All mural photos ©ourtesy of Kocham Gdansk on FB.
Street art is a statement, personal or collective. No matter its technique, it can portray an artist’s style, a city’s history, a personal story, a community’s sense of belonging, an element of identity. Murals are a city’s silent screams to passersby urging them to stop, look and reflect; to slow down and enjoy. They transform walls into windows, allowing a view that reminds us where we stand and who we are vis a vis a place.
Poland is no exception to this urban, glocal movement, and you can appreciate a variety of styles and themes across different cities and neighbourhoods. There are also a few groups, events and festivals that gather street artists, local communities and institutions to make sure that no wall is left behind. One of them is Wakeuptime.pl in Gdańsk, and here we focus on one of their urban canvases: the Lion of Gdańsk by Marcin Budziński located beside the bus station on 3 Maja street.
The mural depicts one of the rampant lions of Gdańsk’s coat of arms. The feline silhouette is outlined by an agglomeration of icons representing different places and features of the city. The lion’s tail is an approximation of the Motława River and the Martwa Wisła. If you zoom in, you can identify some of the icons. Below is a list of some of the places in the “map.” Can you locate them?
Please feel free to comment if you find something else in the “map” or any inaccuracies from our part. All mural photos are ©ourtesy of Kocham Gdańsk. Make sure to follow them for more amazing photos.
The focal point of Długi Targ, the Long Market, is the Neptune Fountain, a bronze statue of the sea god erected in 1549. Read more ➞
Main Town Hall (Ratusz)
The Town Hall spire, with a golden replica of King Zygmunt August on its pinnacle, dominates ul. Długa’s skyline. Read more ➞
St. Mary’s Basilica (Bazylika Mariacka)
Gdansk’s most visible place of worship, St. Mary’s Basilica is believed to be the largest brick church in the world. Read more ➞
The Crane (Żuraw)
One of the defining symbols of Gdańsk and represents what little is left of the city’s great trading age. Read more ➞
The first steamship built in Polish Gdańsk after 1945 at what was to become the Lenin Shipyards, the Sołdek has been turned into a living museum. Read more ➞
Artus Court (Dwór Artusa)
A symbol of the city’s power in the 16th and 17th centuries, it was Founded as a meeting place for merchants and dignitaries, it was named after King Arthur. Read more ➞
Built between 1642-44, it was destroyed during WWII and not restored until 1997. Read more ➞
Located in a former Franciscan monastery, it houses an impressive collection of equally beautiful objects. Read more ➞
The Baltic Opera continues the tradition of opera in Gdańsk which can be traced back to 1646. Read more ➞
Lying right outside famous gate no. 2 to the Gdansk Shipyards, the monument was unveiled in 1980 to commemorate the events of 1970 when 45 people died during street riots protesting against the communist regime. Read more ➞
When you arrive at Gdańsk Główny you are a stone’s throw away from Gdańsk Old Town. Read more ➞
Granary Island (Polish Spichlerze, German Spicherstetten) was the centre of Danzig/Gdansk trade for centuries and a source of the city’s historic wealth. Read more ➞
Unveiled on September 3, 2000 on the site of a World War II anti-aircraft gun, it is one of the most visible monuments in Gdansk. Read more ➞
Taking pride of place at the western end of Oliwa Park was originally built as a simple wooden structure in the 12th century, and it was only in 1224 that the brickwork was added. Read more ➞
Gdańsk’s coat of arms