Last updated

Coordinates: 54°30′N18°33′E / 54.500°N 18.550°E / 54.500; 18.550


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Container terminals in Gdynia.jpg
POL Gdynia flag.svg
POL Gdynia COA.svg
Coat of arms
Uśmiechnij się, jesteś w Gdyni
(Smile, you're in Gdynia)
Pomeranian Voivodeship Relief location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Relief Map of Poland.svg
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Coordinates: 54°30′N18°32′E / 54.500°N 18.533°E / 54.500; 18.533
CountryFlag of Poland.svg  Poland
Voivodeship POL wojewodztwo pomorskie flag.svg  Pomeranian
County city county
City rights10 February 1926
Boroughs22 districts
  Mayor Wojciech Szczurek
  City135 km2 (52 sq mi)
Highest elevation
205 m (673 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 (31 December 2019)
  City246,348 Increase2.svg (12th) [1]
  Density1,820/km2 (4,700/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
81-004 to 81-919
Area code(s) +48 58
Car plates GA
Gdynia in 1938 Gdynia Dworzec Morski.jpg
Gdynia in 1938
View from Kosciuszko Square; Dar Pomorza on the left, Sea Towers on the right Dar Pomorza - panoramio (1).jpg
View from Kosciuszko Square; Dar Pomorza on the left, Sea Towers on the right

Gdynia ( /ɡəˈdɪniə/ gə-DIN-ee-ə; Polish:  [ˈɡdɨɲa] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); German : Gdingen(currently), Gotenhafen(1939-1945); Kashubian : Gdiniô) is a city in northern Poland and a seaport on the Baltic Sea coast. With a population of 246,348, it is the 12th-largest city in Poland and the second-largest in the Pomeranian Voivodeship after Gdańsk. [1] Gdynia is part of a conurbation with the spa town of Sopot, the city of Gdańsk, and suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the Tricity (Trójmiasto) with over 1,000,000 inhabitants.

Historically and culturally part of Kashubia and Eastern Pomerania, Gdynia for centuries remained a small fishing village. By the 20th-century it attracted visitors as a seaside resort town. In 1926 Gdynia was granted city rights, after which it enjoyed demographic and urban development, with a modernist cityscape. Until 1939 it was located in the narrow Polish Corridor, between the Free City of Danzig and Germany. Many of its residents were displaced or evicted during the Second World War. The post-war period saw an influx of settlers from Warsaw and other parts of the country as well as Poles from Vilnius and Lviv. The violent protests of December 1970 contributed to the rise of the Solidarity movement in nearby Gdańsk.

The port of Gdynia is a regular stopover on the cruising itinerary of luxury passenger ships and ferries travelling to Scandinavia. In 2013, Gdynia was ranked by readers of The News as Poland's best city to live in, and topped the national rankings in the category of "general quality of life". [2]


Museum of the Navy in Gdynia 140429-POL-Gdynia-Muzeum MW.jpg
Museum of the Navy in Gdynia

The area of the later city of Gdynia shared its history with Pomerelia (Eastern Pomerania). In prehistoric times, it was the center of Oksywie culture; it was later populated by Slavs with some Baltic Prussian influences.

Construction of the seaport

The decision to build a major seaport at Gdynia village was made by the Polish government in winter 1920, [7] in the midst of the Polish–Soviet War (1919–1920). [8] The authorities and seaport workers of the Free City of Danzig felt Poland's economic rights in the city were being misappropriated to help fight the war. German dockworkers went on strike, refusing to unload shipments of military supplies sent from the West to aid the Polish army, [8] and Poland realized the need for a port city it was in complete control of, economically and politically.[ citation needed ]

Construction of Gdynia seaport started in 1921 [8] but, because of financial difficulties, it was conducted slowly and with interruptions. It was accelerated after the Sejm (Polish parliament) passed the Gdynia Seaport Construction Act on 23 September 1922. By 1923 a 550-metre pier, 175 metres (574 feet) of a wooden tide breaker, and a small harbour had been constructed. Ceremonial inauguration of Gdynia as a temporary military port and fishers' shelter took place on 23 April 1923. The first major seagoing ship arrived on 13 August 1923.[ citation needed ]

House of Stefan Zeromski in Orlowo Gdynia stefan zeromski house.JPG
House of Stefan Żeromski in Orłowo

To speed up the construction works, the Polish government in November 1924 signed a contract with the French-Polish Consortium for Gdynia Seaport Construction. By the end of 1925, they had built a small seven-metre-deep harbour, the south pier, part of the north pier, a railway, and had ordered the trans-shipment equipment. The works were going more slowly than expected, however. They accelerated only after May 1926, because of an increase in Polish exports by sea, economic prosperity, the outbreak of the German–Polish trade war which reverted most Polish international trade to sea routes, and thanks to the personal engagement of Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski, Polish Minister of Industry and Trade (also responsible for the construction of Centralny Okręg Przemysłowy). By the end of 1930 docks, piers, breakwaters, and many auxiliary and industrial installations were constructed (such as depots, trans-shipment equipment, and a rice processing factory) or started (such as a large cold store).[ citation needed ]

Trans-shipments rose from 10,000 tons (1924) to 2,923,000 tons (1929). At this time Gdynia was the only transit and special seaport designed for coal exports.[ citation needed ]

In the years 1931–1939 Gdynia harbour was further extended to become a universal seaport. In 1938 Gdynia was the largest and most modern seaport on the Baltic Sea, as well as the tenth biggest in Europe. The trans-shipments rose to 8.7 million tons, which was 46% of Polish foreign trade. In 1938 the Gdynia shipyard started to build its first full-sea ship, the Olza .[ citation needed ]

Construction of the city

The city was constructed later than the seaport. In 1925 a special committee was inaugurated to build the city; city expansion plans were designed and city rights were granted in 1926, and tax privileges were granted for investors in 1927. The city started to grow significantly after 1928.

A new railway station and the Post Office were completed. The State railways extended their lines, built bridges and also constructed a group of houses for their employees. Within a few years houses were built along some 10 miles (16 km) of road leading northward from the Free City of Danzig to Gdynia and beyond. Public institutions and private employers helped their staff to build houses.
In 1933 a plan of development providing for a population of 250,000 was worked out by a special commission appointed by a government committee, in collaboration with the municipal authorities. By 1939 the population had grown to over 120,000. [9]

Gdynia during World War II (1939–1945)

ORP Blyskawica Srodmiescie, Gdynia, Poland - panoramio (97).jpg
ORP Błyskawica
Dworzec Glowny - Main Train Station Dworzec Gdynia Glowna z pl. Konst. (2).JPG
Dworzec Główny - Main Train Station

The city and seaport were occupied in September 1939 by German troops and renamed Gotenhafen after the Goths, an ancient Germanic tribe, who had lived in the area. Some 50,000 Polish citizens, who after 1920 had been brought into the area by the Polish government after the decision to enlarge the harbour was made, were expelled to the General Government. Kashubians who were suspected to support the Polish cause, particularly those with higher education, were arrested and executed. The main place of execution was Piaśnica (Groß Plaßnitz), where about 12,000 were executed. The German gauleiter Albert Forster considered Kashubians of "low value" and did not support any attempts to create a Kashubian nationality. Some Kashubians organized anti-Nazi resistance groups, "Gryf Kaszubski" (later "Gryf Pomorski"), and the exiled "Zwiazek Pomorski" in Great Britain.

The harbour was transformed into a German naval base. The shipyard was expanded in 1940 and became a branch of the Kiel shipyard (Deutsche Werke Kiel A.G.). Gotenhafen became an important base, due to its being relatively distant from the war theater, and many German large ships—battleships and heavy cruisers—were anchored there. During 1942, Dr Joseph Goebbels authorized relocation of Cap Arcona to Gotenhafen Harbour as a stand-in for RMS Titanic during filming of the German-produced movie Titanic , directed by Herbert Selpin.

The city was also the location of the Nazi Gotenhafen subcamp of the Stutthof concentration camp.

The seaport and the shipyard both witnessed several air raids by the Allies from 1943 onwards, but suffered little damage. Gotenhafen was used during winter 1944–45 to evacuate German troops and refugees trapped by the Red Army. Some of the ships were hit by torpedoes from Soviet submarines in the Baltic Sea on the route west. The ship Wilhelm Gustloff sank, taking about 9,400 people with her – the worst loss of life in a single sinking in maritime history. The seaport area was largely destroyed by withdrawing German troops and millions of encircled refugees in 1945 being bombarded by the Soviet military (90% of the buildings and equipment were destroyed) and the harbour entrance was blocked by the German battleship Gneisenau that had been brought to Gotenhafen for major repairs.

After World War II

On 28 March 1945, Gotenhafen was captured by the Soviets and assigned to Polish Gdańsk Voivodeship, who again renamed it Gdynia. [7]

In the Polish 1970 protests, worker demonstrations took place at Gdynia Shipyard. Workers were fired upon by the police. The fallen (e.g. Brunon Drywa) became symbolized by a fictitious worker Janek Wiśniewski, commemorated in a song by Mieczysław Cholewa, Pieśń o Janku z Gdyni. One of Gdynia's important streets is named after Janek Wiśniewski. The same person was portrayed by Andrzej Wajda in his movie Man of Iron as Mateusz Birkut.

On 4 December 1999, a storm destroyed a huge crane in a shipyard, which was able to lift 900 tons.


