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Today is 22 January
we celebrate name day of

Anastazy, Wincenty, Wiktor

Sunrise: 7:32
Sunset: 16:04

This site was visited 35421109 times.

Walking route of The Visitor free city guide - GDANSK OLD TOWN

Welcome to our walking tour of the city to discover the most important monuments in very centre of the Old Town. If you plan sightseeing just after you arrive by train leave the station by the underground passage and go to the other side of Podwale Grodzkie Street in the direction of the Krewetka Mall. Go to your right and pass the roundabout when the street changes its name to Wały Jagiellońskie (10 min walk). On your left is our first place of interest on our tour, the Wyżynna Gate (Upper Gate).

1. The Wyżynna Gate

The Wyżynna GateThe Wyżynna Gate is the first building on the so called Royal Route that runs along Długa and Długa Targ streets towards the Green Gate to Granary Island. The gate you see before you was built by Hans Kramer in 1588 as part of the fortifications surrounding Gdańsk. It was also the entry gate to the city. In the lower part of the gate there were three arcaded entrances, today two of them are bricked up. The upper stories are ornamented with bas reliefs and crests for example the Polish crest supported by angels or the Gdańsk crest supported by lions. The eastern wall contains the Hohenzollern family crest.

2. Executioner's House and Prison Tower
Executioner's HouseThe Wyżynna Gate together with the Executioner's House and the Prison Tower. Both buildings were constructed in the XIV C. When the city fortifications were developed later the use and military importance of the gates declined and they were turned into a prison and a place for executions thus the origin of the names. Today a pillory from 1604 stands in front of the Prison Tower. There is the Amber Museum inside now.
Visits: TUE 11.00-15.00, WED- SAT 10.00-16.00, SUN 11.00-16.00. Normal 10 zł, reduced 5 zł.

3. 'Golden' Gate
The Golden GateNot far from here is the Renaissance- Classical 'Golden' Gate, constructed between 1612-14 by Abraham van den Blocke with sculptures by Piotr Ringering (1648) which are allegories of the city inhabitant's virtues: Peace, Freedom, Wealth, Glory. On the side of Długa Street there are sculptures personifying Prudence, Godlines, Justice and Harmony.

4. St. George Brotherhood
St. George BrotherhoodStanding at the gate is the St. George Brotherhood building which was constructed between 1487-94. At the top of the tower there is a sculpture representing the patron of the Brotherhood fighting a dragon. This building was used as a meeting place, for sword fighting and archery practice, and for occasional celebrations. It was in use up to the dissolution of the Brotherhood in 1798.

5. Długa and Długi Targ streets
Długa streetDługa and Długi Targ streets, part of the so called Royal Route, are between the Golden and Green Gate - and represent the most beautiful streets in Gdańsk (they have the same role as the Old Town in Warsaw or the Market Square in Kraków, competing equally as attractive and important historical monuments). The oldest of the 84 tenement buildings are Medieval and almost all of them are examples of the style of Gdańsk architecture as characterized by tall and narrow facades, ornamented by crests and reliefs with typical roofs. It is worth visiting the House of Uphagen (Długa 12 St.) which contains the Tenement House Museum. Visits MON 11.00-15.00 ( free entry), WED-SAT 10.00-16.00 SUN 11.00-16.00. Normal 10 zł, reduced 5 zł. Of particular interest are the houses at number 28 - the Renaissance Ferber's House; number 35 - the Lion's Castle with Manieristic portal (the NKVD headquarter during communist times) or number 45 - Schuman's House - tourist information bureau.

6. Main City Hall
Main City Hall The most characteristic building here is the Gothic-Renaissance Main City Hall (1379-1492), which houses the Gdańsk City Historical Museum. Visits MON 10.00-15.00 TUE-SAT 10.00-18.00 SUN 11.00-18.00. Normal 8 zł, reduced 6 zł. There are many beautiful interiors in the City Hall but the best known is the Red Room (Great Council Chamber), the White Room for audiences and the Treasury Room. You have the option of going up the 80 meters high and narrow tower which is topped by golden figure of Zygmunt August (1561). From the top there is a splendid view to the Basilica and a panorama of the city. TUE 10.00-15.00, WED-SAT 10.00-16.00, SUN 11.00-16.00. Adult ticket 10 zł, reduced 5 zł, family 20 zł.
 Reserve an hour here!

7. Neptune
NeptuneThe most symbolic attraction on Długi Targ Street is the well known symbol of the city of Gdańsk, the monument to Neptune (created in 1615) by Peter Husen and Johann Rogge. The Fontana was designed by Abraham van den Blocke, and the alterations done in the Rococo style by Johan Stender (1757-61). The Fontana was started in 1633 and a year later it was enclosed by the remarkable wrought iron railing which you see today.

