A real "over view" and exploring St. Mary's Cathedral

Gdansk Travel Blog

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I walked out of the park a different way and found a tram stop nearby. I returned to the city center and set off for the hills behind the train station.

I had to walk along the highway to get to a bridge that crossed all of the train lines coming into the center. From there, I started the incline. I passed the Cemetery of Non-existent Cemeteries and a little church nearby.

The hills have a secret that can’t be seen from the city below. There is the restoration of part of an ancient fortress. From many parts of this and the surrounding earthen bastions, a panoramic view of Gdansk. It can be challenging to get to parts of it as some of the hills have no stairs and the worn path is a straight up kind of thing.

It was worth the potential scrapes and random rodent or snake appearing to enjoy the views of the city, it affords. I could see it all.

From one end I could even see the Millennium Monument and it’s view out to the Baltic Sea.

I found and easier way down and back to the return point of the train station.

I had time to get to one more sight before they all closed. I chose the Church of St. Mary. The largest thing in Gdansk. Of course the tower was covered in scaffolding as so much of Europe is.

Ok, it’s actually the largest Medieval brick church in the world. It has a length of over 100 meters and the tower stands at 76.6 meters tall. It was constructed in 1343 and took 150 years to complete. It’s interior contains items from it’s many historic periods; Gothic, Mannerist, and Baroque.

Look for the astronomical clock, an amazing feat for it’s day. The statue of the “Madonna of Gdansk” (15th century) sits in the Chapel of St. Anne.

With enough capacity for 25,000 people, St. Mary's has a gravity all its own! The darkly colored bricks and dim nighttime lighting only add to the effect. The church is open but, imposing. It’s size is enormous and even though it’s painted white (not original) the scale lends to it’s visual weight.

Upon leaving, I happened into a gingerbread shop. They sell their treats in tins with different historic houses of Gdansk, on them. Of course, I had to have some of them. They had a large tin that once the cookies are removed, you put a candle in and all of the cutouts of the 7 historic houses that make up it’s four sides….

.are lit from behind. One of the houses on the tin was the house that the gingerbread company is housed in (in the basement). It’s the oldest house in Gdansk, by the way.

I reached the “main drag” and many people were out. The street vendors (artists and amber jewelry sellers) were starting to pack up. There was a door ajar at the Russian cultural center. They were having an art exhibit…..looked very interesting. I will have to return, tomorrow.

As the vegetarian place that I had such good meal at was already closed, I decided on a grocery store night, for me.

On the way back to the train station, I walked through more of the area around the Raduna Canal. There are many old churches and monuments in this area. It’s a bit rundown but has much to see, even if only briefly.

I retuned to the hostel…….and the slamming of doors started only minutes after I get to my room. I took my jacket off….but then had to put it back on….too cold!

I will survive this!

 

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photo by: EmyG