September 06, 2007

Gdynia and Gdansk

We docked in Gdynia (2nd largest port in Poland) and took a bus to the medieval town of Gdansk. Much of Gdansk was destroyed during WWII and is slowly being restored. Our guide reminded us that at times Poland was not even on the map but was split into Russia, Austria, and Germany.

The human-powered "Great Crane" was completed in 1441 and was used to load cargo from ships.

St Mary's church and its 7 gates are another important landmark. St Mary's church, the largest brick church in the world, was started in the 1343 and finished in 1502. Our guide told us merchants (including their wares and animals) used to take a shortcut through the church to get from one gate to another to save the effort of going all the way around the church. St Mary's was damaged and looted during the war, but many pieces were saved and restored. The calendar clock (one of 2 in the world) was built in the 1470's and was our favorite.

We spent the afternoon strolling through the "Long Market" shopping and enjoying the sun and quaint buildings. The Mayor of Gdansk strolled out of Town Hall without body guards and said "Welcome to Gdansk" to us.

We stopped for a moment to view the Freedom Solidarity Anchor Monument on the road back to our ship.

No comments: