Interesting Gdansk facts no 1:
Gdansk was a part of Germany for many years.
In fact, this city is just as German as Polish. It was incorporated to Poland after World War II, in 1945. Germans always wanted Gdansk because it was strong city with access to the Baltic Sea. It’s the one of the best Gdansk interesting facts we know.
Gdansk is still very popular tourist destination to German. You can hear people speaking Deutsch all the time. There won’t be a problem in speaking in German with citizens of Gdansk.
Because Gdansk was incorporated to Poland after World War II (in 1945), there are still many people alive who were born in Gdansk as German citizens.
It’s crazy, huh? 😉
Gdansk interesting facts no 2:
Gdansk is the only city in Poland that was ‘free’ in the past.
It was completely free and independent twice in the history:first in XIX century (1807-1814) and then during all time between World War I and World War II (1920-1939).
Gdansk was happy about its freedom but Poles and German weren’t… Both Poland and Germany wanted to incorporate this city to their countries.
What’s interesting- there are still many people (especially in Germany) who are fighting for getting back Gdansk. They want to separate it from Poland and make free city again.
Intersting Gdansk facts no 3:
Gdansk set the Poland free from Soviet domination.
When you ask an average Pole about Gdansk, the first thing he will say will be: Solidarnosc.
Some of you may not be familiar with Polish history, so we will tell you little something about it: after World War II, against the will of the majority of Poles, Poland fell under the Soviet supremacy. It became a communist country, with some independence. But all important decisions must had been approved by the Soviet government in Moscow, even though Soviets claim that Poland is ‘free’.
Poles hated Russians and their domination. There were plenty of uprisings and revolts against Soviets in Poland. And they all were bloodily suppressed. Until 1980, when the formation of the independent trade union ‘Solidarity’ (Solidarnosc) was founded in Gdansk. Under the leadership of Lech Walesa and support of Polish Pope John Paul II, Poland was free again in 1990.
But not only Poland- the whole Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Dream of Stalin’s communist world was finally destroyed. 15 new European and Asian countries were formed after Soviet Union was dissolved, including Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldavia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The whole world changed. And it all began in Gdansk…
Intersting Gdansk facts no 4:
World War II began in Gdansk.
German invasion on Poland started on 1st September 1939 by attacking the Free City of Gdansk.
Some Historians say that the first attack was in Wielun few hours before the bombardment of Gdansk. But there is no proof of that.
World War II began in North of Poland and then spread to the whole world. Gdansk was one of the most valiant city during WWII. Even though there were less than 400,000 people living in Gdansk, they were fighting tooth and nail for their freedom.
Intersting Gdansk facts no 5:
Gdansk is a part of Thricity Agglomeration.
Thricity Agglomeration (also know as Tri-city) is one of the most developed, rich and well-landscaped region region in Poland. It has the population of over one million people.
As you can easily guess from the name, Thricity agglomeration consists 3 cities:
Sopot, Gdynia and of course Gdansk as its informal capital. Gdansk is the only city with access to the Baltic sea in Poland that had its own, international airport. It is also the biggest city in the agglomeration with population of almost half a million people.
Intersting Gdansk facts no 6:
Gdansk has many different names.
The most popular famous is German name from Gdansk- Danzig. But this city is also known as Kdanzk, Gyddanyzc, Danczig, Danczk, Gdąnsk, Danzc, Gdania, Danczik, Gdanzc and Danceke.
What is interesting- according to the researches, Gdansk is one of the best cities in Poland to live and work. According to Poland’s citizens votes, Gdansk has the best infrastructure, management, jobs with good salaries and good environment.
Many people move from other cities in Poland to Gdansk. And they won’t regret it. With an access to the Baltic sea, Tricity is a great place to live.
Intersting Gdansk facts no 7:
There are many legends connected to Gdansk’s landmark- the Neptune Fountain.
Neptune Fountains is one of the most recognisable symbols of Gdansk. It is a big statue situated in the heart of Gdansk’s Old Town.
There are many legends connected to Neptune Fountain. The most popular is the one about the ‘Goldwasser’, popular vodka from Gdansk.
It is believed that people of Gdansk had so much money that they were keep throwing golden coins into the fountain. They thought it would bring them luck. After some time, Neptune became very angry that his fountain is all cluttered. He splintered all the golden coins into a fine powder and turned the water from the fountain for a vodka. And that is how the famous ‘Goldwasser’ was created.
There is another legend that says that once in a century, all stone creatures adorning tops of Gdansk’s townhouses, come to life in Gdansk for one night. They are tasting all delicious food and meeting all the people they observe for so many years. It is believed that the leader of the feast was the Neptune himself.
Intersting Gdansk facts no 8:
Gdansk is famous from beautiful and unique ambers.
Poland is the biggest amber exporter in the whole world.
For those of you who doesn’t know what amber is- it is a fossilized tree resin. It has been has been appreciated for its natural beauty and colour since Neolithic times. It is mainly used as a part of jewerly, but it is also popular in medicine and cosmetics industry.
During our research we found on Wikipedia a very interesting legend about ambers:
The origins of Baltic ambers are associated with the Lithuanian legend about Juratė, the queen of the sea. She felt in love with Kastytis, a fisherman. According to one of the versions, her jealous father punished her by destroying her amber palace and changing her into sea foam. The pieces of Juratė’s palace can still be found on the Baltic shore.
Did you enjoy this post? Do you know any other interesting facts about Gdansk? Share your thoughts in comments!