Gdansk, Poland – See Old World Architecture
Gdańsk lies on the Baltic Sea coast and together with the surrounding coastal towns of Sopot and Gdynia makes the urban part of Trójmiasto with almost 1 million inhabitants. From the 13th to the 17th Century, Gdansk was a member of the Hanseatic League, the alliance of cities that held a commercial monopoly on the North and Baltic Seas from London to Novgorod.
Gdansk is located at the former border between German and Western Slavs, so today it has a strong German influence. The architecture in this beautiful city will certainly remind you of Copenhagen or Amsterdam instead of the “Soviet-era” expectations. So here are the places you should check out:
The Old Town is the most beautiful part of Gdańsk, and resembles the Netherlands with old trading houses. During the Second World War, it was heavily bombarded, but post-war conservators have done a wonderful job to return to the original appearance of old Gdansk.
Długa Street is the most famous street of the Old Town on the way from the Golden Gate (Złota Brama) to the Town Hall where Długi Targ is located. In this street, you can find the most beautiful buildings in the city, and there is the largest concentration of shops, pubs, and restaurants.
Złota Brama (Golden Gate) is among the biggest attractions of Gdańsk. It was built at the beginning of the 17th Century at the site of the former Gothic gate from the 13th Century and is a key part of the fortifications.
Bazylika Mariacka (Basilica of Saint Mary) is the largest church in the world built of brick. The colossal basilica is over 100 meters long, and it can seat up to 25,000 people. The foundations of this church were set in the middle of the 14th Century. The construction was completed in the following 100 years. Until the Second World War, the church was in excellent condition, but it was ruined in 1945 after the Red Army entered the city. On that occasion, the wooden roof was burnt and the entire ceiling collapsed. However, most of the art objects in the church survived.