Gdansk, Poland’s maritime city on the Pomeranian Coast of the Baltic Sea, was first mentioned in historical documents in 997. In its 1,000 years of existence, this venerable port city has been the prize in a long game of tug-of-war between Germany (who called it Danzig) and Poland, changing hands six times. In fact, disputes between the Germans and the Poles over Danzig were the pretext for Hitler’s declaration of war on Poland.
To Westerners, the name Gdansk is inseparable from the trade union Solidarity and its leader, Lech Walesa. Solidarity’s strikes at the Gdansk shipyard in 1980 were, in retrospect, the beginning of the end for communism. A visit here can include the neighboring seaport of Gdynia and the seaside resort, Sopot, which make up the Tri-city area, along with Gdansk.
PUBLISHED: July 23, 2013