"Freedom, Solidarity and German heritage" Top 5 Page for this destination Gdansk by matcrazy1
Gdansk Travel Guide: 1,200 reviews and 3,617 photos
I visited Gdansk during celebrations of the 25th anniversary of Solidarity Movement in August 2005. The city really impressed me for many reasons.
Except, common in many old European cities, amazing architecture, great food, friendly natives etc., I've found Gdansk unique and very special city for at least two reasons:
1. It is a great place to study and think over both history of 20th century and the future, the place where the World War II broke out in 1939 and where Solidarity Movement was born in 1980, the movement which has begun the long and hard march to freedom for over 1/3 of Europe (until now), from former Eastern Germany to Ukraine and from Estonia to Georgia.
2. Being once German once Polish city in the past it's fascinating place to study German cultural heritage and both hard and easy (since 1990) relationship between the two nations and states.
I personally know people who were sentenced by communist authorities for 5 years in a prison for flying this flag in 1982. They were released from schools and universities and they couldn't get any job (their parents sometimes, too) but, despite many persecutions, they never lost hope for better future that time. So, when I saw hundreds of Solidarity flags all over Gdansk in August 2005 it was for me small but great symbol of victory over totalitarian Soviet communism, victory which had many fathers here and there, many victims as well, but at least not many mortal ones in Poland.
I visited many historical expositions in Gdansk. And despite my false historical education in communist schools (but right at home :-), I realised again, that the World War II which began in Gdansk on 1st September 1939 (in a district called Westerplatte) ended with victory exclusively for the USA and 1/3 of Europe (Western Europe). For Poland and many others countries of Central-Eastern Europe (1/3 of Europe) it ended with total defeat that was Soviet occupation. 1/3 of Europe still waits for its own Solidarity. That's why mamy Poles do not celebrate Victory Day (8 May - end of WWII in Europe in 1945) but 31st August (1980 - signing an agreement between Lech Walesa and communist "Polish" government in Gdansk shipyard which lead to creating Solidarity Movement - International Day of Freedom probably soon).
Gdansk was heavily destroyed at the end of WWII and it was robbed and burnt out by Soviet troops in 1945. Most of the old town, you can amaze now, was pretty rebuilt and reconstructed after WWII.
Gdansk was German city before WWII and Polish one in the old past. I knew that Gunter Grass (German winner of Nobel Prize in literature) was born and lived in Gdansk. But I didn't know that Fahrenheit (German physycist) was born and lived in Gdansk, too. His scale of temperature is used in the USA and... Jamaica now and 0F was the lowest temperature he once measured in Gdansk.
It is fascinating for me to think over various and still often a bit different (less and less though) opinions of Poles and Germans about the city past. Never mind, Gdansk is the city of future especially since 1989 (the end of communism in Poland). Gdansk is fast developing and changing now but it preserved a lot of respect to the past, both Polish and German.
I got to know that Gdansk was the world's richiest city in the old past: the city gave over 5/6 of total income for the most powerful (add here France) country of Europe = world that time: Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania.
- Pros:Roads to Freedom exposition in Gdansk shipyard, German and Polish heritage, architecture, food
- Cons:Crowded old town in summer
- In a nutshell:Where freedom for half of Europe was born
I would recommend this hotels for folks who: - tend to stay and show off in the most expensive hotels wherever they... more travel advice
I would recommend this hotel for someone who wants to stay in a good 4-star hotel in the heart of the old town,... more travel advice
- See All To Westerplatte by car
- See All Where do they live?
- See All Private house of Walesa
- See All Few and little shells
- See All Bathing in the Baltic Sea
- See All Fresh, fried fish :-)
- See All Tourist info, amber, silver, gifts
- See All Not prepared for foreign visitors
- See All Not seen for years
- See All The best concert hall in Europe!
- See All The Motlawa river at sunset
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matcrazy1's Related Pages
Gdansk Travel Guide
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- "Freedom, Solidarity and German heritage"
- "Gdansk - the great city."
- "Gdansk - Capital of the Tri-city"
- "Gdansk - German spirit port of Poland"
- "I LOVED GDANSK!"
- "My favorite city in the world!"
- "Gdansk - A Phoenix Risen From the Ashes"
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