The Main Town Hall, Gdansk, Poland

Posted on July 8, 2012 by


the exhibition list

Thanks to Linda for today’s blog about the charming old town in Gdansk, Poland, she enjoyed the visit so much it had to be shared…

Gdansk is a city in Northern Poland and on the Baltic Coast; it has an efficient tram service that
connects it to the spa town of Sopot and miles of beautiful sandy beaches. Gdansk is well known
historically as a seaport and in the 1980s for its shipyards and the birthplace of the Solidarity
Movement, led by Lech Walesa, and contributing to the end of Communism in Central Europe.

The Main Town Hall is the focal point for The Museum of History for Gdansk and is situated on Dluga Street in the old town. It is readily visible on entering the street as the clock tower rises above the narrow walkway.

The name ‘Ratusz’ means the ‘house of the council’ and Town Hall was home to the city council since the city’s founding in the 14th century.

the  exhibition list

The building is now a museum and the entrance hall is quite magnificent with a finely sculptured
spiral stairway supported by one oak shaft 7.5m high. Coming off from the vestibule is the Grand Council Room with beautiful ornate carvings and a splendid golden fireplace.

Overhead the whole ceiling is covered in paintings by I. van den Block in 1608 and lovingly restored to their original splendour.

the exhibition list

The first floor housed a number of historical exhibits, from different periods in the city’s war torn history. My favourite was the Madonna and Child, it is actually called ‘The Holy Mary and Child’ or the ‘Golden Madonna’ and is made from limewood and gold plating. It was made in 1430 originally for The Holy Mary’s Basilic. During World War II the figure was placed in an evacuated storehouse, after the war it became private property and eventually in 2004 was purchased for the museum.

the exhibition list

The second floor of the museum tells us something more of the recent history of Gdansk and photos such as the one below shows how the city was devastated.

the exhibition list

The third floor rather bizarrely houses a sports museum but also leads to the stairway that takes you to the top of the clock tower. It is quite a climb, a challenging 240 steps up a winding old stone stairway!

The picture below shows one of the wonderful views from the top of the tower. A lovingly rebuilt old town restored to its original glory.

the exhibition listThere was much more to see such as the Winter Hall and the Zodiac Hall and many beautiful 17th century paintings. A museum well worth is a visit, and the climb to the top of the clock tower is an absolute must.

Entry Fee: 10 zlotys for the museum and an extra 5 zlotys for the clock tower.

(10 zlotys is approximately 3 US dollars)

Location: Dluga 46, Gdansk, Poland