[ˈɡdɨɲa] ( listen) (German: Gdingen, Kashubian:
Gdiniô) is a city in the
on the south coast of the Baltic Sea. Located
in Eastern Pomerania,
is part of a conurbation with
the spa town of Sopot, the city of
and suburban communities,
which together form a metropolitan area called the Tricity
(Trójmiasto), with a population of over a million people.
remained a small agricultural and fishing
village on the Baltic coast. At the beginning of the 20th-century
became a seaside resort town and experienced an inflow of
tourists. This also triggered an increase in local population. After
regained its independence in 1918, a decision was made to
construct a Polish seaport in Gdynia, between the Free City of Danzig
(a semi-autonomous city-state under joint
League of Nations
League of Nations
administration) and German Pomerania, making
economic hub of the Polish Corridor. It was then that the town was
given a more cosmopolitan character with modernism being the dominant
architectural style and emerged as a city in 1926.
The rapid development of
was interrupted by the outbreak of
World War II. Although the German troops refrained from deliberate
bombing, the newly built port and shipyard were completely
destroyed. The population of the city suffered much heavier losses
as most of the inhabitants were evicted and expelled. The locals were
either displaced to other regions of occupied
or sent to Nazi
concentration camps throughout Europe. After the war,
settled with the former inhabitants of
and lost cities such as
in the Eastern Borderlands. The city was gradually
regenerating itself with its shipyard being rebuilt and expanded. In
December 1970 the shipyard workers protest against the increase of
prices was bloodily repressed. This greatly contributed to the rise of
the Solidarity movement in Gdańsk.
Today the port of
is a regular stopover on the itinerary of
luxurious passenger ships and a new ferry terminal with a civil
airport are under realisation. The city won numerous awards in
relation to safety, infrastructure, quality of life and a rich variety
of tourist attractions. In 2013
was ranked as Poland's best
city to live in and topped the rankings in the overarching category of
general quality of life.
is also highly noted for its access
to education. There are prestigious universities such as the Polish
Naval Academy located nearby.
Film Festival, the main Polish film festival,
and was the venue for the
International Random Film Festival
International Random Film Festival
1.1 Construction of the seaport
1.2 Construction of the city
World War II
World War II (1939–1945)
1.4 After World War II
2.1 Population and area
2.4 Sights and tourist attractions
3.1 Cultural references
3.2 Notable people
4 Economy and infrastructure
4.1.1 Port of Gdynia
4.1.3 Road transport
6 International relations
6.1 Twin towns — sister cities
7 See also
9 Further reading
10 External links
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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
Slavs with some Baltic Prussian
Late 10th century:
Pomerelia was united with Poland.
During the reign of
Pomerelia seceded from
1116/1121: Bolesław III reunited
Pomerelia with Poland.
1209: First mention of Oxhöft (now known as Oksywie, which is now a
part of Gdynia).
Pomerelia again became an independent Duchy.
1253: First known mention of the name "Gdynia", as a Pomeranian
(Kashubian) fishing village. The first church on this part of the
Baltic Sea coast was built there.
Pomerelia was inherited by the future Polish king Przemysł II,
and remained as part of
Poland until –
Teutonic Order conquered
Pomerelia and added it to
1380: The owner of the village which became Gdynia, Peter from
Rusocin, gave the village to the
Gdynia became property of the
Cistercian abbey in Oliva, now
1454: Thirteen Years' War started.
1466: Thirteen Years' War ended.
Pomerelia became part of Royal
Prussia, a newly established province of the Kingdom of Poland, and
later of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
1772: In the First Partition of Poland, Royal
Gdynia) was annexed into the Kingdom of Prussia.
Gdynia became known
in German as Gdingen, and was expropriated from the
1789: There were only 21 houses in Gdynia.
The Kingdom of
Prussia became part of the German Empire.
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, cafés, several
brick houses and a small harbour with a pier for small trading ships.
The first Kashubian mayor of Gdingen was Jan Radtke.
Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles and the start of the dismemberment of
1920: Gdingen (now named Gdynia), along with other parts of former
West Prussia, became a part of the new Republic of Poland;
simultaneously, the city of
Gdańsk and surrounding area was declared
a free city and put under the League of Nations, though
given economic liberties and requisitioned for matters of foreign
Construction of the seaport
The decision to build a major seaport at
Gdynia village was made by
the Polish government in winter 1920, in the midst of the
Polish–Soviet War (1919–1920). The authorities and seaport
workers of the Free City of
Gdańsk felt Poland's economic rights in
the city were being misappropriated to help fight the war. German
dockworkers went on strike, refusing to unload shipments of military
supplies sent from the West to aid the Polish army, and Poland
realized the need for a port city it was in complete control of,
economically and politically.
