Thursday, 7 March 2013

Post-industrial Gdańsk

I arrived in Gdańsk by night train early this morning, and before indulging in a Lenten breakfast at the Scottish restaurant (egg and cheese McMuffin, salad w/ yoghurt & dill dressing, pure orange juice), I paid a visit to the Cradle of Solidarność, the Gdańsk Shipyard.

The place is winding down, but there's still some activity with a handful of workers coming and going. There was a debate last year as to the possibility of keeping the iconic cranes that characterise Gdańsk's skyline. The scrap value of the steel is far outweighed by leaving the cranes in place. Like Łódź, Gdańsk's industrial heritage has enormous potential - leave it in place and use it as an identifiable focal point for new development. I hope the cranes will stay, as well as the brick-built tenements that surround the shipyard.

Footbridge. Gdańsk Stocznia station. From here troops shot workers in 1970.

Shipyard gates, famous worldwide during 1981 strikes

There's little happening now in the bankrupt shipyard
Save the cranes - an iconic part of Gdańsk's skyline

Resting and rusting: communist-era status symbol

Brick tenements, at the end of the street, the shipyard.
8x8 armoured personnel carrier used by communist Militia in 1981

Crosses commemorating dead shipyard workers killed in 1970
There's more to Gdańsk's history than just its old town.

This time last year:
The watercolours of Isaac Quinton

This time two year:
Silver birches and blue skies

This time four years ago:
Jeziorki's wetlands in late winter (2009)

This time five years ago:
Jeziorki's wetlands in late winter (2008)

1 comment:

Kolin S. Murray said...

Wow, these are very interesting. Thanks for sharing them. Love the three silhouetted cranes . . .