Wisłoujście Fortress – Gdańsk, Poland - Atlas Obscura

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Wisłoujście Fortress

This 700-year-old structure is one of the most unique architectural and historic monuments in Gdańsk. 


The Wisłoujście Fortress is a strategic outpost at the mouth of the Vistula River, where it empties into the Baltic Sea. The traffic of all ships traveling to and from the port of Gdańsk can be seen and monitored from here, which is why this unique circular fort was a key defensive point for Poland for centuries, starting in the early 14th century.

The earliest records of a watchtower in this area date back to 1308, but it wasn’t until over a century later the first permanent fortification building was erected. In 1482, a round tower was built and functioned as a watchtower and lighthouse. Throughout history, the fortress was expanded and remodeled again and again, and a number of additional buildings were arranged around this central tower.

In the 16th century, a circular battery consisting of a set of bastions and casemates were added to the structure, to better position the firearms. The foundation of the fort rests on wooden underground bunkers hidden beneath the water, where a collection of historic weapons is now housed.

Over the years the importance of this fortress waned, and it was badly damaged by the Soviet Army during the Second World War. Luckily in 1974, the Museum of Gdansk obtained this area and realized the historical importance of the site. The restoration works are still ongoing, but many of the original structures have been restored and can be visited today.

Update as of July 2021: The fortress (including the exterior) is currently closed to visitors due to renovation work, which is expected to last until 2024. Bus service to the fortress has also been suspended.

Know Before You Go

The fortress is easily accessed by car or bus from the city. You can see the exterior free of charge but tickets are needed to climb the tower or tour the casemates. Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the spring and summer months. Closed from October until the end of April.

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November 16, 2018

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