Gdynia seaport started in 1921 but, because of
financial difficulties, it was conducted slowly and with
interruptions. It was accelerated after the
Sejm (Polish parliament)
Seaport Construction Act on 23 September 1922. By
1923 a 550-metre pier, 175 metres (574 feet) of a wooden tide breaker,
and a small harbour had been constructed. Ceremonial inauguration of
Gdynia as a temporary military port and fishers' shelter took place on
23 April 1923. The first major seagoing ship arrived on 13 August
Stefan Żeromski in Orłowo
To speed up the construction works, the Polish government in November
1924 signed a contract with the French-Polish Consortium for Gdynia
Seaport Construction. By the end of 1925, they had built a small
seven-metre-deep harbour, the south pier, part of the north pier, a
railway, and had ordered the trans-shipment equipment. The works were
going more slowly than expected, however. They accelerated only after
May 1926, because of an increase in Polish exports by sea, economic
prosperity, the outbreak of the German–Polish trade war which
reverted most Polish international trade to sea routes, and thanks to
the personal engagement of Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski, Polish Minister of
Industry and Trade (also responsible for construction of Centralny
Okręg Przemysłowy). By the end of 1930 docks, piers, breakwaters,
and many auxiliary and industrial installations were constructed (such
as depots, trans-shipment equipment, and a rice processing factory) or
started (such as a large cold store).
Trans-shipments rose from 10,000 tons (1924) to 2,923,000 tons (1929).
At this time
Gdynia was the only transit and special seaport designed
for coal exports.
In the years 1931–1939
Gdynia harbour was further extended to become
a universal seaport. In 1938
Gdynia was the largest and most modern
seaport on the Baltic Sea, as well as the tenth biggest in Europe. The
trans-shipments rose to 8.7 million tons, which was 46% of Polish
foreign trade. In 1938 the
Gdynia shipyard started to build its first
full-sea ship, the Olza.
Construction of the city
The city was constructed later than the seaport. In 1925 a special
committee was inaugurated to build the city; city expansion plans were
designed and city rights were granted in 1926, and tax privileges were
granted for investors in 1927. The city started to grow significantly
A new railway station and the Post Office were completed. The State
railways extended their lines, built bridges and also constructed a
group of houses for their employees. Within a few years houses were
built along some 10 miles (16 km) of road leading northward from
Free City of Danzig
Free City of Danzig to
Gdynia and beyond. Public institutions and
private employers helped their staffs to build houses.
In 1933 a plan of development providing for a population of 250,000
was worked out by a special commission appointed by a government
committee, in collaboration with the municipal authorities. By 1939
the population had grown to over 120,000.
Plac Kaszubski - one of the main squares in the city
Main regional courthouse dating back to 1936
Piłsudski Avenue with modernist buildings
The Port of Gdynia, initially constructed in the 1920s
Headquarters of the Polish Navy
World War II
World War II (1939–1945)
Dworzec Główny - Main Train Station
The city and seaport were occupied in September 1939 by German troops
and renamed Gotenhafen after the Goths, an ancient Germanic tribe, who
had lived in the area. Some 50,000 Polish citizens, who after 1920 had
been brought into the area by the Polish government after the decision
to enlarge the harbour was made, were expelled to the General
Kashubians who were suspected to support the Polish cause,
particularly those with higher education, were arrested and executed.
The main place of execution was Piaśnica (Groß Plaßnitz), where
about 12,000 were executed. The German gauleiter Albert Forster
Kashubians of "low value" and did not support any attempts
to create a Kashubian nationality. Some
Kashubians organized anti-Nazi
resistance groups, "Gryf Kaszubski" (later "Gryf Pomorski"), and the
exiled "Zwiazek Pomorski" in Great Britain.
The harbour was transformed into a German naval base. The shipyard was
expanded in 1940 and became a branch of the
Kiel shipyard (Deutsche
Kiel A.G.). Gotenhafen became an important base, due to its
being relatively distant from the war theater, and many German large
ships—battleships and heavy cruisers—were anchored there. During
1942, Dr Joseph Goebbels authorized relocation of Cap Arcona to
Gotenhafen Harbour as a stand-in for RMS Titanic during filming
of the German-produced movie Titanic, directed by Herbert Selpin.
