Gdansk Off The Beaten Path

  • Prussian Building
    Prussian Building
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    Post WWI Block
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    Prussian Columns
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Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Gdansk

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    Trip to Wdzydze

    by HORSCHECK Updated Nov 7, 2013

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    Wdzydze Outdoor Museum (Skansen)
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    Wdzydze is a small village in the Kashubia region about 70 km west of Gdansk. It is home to the oldest Polish Outdoor Museum (Skansen) which was founded in 1906.

    In a nature surrounding the Museum presents regional architecture from a period between the 18th and 20th century. About 40 wooden buildings are situated in the museum area.

    I was taken here by car by the local VT member zaffaran (Anita from Gdynia).

    Website: http://www.muzeum-wdzydze.gda.pl/

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    Nowy Port, a different side of Gdansk

    by briantravelman Updated Nov 6, 2013

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    Prussian Building
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    Nowy Port is one of the cities four quarters. You won't find any tourists here, and the area is a bit run down, but this is a good place to come if you're looking for an authentic Poland, and want to get a look at the different architectural eras of Poland.
    Nowy Port means "New Port", and it was built by the Prussians in the 1700s, who didn't have control over the port in the Main City, and wanted cargo ships to use theirs instead.
    Today, the neighborhood is divided into two sections, the original Prussian Stary Port (Old Port), and the new section, which was built during the Cold War.
    If you want to experience what the old Poland was like, visit this neighborhood. Here you can see, Prussian, Post WWI, WII, Communist, Post Communist, and Modern era blocks. The Communist blocks throughout Poland, were recently remodeled, so you won't see any more of the typical grey Communist era blocks, but most of the buildings that were built before WWII, are still original.
    Most people refer to neighborhoods like Nowy Port as the city's "ugly suburbs", but I actually liked the old architecture. It just felt cool walking down the old cobblestone streets, and seeing relics of the old Poland. I would definitely recommend for anyone who is interested in history and architecture.
    In addition to its old buildings, Stary Port also has 2 nice churches, a few lighthouses, and the fort, Westerplatte, and Euro Cup stadium is nearby.
    The main reason I would visit though, is to check out the local restaurants, bakeries, and meat delis. Kebabs have pretty much taken over the city's food scene, and this is one of the few areas in the city, where you can still get authentic Polish food.
    You will also see vegetable vendors on the streets, but I would avoid these, since they are not very sanitary. There are also several shops where you can buy cheap clothes and electronics. There is usually some guy set up on the grass, selling clothes.
    The main reason people visit though, is to take the ferry to Wisloujscie Fortress, which can be seen across the river. So if you are planning to take a ferry and explore the other side, leave some room in your schedule, and check out a bit of the neighborhood as well. Far away from the colorful Main City, Nowy Port feels like a completely different town. Unlike, the historic city center, this neighborhood has that typical eastern European look, that travelers expect to see. It will open our eyes to a different side of Gdansk.

    This kid that was living above me said, this neighborhood doesn't have the best reputation, but I've walked through it several times, filming and taking pictures, and no one’s ever bothered me. The only time I was bothered was walking back from the bus stop at night, and it was just some drunk teenagers looking for trouble. There are a lot of drunks here actually, but they are usually harmless. You may occasionally see some kids smoking a cigarettes too. I’ve never heard of anyone being robbed or beaten. It may look run down, but it’s no less safe, than the rest of the city, so just take the same precautions you would anywhere, and if you see someone who looks shady, hide your cameras and avoid them.
    Come check it out.

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    The monument to the Polish Post Office Defenders.

    by Askla Updated Dec 15, 2012

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    The World War II started at 04.45, September 1, 1939, by the attack on the Post Office Gdansk 1 where the cefenders fought for 14 hours before giving up. By then the Germans had flooded the building with petrol and were going to put it on fire with the defenders inside. The attack on the building was composed of the Gdansk police, the German army and the SS Heimwehr.
    8 of the defenders were killed during the fight, 6 died from their wounds and 38 were executed by the Germans on 5 October 1939 in the Zaspa district. The employees of the post office were imprisoned in various concentration camps.
    Today there is a post office and a museum in the building. The museum exhibits, amongst other objects, items from the mass grave found in Zaspa on 27 August 1991 as well as documents of the dead and murdered postal workers together with uniforms from this period.
    The museum is opened Tue - Fri from 10.00 to 16.00, entrance 5PLN for adults, 4PLN for reduced tickets. Tuesdays free.

    You find the monument and museum in ul. Obroncow Poczty Polskiej.

