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POLAND : GDANSK - Sightseeing

The city boasts many fine Hanseatic league buildings. The St Mary's Church (Marienkirche/Bazylika Mariacka), a municipal church built in Gdansk in the 15th century, is one of the largest brick churches in the world.On the Motlawa river the museum ship SS Soldek is anchored.

Gdansk is the starting point of the EuroVelo 9 cycle route which continues southward through Poland, then onto the Czech Republic, Austria, and Slovenia before it finally ends on the Adriatic Sea at Pula in Croatia.

Lying right outside the Roads to Freedom exhibition the monument of the fallen shipyard workers was unveiled in 1980 to commemorate the events of 1970 when 44 people died during street riotsprotesting against the communist regime. The crosses symbolise the three workers who were killed outside the shipyard gates, while the anchors represent faith and hope.

The erection of the monument was one of the key demands during the 1980 strikes, and the monument is marked by a poignant inscription by Czeslaw Milosz: 'You who have harmed simple man, mocking him with your laughter, you kill him, someone else will be born, and your deeds and words will be written down'.

Surrounding the monument are several memorials andplaques and dedicated to victims of thetotalitarianism. King Jan Sobieski III statue. A large bronze statue built in 1897 in memory of the Polish king who reigned in the 17th century and famously defeated the Turks at the gates of Vienna; thereby saving Europe from the Ottoman hordes. Originally displayed in Lviv, the monument was movedto Warsaw in 1950 before finally being shifted to Gdansk in 1965. During martial law the monument became the starting point for several demonstrations and marches.

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