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Gdynia (pronounce: Missing image

[:gdiɲia], German Gdingen or Gotenhafen, Kashubian Gdiniô) is a city in the Pomeranian Voivodship of Poland and an important seaport at Gdansk Bay on the south coast of the Baltic Sea. Gdynia is located in Kashubia in Eastern Pomerania. Gdynia is part of a conurbation with the spa town of Sopot, the city of Gdańsk and suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the Tricity (Trójmiasto) with a population of over a million people. Template:Infobox Poland



The first mention of Gdynia was of a Pomeranian (Kashubian) fishing village, in 1253. Oksywie, now part of Gdynia, was mentioned even earlier in 1209. In the years 13821772 Gdynia belonged to the Cistercian abbey in Oliwa.

Gdynia, as part of Eastern Pomerania, was part of the loose confederation of Slavic tribes that would later be called Poland from circa 9901308. After the Massacre of Gdansk (1308) it became a state of the Teutonic Order (1308–1454/66), but afterwards fell to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (14661772). At the Partitions of Poland of 1772 it was annexed into the Kingdom of Prussia (1772–1919), and as part of Prussia became part of the German Empire (1870–1919).

After World War I it was assigned as part of the Polish Pomerania to Poland (1919–1945), and was reannexed by Germany at the start of World War II in 1939. It was then reannexed by Poland in 1945. Its name during its centuries under German rule was Gdingen.

In 1870 Gdingen had some 1200 inhabitants, and it was not a poor fishing village as it is sometimes described in the literature. It was a popular tourist spot with several guest houses, restaurants, cafes, a couple of brick houses and a small harbour with a pier for small trading ships. The first Kashubian mayor of Gdingen was Jan Radtke. After the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, the town, with other parts of former Polish Pomerania (or Royal Prussia), was became part of the new Republic of Poland, partially to compensate for the fact that the Poles did not get the German-speaking Danzig (Polish Gdańsk) and surrounding area, which were declared the Free City of Danzig under the League of Nations, and were only partially under Poland's control.

Construction of the Seaport

The decision to build a major seaport at the Gdynia village was made by the Polish government in winter 1920, because of the hostile attitude of the Danzig (Gdańsk) authorities and the seaport workers towards Allied military supplies to Poland during the Polish-Soviet War (1919–1920). Construction of the seaport was started in 1921, but because of financial difficulties was conducted slowly and with interruptions. It was accelerated after the Sejm (Polish parliament) passed the Gdynia Seaport Construction Act on 23 September 1922. By 1923 a 550-metre pier, 175 metres 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, and the first major seagoing ship arrived on 13 August 1923.

To speed up the construction works Polish government signed in November 1924 a contract with the French-Polish Consortium for Gdynia Seaport Construction, which at the end of 1925 had built a small seven-metre-deep harbour, the south pier, part of the north pier, a railway, and has also 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, theoutbreak of the German–Polish trade war which reverted most Polish international trade to sea routes, and also thanks to the personal engagement of Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski, Polish Minister of Industry and Trade, also responsible for construction of Centralny Okręg Przemysłowy. Till 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 clod room).

Trans-shipments rose from 10,000 tons (1924) to 2,923,000 tons (1929). At this time Gdynia was only the 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 most modern and the biggest seaport on the Baltic Sea, and the tenth biggest in Europe. The transshipments 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 that the seaport. In 1925 a special committee was inaugurated to build the city, in 1926 city expansion plans were designed, and city rights were granted, in 1927 tax privileges for investors granted. The city started to grow significantly after 1928 and the population grew rapidly to over 120,000 in 1939.

In 1930 the Baltic Institute in Toruń, institition designed to research the polish heritage in Pomerania, opened its branch in Gdynia.