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    Decorations on house wall.

    by Askla Updated Dec 15, 2012
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    When you're strolling around, don't forget to look a little higher than normal from time to time. I just came upon these decorations by chance when I was heading towards my hotel after visiting the St Mary's Church. You find them in ul. Lawendowa at the rear end of St Nicolaj Church.

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    St Joseph's Church.

    by Askla Updated Dec 15, 2012

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    Originally a monastery was built in 1391 and a church 1464. During religious fights in the 1670s the church was destroyed but the monastery survived until 1835 when the monks were evicted. In 1840 it was transformed to the parish church of St Joseph.
    It sits on Ul. Bielanska, in between the Old Town Hall, St Elisabeth's Church and the shopping centre opposite to the railway station.
    In 1945, when the Red Army had taken the city, they locked in 100 persons taking shelter in the church and put the church on fire killing all the people inside.
    You can look at more pictures by clicking the link further down. The page is fully in Polish.

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    Monument of Jan III Sobieski.

    by Askla Updated Dec 15, 2012

    Jan III Sobieski was a great king and soldier. He was elected as a king of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania in 1674, 45 years old.
    His military ability was the main reason why the Turks were beaten in the battle of Vienna on September 12, 1683 and the following expulsion of the Osmans from Austria and Hungary. That victory had the astronomer Jan Heweliusz to name a constellation of stars after him, Scutum Sobiescianum, which was a great honour. This is the only constellation that was originally named after a non-astronomer!
    Jan III Sobieski died on June 17, 1696.
    The monument sits in Targ Drzewny on the north-western edge of Glówne Miasto, just north off Targ Weglowy.

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    Along the old walls - ul. Za Murami.

    by Askla Updated Dec 15, 2012

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    When walking along ul. Za Murami in the southern parts of Glówne Miasto you'll come across a couple of old bastions, from 14th and 15th centuries. My first picture shows Baszta Narozna and the other two show Baszta Schultza.

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    Church of St. Peter and Paul.

    by Askla Updated Dec 15, 2012
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    Not much is left from the once so rich interior of the St. Peter and Paul church as it was almost completely burnt down during the World War II. Originally the church was built in the 14th century. There are, as often, different information on the year of building but I rely on the plaque on the church wall.

    The church is situated in the Old Suburbs, Stare Przedmiescie, south of the main tourist areas, in ul. Zabi Kruk, just a little east of the Franciscan Church and the National Museum. The closest tram stop is Zabi Kruk on lines 8 and 13 (the third stop from the main station), then head south ~250 metres.

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    Franciscan Church of the Holy Trinity.

    by Askla Updated Dec 15, 2012

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    The gothic Holy Trinity church and monastery complex in Gdansk is one of the largest in the Franciscan order. The building of a monastery started in 1422 and only two years later the monks could move in. In 1480 started the work of rebuilding it to a church. In 1503 did the northen wall and part of the roof fall down but after the restoration of that disaster the exterior of the church has remained almost unchanged.
    Most notable among the furnishing are the magnificently net vaulted ceiling (pic. 2), the pulpit from 1541, the organ from 1703 (see my next tip), late gothic stalls from 1510 - 11, numerous tombstones all over the floor, the altarpiece (pic. 4) and some murals (see my third tip).
    The church is situated in the Old Suburbs, Stare Przedmiescie, south of the main tourist areas. Adress Ul. Sw Trojcy 4. Closest tram stops are "Centrum" or "Okopowa", the latter on lines 8 and 13 (second stop from the main station).
    At the backside of the church is the National Museum in Gdansk hosted in buildings from the old monastery.

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    Ferry

    by piosku67 Written Oct 17, 2012
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    I recommend a ride by ferry across the Vistula short-cut from Swibno to Mikoszewo. There is something mystical about the journey, it's like across the River Styx. You have to pay - 15 PLN for a car , 4 PLN for a pedestrian.

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    Swibno, a part of Sobieszewska Island

    by piosku67 Updated Oct 15, 2012

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    Gdansk Swibno, shrine
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    Gdansk / Danzig offers different things to do. If you want some nature / countryside you don’t have to travel long hours, you can take a ride by bus No. 112 (in front of the Upland Gate or the Railway Station) and drive towards Przegalina. Personally I advise you to get off in Świbno by the Vistula River short cut, called Przekop. On your way you will cross the old floating bridge. Remember that while doing it you must be seated. Then you will pass by country-like Sobieszewska Island, a strange and amazing place cut off the main land by the Vistula River and the Vistula short-cut by the Gdansk Bay. Also, you can easily get to the sea shore.

