At present, the Polish city of Gdansk is a well liked tourist holiday location.
Along with it’s adjoining communities of Sopot and Gdynia, people come here to indulge in the shores, night life and culture. It's position on the Baltic coast has resulted in Gdansk being one of the most key ports in Northern Europe.
In the past known as Danzig, the city was the topic of dispute between Germany and Poland and it also had been right here where the opening shots of World War II were unleashed as Nazi Germany formally annexed the metropolis and integrated into Prussia.
Just after World War II, Poland fell under control of the Soviet Union and became a fundamental place in the Soviet ship building programme. Gdansk was a very busy shipyard on the Baltic coast and it had been in the Lenin Shipyards where Lech Walesa’s Solidarity Union was created in 1980. It was the first union in a Warsaw Pact country which was not in the control of the Communist Party.
Pressurized from Moscow, the Polish authorities tried to eliminate Solidarity by arresting key union members and imposing Martial Law. All the same, the Polish people were in no mood to be subdued and Solidarity grew to become a national movement, in the end pressuring the government into talks in 1989. The union was instrumental in the start of the fall of Communism and the tale of their activities are available in the Solidarity Museum. There is also a monument in Gdansk to the 45 shipyard workers who were killed during protests in opposition to the Communist regime in 1970.
Now, Gdansk is a charming city with loads of history with the lively thrill of a modern day urban centre. Quite a few of the old buildings ruined in the war have been rebuilt and there are loads of night clubs, eating places and dance clubs to rest thought the night.
It has been chosen as a host city for the Euro 2012 Championships with the recently constructed PGE Arena planned to have 3 group matches and a quarterfinal match.
Written and contributed by ratherton