The Magic of Amber

The greatest treasure of the Baltic is amber. Even ancient Romans, appreciating its beauty, magic and health characteristics, came to Gdańsk, infected with the “amber fever”. Today amber is one of the most important symbols of the city, which by no coincidence is called the amber capital of the world.

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The richest collections of this valuable, raw material can be admired in the Amber Museum, located in the Prison Tower of the Fore Gate Complex. The golden amber wonderfully warms the powerful gothic walls of this building. The exhibition located on several floors allows you to gradually become familiar with amber, from its “birth”, meaning creation of fossilized resins from coniferous trees, to its oldest discoveries reaching to the Palaeolithic Age and the first craft works, all the way to the amber boom in the Golden Age of Gdańsk. The highest storeys have breathtaking exhibitions of amber jewellery.

Tourists, enchanted by the sight of amber wonders, can satisfy their appetite for Baltic gold in numerous galleries. On Długi Targ Street, the Long Embankment, and above all on Mariacka Street, called the Fifth Avenue of Amber, you may not only make a satisfying purchase from a wide range of jewellery, trinkets and souvenirs from Gdańsk. Here you can also observe the processing of amber, see an exhibition of unusual specimens and inclusions, and even try your own creativity by designing jewellery yourself.

To see a true masterpiece of art, you need to visit St.Bridget Basilica at Profesorska Street in Gdańsk. St. Bridget Church is particularly noted in our history in August 1980, during the labour strikes, as a shelter and meeting place for the anti-communist opposition, supported spiritually by Father Henryk Jankowski. Here is being built a monumental altar from amber 11 metres high. It was designed in the form of a triptych, with the image of Our Lady of the Working Class as the central part. Apart from the emerging altar, a small vault with a monstrance 174 cm high and weighing 30 kg catches attention.

The Gdańsk Amber route also leads us to… the football stadium built for UEFA EURO 2012™. The inspiration for the stadium’s designers, built on this area forgotten after the war, was the natural beauty of amber. The delicate, transparent covering of the stadium, with a colour alluding to amber lumps, leaves no doubt that this is the biggest “amber” on the Polish coast. Built over 45 months the stadium is 45 metres high, occupies 34 ha of land and holds 44 thousand people.


Photo © the City Hall of Gdansk

The Gdańsk History Museum – the Amber Museum