    Map

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    Watershed in Oliwa

    by piosku67 Written Aug 22, 2012
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    The Watershed is at the end of Kwietna Street in fact at Bytowska Street. I described quite a scenic way to get there from the railway station or / and from a tram stop (loop) in a tip “Stroll in Old Oliwa”. For those who hates walking or cannot do it because of any reason I advise to hire a taxi there. For others loving wandering around I recommend as a one of stops on your itinerary in Oliwa. It’s a kind of smithy but the force of water was once used to operate it. That’s why it is called the Watershed.

    “In one corner of the Oliwa Park, you can find the Oliwa Watershed, which once harnessed the power of the Oliwa stream to power a metalworks factory. Built in 1592, the structure is made up of two buildings on opposite sides of the stream, connected by an enclosed bridge built right on top of the water. Two huge wheels dip down into the cool brook, and although the water doesn't seem to be running very fast, the Watershed was engineered to such an incredible level, that there was enough power to cut through metal! The Watershed provided a great deal of iron and steel to the nearby city of Gdansk and the fortunes of Oliwa rose and fell with the fortunes of its market. Take a step back into history at the Watershed and then take a few steps around the Oliwa Park...It makes for a perfectly enjoyable afternoon!”
    http://www.gdansk-life.com/culture/culture_details/310-The_Watershed

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    Visit Stogi Beach, also a nude section

    by piosku67 Updated Aug 1, 2012

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    Gdansk / Danzig is not a city which is literally situated by the sea. It’s more connected with rivers and canals, so if you want to get to a beach you have to go to Jelitkowo, Brzeźno or Stogi. The last one I recommend, especially if you like nude beaches. In fact it’s a vast beach for everybody and stretches till Górki Zachodnie.
    To get to Stogi Plaża ( “plaża” means beach, Stogi – the name of an ugly district with blocks of flats) you have to take tram number 8 or 3 let’s say from a tram stop which is situated in front of the railway station. Another stop is near the Main (Old) Town, called Brama Wyżynna ( Upland Gate). A regular ticket cost 3 PLN and you can buy in a special vending machine on the platform , at the tram stop or in a newsagent’s called in Polish “Kiosk”. Take a tram number 8 and ride till the very end. The loop is just by the Stogi Beach. But wanting to get to a nude section you have to walk along the seashore or go through the woods till path / entrance 23 . It will take you about 20 minutes. The area behind entrance 23 is for nudists, and further beyond entrance 22 it’s a gay section. Sometimes another tram shuttles to the beach. It must be labeled “Stogi Plaża”, because “Stogi Pasanil” means that it stops by another loop and you will have to march along a street going to the beach or wait for another, proper tram and punch another ticket. Also, you can get there by bus number 111, but it’s more complicated to get there. Enjoy!

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    From Sopot to Oliwa through the woods part 2

    by piosku67 Updated Jul 30, 2012

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    When you cross a stream, pass by the gardens and climbed the hills, after a while you will get to another crossing and the other information boards. So far you hiked the green track, now take the blue one. In fact they meet each other somwhere at the Oliwa Battle's Monument in the Oliwa Woods. The monument is on a small hill and you can relax there and admire a view of Gdansk Bay. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gda%84sk_Bay)
    Further, there is a tower on a hill called Pachołek. If you do not have fear of heights get up to the panorama deck and enjoy the scenic views from there. Stairs underneath the tower will guide you to a noisy street and to Oliwa.

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    From Sopot to Oliwa through the woods part 1

    by piosku67 Updated Jul 30, 2012

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    Few people know that you can easily do a nice trip through the woods from Sopot to Oliwa. It takes you an hour or more. But you can relax in some places on the way on benches, or change your way to cut it shorter. Amazingly, you will stay within the area of Tri-Cities and you do not have to hire a car and travel long hours somewhere away. Get to Jana Kasprowicza Street, which is packed with beautiful antic villas. That part of Sopot is called the upper Sopot and it is less known and hardly explored by tourists.
    As for me, I usually start from Sopot SKM (Commuter Train) Station because I come from Gdynia. Then get through the underground passage to Aleja Niepodległości and passing by the building of a secondary comprehensive school again through a tunnel for pedestrian go ahead to Armii Krajowej Street. Turn left and go along the street admiring the architecture get to Jana Kochanowskiego Street and then turn left into Jana Kasprowicza Street. All street are worth seeing. There are lots of old houses and trees.
    At the very end of the street there is a nature reserve called “Zajęcze Wzgórze” (Hare’s Hill). Go ahead and turn left, then get down when you see the green track go along it. You will cross the street which is situated along the gardens. The street is called Mikołaja Reja and the place “Dolina Świemirowska”. In fact you can get there from Sopot Wyścigi SKM. I have just written about it. Now it is easy to follow the green track . However you will have to climb up the hills.

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