The town of Gdynia
Gdynia is one of the most dynamic cities in Poland. Originally a small fishing village situated about 20 km NW of Gdańsk, it was designated in 1921 as a site for a new port in the Polish corridor and quickly became the symbol of Poland's interwar success. Gdynia has always attracted the attention of people with the initiative and ability to succeed. The town was transformed from a mere village to a modern town at an astounding pace, with a current population of 249,787.
Gdynia obtained city rights in 1926, only the three years after the first merchant ship called at the port. The years 1926-1930 witnessed a dynamic development of the port mostly due to coal exports. This has had a definite impact on the growing city especially in terms of spatial development. In the interwar period Gdynia was the base of the Polish maritime economy with all the associated activities: international trade institutions, a network of banks and insurance companies and chambers of commerce. The city grew because of the port and its activities. A rapid growth of Gdynia, which became "the Polish New York" (National Geographic), was dramatically hampered by the outbreak of the World War II. The city did not suffer much from bombardment, but the harbour and shipyard were completely destroyed. Gdynia was liberated in March 1945 and the post-war period once again became a pioneering time.
Nowadays the city's economic development revolves around the maritime industry, port related business and trade. But what is most important is the over the years Gdynia has managed to diversify its economy. Other industries include chemical, electronic, mineral, wood, building and lighting industry.
Today, Gdynia is not only a maritime centre but also a vital international trade and business point. A great number of ambitious small privately owned companies are located here. The port city is the home of the Polish Navy, the Sea Fisheries Institute, the Marine Biology Institute of the Polish Academy of Science and the nation's Naval Academy and Maritime Academy. Gdynia also has a great potential for tourism development. Coexisting with Gdańsk and Sopot, Gdynia is the perfect base for exploring the surrounding coastal region or the Kashubian Lake District.