This geographically diverse region in northern Poland has the country’s largest valleys, from which arises northern Poland’s tallest peak, Wieżyca. About 40 percent of its land area is covered by thick forest. In Slowinski National Park are Europe’s biggest sand dunes, and in the north the region has a lengthy coastline along the Baltic Sea. Its capital, the major seaport city of Gdańsk, sits by Gdańsk Bay leading to the Baltic Sea.
Among the voivodeship’s many castles is Malbork Castle, a World Heritage Site and the largest Gothic castle in the world.
The seaport city of Gdanski is part of a triumvirate, the Tri-City, which includes the modern port city of Gdynia and the resort town of Sopot. One of the loveliest coastal cities of Europe, Gdańsk is the Tri-City’s oldest member, with a thousand years of history. Most of the city was ruined in World War II, but many old buildings have been painstakingly reconstructed or repaired. The Solidarity labor movement, highly instrumental in ending Communist rule in Poland, was founded in Gdańsk. Its international airport is named after the Solidarity leader who went on to become President, Lech Walesa.
Its current population of 500,000 makes it the biggest city in the region. By water it can directly connect to the national capital of Warsaw, as Gdańsk lies on a river that branches into the Vistula. Its strategic position made it a thriving seaport with a major ship-building industry. Gdańsk’s main tourist attraction is along the Royal Road, where kings used to hold processions.
Every year, the city holds an English-language Shakespearean festival, a tradition that dates back to the 16th century when theatre troupes traveled here to perform.