Poland // Northern Poland //

The waterfront and shipyards

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At the end of ul. Długi Targ the archways of Brama Zielona open directly onto the waterfront. Halfway down is the fifteenth-century Gdańsk Crane, the biggest in medieval Europe, part of the Central Maritime Museum (July & Aug daily 10am–6pm; Jan–June & Sept–Nov Tues–Sun 10am–4pm; Dec Tues–Sun 10am–3pm; 8zł; w http://www.cmm.pl) spread over both banks of the river. Highlights include an exhibition of primitive boats; for an extra 8zł you can also tour the cargo ship SS Soldek docked outside. Further north loom the cranes of the famous Gdańsk shipyards, crucible of the political strife of the 1980s. Poignantly set outside the shipyard gates is the monument to the workers who formed the anti-Communist Solidarity movement, many of whom were killed during riots in the 1970s. It was here that Poland’s struggle to topple Communism began, a story detailed in the Roads to Freedom exhibition in the Solidarity offices at ul. Piastowskie 24, across from the shipyard gates (Tues–Sun 10am–5pm; 6zł; Wed 2zł).