Gdansk, a City of a thousand years, sits on the Baltic Sea and has endured some of the most defining moments in the twentieth century. Historic Gdansk, destroyed during World War Two, has been carefully restored and is both dazzling and enchanting.
Museum of Tower Clocks
Anyone with a fascination for clocks will find the Museum of Tower Clocks at Saint Catherine’s Church a must stop visit. Saint Catherine’s, the oldest parish in Gdansk, houses the Museum of Tower Clocks. The historic clocks are kept in the dimly lit and atmospheric Tower, and the constant ticking adds to the charm and wonder of a visit. The viewing platform and carillon can be accessed for an extra fee.
The Oliwa Zoo
The official zoo of Gdansk, The Oliwa Zoo, is home to exotic animals from all around the world. The zoo sits on 250 acres of land in the countryside containing varied habitats for the animals including meadows, wetlands and woodland. Visitors can bring their comfortable shoes and walk the zoo, or take the guided tour by train that only operates in season or out of season by appointment.
Gdansk Old Town
The Royal route in Old Town is scenic and majestic as the colorful townhouses in all their Gdansk architecture line the streets and frame the main Town Hall. The statue of Neptune by the Artus is always on hand a willing photo subject. A climb to the clock tower in the main Town Hall offers panoramic views of the entire Old Town and sights not soon to be forgotten.
For those that prefer the beach, there is an elegant beach just a short train ride away. Sopot Beach is a resort area filled with spas, shops, restaurants and a watering hole or two and, of course, the beach. Sopot is also home to the Sopot Pier, the longest wooden pier in all of Europe. The Blekitny Prudel Café offers a romantic evening and the best apple pie in all of Gdansk.
Gdansk is home to everything amber. The Amber Museum is located in the old prison and hosts artefacts fashioned out of amber as well as antique amber jewelry. On Mariacka Street, visitors will find a number of shops and workshops that feature amber jewelry. Amber hunters may also find pieces of amber on anyone of the beaches in Gdansk.
The Yacht, Gdynia, is one of the most beautiful and luxurious boats in the world. It is a “white frigate” and was built in 1909. It was originally used as a polish training ship for about 50 years before being retired and preserved for use as a museum. The yacht museum is a treasure trove of fascinating and spectacular underwater life that is educational for all ages.
World War Two history buffs will appreciate Westerplatte Sights, where the first shots of that war were first heard. The forts and barracks were left in place and serve as a museum with details of the first attack. There is a monument, towering 25 feet in height, dedicated to the first Polish casualties.
By Julie Bowman