Topics of coins

The Millenium of Danzig

The coin commemorates the millenium of Gdańsk, one of the oldest Polish cities, an International economic centre of the Baltic Sea region whose history is closely connected with the history of Poland. The first mentron of Gdańsk being a Polish city, 'urbs Gyddanzyc', dates back to the Life of St. Adalbert in the year 997. The city was granted municipal autonomy about the year 1260. This period of Gdańsk history finished with the invasion and destruction of the city in 1308 by the Order of TeutoniC Knights.

Gdańsk became a member ofthe Hanza Union in 1361 and of the Prussian Union in 1440. After the victorious 13-year old war Gdańsk was reunited with Poland in 1466 obtaining various prmleges with the coinage privilege among them, from the King, Kazimierz IV Jagiellończyk. The second period of rę-union with Poland is the time of Gdańsk fuli growth. The city fre- quently gave evidence of its loyalty to Poland. In 1793 Gdańsk again came under the reign of Prussia, interrupted by the period of the Free City of Gdańsk (1807-1814). It was incorporated into Prussia in 1815, against the will ofits inhabitants. The centuries of prosperity and economic growth under the reign of the Polish Republic were foUowed by the decline of the city. Under the Versaifles Treaty of 1919 Gdańsk regained its status as a free city, with its own currency (gulden), bowever, its complete state sovereignty was limited in favour of Poland and the League of Nations.

Upon Hitlers accession to power in 1933 the rights ot the Polish Republic and the Polish inhabitants were practically lim- ited on the territory of the FreeCity of Gdańsk. Poland refused to unitę Gdańsk with the Hitler s Germany which caused the German invasion to Poland on September 1st, 1939. Gdańsk was 50% damaged (the oldTown in 80%) while occupied by the Soviet Army, though it returned to Poland in 1945.

In the post-war years the growing economicand pofiticai crisis under the communist regime caused labour riots, brutally suppressed, in Gdańsk in December 1970. Spontaneous labour unrest in the Gdańsk shipyard in 1980 which expanded later into the national strike action led to the creation of the 'Solidarity' Union. Nowadays, Gdańsk (population of 463,000) together with Gdynia and Sopot is the third biggest con- urbation in Poland, the so called Three-Cities, with the tota! population of 758,000.