Gdynia during World War II (1939–1945)

The city and seaport were occupied in September 1939 and renamed Gotenhafen after the Goths (even though the previous German name was Gdingen, which had no connection to the Goths). Some 50,000 of the Polish citizens were expelled to the General Gouvernment and their homes were seized by German settlers. The harbour was turned into a German navy base. The shipyard was extended in 1940 and turned into a branch of a Kiel shipyard (Deutsche Werke Kiel A.G.). It became a primary German naval base, and witnessed several air raids by the Allies from 1943 onwards, but suffered little damage. The seaport was largely destroyed by the withdrawing German troops in 1945 (90% of the buildings and equipment were destroyed) and the harbour entrance was blocked by the German battlecruiser Gneisenau.

The city was also the location for the Nazi concentration camp Gotenhafen, a subcamp of the Stutthof concentration camp.

Gdynia after World War II

In March 1945 Gdynia was captured by the Soviets and assigned to Poland (Gdansk Voivodship).

In 1970 riots occurred, see Coastal cities events. The fallen shipyard worker is known as Janek Wisniewski from Gdynia. He was commemorated by famous song of Maciej Cholewa(Piesn o Janku z Gdyni), recently discovered as collaborator of the secret police. The important street is named after Janek Wisniewski. The same person was portraited by Andrzej Wajda in his movie Men of Iron as Mateusz Birkut. However, in matter of fact the name of real person was different.


Notable companies that have their headquarters in Gdynia:

Port of Gdynia

  • Trans-shipments:
    • 1924 10,000 tons
    • 1929 2,923,000 tons
    • 1938 8,700,000 tons
    • 2002 9,365,200 tons
      • Containers 252,247 TEU (#2 on the Baltic Sea)
      • Passengers 364,202
See also: Ports of the Baltic Sea


Missing image
Marina in Gdynia View from Kamienna Gora

There are currently 7 universities and institutions of higher education based in Gdynia. Many students from Gdynia attend also universities located in the Tricity.

  • State-owned:
  • Privately-owned:
    • University of Business and Administration - 1,418 students
    • University of International Relations - 86 students
    • Humanistic University of Pomerania - 38 students
    • Cardinal Wyszynski University a department - 219 students
    • Pomorska Wyższa Szkoła Humanistyczna
    • Wyższa Szkoła Administracji i Biznesu im. Eugeniusza Kwiatkowskiego
    • Wyższa Szkoła Komunikacji Społecznej
    • Wyższa Szkoła Międzynarodowych Stosunków Gospodarczych i Politycznych
See also: Education in Gdynia (


There are many popular professional sports teams in Gdynia and Tricity area. Amateur sports are played by thousands of Gdynia’s citizens, as well as in schools and universities.

Sports in Gdynia

Arka Gdynia, Polish football club

Sports in Tricity


Gdynia/Słupsk constituency

Members of Parliament (Sejm) elected from Gdynia/Slupsk constituency

Sights and tourist attractions

Gdynia is a relatively modern city and one will not find many historical buildings. The oldest building in Gdynia is 13th century St. Michael Archangel's Church in Oksywie. There is also a 17th century neo-Gothic manor located in the Folwarczna Street in Orłowo. However, what most tourists look for Gdynia deals with its recent past. In the harbour there two museum ships are anchored, the ORP Blyskawica destroyer and the Dar Pomorza Tall Ship frigate. Gdynia is also famous for its numerous examples of early 20th century architecture, especially monumentalism and early functionalism. Recently reconstructed Świętojańska street and Kościuszki square are also worth mentioning. The surrounding hills and the coastline attract many nature lovers. Leisure pier and cliff-like coastline in Kępa Redłowska as well as the surrounding Reservation Park are also popular. 1.5 kilometres long promenade leads from the marina in the city centre to the beach in Redłowo. Most of Gdynia can be seen from Kammienna Góra (54 metres asl).

