Interesting Facts About Gdansk
Gdansk, Poland is a charming and historic city located in the north of Poland along the Baltic Sea. This city has an interesting history, a beautiful old town, and is a great place for travelers to explore. Continue reading to learn more about this famous city in Poland!
1. Gdansk was once part of Germany
Gdansk was once part of Germany (then called Danzig). Between 1920 and the start of WWII Gdansk was an independent state. After WWII it became part of Poland.
Read more about visiting Gdansk in the summer.
2. Gdansk is home to the largest brick church in Europe
The St. Mary’s Cathedral in Gdansk is the largest brick church in Europe. It can hold over 25,000 people.
3. Gdansk is the home of the beverage Goldwasser
The iconic beverage of the city is Goldwasser (or as you may know it in English Goldschlager). It has been produced since the 1500s and has small flakes of 23 karat gold floating in the bottle. It is believed to bring good luck to those who drink it.
4. Gdansk is known for the Neptune Fountain
The Neptune Fountain is one of the most recognizable symbols of Gdansk located in the heart of the Old Town. There is a famous story about the statue claiming that the people of Gdansk had so much money that they would throw golden coins into the fountain thinking it would bring them luck. After some time, Neptune became very angry that his fountain was so cluttered that he broke all of the coins and turned the water in the fountain to vodka. This is one story of how the liquor Goldwasser was created.
5. Gdansk is the amber capital of the Baltic Sea
Gdansk is known as the amber capital of the Baltic Sea region as the majority of amber stones wash up along the beaches.
Read more about planning a trip to Gdansk.
6. Gdansk was the starting place of World War II
WWII started in Gdansk. In 1939 the first shots of Nazi Germany were fired over the city marking the start of their invasion of Poland. The valiant Polish forces were able to hold off the Nazis for more than a week.
Read about visiting the Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk.
7. Gdansk has a historical beer bell
Gdansk still has its historical Beer Bell that was once used to announce the opening of pubs.
8. Gdansk has the longest building in Poland
Gdansk has the longest building in all of Poland called Falowiec (from the Polish word for wave “fala”) because its shape and placement of balconies resembles that of a wave. This structure has four, ten story compounds containing 1,792 apartments.
Read more fun facts about Poland!
9. Gdansk is where the fall of Communism in Poland began
The fall of Communism in Poland began in Gdansk. In 1980, in the industrial shipyards of the city, the Solidarity Movement first gained traction.
10. Gdansk is part of the Tri-City
Gdansk is part of the Tri-City, which includes the cooperation of the three towns of Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot.
11. Gdansk is known for its Long Market
Unlike other major cities in Poland that are known for having the quintessential Market Square (rynek) Gdansk has a Long Market (długi targ). This long market is a long wide open pedestrian street that is lined with shops, restaurants, and more. The market was originally established in the 13th century as a merchant road leading to a market area. The market was almost entirely destroyed during WWII, but has since been rebuilt to its original grandeur.
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