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Most popular sight in Gdańsk
/storage/images/about_poland/gda_17.jpgDługa 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 faÁades, 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 TUE-SAT 10.00-16.00 (normal 6 zł, reduced 3 zł), SUN 11.00-16.00 (free). 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 - now a tourist information bureau. 

The most characteristic building here is the Gothic-Renaissance Main City Hall (1379-1492), which houses the Gdańsk City Historical Museum. Visits till 15 VI - open TUE-SAT 10.00-16.00, SUN 11.00-16.00 adult 6 zł, reduced 3 zł; from 16 VI - open MON-SAT 10.00-16.00, SUN 11.00-16.00 adult 8 zł, reduced 4 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. 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. Reserve an hour here!

TIP! Ask for a carnet of tickets. 12 zł adult, reduced 6 zł for entry to the City Hall, the Artur Court and the

The 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. 

The Artur Court (opposite the Fontana), was the house of wealthy craftsmen and merchants and was built in XIV C (the present faÁade, which has been renovated after a fire, is from 1477 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 - Opening hours and ticket prices are the same as in the City Hall. In the great banquet room look for the world's largest tiled stove. Reserve about 30 minutes. 

Not 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 fasade 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. 

The 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. 

The 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 TUE-SUN 09.30-16.00 (after 18 VI 10.00-18.00) Adult ticket 6 zł, reduced 4 zł.

TIP! Ask for a carnet of tickets 14 zł adult, reduced 8 zł for a visit to The Crane, the Sołdek ship and the Granary Museums as well as the river ferry crossing. 

Opposite 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. Open TUE-SUN 09.30-16.00 (after 18 VI 10.00-18.00). Adult ticket 6 zł, reduced 4 zł. Very near the museum is the Sołdek, anchored at the quay, and the first ship of its type produced by Gdańsk Shipyard - visits, same hours as museum. Reserve minimum an hour.

Going back to the other bank of the river take a walk further along Długie Pobrzeże promenade, to the crossroads with Świętojańska Street and turn left. On your right there is St. John's church and we will go inside. 

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. 

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 honours 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 defence 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 defence in 1939. Open TUE-SAT 10.00-16.00, SUN11.00 -16.00 (closed MON). Adult ticket 3 zł, reduced 2 zł. 

The 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. 

The 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. A tower clock museum and gallery is also open to the public. Open VIII till 20.00, IX till 18.00., adult ticket 8 zł, reduced 4 zł. 

The 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. 

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.
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