Żuraw

Landmark in Gdańsk

Part of the National Maritime Museum, the oh-so conspicuous Gdańsk Crane (Żuraw) soars above the busy waterfront. Built in the mid-15th century as part of the biggest double-towered gate on the shoreline, it also served to install and remove ships' masts, and to load and unload heavy cargo from vessels docked at the quay. Incredibly, this human-powered device could hoist loads of up to 2000kg, making it the largest crane in medieval Europe.

Blasted to pieces in 1945, everything was carefully put back together in the postwar decades, making it the only fully restored relic of its kind in the world. Inside you’ll find exhibits relating to the history of shipping; English notes are available on laminated sheets. You can also climb up into the section overlooking the water and have a closer look at the hoisting gear (but sadly not go on the giant treadmills).

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