8. The Artur Court

The Artur CourtThe Artur Court (opposite the Fontana), was the house of wealthy craftsmen and merchants and was built in XIV C (the present facade, which has been renovated after a fire, is from 1617 and was designed by Abraham van den Blocke). The brotherhood of Artur was taken from the idea of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table - the name of the court comes from this legend as well. This building is one of the most beautiful of its kind in Europe. Wealthy citizens used it for business meetings, the exchange of news (the Corn Exchange was situated here, 1742-1920) it also hosted important meetings and festivities. The Historical Museum is housed here today, tel + 48 58 767 91 00. Open: TUE 10.00-15.00, WED- SAT 10.00-16.00, SUN 11.00-16.00. Adult ticket 10 zł, reduced 5 zł.  In the great banquet room look for the world's largest tiled stove. Reserve about 30 minutes.

9. The Golden House
The Golden HouseNot far from here is the Golden House (Długi Targ 41 St.) called the most beautiful house on the Royal Route. The house with its Manieristic style facade by Abraham van den Blocke was constructed between 1609-17 for Mayor Jan Speyman. The creator of the polychrome sculptures and bas reliefs was Jan Voigt.

10. The Green Gate
The Green GateThe Renaissance Green Gate at the end of Długi Targ Street was built between 1568-71 by Regnier and Hans Kramer as the house for noble guests visiting Gdańsk. The most notable guest was Ludvika Maria Gonzaga, who lived here in 1646. Now the building is a division of the National Museum and presents temporary exhibits. Go inside to find out what is happening in the city. Maybe something that might interest you. Through the Green Gate to Długie Pobrzeże street and a good promenade along the banks of the Motława river, full of restaurants, souvenir stands and important monuments.

11. The Crane
The CraneThe Crane - together with Neptune, is a symbol of the city. This is the biggest Medieval port crane in Europe. The present structure is from 1442. It was used to unload ships and was also a tower and city gate. At first glance this fragile looking wooden structure does not seem capable of lifting almost 5 tons of goods. It used an extraordinary man-powered mechanism which boosted the power generated by the human body. Go inside and have look. The Crane's interior is quite a surprising piece of construction.
Open: 15 I - 30 VI, 01 IX - 30 XI TUE-FRI 10.00-16.00, SAT -SUN 10.30-16.30, 01 VII-31 VIII 10.30-18.30, 01 XII - 31 XII TUE- FRI 10.00-15.00, SAT-SUN 10.30-15.30. Adult ticket 8 zł, reduced 5 zl. Multipass to the Crane, Marine Museum and Soldek ( including ferry): adult 18 zł, reduced 10 zł

12. The Central Marine Museum
The Central Marine MuseumOpposite the Crane on the other side of the Motława River there are Granaries and the Central Marine Museum. The river is crossed every few minutes in the small ferry (1 zł one way ticket, functioning during museum open hours). Inside the museum there is a rich collection of maritime paintings, ships models, treasures from sunken ships, collections of seamen outfits and many more objects connected with the sea and Gdańsk. Closed till Spring.
Very near the museum is the 'Sołdek', anchored at the quay, and the first ship of its type produced by Gdańsk Shipyard. Closed till 30 April 2012

13. St John's Church
St John's Church St John's Church built by the Teutonic Knights in the XV C is an example of a hall and three naves interior. The church was destroyed during the war and has not been restored to It's original glory. The rather dingy interiors are a bit of a shock compared to what you have seen earlier. However once you are inside look out for the altar by Abraham van den Blocke (1599-1611) and the Baroque epitaph of Nathanel Schroeder.
TIP! Visiting the church is best just after a service. You could try to ask one of the guardians to open the church up for you, if so, a donation would be most welcome.09.30 – 16.00

14. The Monument to the Polish Post Office Defenders
The Monument to the Polish Post Office Defenders The Monument to the Polish Post Office Defenders was unveiled in 1979 on the 40th anniversary of the outbreak of the II WW. The monument honors the defenders of this Post Office (next to the monument) who on 1 September 1939 fought with courage for 14 hours against the barbaric and overwhelming Nazi forces. This heroic stand against the invading Germans ranks with the battle at Westerplatte where Polish blood was also shed in defense of the motherland. The surrender came only after the Germans had flooded the Post Office with petrol and the end of the battle was inevitable. Those Polish fighters who surrendered were murdered by the Germans a few days later.
Today in the Post Office there is a museum to the memory of those who died during its heroic defense in 1939. Open: TUE 10.00-15.00, WED-SAT 10.00-16.00, SUN 11.00-16.00 SAT free entry. Adult ticket 5 zł, reduced 4 zł.

