water might be a bit cold, but it's like that in the whole northern coast of Europe, right?

If you ever plan to visit Poland, don't skip Gdansk. I mean, Cracow is beautiful and all, but Gdansk also has a lot to offer. If not more. Get on the train (ok, the train ride takes "a few" hours) or hop on the plane and come see Gdansk! And Gdansk is a prt of Tricity, so Gdynia and Sopot come as a bonus, too :)


Any other big cities with history that are also seside resorts perfect for summer days 
you could recommend?
Any festivals, fairs?

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7 comments:

  1. WOW!! This looks GORGEOUS!!! It reminders me of all the best parts (architecturally speaking) of Copenhagen and Prague!

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    1. I have been to neither of the two you mentioned ;) But it's true that Gdansk can be easily compared to the most beautiful cities of Europe (and can stand the competition).

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  2. Beautiful! As I looked through these photos the overwhelming feeling was of colour, such a beautiful variety of them! I especially love the art on the windows. Thanks so much for linking up!

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    1. Gdańsk is very colourful. Especially during summertime and St. Dominic's Fair in particular. But it's worth a visit throughout the year (if you have no problems with windy/rainy/snowy weather in the winter ;))

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  3. Gdansk really looks so gorgeous - I mean look at all those red roofs!

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    1. Right? And the narrow, colourful buildings, all in pretty good shape. Renovated, taken care of and all. There are many good plane connections between Gdańsk and Norway, by the way ;) And Poland is much cheaper than Norway, too ;)

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  4. Poland has been climbing higher and higher on my list of European countries to see for numerous reasons. Your posts are definitely encouraging the wanderlust! :)

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