blog Blog 2016 Poland

The Gates of Gdansk

Gdansk has numerous impressive gates allowing entrance into the old town.  The first two you see here are about 50 meters apart, in between there is another old structure that houses the amber museum, amber having been a major trade item in earlier times. 

Golden Gate

Golden Gate

The Golden Gate in the style of Dutch Mannerism (1612–14)  replaced a 13th-century gothic gate, called the Brama Długouliczna (Long Street Gate).  It is located on ulica Długa, the main street, which you see framed through its arch.  Along with Brama Wyżynna, just 50 meters away, and Wieża Więzienna , it was part of the old city fortifications.  It sits next to the late-gothic building of the Brotherhood of St.George.

Inscribed in Latin:  Pax (Peace), Libertas (Freedom), Fortuna (Wealth) and Fama (Fame). On the east side they are Concordia (Agreement), Justitia (Justice), Pietas (Piety) and Prudentia (Prudency). The Latin inscription:  Concordia res publicæ parvæ crescunt – discordia magnæ concidunt (“In agreement small republics grow, because of disagreement great republics fall”).

Largely destroyed by Soviet shelling, beautifully rebuilt in 1957.  

Upland Gate– Brama Wyzynna


Upland Gate
Upland Gate

The Brama Wyzynna, or Upland Gate, was erected in the 16th century as part of the city’s fortification wall. As such it was once joined to an earthen wall of equal height.There are three coats of arms.  In the center is that of Poland, on the right Gdansk, and the left is Royal Prussia.   Below in Latin it says, “‘Justice and piety are the foundations of all states.” Chlebnicka Gate

Chlebnicka Gate

They built this brick Gothic style gate in 1450 at the end of Chlebnicka Street, facing the Motlawa River.   On that side of the gate there is a shield with two crosses but no crown. This was the first symbol of Gdansk.  It is not displayed elsewhere in the city.   On the street side you see a stylized lily, this the gate is also called the Lily Gate. There are various varieties of lilies in Gdansk.  


Chbinka Gate

Mariacka Gate

Mariacka Street has both the tall tower of Mariacka Church but also Mariacka Gate which connects to the Old Town.  It was built in 1485 with the two towers with typical small windows.   In this photo you can also see the cobble stone streets which are throughout the old town. 


Mariacka Gate


Green Gate

Green Gate

The Royal Route, which the king would pursue on city visits,  passed through the Golden Gate,  the Upland Gate, and this one.   The Green Gate was built as the official royal residence while in Gdansk, which no king ever used, considering its location too close to street traffic, noise and the citizenry.   It was inspired by Antwerp’s City Hall.  The Amsterdam architect Regnier built it in 1568-71.  Today the Green Gate houses the National Museum.

Other gates 

The Krowia Gate, Straganiarska Gate, Swietojanska Gate, Zulawska Gate, and the famous Gdansk Crane and the Nizinna Gate


By Gary Kirkpatrick

Artist and travel blogger.

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