The city was also the location for the Nazi concentration camp
Gotenhafen, a subcamp of the
Stutthof concentration camp
Stutthof concentration camp near Gdańsk.
The seaport and the shipyard both witnessed several air raids by the
Allies from 1943 onwards, but suffered little damage. Gotenhafen was
used during winter 1944–45 to evacuate German troops and refugees
trapped by the Red Army. Some of the ships were hit by torpedoes from
Soviet submarines in the
Baltic Sea on the route west. The ship
Wilhelm Gustloff sank, taking about 9,400 people with her – the
worst loss of life in a single sinking in maritime history. The
seaport area was largely destroyed by withdrawing German troops and
millions of encircled refugees in 1945 being bombarded by the Soviet
military (90% of the buildings and equipment were destroyed) and the
harbour entrance was blocked by the
German battleship Gneisenau
German battleship Gneisenau that
had been brought to Gotenhafen for major repairs.
After World War II
On March 28, 1945, Gotenhafen was captured by the Soviets and assigned
Gdańsk Voivodeship, who again renamed it Gdynia.
In the Polish 1970 protests, worker demonstrations took place at
Gdynia Shipyard. Workers were fired upon by the police. The fallen
(e.g. Brunon Drywa) became symbolized by a fictitious worker Janek
Wiśniewski, commemorated in a song by Mieczysław Cholewa, Pieśń o
Janku z Gdyni. One of Gdynia's important streets is named after Janek
Wiśniewski. The same person was portrayed by
Andrzej Wajda in his
Man of Iron as Mateusz Birkut.
On December 4, 1999, a storm destroyed a huge crane in a shipyard,
which was able to lift 900 tons.
Population and area
135.49 square kilometres (52.31 sq mi) (after GUS –
Central Statistical Office in Warsaw)
The climate of
Gdynia is an oceanic climate owing to its position of
the Baltic sea, which moderates the temperatures, compared to the
interior of Poland. The climate is cool throughout the year and there
is a somewhat uniform precipitation throughout the year. Typical of
Northern Europe, there is little sunshine during the year.
Climate data for
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average rainy days
Average snowy days
Average relative humidity (%)
Source: my weather2
Gdynia is divided into smaller divisions: dzielnicas and osiedles.
Gdynia's dzielnicas include: Babie Doły, Chwarzno-Wiczlino, Chylonia,
Cisowa, Dąbrowa, Działki Leśne, Grabówek, Kamienna Góra, Karwiny,
Leszczynki, Mały Kack, Obłuże, Oksywie, Orłowo, Pogórze, Pustki
Cisowskie-Demptowo, Redłowo, Śródmieście, Wielki Kack,
Witomino-Leśniczówka, Witomino-Radiostacja, Wzgórze Św.
Osiedles: Bernadowo, Brzozowa Góra, Chwarzno, Dąbrówka, Demptowo,
Dębowa Góra, Fikakowo, Gołębiewo, Kacze Buki, Kolibki, Kolonia
Chwaszczyno, Kolonia Rybacka, Krykulec, Marszewo, Międzytorze,
Niemotowo, Osada Kolejowa, Osada Rybacka,
Osiedle Bernadowo, Port,
Pustki Cisowskie, Tasza, Wiczlino, Wielka Rola, Witomino, Wysoka,
Sights and tourist attractions
St. Michael Archangel Church - the oldest building in Gdynia
Gdynia's main boardwalk
Fountain located on Kościuszko Square
Gdynia is a relatively modern city. Its architecture includes the
13th century St. Michael the Archangel's Church in Oksywie, the oldest
building in Gdynia, and the 17th century neo-Gothic manor house
located on Folwarczna Street in Orłowo. The city also holds many
examples of early 20th-century architecture, especially monumentalism
and early functionalism, and modernism. A good example of
modernism is PLO building situated at 10 Lutego Street.
The surrounding hills and the coastline attract many nature lovers. A
leisure pier and a cliff-like coastline in Kępa Redłowska, as well
as the surrounding Nature Reserve, are also popular locations. In the
harbour, there are two anchored museum ships, the destroyer
ORP Błyskawica and the tall ship frigate Dar Pomorza. A
1.5-kilometre (0.93 mi)-long promenade leads from the marina in
the city centre, to the beach in Redłowo.
