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Old Town GdanskGdansk is located on the Baltic Coast at the mouth of the Motława River and is Poland’s chief seaport making it the heart of Poland’s sea trade and shipbuilding. It was historically a member of the Hanseatic League, an alliance of cities who dominated trade on the northern European coast and protected the commercial interests of each other between the 13th and 17th centuries, and examples of elaborate architecture from this period can still be seen in the city today. Many such examples are to be found along Ulica Długa, or Long Street, and Długi Targ, or Long Market, which makes up a pedestrian walkway which boasts elaborate city gates at each end, the road is often called The Royal Way, as it was historically the path taken by visiting monarchs when entering the city.

Attractions in this area include; The Golden House, an elegantly decorated townhouse which dates back to the 17th century and was commissioned by the Mayor of the city at the time, and Neptune’s Fountain, designed by Abraham Van Den Blocke and dating from 1634, the fountain has become part of the city’s mythology, the story being that the Sea God himself became angered at the number of coins being thrown into the water of the fountain and  hit the water so hard with his trident that all the gold smashed to pieces, leaving flakes of gold floating in it and this was how the famous liqueur Goldwasser came into being.

Not content with being a major city of industry, trade and history, Gdansk is also extremely active in professional sports, the most popular being soccer. The city’s professional team is Lechia Gdansk, which was founded in 1945 and currently plays in the top division of Polish football. Their home stadium of Stadion Lechii is soon to be replaced by the more modern PGE Arena, which is currently under construction to host games for the Euro2012 Championship.

Article Copyright © TraveltoPoland.pl. All rights reserverd. Author: Aileen Miller

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