First of all the Polish-born Pope John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope since 1522! He was elected in 1978 when Poland was still a communist country. Most historians agree say that he helped to abolish communism.
Karol Wojtyla as Pope visited Poland 8 times. Twice he made pilgrimages to Gdansk. His most memorable visit was in 1987 since he visited many places. At each step of his visit were crowds of people chanting for freedom. During our tour, we will see the places in Gdansk and Sopot which Karol Wojtyla visited.
Oliva cathedral in Gdansk
We will start with a 20-minute organ concert in Oliva Cathedral. This is the longest Polish church, and welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists every year and not only for of its famous 18th centuary organs. We will see Lech Walesa’s house (Polish spelling Wałęsa) – the legendary leader of the “Solidarity” trade union with whom John Paul II met many times. Next we will go to Westerplatte, where the Second World War started. Here Karol Wojtyla met with young people and at that time 35 of the surviving Polish defenders of Westerplatte in 1939. After visiting Westerplatte, we will visit the European Solidarity Centre. It is located in the Gdansk Shipyards. This fascinating place shows Polish history from the end of WW2 until the free elections in 1989. During our visit we will concentrate on the role of the Polish Catholic Church in the fight against communism. We will see where the 1 million mass in Gdansk Zaspa was celebrated by John Paul II. In front of the European Solidarity Centre we will see the striking Monument to the fallen Shipyard workers of 1970, where John Paul II prayed in silence surrounded by the ill-reputed Polish riot police ZOMO.
The European Solidarity Centre tour
After the visit to the European Solidarity Centre we can go on to St. Mary’s church in the Old City of Gdansk, the biggest gothic brick church in the world. Here our pope met with sick people and employees of the health service.
We may also visit other places connected with the pilgrimages of John Paul II in the Tricity like: Sopot pier – the longest wooden pier in Europe or the Zaspa district, to see the place of the 1 million mass.
In the footsteps of John Paul II in Gdansk tour details:
Entrance fees on the route of In the footsteps of John Paul II in Gdansk:
• Oliva Cathedral – free of charge except for the 20 minute organ concert – regular ticket 4,5 PLN, discount ticket 2,5 PLN
• European Solidarity Centre: regular ticket 20 PLN, discount ticket 15 PLN, regular group ticket (11 people or more) 18 PLN, discount group ticket (11 people or more) 12 PLN
• St Mary’s church in Gdansk: Free of charge
• Sopot pier – regular ticket 8 PLN, discount ticket 4 PLN
4 PLN is only about € 1
Prices for only guiding or guiding and transport. All is PER TOUR and NOT per person.
Guiding with transport
More than 20
More than 20 and you need transport – please contact me!
Ania Anna Kotula, a private tour guide for Gdansk
How to book In the footsteps of John Paul II in Gdansk tour in English, Spanish or Dutch? Please contact me! If you need a guide for Gdansk in German or French please let me know, I can arrange it for you as well.