Its complex dials show the time and date, phases of the moon, the position of the moon and sun in relation to the zodiac signs, and the calendar of saints. Adam and Eve ring the bell on the hour. According to legend, the clock's creator had his eyes gouged out so he'd never make a clock to better than this one
The history of Gdansk - part three :)
Reformation that reached Gdañsk as early as in the twenties of 16th century radically changed the religious face of the city. The Protestants ardently fighting for the freedom of faith were finally successful. From then on the tolerant city and its vicinities would give shelter to various religious dissidents. Numerous Dutch Mennonites and Scots, Huguenots and Jews found their haven here.
In 1580 the most famous Protestant school located in the post-Franciscan monastery of the Old Suburb was raised to the status of an Academic Gymnasium and became the pride of the city.
That ancient Gdañsk, affluent and recognized in Europe, a melting pot of nations, cultures, faiths, and tongues, the most international Polish city, formed a unique community of diversity. Polish writers of the times held a grudge against it, though the cause lay not in its cosmopolitan nature, but arrogance towards the Polish kings. And yet, facing the Swedish threat the city did not spare sacrifice to stage a determined defence winning the tough test of iron and gold. In 1734,besieged by the Russians and Saxons Gdañsk rose again in defence of honour and the Polish throne of king Stanis³aw Leszczyñski.
Alas, following the 2nd partition of Poland the city could no longer escape Prussian annexation. Its hopes put in Napoleon 's new order turned out futile. Taken over by the French in 1807 Gdañsk did gain the status of a Free City, however retained it only until 1814.
The following forty years are sometimes referred to as the times of a great crisis, decline, and economic catastrophe of the city. Substantial changes began only in the 1860-ies. The city landscape was gradually cleared of the remains of ancient fortifications. Gdañsk gained a modern water and sewer system, many public institutions, and efficient traffic routes.
Forbidden German language
There are information signs put on walls of many historical buildings after WWII in Gdansk. They are of the same design and include short information put exclusively in the three languages: Polish, English and Russian.
Why not German?
German language was officially forbidden on the part of territory of so called Polish People's Republic (1944 - 1989) which belonged to Germany in the past. I lived in Krakow that time (Poland before 1939). I could learn German at school, I could buy books (dictionaries) in German in bookstores in Krakow. But once I traveled 80 km westwards to city of Katowice and asked about Polish-German dictionary in a bookstore. The young saleswomen was very surprised about my request and asked me where I was from. She shortly replied that it's impossible to buy any German books in Katowice. This time I was very surprised. Later on, when I had moved to Tychy (Germany in the past), I got to know that my new local friends, couldn't learn/study German.
Surely Russian was and still is quite popular language in Poland. Well, for political reasons, Russian language was obligatory language to learn in each Polish school and university till 1989 (except 1 school year 1981/1982 during times of the first Solidarity movement). Many touristy places, even never or rarely visited by Russians, were described in Russian. By the way, French (not English/American) was more often officially used that time.
Climate in Gdansk
There is no special rainy season
Avg. Temp. in Spring: max.: 4 – 16°C ( 39 - 60°F ); min: -1 - 7°C ( 30 - 45°F )
Avg. Temp. in Summer: max.: 16 – 21°C ( 60 - 70°F ); min: 7 - 12°C ( 45 - 53°F )
Avg. Temp. in Autumn: max.: 4 – 16°C ( 39 - 60°F); min: 0 - 8°C ( 32 – 47°F )
Avg. Temp. in Winter: max.: 0 – 4°C ( 32 - 39°F); min: -3 - -1°C ( 27 - 30°F )
Wrzeszcz is one of the biggest parts of Gdansk. It has many new settlements, but the most of the buildings are very old, but unfortunattly many of them are not in best condition. Wrzeszcz was quite important place in history. Many citizents of Gdansk (which in that time was only in borders of today old town) had in Wrzeszcz their estates, where they could rest from city noise. After some time it began to grow, and now is a part of the whole city.
The most of buildings are tenement houses. Lots of them don't have it's old beauty, but streets like Sobotki, Matejki and other in this patr are really good looking. There is also old martial church, which also can be interesting.
On the second side of main street - Grunwaldzka, you can see many historical, tenement houses, but many of them should be renovated. That are for example Wajdeloty, Aldony, Lelewela streets.
On this last one - Lelewela street - is also house, where Guinther Grass was born.
Close to this parts is Jaskowa Dolina street. It was really beautiful place in history. Only very rich people from Gdansk could live there. There were many villas, which belonged to them. Now many of them are restored, but not all.
The rest is waiting...