Population: 248 000 (metro 1 081 000)
Tallest building: Sea Towers (144m)
Founded year (city rights): 1926
Area: 135 km²
Year visited: 2014
Gdynia is the second largest city in the tricity together which also includes Gdansk and Sopot. It is an important seaport city in the Gdansk Bay in the Baltic Sea with a big shipyard, Stocznia Gdynia. It is a very new city, it got the city rights in 1926 and therefore has no really old buildings. Gdynia grew from a village to a city when the seaport started consruction in 1921. The construction progress went very slowly because of financial issues. In 1925 the city started to be constructed. When the Germans occupied the city and the seaport in 1939, they called Gdynia Gotenhafen after the goths, an ancient German tribe who have lived in the area. The Gotenhafen concentration camp was also located there! When the city was captured by the Russians in 1945 it was renamed Gdynia. During the solidarity movement in 1970, strikes also took place at the shipyard of Gdynia. The fictious name of one of the workers who were shot to death, Janek Wisniewski, has named one of the major streets. 10 Lutego is the most important avenue of Gdynia. It is filled with grey modernist buildings and leads to the harbour with its pier and the Sea Towers, the new skyscrapers that have became the new symbol for modern Gdynia.
We visited Gdyania for a few hours, as part of the daytrip to Sopot. It is a pretty grey and dull city, since most of the city was built up in the 1920s with much prewar funcionalist and post war socialist architecture, and there is no old town. On top of that the weather also turned grey when we arrived. The nicest area is the harbour, where you find Sea Towers, these skyscrapers are the only buildings that stand out. There are also some nice ships that you can visit, but during our visit they were just about to close. By some reason, as a contrast to the greyness, the city felt more friendly and genuine, and less touristy then the other cities.
We also visited Gdansk, the main destination on the trip, and the beautiful resort town Sopot, both also part of the Tricity metropolitan area.