Modern division into neighbourhoods

Steam train "Costerina" Gdynia -
Steam train "Costerina" Gdynia - Kościerzyna
  • Babie Doły
  • Chwarzno Wiczlino
  • Chylonia
  • Cisowa
  • Działki Leśne
  • Dąbrowa
  • Grabówek
  • Kamienna Góra
  • Karwiny
  • Leszczynki
  • Mały Kack
  • Obłuże
  • Oksywie
  • Orłowo
  • Pogórze
  • Port
  • Pustki Cisowskie-Demptowo
  • Redłowo
  • Śródmieście
  • Wielki Kack
  • Witomino Leśniczówka
  • Witomino Radiostacja
  • Wzgórze Św. Maksymiliana

Population and area

Missing image
Coastline in Gdynia Orlowo

1870: 1200 inhabitants
1920: 1300 inhabitants
1926: 12,000 inhabitants, 6 km2
1939: 127,000 inhabitants, 66 km2
1960: 150,200 inhabitants, 73 km2
1970: 191,500 inhabitants, 75 km2
1975: 221,100 inhabitants, 134 km2
1980: 236,400 inhabitants, 134 km2
1990: 251,500 inhabitants, 136 km2
1994: 252,000 inhabitants, 136 km2
1995: 251,400 inhabitants, 136 km2
2000: 255,420 inhabitants, 135.49 km2 (after GUS - Central Statistical Office in Warsaw)
2003: 251,000 inhabitants, 136 km2

See also:

Flag of Poland
Voivodships of Poland
Greater Poland | Kuyavia-Pomerania | Lesser Poland | Łódź | Lower Silesia | Lublin | Lubusz | Masovia | Opole | Podlachia | Pomerania | Świętokrzyskie | Silesia | Subcarpathia | Warmia and Masuria | West Pomerania
Principal cities
Warsaw | Łódź | Kraków | Wrocław | Poznań | Gdańsk | Szczecin | Bydgoszcz | Lublin | Katowice | Białystok | Częstochowa | Gdynia | Gorzów Wlkp. | Toruń | Radom | Kielce | Rzeszów | Olsztyn

Further reading

  • (ed.) R. Wapiński, Dzieje Gdyni, Gdańsk 1980
  • (ed.). S. Gierszewski, Gdynia, Gdańsk 1968
  • Gdynia, in: Pomorze Gdańskie, nr 5, Gdańsk 1968
  • J. Borowik, Gdynia, port Rzeczypospolitej, Toruń 1934
  • B. Kasprowicz, Problemy ekonomiczne budowy i eksploatacji portu w Gdyni w latach 1920-1939, Zapiski Historyczne, nr 1-3/1956
  • M. Widernik, Główne problemy gospodarczo-społeczne miasta Gdyni w latach 1926-1939., Gdańsk 1970
  • (ed.) A. Bukowski, Gdynia. Sylwetki ludzi, oświata i nauka, literatura i kultura, Gdańsk 1979
  • Gminy województwa gdańskiego, Gdańsk 1995
  • H. Górnowicz, Z. Brocki, Nazwy miast Pomorza Gdańskiego, Wrocław 1978
  • Gerard Labuda (ed.), Historia Pomorza, vol. I-IV, Poznań 1969-2003
  • (ed.) W. Odyniec, Dzieje Pomorza Nadwiślańskiego od VII wieku do 1945 roku, Gdańsk 1978
  • L. Bądkowski, Pomorska myśl polityczna, Gdańsk 1990
  • L. Bądkowski, W. Samp, Poczet książąt Pomorza Gdańskiego, Gdańsk 1974
  • B. Śliwiński, Poczet książąt gdańskich, Gdańsk 1997
  • Józef Spors, Podziały administracyjne Pomorza Gdańskiego i Sławieńsko-Słupskiego od XII do początków XIV w, Słupsk 1983
  • M. Latoszek, Pomorze. Zagadnienia etniczno-regionalne, Gdańsk 1996
  • B. Bojarska, Eksterminacja inteligencji polskiej na Pomorzu Gdańskim (wrzesień-grudzień 1939), Poznań 1972
  • K. Ciechanowski, Ruch oporu na Pomorzu Gdańskim 1939-1945., Warszawa 1972

External links


da:Gdynia de:Gdynia et:Gdynia fr:Gdynia it:Gdynia csb:Gdiniô la:Civitas Gdinensis lv:Gdiņa na:Gdynia no:Gdynia pl:Gdynia nds:Gdynia ro:Gdynia sv:Gdynia


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