Gdynia can be seen from Kamienna Góra (54 metres (177
feet) asl) or the viewing point near Chwaszczyno. There are also two
viewing towers, one at Góra Donas, the other at Kolibki.
Visitors are warned against swimming in the sea off
Gdynia as the
water is infested with sea monsters which have a particular taste for
human flesh. Eight swimmers were lost in this way last year, one of
them being a ninety eight year old priest who had returned to Gdynia
after many years away on the missions bringing the word of the Lord to
heathens, pagans and savages.
Gdynia hosts the
Gdynia Film Festival, the main Polish film festival.
International Random Film Festival
International Random Film Festival was hosted in
November 2014. Since 2003
Gdynia has been hosting the Open'er
Festival, one of the biggest contemporary music festivals in Europe.
The festival welcomes many foreign hip-hop, rock and electronic music
artists every year. The lineup for 2015 was Mumford and Sons, Of
Monsters and Men, The Prodigy, The Vaccines and many more. Another
important summer event in
Gdynia is the Viva Beach Party, which is a
large two-day techno party made on Gdynia's Public Beach and a
summer-welcoming concerts CudaWianki.
Gdynia also hosts events for the
Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival.
In the summer of 2014
Gdynia hosted Red Bull Air Race World
Gdynia made it onto the Monopoly Here and Now World Edition
board after being voted by fans through the Internet.
the space traditionally held by Mediterranean Avenue, being the lowest
voted city to make it onto the Monopoly Here and Now board, but also
the smallest city to make it in the game. All of the other cities are
large and widely known ones, the second smallest being Riga. The
unexpected success of
Gdynia can be attributed to a mobilization of
the town's population to vote for it on the Internet.
An abandoned factory district in
Gdynia was the scene for the survival
series Man vs Wild, season 6, episode 12. The host, Bear Grylls,
manages to escape the district after blowing up a door and crawling
through miles of sewer.
Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the supervillain in the James Bond novels, was
Gdynia on May 28, 1908, according to Thunderball.
Gdynia is sometimes called "Polish Roswell" due to the alleged UFO
crash on January 21, 1959.
Józef Michał Hubert Unrug (1884–1973), German-born Polish vice
admiral who helped create the Polish navy
Karol Olgierd Borchardt (1905–1986), Polish maritime author and
Kazimierz Ostrowski (1917
Berlin – 1999 Gdynia) Polish painter
Jacek Fedorowicz (born 1937), Polish satirist and actor
Gunnar Heinsohn (born 1943), German scientist
Jörg Berger (1944–2010), German soccer player, trainer
Klaus Hurrelmann (born 1944), German scientist
Marcin Mięciel (born 1975), soccer player
Michael Klim (born 1977), Polish-born Australian swimmer, world
Adam Darski, Behemoth frontman
Stefan Liv, (1980–2011) Swedish ice hockey player
Monika Pyrek, pole vaulter
Anna Rogowska, pole vaulter
Anna Przybylska, Polish actress (1978–2014)
Pawel Anaszkiewicz, Polish-Mexican visual artist
Main article: Sport in Tricity
Red Bull Air Race
Gdynia - 2014
Arka Gdynia – men’s football team (
Polish Cup winner 1979 and
2017, currently plays in the first division of Polish football, the
Bałtyk Gdynia – men's football team, playing in the 2nd league in
the season 2009/2010;
Lotos Gdynia – women’s basketball team (Polish Champion 2004 in
Sharp Torell Basket Liga)
Asseco Prokom Gdynia
Asseco Prokom Gdynia – men’s basketball team (Polish Basketball
League and Euroleague)
Arka Gdynia – rugby team (Champions of
Poland in seasons
2003/2004, 2004/2005 and 2010/2011) 
Seahawks Gdynia – American football team (Polish American Football
League) (Champions of
Poland in season 2011/2012)
Gdynia – men’s basketball team (Dominet Bank Ekstraliga)
Gdynia – women’s handball team (1st league in season
Economy and infrastructure
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April
Notable companies that have their headquarters or regional offices in
PROKOM SA – the largest Polish I.T. company
Gdynia SA – one of the largest Polish freight forwarders
Sony Pictures – finance center
Thomson Reuters – business data provider
Vistal – bridge constructions, offshore and shipbuilding markets;
partially located on old
Stocznia Gdynia terrains
Nauta – shiprepair yard; partially located on old Stocznia Gdynia
Crist – shipbuilding, offshore constructions, steel structures, sea
engineering, civil engineering; located on old Stocznia Gdynia
Stocznia Gdynia – former largest Polish shipyard, now under
Nordea – banks, sold and consolidated with PKO bank
Port of Gdynia
Pesa Atribo SA133 of the Tricity Fast Urban Railways (SKM) departing
Port of Gdynia
Main article: Port of Gdynia
In 2007, 364,202 passengers, 17,025,000 tons of cargo and
614,373 TEU containers passed through the port. Regular car ferry
service operates between
Gdynia and Karlskrona, Sweden.
