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Gdansk is city in northern Poland the administrative center of Gdansk Province a seaport on the Gulf of Gdansk The city was formerly the administrative center of the free city of Danzig an area controlled by the League of Nations The harbor equipped with extensive facilities for the accommodation of oceangoing vessels lies in the lee the side sheltered from the wind of Hel Peninsula Two dredged arms of the Wisla Vistula River extend through the city which has numerous bridges Except for the industrial areas and the Langgarten the modern section of Gdansk the city has a medieval appearance and many narrow winding streets and gabled houses with open-air balconies of carved stone Among the noteworthy buildings is the Church of Saint Mary 1343-1505 which contains the celebrated painting The Last Judgment by the Flemish painter Hans Memling Other notable structures include the town hall a Gothic-style edifice the exchange formerly the merchants guild built in 1379 and the Church of Saint Catherine The Langgarten which replaced 1895-1896 fortifications removed from the northern and western sides of the city has spacious public gardens wide streets and many examples of modern architecture Cultural and educational institutions in Gdansk include Gdansk Polytechnical University 1945 and the University of Gdansk 1970 music art and trade schools a municipal library and a number of theaters Commercially Gdansk is one of the most important cities in Poland It has not only port facilities and inland-water connections with the valley of the Wisla but also direct rail connections with Warsaw and other major points in the country and throughout Europe The port serviced by foreign and domestic steamship lines shares with Gdynia the bulk of Polish import trade and handles a considerable portion of the exports The city ranks among the foremost manufacturing centers of Poland manufactures include ships railway cars furniture sugar fertilizer nuts and bolts military weapons bricks amber products cigarettes and numerous other commodities The historical origins
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