Tuesday 14 May 2013

Did you ever visit Gdansk and Malbork?

If your answer is ‘no’, you should join us on a trip to Poland. In the morning we enjoyed the calm sea, the view on the narrow coastline and of course the lectures. The first lecture was about the art in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and the second about Tsar Peter I.
We arrived in time and with sunshine in Gdynia. It seems to be the first summer day, because some of the people wore short trousers and tank tops. Indeed a warm and nice welcome.

For those of us who went on the excursion, before reaching Gdansk, we had a stop at the cathedral of Oliva. There we had the pleasure of listening to an organ-concert of 20 minutes. It is one of the most important organs of Poland and from time to time the carved wooden angels moved their trumpets. Later our guides led us through the old city center of Gdansk with its beautifully restored buildings. The amazing St Mary’s Church is the largest brick church in the world. It was completely destroyed during WWII, but was luckily rebuild in its original form.
After strolling through the picturesque streets our visit concluded with a demonstration of how to distinguish real from fake amber in one of the jeweller shops.

A smaller group went on the excursion to Marienburg or as it is named: Malbork. The fortress Ordensburg Marienburg was founded by the Knights of Teutonic Order in 1274. It is the world’s largest brick castle and one of the most impressive of its kind in Europe.

The construction continued for 230 years and is today an impressive building. In 1309 Marienburg became headquarter of the Order. From 1457 the Fortress was the residence of the Polish Kings for 300 years. During the Second World War more than 50% of Marienburg was destroyed and still nowadays the restorations go on. The amazing building is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

We left the illuminated harbour of Gdynia at 9 pm after a wonderful day in Gdansk and Malbork.