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The Długa Street and the Długi Targ Street

The Długa and Długi Targ Streets which are also known as Trakt Królewski (the Royal Route) rank among the most beautiful streets in Gdańsk. The wealthiest Gdańsk patricians used to live there and almost every tenement house has its own interesting history to tell. The oldest preserved houses date back to the Middle Ages, but most of the buildings were erected in modern times. Tenement houses on Długa Street are typical Gdańsk houses with narrow facades topped with gables or attics, richly decorated with coats of arms, allegoric figures and silhouettes of ancient heroes. The most important secular buildings - the Hall of the Main City and the Artus Court are located on Długi Targ Street.



The Neptune Fountain
The Neptune Fountain has stood in front of the Artus Court since 1633 and is a symbol of Gdańsk. It was built on the initiative of the Mayor of Gdańsk, Bartłomiej Schachmann. The model was prepared by Peter Husen and Johann Rogge, and it was cast in 1615 in Augsburg. The design of the whole fountain was prepared by Abraham van den Blocke. The ornamented grill surrounding the fountain dates back to 1634. In the years 1757-1761 Johann Karl Stender redecorated the basin and the base of the fountain in the Rococo style, by adding a large array of sea creatures. According to one of the Gdańsk legends it was Neptune himself who contributed to the creation of the famous Gdańsk liqueur called Goldwasser. He got angry at people throwing golden coins into the fountain and hit the water with his trident so hard that the gold fell to pieces, forming small golden flakes which now shine in the tasty herbal liqueur.



St. Mary's Basilica
The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the largest brick church in the world, went through several stages of development over the period from 1343 to 1502. Its interior displays many exquisite pieces of Medieval and Baroque art, including the stone Pieta from about 1410, a copy of the Last Judgement by Hans Memling, the original canvas dating back to 1472, the astronomical clock built by Hans Düringer between 1464 and 1470 and the main altar put up between 1510 and 1517. The church is 105 m long, including the tower battlements, and the vaults soar 29m above floor level. The solid main tower is 77.6m high and it is crowned with a viewing gallery which enables visitors to enjoy a panoramic view of the city. In order to get there it is necessary to climb almost 400 steps!



St. Mary's Street
It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful streets of Gdańsk. It leads from the St Mary's church to the Long Embankment with the Medieval St Mary's Gate. The street is an exquisite example of historic Gdansk urban planning with terraced entrances and narrow, richly decorated facades of houses which once belonged to affluent merchants and goldsmiths. The picturesque scenery of the place has always inspired writers and painters. It has also used as the scene of films.



The Hall of the Old City
Erected in the period from 1587 to 1595 by Anthony van Obbergen. The building displays the classic features of high quality Mannerist Flemish architecture. The interiors feature 17th century allegorical wall paintings by Adolf Boy, and allegoric ceiling paintings painted by the disciples of the Herman Han's school.



The Crane - The oldest documented mention of Zuraw as a wooden port crane was in 1367. What you see today, however, was reconstructed in the middle of the 15th century after a devastating fire devoured the original structure. The large crane was used to place masts on ships and to load cargo. During World War II, the wooden area was destroyed and only 60% of the brick portion remained in tact. After the war, Zuraw was once again rebuilt and handed over to the museum.



Artus Court - Named after the mythical British King Arthur, it provided an arena for the movers and shakers of Gdansk to strut their stuff in knightly style. The enterprise was inspired by the courts of King Arthur, and the merchants endeavoured to emulate the chivalrous, brotherly ideals that were espoused in the Arthurian legends. Originally founded in 1350, the edifice got a sumptuous baroque make-over in the seventeenth century, although nearly all was lost in 1945. Thankfully, large sections of the interior had been spirited away, and these are amongst the highpoints of this splendidly reconstructed treasure.



The Golden Gate - was designed and constructed for the St. George Brotherhood, an elite rifle club and social group, by Abraham van der Block and Jan Strakowski. The gate is a mix of Flemish and Italian styles and since its reconstruction and renovation it has served as a symbol of the city as a whole. The actual portal of this gate is slightly rotated, so that as you walk through the gate, you are treated to an exceptional view of Dluga street and the Old Town Hall!




The Green Gate - Before this elegant structure was erected, the site had been occupied by the oldest gate in town, the 14th century Cog Gate. Pulled down in 1564-1568, it made room for the now surviving Mannerist building. The construction works supervised by Regnier of Amsterdam and Hans Kramer from Dresden lasted from 1568 to 1571. The gate was designed to provide residence for monarchs during their visits in the city.
















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