Gdansk – Mariacka Street

Mariacka Street in Gdańsk

The clatter of shoes on the cobblestones of the narrow and dark Plebania Street, running at the northern wall of St. Mary's Church, echoes with a loud echo between the wall of the cathedral as large as a mountain and the old walls of the rectory at the back of the Royal Chapel. In the silence here, it sounds like a snare drum, announcing a theatrical performance: "Ladies and gentlemen! Before you, the most theatrical street in Gdańsk! Oto Mariacka! Voila!”.

Admittedly, the curtain reveals the stage, but – admit it yourself – the most interesting place in the theater is the prop room. That is why it is worth activating the imagination and treating Mariacka like a huge prop room, that is, a mysterious place, full of nooks and crannies and fantastic clutter, where you can find something interesting every now and then. The buildings on Mariacka Street are made up of approx 50 houses with various porches; the street is closed from the west by the wall of the NMR church and from the east by the St. Mary's Gate, it is impassable. There are no sidewalks here, and stairs leading up or down the ledge lead to numerous amber shops, souvenirs and artistic products. This is where you come for coffee, and also take a walk, dream, look at good jewelry.

After the last war, not much remained from Mariacka Street – only the sad remnants of the front façades and porches – fortunately however, to years 70. detail by detail, all architectural details have been recreated, restoring its former appearance.

Before in the 14th century. The Teutonic Knights marked out today's street, there were craft workshops that made shoes with pointed toes, fashionable in the Middle Ages. W XV w. the first houses began to appear, over time improved and modernized according to the prevailing styles. The biggest hustle and bustle engulfs Mariacka during Dominik's time, because there are many stalls here, this is where the mass of buyers and sellers is crowded. On clear days, you can listen to Bach, Handel or Vivaldi performed by a string trio, performing in front of one of the forefront songs.

You can reach Mariacka from different sides: from Dlugie Pobrzeże, from Chlebnicka Street along Grząska Street, from Święty Ducha street to Krowia street. However, the most beautiful passage is from Plebania Street. It is worth paying attention to the Gothic tenement house from 1451 r. (no 1) by the wall of the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary with copies of two pre-threshold plates depicting the Annunciation. Right next to it, in front of the facade of another tenement house, on the right there is a plate with the Merciful Samaritan, which is half authentic, and half reconstructed. The tenement house at no. 18 decorated with large granite spheres, and into the elaborate porches, original 17th-century slabs with carved floral motifs were integrated. Judgment no 24 the authentic façade from the 15th century has been preserved to this day. At no. 50 it houses the U Literatów gallery, where meetings of these are held and works of art are sold. To cool down a bit and preserve the impressions, it is worth visiting the Pod Holendrem cafe (Mariacka 37/39) or to the Actor's Club (Mariacka 3) for a cup of coffee or a warming drink. The tower of house no 26, right in front of St. Mary's Gate, belongs to the House of the Natural Society.

House of Naturalists

At the end of the 16th century. Antoni van Obberghen built an intriguing, reaching structure over the Motława River 30 m in height. From the side of the river, attention is drawn to a massive bay with a magnificent Renaissance turret, while the lofty porch from ul. Mariacka and the decorative gables match the beauty of the tenement houses at ul. Długa.

W 1845 r. the building houses the Gdańsk Naturalists Society, collecting prehistoric finds. The legacy of the Society, covering approx. 30 monuments that survived the war, became the nucleus of the current collection, which in 1962 r. handed over to the newly established Archaeological Museum. The museum is open Tue-Sun. in hours. 9.00-16.00.

The largest part of the archaeological collection, with approx. 100 thousand. objects, creates a permanent exhibition entitled. The pedigree of Slavic Gdańsk. On the first floor you can see the beginnings of settlement in Pomerania – stone tools, urnami, the first ornaments and metal products. A miniature horse made of amber from before that attracts attention 3 thousand. years; men willingly stop in front of the display case with old weapons, in which a gothic bronze sword shines like a new one. The second floor is occupied by exhibits from our era, m.in. first coins, reconstruction of the former stronghold on the Motława River, big boat from the 12th century. excavated at Oruni. In a display case with objects of worship, m.in. Thor's hammer, runic signs and fertility statuettes, there is an inconspicuous wooden cross, which is a thousand years old, as some people want, being one of these, what St.. Wojciech distributed during the baptism of Gdańsk.

The attraction of the exhibition from the turn of the Bronze and Iron Ages is the largest in Poland, one of the most unusual north of the Alps, collection of face ashtrays from before 2500 years, similar to the Etruscan canopies. The amber collections are an advantage of the exhibition: raw material, semi-finished products and ornaments often surprising with their modern form. The exhibition ends with an exhibition devoted to the rise and development of Gdańsk. Here you can see the largest exhibit in the museum's collection – reconstructions of a medieval stave boat. An addition to the Slavic Pedigree of Gdańsk is a palaeopathological exhibition entitled Diseases of prehistoric people in Poland., presenting bone material with post-traumatic lesions.

An interesting exhibition on diseases and injuries has been arranged on the ground floor, which were noticed by anthropologists in discovered human skeletons. So you can see skulls with sword marks, topora, bones deformed with leprosy, etc., described with criminological and archaeological precision. In addition, on the ground floor there is a collection of natural amber with lumps as large as a fist and with insects embedded in them. Temporary exhibitions on antiquity and exotic cultures are also organized here. Near the museum, next to the tenement house no 29 you can pass a short lesson on the conservation of monuments; on the right side, an original baroque plaque with a porch is placed in the wall, and next to it there is a reconstruction of the original one – a comparison of both allows us to trace the restoration work.

The door to the left of the museum cash register leads to the turret. To climb on it, one has to overcome endless, twisted stairs. It's worth it, because from the top there is a wonderful view of the eastern part of the city and the roofs of the old town. Details decorating the roofs are clearly visible, almost imperceptible from down the street – statues, ornaments and eagles.

For the first two centuries, the tower of the Naturalists' House served as an observation point for merchants, from which they watched the ships approaching. W XIX w. for a short time there was an astronomical observatory at its peak.

the. Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit Street, extending from the west to the Wybrzeże theater, and on the east it is closed with the gate of the Holy Spirit, it was only partially rebuilt. South frontage, apart from the Royal Chapel and a few tenement houses, it doesn't actually exist – there are squares and porches left after the houses. However, the northern frontage was completely reconstructed. In the house at no. 111 was born in 1788 r. Arthur schopenhauer. The mother of the philosopher, Joanna, entered literature as the author of romantic memories about Gdańsk.

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