Population and area

192612,0006 km2
1939127,00066 km2
194570,00066 km2
1960150,20073 km2
1970191,50075 km2
1975221,100134 km2
1980236,400134 km2
1990251,500136 km2
1994252,000136 km2
1995251,400136 km2
2000255,420135.49 square kilometres (52.31 sq mi) (after GUS – Central Statistical Office in Warsaw)
2009248,889136,72 km2


The climate of Gdynia is an oceanic climate owing to its position of the Baltic Sea, which moderates the temperatures, compared to the interior of Poland. The climate is cool throughout the year and there is a somewhat uniform precipitation throughout the year. Typical of Northern Europe, there is little sunshine during the year.

Climate data for Gdynia (1976-2010)
Record high °C (°F)13.7
Average high °C (°F)2.0
Daily mean °C (°F)−0.6
Average low °C (°F)−3.2
Record low °C (°F)−21.2
Average precipitation mm (inches)46.6
Average rainy days151113131615161714181916183
Average snowy days11131020000016750
Average relative humidity (%)82867969636971728283848777
Source: my weather2 [10]


Gdynia is divided into smaller divisions: dzielnicas and osiedles . Gdynia's dzielnicas include: Babie Doły, Chwarzno-Wiczlino, Chylonia, Cisowa, Dąbrowa, Działki Leśne, Grabówek, Kamienna Góra, Karwiny, Leszczynki, Mały Kack, Obłuże, Oksywie, Orłowo, Pogórze, Pustki Cisowskie-Demptowo, Redłowo, Śródmieście, Wielki Kack, Witomino-Leśniczówka, Witomino-Radiostacja, Wzgórze Św. Maksymiliana .

Osiedles: Bernadowo, Brzozowa Góra, Chwarzno, Dąbrówka, Demptowo, Dębowa Góra, Fikakowo, Gołębiewo, Kacze Buki, Kolibki, Kolonia Chwaszczyno, Kolonia Rybacka, Krykulec, Marszewo, Międzytorze, Niemotowo, Osada Kolejowa, Osada Rybacka, Osiedle Bernadowo, Port, Pustki Cisowskie, Tasza, Wiczlino, Wielka Rola, Witomino, Wysoka, Zielenisz.

Sights and tourist attractions

St. Michael Archangel Church - the oldest building in Gdynia Gdynia, Kosciol sw. Michala Archaniola - (344483).jpg
St. Michael Archangel Church - the oldest building in Gdynia
Gdynia's main boardwalk Gdynia pier.JPG
Gdynia's main boardwalk
Experiment Science Center Centrum Nauki EXPERYMENT.jpg
Experiment Science Center

Gdynia is a relatively modern city. [11] [ failed verification ] Its architecture includes the 13th century St. Michael the Archangel's Church in Oksywie, the oldest building in Gdynia, and the 17th century neo-Gothic manor house located on Folwarczna Street in Orłowo. The city also holds many examples of early 20th-century architecture, especially monumentalism and early functionalism, and modernism. [12] A good example of modernism is PLO building situated at 10 Lutego Street.

The surrounding hills and the coastline attract many nature lovers. A leisure pier and a cliff-like coastline in Kępa Redłowska, as well as the surrounding Nature Reserve, are also popular locations. In the harbour, there are two anchored museum ships, the destroyer ORP Błyskawica and the tall ship frigate Dar Pomorza . [13] A 1.5-kilometre (0.93 mi)-long promenade leads from the marina in the city center, to the beach in Redłowo. [14]

Most of Gdynia can be seen from Kamienna Góra [15] (54 metres (177 feet) asl) or the viewing point near Chwaszczyno. There are also two viewing towers, one at Góra Donas, the other at Kolibki.

In 2015 the Emigration Museum opened in the city.


Gdynia hosts the Gdynia Film Festival, the main Polish film festival. The International Random Film Festival was hosted in Gdynia in November 2014. Since 2003 Gdynia has been hosting the Open'er Festival, one of the biggest contemporary music festivals in Europe. The festival welcomes many foreign hip-hop, rock and electronic music artists every year. In record-high 2018 it was attended by over 140,000 people, who enjoyed the lineup headlined by Bruno Mars, Gorillaz, Arctic Monkeys and Depeche Mode. [16] Another important summer event in Gdynia is the Viva Beach Party, which is a large two-day techno party made on Gdynia's Public Beach and a summer-welcoming concerts CudaWianki. Gdynia also hosts events for the annual Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival.
In the summer of 2014 Gdynia hosted Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Cultural references

In 2008, Gdynia made it onto the Monopoly Here and Now World Edition board after being voted by fans through the Internet. Gdynia occupies the space traditionally held by Mediterranean Avenue, being the lowest voted city to make it onto the Monopoly Here and Now board, but also the smallest city to make it in the game. All of the other cities are large and widely known ones, the second smallest being Riga. The unexpected success of Gdynia can be attributed to a mobilization of the town's population to vote for it on the Internet.

