The Gdansk Crane is one of the symbols of the city and a reminder of Gdansk’s great trading past from the Middle Ages onwards.
The Story of the Gdansk Crane
Called Zuraw in Polish, Gdansk’s huge wooden loading crane attached to a brick warehouse was built in the 15th century and at the time was the biggest in the world. Two enormous wooden wheels within the crane were used to lift large cargo loads as well as fitting masts on to ships. It’s hard to believe that it ran purely on human power, with men using brute strength to turn the wheels.
It was still in use as a working crane until the 19th century, but it was destroyed at the end of the Second World War. Painstakingly reconstructed, the crane is now part of the National Maritime Museum and houses exhibitions showing port life over the past few centuries. On your visit, climb to the top of the crane for close-up views of how all the hoisting gear works.
Where to Stay near the Gdansk Crane
There’s a wide range of accommodation within a short walk of the Gdansk Crane. Choose from Baroque-style grand hotels with waterfront views and modern business hotels with full conference facilities. You could opt for a bit of self-catering in an three- or four-star apartment, some of which are in sleek new developments within easy reach of the Gdansk Crane.
What to See near the Gdansk Crane
Get to know Gdansk’s seafaring history with a visit to the National Maritime Museum, which is on Olowianka Island and is connected via a foot ferry. You’ll find interactive exhibits as well as models of ports and sailing ships. There’s even a dugout canoe from the 9th century. Step inside the MS Soldek, which was the first ship to be built after the Second World War in the Gdansk shipyard.
The waterfront district near the Gdansk Crane is one of the most attractive parts of the city. Stroll along the wide promenade past handsome facades and lively cafes, and check out the shops and small galleries near the Gdansk Crane.