European Quartet One Melody

 
The neighbouring cities of Gdańsk, Gdynia, and Sopot, form an extensive urban agglomeration called the Tricity along the Baltic Sea coast of Northern Poland. Gdynia is a modern city port, Gdańsk is a historical monument to Pomeranian history and Sopot is an elegant seaside resort. Every year the Tricity is visited by thousands of tourists from all over the world. The region abounds in entertainment and attractions with numerous historical monuments and an abundance of recreational facilities.

The local transport system is very efficient and well adapted to the influx of visitors during the summer period. The accommodation offer is rich and includes the finest high-standard hotels. Beautiful, sandy beaches with lifeguard surveillance and a well-developed infrastructure attract people seeking relaxation and entertainment. At night certain parts of the Tricity are transformed into amusement centres. Restaurants, cafés, clubs and discotheques hum with animation and pulse with music, often performed live.
Amber from Gdańsk / © Polish Tourist OrganisationGdańsk / © Fotopolska │Polish Tourist OrganisationElegant houses in Gdańsk / © Polish Tourist Organisation
Old Port in Gdańsk / © Polish Tourist OrganisationSopot / © Polish Tourist OrganisationGdynia / © Polish Tourist Organisation
Gdańsk - Medieval Dock Crane / © Janusz Leśniak │Polish Tourist OrganisationView on Gdańsk from Motlawa river / © A&M Cieszewscy │Polish Tourist OrganisationGdańsk / © Polish Tourist Organisation
Neptune fountain - the symbol of Gdańsk / © Darius Zaród │Polish Tourist Organisation
Gdańsk
Gdańsk is situated on the Bay of Gdańsk on the Baltic Sea and close to the delta of Poland’s longest river, the Vistula. The city is the main part of the urban development that includes Sopot and Gdynia and is known as the Tricity. The earliest records of Gdańsk go back to 10th century and historically, 75 per cent of all Polish exports, chiefly grain, were shipped through the port here to all parts of Europe. Settlers came to Gdańsk from Germany, the Netherlands, England, Scandinavia, Russia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Scotland and Italy. The city’s political system was a form of a free mercantile republic. During World War II, which actually began in Gdańsk with the Nazi assault on the Westerplatte peninsula, the city suffered enormous damage. It was also shelled by the Russian Red Army in 1945, when many buildings were totally destroyed. The majority of the historical buildings in Gdańsk were rebuilt after the war. The very recent history of the Tricity area is important for all Poles. It was here that the strikes of 1970, 1980 and 1988 began, ultimately leading to the demise of communism. Lech Wałęsa led the 1980 strike at the shipyard in Gdańsk, which became the cradle of the Solidarity movement. The trade-union leader went on to become a Nobel Peace Prize winner and Poland’s President. Three large crosses stand at the entrance to Gdańsk Shipyard to commemorate the workers killed in 1970.
 
Start with a stroll through historic Gdańsk along the Royal Way, the several-hundred-metre long main axis of the old city. The Royal Way starts from the Renaissance Wyżynna Gate. Right behind it is the Torture House and the Prison Tower, built in the 14th century and subsequently converted. Nearby is the Great Armoury – Gdańsk’s former arsenal. This building is considered Gdańsk’s best example of Dutch Mannerism. Nearby is the Złota (Golden) Gate, another example of Mannerist architecture. The gate opens onto Długa Street, where the wealthiest Gdańsk residents used to live. Among the many houses with interesting façades is the Uphagen House which has been a museum since 1910. At the far end of Długa Street stands the Main Town Hall with its spire from the turn of the 13th century. The Town Hall interiors in the Dutch Mannerism style are considered to be one of Europe’s most sumptuous decorations. The Town Hall opens up onto Gdańsk’s most characteristic area – the wide Długi Targ (Long Market) Street with its beautiful, perfectly reconstructed houses, including the famous Golden House. The real gem here is Artus Manor from the second half of the 15th century, which housed the assembly of Gdańsk burghers. The magnificent late-Gothic façade conceals spacious interiors, which house a 10m tall Renaissance ceramic-tile stove and ancient ship models. The building’s huge cellars contain a wine bar and restaurant. In front of the Artus Manor is the large 17th century Rococo Neptune fountain, the symbol of the city and a popular meeting place. The wide perspective of Długi Targ Street is closed off by the huge, palace-like Green Gate. Behind the Green Gate on the canal, is the start of the boulevard running to the Old Port. Walking along Długie Pobrzeże, it’s worth turning into the second gate, the Mariacka Gate, to enter the fairytale Mariacka Street, the most beautiful corner of Gdańsk’s Old Town. This little street ends at the monumental St. Mary’s Basilica, a huge building that can hold up to 25,000 people. The city’s ample architectural heritage includes the Old Town Hall erected at the end of 16th century. Another very characteristic Gdańsk landmark is the Medieval Dock Crane.
 
