When one talks about important cities in the world, I’m sure Gdansk would not come to mind.  As a matter of fact, I’m willing to bet that many of you like myself pre this blog, wouldn’t even know where to find Gdansk on a map.  Just so that you know, this interesting little city can be found on the north coast of Poland along the Baltic Sea.  But why is this city important?  Between WWI and WWII, Gdansk was a “Free State” like the Vatican, a territory sought after by Nazi Germany because of its location as a trading post in the Baltic Sea.  On the 01 September 1939, Nazis Germany invasion of Gdansk in the Battle of Westerplatte, is what sparked the start of WWII.  Post the war Gdansk was ceded to Poland and Poland fell under Communist Russia.  Ironically enough, the rise of a Polish non-government trade union, Solidarity “Solidarność” in the Lenin Shipyards (now Gdansk Shipyards) in August of 1980 was the impetus of the eventual dissolution of the communist strong hold over Poland and the USSR.  If that doesn’t make this an important city, then I do not know what does.

This fascinating city, which was heavily bombarded during WWII has been completely rebuilt and visitors can enjoy some amazing architectural marvels, like the St Mary’s Basilica (known to have more red bricks than any other church in Europe), the Crane (“Zuraw” a sign of prosperous old marine trading times),  Fahrenheit’s house (the guy the patented the mercury glass thermometer), Shakespeare theatre (Teatr Szekspirowski),  Artus Court where one can see the legendary Neptune Statue and on the quirkier side of life drive past the Falowiec “Wave” Apartment block.   It is 850 m long, 10 floors and has 1792 apartments with approximately 6000 inhabitants…. and if you thought that wasn’t  interesting enough Gdansk has its own authentic WWII Bunker Bar and Pirate ship!