The Solidarity Route of Gdansk – The Lech Walesa Tour
Last update February 2024.
Even though many Polish cities were fighting against the communist regime, Gdansk is called the cradle of Solidarity. Here in the Lenin Shipyard, Lech Walesa (in Polish Wałęsa) worked as an electrician, and it was he who became the leader of the strikes in 1980 which ultimately brought about the fall of the iron curtain not only in Poland but in other European countries as well.
We will start our tour with a visit to the European Solidarity Centre (called also Solidarity Museum). Here we will go through Polish history, the reasons for and the causes of the strikes in 1970 and 1980, the Gdansk Agreement, the carnival of Solidarity and Martial Law. In the end we will learn about the first free elections.
Later we will see the neighboring Monument to the fallen Shipyard Workers of 1970, which commemorates the first three workers murdered here by the police during the strikes in 1970. Our next stop is St. Bridget’s church in Gdansk which served as a meeting place for the political opposition. Many famous heads of states have been here, among others: Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush. St. Bridget’s church is also famous for its amber altar which is under construction in the church. Even it is not ready yet, we can already admire its beauty. After completion it will be bigger than the famous Amber Room also built by craftsmen from Gdansk.
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