Gdynia
Gdynia is a port city, built between 1920 and 1930. At the time of its construction it was one of the most modern and largest shipyards in Europe. One can have a stroll at the seaside on Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie and can admire the yachts docked there.
 
Sopot and Oliwa
During a short break in Gdańsk, it’s worth visiting Sopot, located just along the coast. Founded in the mid-19th century, it is often called the Monte Carlo of the North. Sopot was from the very beginning a seaside resort and a place for holiday makers. The city offers a wide range of attractions in the summer, which includes numerous restaurants, cafés and night clubs. After a day at the beach, there’s time for a stroll down the promenade and a concert at the beautiful Leśna (Forest) Opera. The pier is Sopot’s unique feature – its half a kilometer-long wooden promenade is the longest wooden pier in Europe and is nearly 150 years old. Right next to the beach is the Grand Hotel, Sopot’s largest and most elegant hotel, built in the 1920’s in the Emperor Wilhelm Baroque style. Several luxury hotels have been built in Sopot in the past few years. Halfway between Gdańsk and Sopot is Oliwa, famous around the world for its priceless organ housed in Oliwa Cathedral.
 
Attractions in the Area
The area surrounding the Tricity is one of the best tourist regions in Poland. To the north, on the other side of the Bay of Gdańsk, is the Hel Peninsula. The peninsula features fishing villages and beautiful beaches, including Chałupy, Jastarnia and Jurata. Between the Tricity and the Hel Peninsula is the picturesque town and fishing port of Puck. World-class sailing and windsurfing events are held here because of the excellent sailing conditions in the Bay of Puck. In the nearby town of Rzucewo, is a hotel located in a beautiful neo-Gothic palace, surrounded by a lovely park. The area near Tricity includes Kashubia and Żuławy. Kashubia, is a densely forested region dotted with lakes and rivers, with exceptional natural features and folk culture. Bytów boasts a Teutonic Knights’ castle. Local cuisine, games and music as well as arts and crafts attract many visitors. Żuławy, stretching southeast from Gdańsk, is a depression in the delta of the Vistula River, and lies below sea level, and was originally developed by Dutch settlers. Arcaded houses, windmills and little village churches as well land reclaimed from the sea are characteristic of Żuławy. In the nearby town of Malbork stands the Teutonic castle complex which has been recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. It is the largest brick castle in the world. From the 14th century, for almost 150 years, the castle was the seat of the Grand Master of the powerful monastic order of Teutonic Knights. Today it is a very interesting museum. Son et lumiere performances and medieval jousting tournaments are held here all summer long. Enthusiasts of older technology and engineering will enjoy travelling along the 19th century Elbląg Canal with its unique lock system requiring ships to be moved over land between waterways.
 
Souvenirs
The perfect souvenir from a trip to Gdańsk or a vacation on the Baltic Sea is amber – a resin fossilised millions of years ago. It can be found along the waterline, washed up by the sea onto the sandy Polish beaches. In local shops you will find necklaces made of this natural raw material, which is also believed to possess therapeutic properties – the ‘Polish gold’.
 

Poland

Tricity (Trójmiasto): Location

Poland GPS latitude/longitude: 54.43970 , 18.55316

 

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