"Mysterious Vistulamouth Fortress" Top 5 Page for this destination Gdansk Off The Beaten Path Tip by matcrazy1
Gdansk Off The Beaten Path: 118 reviews and 390 photos
Driving a bumpy road and passing by neglected, ugly, empty and run down parts of Gdansk port, I thought that this place must be forgotten by God. I love that stuff. And, indeed, the prize was on my left, a bridge over a canal or a moat, surrounding the fortress, which lead to an entrance gate.
I got a bit dissapointed as soon as I had read the information given on the tables in front of the bridge that the fortress is currently under renovation and closed for visitors. There is a simple warning in Polish, English and German: NO ENTRY. I had to get closer to the gate and I passed by the warning table to write the inscription 1603 on the wall, above the locked, heavy doors. There is a pretty view over the fortress walls, the canals and the tower, with the Poland's national flag, which dominates the skyline.
I have visited a few more impressive fortresses crowded by visitors in the South of the USA (in St. Augustine, Florida for example) but this one, although the smallest one, looks the most authentic and the most mysterious. This impression will probably disappear when the property is open for visitors.
THE EARLY BEGINNING
The Vistula river, the longest river in Poland, was the main transportation way in the medieval country. Whoever took control over its mouth to the Baltic Sea, was able to control the country's commerce and economy. The port of Gdansk (under control of the Teutonic Knights in 1308?1454) was located a few kilometers down the river. This key strategic location made the place perfect for putting up fortifications.
The first mention on the wooden fortress comes from the middle of 14th century. However, like almost every wooden structure, the fortress had to be damaged by a fire, by a dreadful mistake of its users or, more often, burned by troops of an enemy. The Hussites (an early Protestant Christian movement, followers of Jan Hus) burned the fortress to the ground in 1433, at the end of the Hussite Wars. The rebuilt fortress was badly damaged by heavy storm in 1465.
Phone: +48 (58) 343 14 05
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