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Gdańsk – a city embedded in amber


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Introduction

Trade  centre  of  the  former  Republic  and  its  gateway  to  the  world, rich  merchant port  and  patrons of  the  arts,  a  city that  continually revives  the  spirit  of  independence. In  the  1970s  and  1980s  it  was  here that  the  Solidarity  movement broke out and helped to tear down the Berlin Wall.

Day 1: Gdańsk

After your arrival in Gdańsk you will have your first opportunity to acquaint yourself with its historic Old Town.

In the evening you will dine in a restaurant serving Kashubian specialities in a regional folk setting where a veritable feast awaits you.

You will spend the night in Gdańsk.

Day 2. Gdańsk – Sopot

In the morning you will take a stroll through the city, which is blessed with more buildings and monuments than anywhere else in the Baltic Europe. You will make your way along the historic Royal Way and Długie Pobrzeże (the “Long Waterfront”) where you will discover priceless gems, including delightful merchant’s houses, the stately Artus Court, the Gothic Town Hall, the monumental St Mary’s Church towering above the city, and Neptune Fountain – a great symbol of Gdańsk.

In the afternoon you will have a chance to see Gdańsk’s old Oliwa district with its impressive Oliwa Cathedral whose famed Baroque organs are used for concerts during the summer season. We invite you to a relaxing stroll in Sopot, where  you can enjoy a beautiful view of the bay of Gdańsk and the TriCity coastline.from Europe's longest wooden pier Rounding off the day there will be an exquisite dinner in a seaside tavern together with a glass of traditional herbal-spiced “Goldwasser” Gdańsk vodka.

Overnight stay in Gdańsk.

Day 3: Gdańsk – Gdynia

In the morning you will visit relatively young port city of Gdynia, which  forms the TriCity region. together with Gdańsk and Sopot Here you will see old vessels and ships moored alongside the wharf. Gdynia Aquarium offers unforgettable impressions of the sea bed and ocean depths.

In the afternoon we propose a boat trip around the bay or alternatively you can spend your free time shopping, relaxing or discovering secrets of Gdańsk on your own..

Overnight stay in Gdańsk.

Day 4: Gdańsk

Farewell to Gdańsk.

TriCity – GDAŃSK, GDYNIA, SOPOT

The TriCity (Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot), composed of Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot, is one of the country’s biggest industrial, academic and cultural centres. The biggest of the three is Gdańsk, whose history stretches back more than 1,000 years and which is without doubt the most charming city in northern Poland and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It offers an extraordinary abundance of historic buildings and monuments as well as the specific atmosphere of a port city and memorable lessons from history. Gdańsk was particularly important witness to the turbulent events of the 20th century. It was here that the Second World War began and it is also the birthplace of Solidaritywhich brought about the downfall of communism in Europe. The city is inseparably linked with the name of Solidarity legendary leader - Lech Wałęsa, who initiated the de-communisation of Europe. Testimony to the struggle against the totalitarian communist system is the Monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers 1970 and the Road to Freedom Exhibition where visitors can rediscover Poland as it existed both before and during the systemic transformation.

For connoisseurs of culture and art Gdańsk has many historic buildings and monuments to offer, including St. Mary’s Church - one of the biggest brick churches in the world which is also famous for its astronomical clock, richly adorned 17th century Golden Gate, the late Gothic Artus Court, which stands on the Main Town’s odd “market square” called the Long Market crowned by the 16th centuryGreen Gate. There is also the Crane, the oldest existing port crane in Europe, and many other interesting sites. Amber handicrafts are a characteristic feature of the Baltic region and definitely worth special attention. Thanks to the presence of raw deposits in the area and a long tradition of amber working, Gdańsk can lay claim to be the world capital of amber. ‘Baltic gold’ and its products are the major attractions at unique Amber Museum. If you are interested, you can also have a lesson in the craft of amber working in one of numerous  amber workshops.

In Sopot, the famous Baltic resort renowned for its beautiful sandy beaches, you may relax by the sea or walk along  Europe’s longest wooden pier. You may also be drawn to the health resort’s main promenade- Bohaterów Monte Cassino Street, which boasts atmospheric restaurants and enchanting cafes. Gdynia, the youngest of the three members of the TriCity region, is a major Polish sea port with two exceptional ship museums: the “Dar Pomorzasailing frigate and the destroyer “Błyskawica”.

