Gdansk Things to Do Tips by Carletto76
Gdansk Things to Do: 525 reviews and 1,457 photos
This is the main pedestrian street in town, closed by 2 huge stone gateways at the 2 ends, the Green Gate at the western side and the Golden Gate (Brama Złota) at the eastern end.
Every house here is worth a deep looking at, they are all beautiful and perfectly restored.
Close to the western end the street gets wider becoming the big square Długi Targ, where the town hall of the 14th century (rebuilt after WWII) is really impressive
Address: Ulica Długa and Długi Targ
Directions: Go west from the waterfront through the Upland Gate (Brama Wyżynna).
This is where WWII began, September 1, 1939, when the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein fired the first shot. Then the Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland began.
There are still some surviving buildings of the old fortress and a museum about that period, but the most famous (and horrible!) landmark of Westerplatte is the Monument built in the typical socialist-realist style during the 60s.
Directions: Take the boat from the Waterfront
These are the ex-Lenin Shipyards, now Lenin's name has been dropped of course. Here is where Solidarność was really born and this was the crucible of the political struggles of the 80s.
There are now some memorial monuments to the shipyard workers killed during riots of the 70s and 80s.
The shipyards are totally unprofitable and still now there are big problems between workers and the new democratic Goverments.
Directions: Take the boat to Westerplatte or Sopot and you will pass through the Shipyards.
Old Town Hall
It was built by the same architect who built the main City Hall, but this is a much smaller, delicate, renaissance building in the typical red brick style.
It houses now the Upper Baltic Cultural Centre where many exibitions are held during the year, as well as cafés and a restaurant in the cellar.
Address: Korzenna 33/35
Directions: Just in front of the Great Mill
Nearby the Wielki Mlyn there is St.Bridget's church, which is not so interesting about architecture, but about what that church meant for Polish politics and freedom! It was the local church of Lech Wałęsa, the leader of Solidarność movement, born here in Gdańsk during the 80s.
Now the political importance of this church is much less than in the past, but it's still an important monument to Polish freedom.
Directions: Nearby the Wielki Mlyn and St.Catherine's Church (Katarzynka)
Here is the Great Mill (Wielki Mlyn).
It was originally built in the mid 14th century by Teutonic Knights and used to mill corn for more than 600 years! It is the biggest one in medieval Europe, and it was working till the 30s.
It has been converted recently into an upmarket shopping centre.
Address: Rajska, Stare Miasto
Directions: Set between St.Catherine's Church and the Old Town Hall, you cannot miss it, it's huge! ;-)
Crossing the Raduna canal you get into the Old Town, much less reconstructed zone, which has both old and modern buildings. Surely less fascinating than the Main Town, it is surely more "real".
You can find there the Great Mill (Wielki Mlyn), which is the biggest medieval mill in Europe, and was originally built in the mid 14th century. Now it holds a commercial centre inside.
Other important buildings in this part of the town are the Old Town Hall as well as St.Bridget's Church, the stronghold of Solidarność movement during communist era.
Directions: From the Main Town, cross the Raduna canal and you get into the Old Town.
Ul. Mariacka is one of my favourite cobblestoned streets in Gdańsk; Like the neighbour ul. Chlebnicka, it has been meticulousy reconstructed after the war, and the result is really atmospheric! Along the streets are expensive clothes and amber shops, as well as bars and art galleries. I liked them expecially at night, with few people around and not much lightened, but during the day they transform in overcrowded stretts.
Address: Ul. Mariacka and ul. Chlebnicka
Directions: Just go down St.Mary's Church to the waterfront
It's the main landmark of Gdańsk, originally built in the fifteenth-century, and still largerly original, it's the biggest in Europe.
You can visit the crane as well as the nearby Maritime Museum, and it's surely worth the expense... and this time you don't have to climb up so many steps like on St.Mary's church! ;-)
Address: Rybackie Pobrzeže
Directions: I'm sure you find it! ;-)
Kościół Mariacka at the end of the stree
It is probably the biggest brick church in the World. Much of the interior has been rebuilt after WWII, like the high altar, originally from the 16th century.
Also the astronomical clock has been rebuilt, but it's still very interesting since not only tells day, month and year, but also the whole Saints' calendar and the phases of the moon.
If you don't smoke and are brave enough, you can climb up the 402 steps which will lead you to the tower, from where there is a great view of all the town. I did it after drinking a beer and survived! ;-)
Directions: Just close to the main pedestrian street Ul. Długa, going south.
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