An abandoned factory district in Gdynia was the scene for the survival series Man vs Wild, season 6, episode 12. The host, Bear Grylls, manages to escape the district after blowing up a door and crawling through miles of sewer.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the supervillain in the James Bond novels, was born in Gdynia on 28 May 1908, according to Thunderball .

Gdynia is sometimes called "Polish Roswell" due to the alleged UFO crash on 21 January 1959. [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22]

Notable people

Jacek Fedorowicz, 2018 2018 - Pol'and'Rock Festival - Jacek Fedorowicz 05.jpg
Jacek Fedorowicz, 2018
Joanna Senyszyn, 2018 Senyszyn, Joanna-2405.jpg
Joanna Senyszyn, 2018


Klaudia Jans-Ignacik, 2016 Jans Ignacik RG16 (1) (27369353346).jpg
Klaudia Jans-Ignacik, 2016
Olek Czyz, 2016 20160814 Basketball OBV Vier-Nationen-Turnier 4428.jpg
Olek Czyż, 2016

Fictional characters


Stadion GOSiR Stadion GOSiR.jpg
Stadion GOSiR
National Rugby Stadium Stadion rugby w Gdyni 06.jpg
National Rugby Stadium

Sport teams

International events

Economy and infrastructure

Gdynia Shipyard Stocznia gdynia.jpg
Gdynia Shipyard

Notable companies that have their headquarters or regional offices in Gdynia:



Port of Gdynia Basen-portowy-gdynia.jpg
Port of Gdynia
Pesa Atribo SA133 of the Tricity Fast Urban Railways (SKM) departing from Gdynia 160222-SA133-029-Gdynia-0.jpg
Pesa Atribo SA133 of the Tricity Fast Urban Railways (SKM) departing from Gdynia

Port of Gdynia

In 2007, 364,202 passengers, 17,025,000 tons of cargo and 614,373  TEU containers passed through the port. Regular car ferry service operates between Gdynia and Karlskrona, Sweden.


The conurbation's main airport, Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa Airport, lays approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) south-west of central Gdynia, and has connections to approximately 55 destinations. It is the third largest airport in Poland. [24] A second General Aviation terminal was scheduled to be opened by May 2012, which will increase the airport's capacity to 5mln passengers per year.

Another local airport, (Gdynia-Kosakowo Airport) is situated partly in the village of Kosakowo, just to the north of the city, and partly in Gdynia. This has been a military airport since the World War II, but it has been decided in 2006 that the airport will be used to serve civilians. [25] Work was well in progress and was due to be ready for 2012 when the project collapsed following a February 2014 EU decision regarding Gdynia city funding as constituting unfair competition to Gdańsk airport. In March 2014, the airport management company filed for bankruptcy, this being formally announced in May that year. The fate of some PLN 100 million of public funds from Gdynia remain unaccounted for with documents not being released, despite repeated requests for such from residents to the city president, Wojciech Szczurek.

Road transport

Trasa Kwiatkowskiego links Port of Gdynia and the city with Obwodnica Trójmiejska, and therefore A1 motorway. National road 6 connects Tricity with Słupsk, Koszalin and Szczecin agglomeration.


The principal station in Gdynia is Gdynia Główna railway station, and Gdynia has five other railway stations. Local services are provided by the 'Fast Urban Railway,' Szybka Kolej Miejska (Tricity) operating frequent trains covering the Tricity area including Gdańsk, Sopot and Gdynia. Long-distance trains from Warsaw via Gdańsk terminate at Gdynia, and there are direct trains to Szczecin, Poznań, Katowice, Lublin and other major cities. In 2011-2015 the Warsaw-Gdańsk-Gdynia route is undergoing a major upgrading costing $3 billion, partly funded by the European Investment Bank, including track replacement, realignment of curves and relocation of sections of track to allow speeds up to 200 km/h (124 mph), modernization of stations, and installation of the most modern ETCS signalling system, which is to be completed in June 2015. In December 2014 new Alstom Pendolino high-speed trains were put into service between Gdynia, Warsaw and Kraków reducing rail travel times to Gdynia by 2 hours. [26] [27]


Gdynia Maritime University in the building from 1937 as example of prewar Polish modern architecture. Gdynia- Dom Zeglarza Polskiego (4).JPG
Gdynia Maritime University in the building from 1937 as example of prewar Polish modern architecture.

There are currently 8 universities and institutions of higher education based in Gdynia. Many students from Gdynia also attend universities located in the Tricity.

Twin towns – sister cities

Gdynia is twinned with: [29]

See also

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Further reading