We heard so many good things about Poland that we said it's time to have a look and see what it has to offer. We chose Gdansk over Krakow after a long debate as we would be there on 1st of May and in Romania this is the seaside opening season which we miss a bit, so we said why not enjoy the seaside in Poland (Sopot).
Coming over from Warsaw we woke up super early to get the 6AM train to Gdansk. After 4h we reached Gdansk on a sunny morning.
And although there was still a lot of time left till the check-in we went to the hotel to leave our things. We stayed at Sweet Suite which is a bit over priced for my standards and considering the country, but they do have comfortable beds which is important ;)
Four Quarters Fountain
"Long ago you would have found old Gdansk carved into four quarters, Szeroki, Wysoki, Rybacki and Kogi (Wide, High, Fish and Ship quarter) and today the geographic point where these historic areas met has been handily highlighted by a dazzling installation that makes use of lions, light and water." (Source)
I really loved the building that's right in front of it. For sure one of my favorites in the city.
After we dropped our luggage it was time for beer. So we took a sit at one of the terraces with a view over the river and did a bit of people watching ;)
Dlugi Targ: from the Green (Brama Zielona) to the Golden Gate (Zlota Brama)
Unlike other cities, Gdansk does not have a real central market, instead of this there is a street where you get the sort feeling as in a market only that it's longer. What to do and see here, I listed some of the things we've done ;)
Green Gate: Brama Zielona
"The Green Gate was clearly inspired by the Antwerp City Hall, Belgium. It was built 1568-71 as the formal residence of Poland's monarchs. It is a masterpiece by Regnier (or Reiner van Amsterdam), an Amsterdam architect and reflects Flemish architectural influence in Gdansk. Hans Kramer from Dresden was responsible for the construction plans."(Source)
Have a look at the Neptune Fountain
When I was there it was in reconstruction, but in the picture above you can get a glimpse of it (light blue building to the right of the picture)
It somehow does not fit there, but it's an interesting fact that Fahrenheit was born here and by this monument the city still honors him.
Visit the city hall
The city hall, houses a 37 bell carillon. You need to pay 2 euros to go up the tower and your recompense are these views
Climbing down the tower, you can see a room that shows different windows with scenes representing different occupations from before the war
You also have the history museum that you can actually visit for free, mine and so many others favorite room is the Great Council Hall which is super impressive
Then you have the Red Hall which is not as impressive as the Council Room, BUT there is a very special painting on one of the walls, the one of Sobieski. This is not a very popular story but it's something we learn in school about so here it goes
"A historical, but romantisized event, would have taken place probably during the early years Dimitrie Cantemir's rule in Moldavia, during the latter part of the 17th century and early 18th century. The story is as following: on their way back after raiding Moldavia, the 25 000 men-strong army of Polish king John III Sobieski came across Cetatea Neamtului, defended by less than 20 men. The Poles attacked the stronghold, believing that it contained necessary provisions. After over a week of siege, the small Moldavian garrison surrendered. Legend has it that, moved by the determined opposition from such a minuscule force, the Polish monarch granted life and free passage to the Moldavians in the garrison and gave them ranks in the Polish army. Although a few historians contest the authenticity of this legendary siege, it nevertheless had a very important place in 19th century Romanian consciousness, finding its most popular version in Costache Negruzzi's novelette called Sobieski si romanii"(Source)
Last thing to spot in here is the hallway between the 2 rooms which has a gorgeous staircase which I really had to share with you
All the houses in Gdanks
have a sort of a Disney/fairy tale look...but there is so much history behind (and I mean here about the reconstruction of all of them after being destroyed during the war). I found this paper on the internet and only read diagonally through it, but i add it for who is interested)
Try the ice cream
Golden Gate: Zlota Brama
"It was created in 1612-14 in place of a 13th-century gothic gate [...] It was designed by architect Abraham van den Blocke and was built by Jan Strakowski. The architectural style of the gate is Dutch mannerism."(Source)
Upper Gate (Brama Wyzynna)
"The upper gate of the city of Gdansk, built in 1588 by Willem van den Blode. Until 1895 served as the main entrance gate to the city, opening a series of so-called Dear Royal" (Source)
And next to it you seem to have a fair where you can buy different local products.
"Represents what little is left of the city's great trading age. First mentioned in 1367 the original structure burnt down in 1442 before its current design was created in 1442-1444. As a working crane it was used to transfer cargoes and to put up masts on ships. [...] It remained a working crane until the middle of the 19th century and was 80% destroyed in 1945 in the battle for Gdansk. (Source)
If you like Amber
There are Amber shops everywhere, so if you are a fan of this stone, you'll surly be happy finding here loads of options
Breakfast @Mlynek Cafe
Although with good reviews, I was not impressed with the offer and neither the costs...and fyi you can't pay by card!
And so this is how we explored Gdansk from her our next stop was the seaside :)