15. St. Brygida church
St. Brygida churchThe cult of St. Brygida has its beginnings in 1374 when for a few days the relics of St Brygida were brought to the chapel which stood here on the route from Rome to Sweden. After the formation of the St. Brygida sisters they began the construction of the bricked church (1396 -97). Down through the centuries the church was reconstructed and increased in size to its present form in the mid XVIII c. After its destruction in the last war it was restored in the 1970`s. The more modern years in the history of the church are firmly connected with Prelate Henryk Jankowski, a controversial figure in the church. He became prominent for his great support of the Solidarity movement and became in many ways a symbol of the movement. He was a great friend of Lech Wałęsa and other fighters for freedom and independence. He was also famous for his controversial opinions bordering on the anti -Semite and for his rather extravagant life style. Inside the church you will find a number of monuments devoted to the history of the Polish nation, which for many years were not allowed to be talked about. They were banned by the communist regime. The St. Brygida church was a sanctuary where the memory of Polish patriotism was kept awake during the dark years of the Russian post war occupation. This is why this church is so important in the hearts of Polish patriots. Father Jankowski died on 12 June 2010 after a long illness. The burial service was on June 17th and the most fitting and worthy place for the ceremony and the burial of Father Henry Jankowski was without doubt the Church of St. Brygida.

16. The Carmelite church of St. Catherine
The Carmelite church of St. CatherineThe Carmelite church of St. Catherine was constructed at the beginning of the XII C and is the oldest parish church in Gdańsk. Its greatest attraction is the Gothic tower with Baroque peak (Jacob van den Block - 1634) and inside, the Carillon – an instrument with which to play the tower bells. The Carillon uses 49 bells and every hour gives a performance.
Attention! The Church is not open to visitors due to reconstruction work caused by the roof fire in May. One positive factor in this tragedy, nothing of value was lost in the fire!

17. The Great Mill
The Great MillThe Great Mill located just opposite the church entrance was the largest factory in Europe in Medieval times. Now it is a renovated monument and a shopping centre. The Mill was built in 1335 and until 1945 fresh bread was sold in the bakery.

18. The Old Gdańsk City Hall
The Old Gdańsk City Hall Behind the mill on Korzenna Street there is an Old Gdańsk City Hall constructed between 1587-95 in the Netherlands style. Here you will find a cultural centre where you can ask for the cultural events taking place in the city.

19. St. Nicholas Church
St. Nicholas ChurchLocated a bit further along, St. Nicholas Church was constructed at the end of XII and is the oldest church in Gdańsk (the present building is from the XV C). The external aspect of the church is massive and monumental and the interiors are a big surprise as they are filled with rich, early Baroque ornamentation. The historical value of these golden decorations and all the ornaments is further increased when you realize that they are originals and were not damaged during WW II.

20. The Royal Chapel
The Royal ChapelThe Baroque Royal Chapel at the walls of St. Mary Basilica was constructed between 1678-81 by Tylman of Gameren, and established by King Jan Sobieski II. It was a chapel for Catholic worshipers who were unable to pray in their parish Basilica as it was at that time in Protestants hands

21. Mariacka Street
Mariacka StreetWhilst walking Długie Pobrzeże lake a look through Mary's Gate toward Mariacka Street. We have brought you here on purpose. You have visited many places (we are very close to the end of our guided tour) and now you have unlimited time to go down Mariacka Street with its shops and galleries. Amber, silver, paintings, sculptures, are all on sale! And whilst you meander from one shop to another have a look at the architecture of this charming street with its houses ornamented by grand facades and characteristic stairways and decorations.

22. St. Mary Basilica
St. Mary BasilicaSt. Mary Basilica is the largest brick built church in Europe and the largest church in Poland. Length 105, width 66, height 33 m with a tower of 82 m. The present Gothic structure was constructed on top of the original XII c. wooden church and was built between 1343-1502. The huge spacious interior is amazing. Your attention is drawn to the stone baptistery (mid XVI c.), Gothic high altar (1511-16), Baroque ambone (1617), the thirteen metre high astronomical clock and the chapels of St. Baltazar and St. George. It is also worth considering climbing the 400 stairs to the top of the tower for the fantastic panorama of the city.
Visit: MON-SAT 09.00-17.00, SUN 13.00-17.00. Adult 3 zł, reduced 1 zł.

23. The Great Armoury
The Great ArmouryThe late Renaissance Great Armoury was constructed between 1601-09 according to the plans of Antoni van Obbergen. It was originally a place to store armour and until the end of WW I functioned as a military depot. There is a mall inside which you can enter from Piwna street (the way we brought you). From the other side you will see the Upper Tower - the start of our visit. Have a look at the facade of the Great Armoury- as it is an important example of Dutch Mannierism.
And so here we are back at the start of our tour. We would like to thank you for following The Visitor's route. Please note that our proposal is not complete and there is still a lot to explore in Gdańsk!
last update June 2008