"Impressive park (15th c.)" Top 5 Page for this destination Gdansk Off The Beaten Path Tip by matcrazy1
Gdansk Off The Beaten Path: 118 reviews and 390 photos
I visited Oliwa (Oliva), district of Gdansk, twice: when I was a kid (being on a bus tour set up by my father) and in August 2005. A highlight of the district is an old cathedral with a famous pipe organ I surely revisited in 2005. The cathedral is located on the edge of the beautiful Park of Oliwa (Park Oliwski).
Driving main street of Oliwa towards ZOO I turned left as soon as I had passed by the gate to the park (on right) and I was lucky to park my car on a very compact and crowded parking lot. It was sunny early afternoon on Sunday. Thus there were very many visitors. The park belongs to the ciry of Gdansk and there is no entrance fee. The well maintained green space is great place to walk around and to sit and relax. There are lakes, streams, waterfalls and impressive, partly unique trees and flowers. It's a place to buy some gifts and to visit a few interesting exhibitions, too. However, from a foreign visitor point of view, there is no information given in any language but Polish and... Latin (names of rare plants).
The park was founded by the Cistercians, who were dedicated gardeners, in the 15th century. It was reconstructed in Baroque style, influenced by Italian and French parks of the 16th and the 17th century which, I personally find a bit boring. In 1772, after the first division of Poland, Oliwa was incorporated to Prussian state. The northern and eastern parts of the park were re-designed in late Baroque style with fashionable that time Chinese and English elements. Hills, waterfalls, Chinese pavilons, numerous statues and monuments, a few chapels had been added. Despite large damage during WWII this dual character of the park is still easily to find.
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