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Gdynia, Poland

May 4th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 
 

Gdynia (IPA: ['gdɨɲa] (help·info), German: Gdingen (help·info) / (until 1939 and exonymically after 1945) Gotenhafen (1939-1945); Kashubian: Gdiniô) is a city in the Pomeranian Voivodeship of Poland and an important seaport at Gdańsk Bay on the south coast of the Baltic Sea.

Located in Kashubia in Eastern Pomerania, Gdynia is part of a conurbation with the spa town of Sopot, the city of Gdańsk and suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the Tricity (Trójmiasto), with a population of over a million people.

The first known mention of the name "Gdynia" was of a Pomeranian (Kashubian) fishing village, in 1253. Oxhöft, now known as Oksywie, a part of Gdynia, was mentioned even earlier, in 1209. It was there that the first church on the this part of the Baltic Sea coast was built. In 1380 the owner of the village which became Gdynia, Peter from Rusocin, gave the village to the Cisterian Order, so in the years 1382–1772 Gdynia belonged to the Cistercian abbey in Oliva, now Oliwa. In 1789 there were only 21 houses in the village.

The area of the later city of Gdynia shared its history with Pomerelia (Eastern Pomerania); in prehistoric times it was the center of Oksywie culture; it was later populated by Goths and eventually Slavs with some Baltic Prussian influences. As a part of Pomerania, it was a province of Poland from circa 990–1308. In 1309-1310 it was conquered by the Teutonic Order (1309–1454/66), but afterwards became part of Royal Prussia within the Kingdom of Poland (1466–1772). In the First Partition of Poland in 1772 it was annexed into the Kingdom of Prussia (1772–1870), and as part of Prussia became part of the German Empire (1870–1920).

In 1870, the village of Gdingen had some 1,200 inhabitants, and it was not a poor fishing village as it is sometimes described. It was a popular tourist spot with several guest houses, restaurants, cafes, several brick houses and a small harbour with a pier for small trading ships. The first Kashubian mayor of Gdingen was Jan Radtke. After the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, Gdingen or Gdynia - as it was now called - along with other parts of former West Prussia, became a part of the new Republic of Poland; simultaneously, the city of Danzig and surrounding area was declared a free city and put under the League of Nations, though Poland was given economic liberties and requisitioned for matters of foreign representation.

Gdynia is a relatively modern city and there are not many historical buildings. The oldest building in Gdynia is 13th century St. Michael the Archangel's Church in Oksywie. There is also a 17th century neo-Gothic manor house located on Folwarczna Street in Orłowo. However, what attracts most tourists in Gdynia deals with its recent past. In the harbour there are two anchored[[museum ship]s, the ORP Blyskawica destroyer and the Dar Pomorza Tall Ship frigate. Gdynia is famous for its numerous examples of early 20th century architecture, especially monumentalism and early functionalism. Recently reconstructed Świętojańska street and Kościuszki square are also worth a mention. The surrounding hills and the coastline attract many nature lovers. Leisure pier and a cliff-like coastline in Kępa Redłowska as well as the surrounding Reservation Park are also popular locations. A 1.5 kilometre long promenade leads from the marina in the city centre to the beach in Redłowo. Most of Gdynia can be seen from Kamienna Góra (54 metres asl) or a newly built observation point near Chwaszczyno. You can also take a hydrofoil or ship trip to Gdańsk Westerplatte, Hel or just see the port.

Gdynia is also the host of the Heineken Open'er Festival, one of the biggest contemporary music festivals in Poland. The festival welcomes many foreign hip-hop, rock and electronic music artists every year. The second most important summer event in Gdynia is Viva Beach Party, which is a large two-day techno party made on Gdynia's Public Beach. Usually organized in August.

[Source: Wikipedia]

Send by: Emilo

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