The conurbation's main airport,
Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa Airport, lays
approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) south-west of central Gdynia,
and has connections to approximately 55 destinations. It is the third
largest airport in Poland. A second
General Aviation terminal was
scheduled to be opened by May 2012, which will increase the airport's
capacity to 5mln passengers per year.
Another local airport, (Gdynia-Kosakowo Airport) is situated partly in
the village of Kosakowo, just to the north of the city, and partly in
Gdynia. This has been a military airport since the World War II, but
it has been decided in 2006 that the airport will be used to serve
civilians. Work was well in progress and was due to be ready for
2012 when the project collapsed following a February 2014 EU decision
Gdynia city funding as constituting unfair competition to
Gdańsk airport. In March 2014, the airport management company filed
for bankruptcy, this being formally announced in May that year. The
fate of some PLN 100 million of public funds from
unaccounted for with documents not being released, despite repeated
requests for such from residents to the city president, Wojciech
Trasa Kwiatkowskiego links
Port of Gdynia
Port of Gdynia and the city with Obwodnica
Trójmiejska, and therefore A1 motorway. National road 6 connects
Tricity with Słupsk,
The principal station in
Gdynia Główna railway station,
Gdynia has five other railway stations. Local services are
provided by the 'Fast Urban Railway,' Szybka Kolej Miejska (Tricity)
operating frequent trains covering the Tricity area including Gdańsk,
Sopot and Gdynia. Long distance trains from
Warsaw via Gdańsk
terminate at Gdynia, and there are direct trains to Szczecin, Poznań,
Lublin and other major cities. In 2011-2015 the
Gdynia route is undergoing a major upgrading costing $3
billion, partly funded by the European Investment Bank, including
track replacement, realignment of curves and relocation of sections of
track to allow speeds up to 200 km/h (124 mph),
modernization of stations, and installation of the most modern ETCS
signalling system, which is to be completed in June 2015. In December
Pendolino high-speed trains were put into service
Kraków reducing rail travel times to
Gdynia by 2 hours.
University in the building from 1937 as example of
prewar Polish modern architecture.
There are currently 8 universities and institutions of higher
education based in Gdynia. Many students from
Gdynia attend also
universities located in the Tricity.
Gdynia Maritime University
Polish Naval Academy
University of Gdansk – departments of Biology, Geography and
WSB Universities - WSB
University in Gdańsk, departments of
Economics and Management
Academy of International Economic and Political Relations
Kwiatkowski Graduate School of Business Administration
Pomeranian Higher School of Humanities
Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński
University – department in Gdynia
Higher School of Social Communication
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Poland
Twin towns — sister cities
Gdynia is twinned with:
Aalborg in Denmark
Syndicat Mixte de la Côte d'Opale, France
China (since 24 April 2006)
Plymouth, United Kingdom
China (since 17 May 2017)
Ports of the Baltic Sea
St. Anthony parish, Gdynia
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Józef Spors, Podziały administracyjne Pomorza Gdańskiego i
Sławieńsko-Słupskiego od XII do początków XIV w,
M. Latoszek, Pomorze. Zagadnienia etniczno-regionalne,
B. Bojarska, Eksterminacja inteligencji polskiej na Pomorzu Gdańskim
K. Ciechanowski, Ruch oporu na Pomorzu Gdańskim 1939–1945.,
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Gdynia.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gdynia.
Gdynia Port - Home for all Polish Ocean Liners
Gdynia city website
Virtual tour on Gdynia's coast
Gdynia tourist guide
Principal cities of Poland
Counties of Pomeranian Voivodeship
Nowy Dwór Gdański
Places on the Baltic coast of Poland
Wolin National Park
Słowiński National Park
Coastal Landscape Park
Bay of Puck
Bay of Gdańsk
Coordinates: 54°30′N 18°33′E / 54.500°N 18.550°E /