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Gdansk Sights

Zabytki w Gdańsku
Long Street and Long Market
Together forming the Royal Route, they rank among the most beautiful streets of Gdańsk. Perpendicular to the Motlawa River, they start at the Golden Gate and end at the Green Gate. The route used to mark the residential area of the wealthiest Gdańsk parish, and almost every house, has its own, rich history. The oldest authentic buildings date back to the Middle Ages, though most of the urban development reaches back no later than modern times. The houses on Long Street are typical of Gdańsk, with their narrow facades topped with gables or parapets.
The Hall of the Main City
was built between 1379 and 1492. The spire over the 80m high tower, put up by master Dirk Daniels from Zealand, is crowned with a gilded metal figure of King Sigismund Augustus. The three wings of the building around the yard as we see it today were completed in 1593-96. The interior is decorated in the Dutch Mannerist style.
The Artus Court
was given its present shape in 1477, following the fire that had destroyed the previous 14th century building on the site. The facade was transformed by Abraham van den Blocke. The Mannerist doorway is adorned with royal portraits. The Court's elegant interior hides a huge, 12 metre high, Renaissance tiled stove, a mid-16th. masterpiece by George Stelzener. The decorative tiles were painted by master Jost, who used this opportunity to portray the eminent European rulers of the times. The likenesses are interspersed with coats of arms, personifications of virtues, and planets. The site was the meeting place of the Gdańsk city notables.
The Neptune Fountain
occupying the square in front of the Artus Court ever since 1633 is symbolic of Gdańsk. The initiative to erect it came from the City Mayor, Bartłomiej Schachmann. The figure of Neptune stands for Gdańsk's bond with the sea. It was sculpted by Peter Husen and Johann Rogge, and the cast, moulded in 1615, was commissioned from Augsburg. The general conceptual design was developed by Abraham van den Blocke. The magnificent surrounding fencing was added in 1634. Between 1757-1761 Johann Karl Stender modified the fountain chalice and plinth in the Rococo style and added a whole array of sea creatures.
The Golden House
Ranks among the most exquisite buildings in Gdańsk. Its founders were Judith of the Bahrs and her husband, Jan Speymann, the latter a rich merchant and an enlightened sponsor of the arts. The house dates back earlier than 1609 and was designed by Abraham van den Blocke, who was also the designer of some of the sculptural decorations finally completed in 1618. The aura of fame the house is veiled in is due to its magnificent and abundantly rich facade.
The Golden Gate
built in the Renaissance style between 1612 - 1614 to the design of Abraham van den Blocke. The stone figures along the parapet were carved by Peter Ringering in 1648 and represent allegories of citizen's virtues, that is Caution, Justice, Piety, and Concord. Next to the Golden Gate squats St George's Brotherhood Manor, erected by J.Glotau between 1487-1494 in the Late Gothic style.
The Green Gate
Before this elegant structure was erected, the site had been occupied by the oldest gate in town, the 14th century Cog Gate. Pulled down in 1564-1568, it made room for the current Mannerist building. The construction works, supervised by Regnier of Amsterdam and Hans Kramer from Dresden, lasted from 1568 to 1571. The gate was designed to provide residence for monarchs during their visits to the city.
The Crane over the Motlawa River
used to play the double role of a port crane and city gate. The structure was given its present shape between 1442-1444. Inside, a huge wooden wheel set in motion by men walking inside it. The crane served not only cargo reloading purposes, it was also a device to put up ship’s masts.
St Mary's Church
The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the largest brick church in the world, went through several stages of development over the period 1343-1502. The interior displays many exquisite pieces of Medieval and Baroque art, including the stone Pieta from about 1410, a copy of the Last Judgement by Hans Memling, the original canvas dating back to 1472, the astronomical clock built by Hans Düringer between 1464-1470, or the main altar put up between 1510-1517. The church is 105m long, including the tower battlements, the main tower is 77.6m high, and the vaults soar 29m above the floor.
St Mary's Street
Beyond any doubt one of the most beautiful parts of Gdańsk. Starting at St Mary's Church at one end, it leads onto Long Embankment through the Medieval St Mary's Gate. The street is one of historic Gdansk gems. The narrow houses, with their terraced entrances and richly decorated facades, once belonged to affluent merchants and goldsmiths. The picturesque scenery of the place has for ages inspired men of letters and painters.
The Highland Gate
starts the "Royal Route", which takes you along Long Street (Długa) and Long Market (Długi Targ) up to the Green Gate. Its builder, Hans Kramer of Saxony, erected it as a link in the chain of modern fortifications put up to frame the western city borders between 1574-1576. Initially of brick, in 1588 it gained its present shape, transformed by Willem van den Blocke, of Flemish origin.
The Hall of the Old City
erected between 1587-1595 by Anthony van Obbergen. The building displays the classic features of high quality Mannerist Flemish architecture. Inside, there are surviving 17th century allegorical paintings by Adolf Boy on the walls, and allegories by disciples of Herman Han's school on the ceiling.
St Catherine's Church
is the oldest parish church of the Old City, erected between 1227-1239. First founded by the princes of Gdańsk Pomerania, it was substantially expanded in the 14th c. Until 1944 the shrine had dazed visitors with its internal decor brimming with Gothic, Mannerist, and Baroque treasures. The year 1945 marked its destruction. Today, this historic structure is fully restored. Once inside, take a look at the paintings by Anton Möller and Izaak van den Blocke. Here, you will also find the 1659 tombstone of the famous astronomer, Jan Hevelius. The 76-metre high church tower supports a fine carillon.
St Nicholas Church
the oldest church in Gdańsk was erected in the late 12th century. In 1227 Świętopełk, Prince of Pomerania, bestowed the church on the Dominican friars, who were invited here through the persistent efforts of St Jacek Odrowąż. The cloister compound was added in 1348. This Gothic church was the only survivor of the wartime destruction. In the mid-15th century it was domed with a stellar vault and its towers were higher. Inside, the church hides rich, authentic, early Baroque decoration.
The Grand Mill
built around the middle of the 14th century on the Radunia canal, it was the largest Teutonic investment in Gdańsk. The structure combined three functions: that of a flour mill, granary, and bakery. It was equipped with 18 overshot water-wheels, each 5 m in diameter, and represented a great technical achievement for its time.
Oliwa Cathedral
This Holy Trinity, Blessed Virgin Mary, and St Bernard's Church was first erected as a Cistercian shrine back in the 13th c. Reconstructed in 1350 after a great fire, it re-emerged in the Gothic style and has remained almost unaltered ever since. The Gothic interior was extremely damaged in the 1577 fire and was replaced with the Baroque fixtures we can admire today. Structurally, the cathedral is a triple-aisle, vaulted basilica built on the plan of the Latin cross. Oliwa Cathedral is 107m long, which makes it the longest church in Poland. The decorative gem is the Rococo organ, from 1763-1788. When built, the instrument was the largest in Europe.
Oliwa Park
in its present shape was started in the 18th c., replacing the previous cloister gardens. The park contains plant specimens originating from almost all over the world. The eye can feast on the alpine gardens, dating back to 1920, the winter gardens, grotto, and cascade, and the hornbeam alley, first planted as far back as the 17th c.
The New City Hall
was built between 1898 and 1901 for the general command of Prussian garrison in Gdańsk. After the First World War and the establishment of the Free City of Gdańsk between 1918-1939, the bulding was the main office of the High Commissioners of the League of Nations for the Free city of Gdańsk. After 1945 it became the headquarters of the City Committee of the Polish Workers Party. In 1957 it became the Zak student club, and since 2000 it has been the seat of The City Council of Gdańsk.