A week ago, March 6th, I went to Gdansk for the first time in a long time. And I visited the Gdansk Shipyard for the first time in my life. You can now tour the area where Lech Walesa and Anna Walentynowicz worked in the 1970s and set up Solidarnosc following the new Kaiser Shipyard Trail (Szlak Stoczni Cesarskiej) in Gdansk.
Here’s a selection of photos which I hoped would spark interest among some of you.
Here are Rzeźby wychodzące z morza [Sculptures walking out of the sea], which you can read more about here. They are sculptures made of metal scraps found in junkyards, created by artist Czeslaw Podlesny.
Next, old signs on some shipyard building. The bigger sign announces that “the shipyard will employ: production manager, painters, carpenters, locksmiths” and other vocations. The smaller, horizontal sign announces the internal street name – “ul. Przy Pirsie”, which means “Next to the Jetty Street”.
This is the main entrance to the Shipyard. The red building in the back is named the European Solidarity Centre. Just yesterday they closed it again for visitors, but you can read more about what the Centre does here.
Next, the pretty cool (it’s cool, isn’t it?) souvenir kiosk, right outside the main Shipyard entrance (see: previous picture). There, you can buy magnets with Walesa and Solidarnosc logo. I don’t know what else is there, because well, I’m not that much of a souvenir gatherer anymore (the space in my room is finite, after all…), and we’re living in a pandemic (which seems to never end). Nonetheless, the sign on the kiosk is the sort of cool vintage that people are into these days. At least they were in the 2010s.
Are people still into vintage fonts, or did their popularity pass with that of kale and turnip smoothies?
This is the inside of one of the shipyard buildings, the closest to the historical crane that’s marked on the trail. The interiors of most of those buildings are derelict just like this. You can look into some of them through the broken windows, like I did. Just make sure you don’t cut your hands. (I didn’t. I was careful).
The broken window pictured below:
And to finish, a general view of the main horizontal street of the Shipyard:
It was a good and informative visit. There are information boards in both Polish and English distributed across the area. I strongly recommend the trail and am wondering what future awaits those glorious buildings.