Pomeranian Coast Pomeranian Coast Pomeranian Coast Pomeranian Coast Pomeranian Coast

Pomeranian Coast

This section of the EuroVelo 13 - Iron Curtain Trail is very varied and historically fascinating.

After crossing the area by Kaliningrad (formerly Königsberg), which belongs to Russia, the trail follows the sandy beaches and steep cliffs along the Baltic coast to the German-Polish border at Świnoujście (Swinemünde). Although no actual wall or barbed wire fence was constructed along this stretch during the Cold War, there certainly was a kind of Iron Curtain since large areas of the coastal region between St Petersburg and Usedom were inaccessible military areas and have only been opened up again in recent years. You still find reminders of the past everywhere, apart from relics of the Cold War also traces of the settlement and rule of various tribes over the centuries.

more

Here the trail offers an ever-changing panorama of sea views, lovely scenery and towns with a long and eventful history. Since it runs alongside the beach, you can take a cooling dip in the Baltic at almost any point. This section begins at the border between Lithuania and Russia near the town of Nida, which is situated at the southern end of the long Curonian Spit. The route along the Russian side of the Spit is a true delight for nature-lovers, lined on both sides by a forest untouched by man for decades. Coming to the end of the Spit, you approach Kaliningrad. A visit to Kaliningrad is not to be missed. In the course of its turbulent history, the town has not only been part of the Hanseatic League, the hometown of Immanuel Kant and a German exclave, but later also became a no-go area and is now a Russian exclave. While it was spared any fighting for a long time in World War II, in 1944 British and American air raids destroyed much of the inner city. In April 1945 the Red Army took the town and annexed it to the Soviet Union. It remained a no-go area until 1991. The Amber Museum and the Bunker Museum are well worth a visit.

From Kaliningrad you continue towards Poland, crossing the Russian-Polish border near Mamonovo and heading towards the Baltic. This takes you past Frombork (Frauenburg), where Nicolaus Copernicus served as canon and was buried in 1543. You can still view his astronomical observatory, his studies and his tools in the city museum. From Frombork you take the ferry to Sztutowo (Stutthof), which was originally a German prison camp, later a concentration camp, and is now commemorated by a memorial. You then follow the coastal road westward along the Baltic. After Mikoszewo you continue to the old trading and hanseatic city of Gdańsk (Danzig), the next must-see metropolis on the Iron Curtain Trail. The Nazi bombardment of Westerplatte in 1939 triggered World War II here, but it is also the birthplace of the solidarity movement of the early 1980s, which was a major contributory factor in the fall of the Iron Curtain in Europe.

Next, you cycle on to Gdynia (Gdingen), the hills of which still show evidence of the Cold War, such as restored gun emplacements. A few kilometres further you see the Hel peninsula, reaching far into the sea. It was once an important Polish military base and a barred military area between 1945 and 1990. Today you are allowed to cross it, and although remains of the coastal defences survive, this strip of land is reverting to tourism. You can do a day trip of the peninsula along a new, 50-kilometre cycle trail.

You then continue along the coast between dunes and forests and the banks of Sarbsko Lake. You will pass Czołpino and Rowy as well as several small lakes and can visit abandoned Cold War military installations in Łazy, while never moving far from the Baltic coast. The Polish section finally ends near the German border at the tourist town of Świnoujście (Swinemünde).

 

 

 

  • 440 km
    Length of Poland's
    Baltic Sea coast
  • 1980
    Start of the strike at
    the Gdansk Shipyards
  • 1255
    Foundation of
    Kaliningrad
  •  

 

 

  • Kluki, Poland

    Kluki is a picturesque village which was once a Slovincian settlement. Until the 19th Century, The Slavic language of Slovincian was spoken here and the village was one of the last places where it could be heard until as late as the 1950s. Today, Kluki is home to a museum which details the history of the village and of the Slovincian people. Piture by tomasz przechlewski (flickr.com), Creative Commons accessed 13th July 2015

  • Artillery Battery at Redłowo

    The battery consisted of four positions for the 130 m guns made of reinforced concrete. There were built several bomb shelters and an observation tower – all the objects are located in a military zone. The battery at Redłowo is the best preserved post-war seaside battery and the most attractive military monument of Gdynia.

  • Gdansk Shipyard, Poland

    Formerly known as the Lenin Shipyard, the Gdansk Shipyard is famous as the birthplace of the Solidarność movement. Founded in 1980, it was the only trade union in the Warsaw pact countries that was not part of the Communist Party. In 1989 after strikes and negotiations with the government, Poland held its first open elections. Photo by Trojan_Llama (flickr.com), Creative Commons accessed 14th of July 2015

  • The Krynica Morska Lighthouse

    The lighthouse has beautiful views over the Baltic Sea. It was built from concrete blocks and has the shape of a truncated cone with an internal staircase climbing to the top. Due to its position on a high dune, its light was visible as far as 48 nautical miles away. During wartime the lighthouse was destroyed and a new 27-metre- high tower was built in 1951.

  • Certified EuroVelo Route
  • Developed route with EuroVelo signs
  • Developed route
  • Route under development
  • Route at the planning stage

The stages