Malbork castle (whole day)

The UNESCO listed Gothic castle in Malbork is one of the largest medieval fortresses in Europe and an example of medieval defensive architecture. Built by the Teutonic Knights in the 13th - 15th centuries it was the seat of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order and the capital of the Teutonic Order. In addition to visiting the castle, you can also admire the largest amber collection in Poland, which has no parallel anywhere in the world.

Elbląg canal (whole day)

The 19th century Elblag Canal is an amazing feat of world-class hydro-technology. It is both a tourist attraction and a technical marvel. Elbląg Canal is 83.3 km long, more than half of which is an artificial waterway. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that vessels that travel along it make an almost 100-metre ascent or descent along a length of scarcely 9.6 km. This is possible thanks to a system of two locks and five ramps. Due to the originality of the technical solutions used in its construction and the fact that it continues to operate today Elbląg Canal is in a league of its own in the world.

Stutthof (half day)

The German concentration camp Stutthof was founded on land annexed from the Free City of Gdańsk, and was in operation from September 1939 to May 1945. It was the first and longest running concentration camp that was located within Poland’s present day borders.

Westerplatte Peninsula (half day)

You can take a boat trip to the Westerplatte Peninsula where the Second World War began on 1 September 1939. The Poles’ heroic defence against the German aggressor is commemorated today by the grand Monument to the Defenders of the Coast.

Hel Peninsula (whole day)

You can take a boat trip to the Hel Peninsula, a beautiful freak of nature unlike anywhere else in Poland. The peninsula was formed by sea currents bearing sand washed up from the sea bed. It stretches for around 34 kilometres in length and its width ranges from 200m to more than 2900m. It is blessed with the highest number of sunny days in Poland. At the same time it also has the strongest winds, which makes it a good place for water sports. Its main attractions include a naval base, old half-timbered fishermen' houses dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, a lighthouse and sandy beaches.

Kashubia (whole day)

You can find everything in the Kashubian region, which lies adjacent to the Baltic: picturesque hills, clean air, sunny beaches, crystal clear rivers, shady forests and interesting historic sites. Kashubia is regarded as one of the most attractive corners of Europe. The Kashubians have preserved an exceptionally large number of their traditions and customs as well as a distinct culture and, most importantly, language. The culture and history of this interesting region can be seen in the Kashubian museum in Kartuzy, known as the ‘Jewel of Kashubia’, as well as in an open-air museum of Kashubian folk culture in Wdzydze Kiszewskie, where you can take part in workshops on embroidery, glass painting and pottery etc.

Krynica Morska & Frombork (whole day)

Krynica Morska is one of the smallest towns in Poland which lies on a narrow patch of land between the Baltic Sea and the Vistula Lagoon. It is famous for its unique climate and beautiful golden sands. You can also take a boat trip to the picturesque town of Frombork, which has a special connection with Nicolas Copernicus. It was within the secret and unusual walls of the town’s cathedral buildings that the great scholar spent the most creative part of his life working on his epoch-making book On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres.

Golf

Close to the TriCity, in the exquisite setting of the Kashubian Lake District, there are two 18-hole golf courses in Postołowo and Pętkowice. The two courses are interesting for both technical and aesthetic reasons. They will appeal to the taste of even the most demanding players and offer a pleasant way to spend an exciting and eventful day.

The “Roads to Freedom” exhibition in Gdańsk

After  WWII  Poland  was  under  the influence of Soviet Russia and, in spite  of  a  long  democratic  tradition, was forced to adopt the communist system. The Poles, however,did not accept that situation.  In  the  1960s and  1970s the  activity  of  opposition  groups and  underground  publications intensified. The first strikes took place in December 1970 in Gdańsk. In September  1976,  the  Workers’ Defence  Committee  was  created among  the  intellectuals.  In  August   1980,  strikes spread  throughout the country  and  at  the  head  of  the opposition stood a worker from the Gdańsk Shipyard - Lech Wałęsa. At  that  time,  pursuant  to  a  signed agreement,  the  independent  Solidarity trade union was established as  the first in a Communistic Bloc country. Despite  the authorities  opposed  and  the  martial  law  was introduced in  December  1989,  resistance  continued.  In  early   1989 the  communist  authorities  recognised  the  need  for  change  in  the state.  Round  Table  deliberations,  conducted  from  February  to  April, led  to  an  agreement  under  which the first democratic parliamentary elections  were  held  in  June 1989. Thus,  the   communist  system ceased to exist as in Poland, providing  the  impetus  for  change  across the whole  Europe.