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Report - St Mary's Church, Gdansk, Jun 2009

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by kevin arnold, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. kevin arnold

    kevin arnold 28DL Member
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    St Mary's Church (Kosciol Mariacki) is a landmark of Gdansk. It's what Big Ben or St Paul's Catherdral is for London. As Wikipedia says it's the biggest brick church in the world and one of the biggest churches in general. Currently under renovation, for which occasion a huge scaffolding was erected all around the main tower (the scaffolding itself being the biggest in northern Poland, weighing 200 tonnes).

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    The church is nicely situated in the centre of old Gdansk, the most scenic part of the city, so I knew the views would be excellent. The security seemed tight and there's a police station literally accross the street from it but some of my friends had done it before and got away with it so I knew it was possible.
    In the end the way up was quite easy if a bit nerve-wrecking as the scaffolding is very well lit at night and the top floors don't have that safety net so you're really exposed there. When I tried to get to the very last level I set off some motion detector and additional flood light went on. So I left it for later and went sightseeing around the tower. Here's what I saw (I know the pictures are a bit dark):

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    Bright lights are from the XVII century Armoury House.

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    Tower at the back is where the main street of Gdansk (Dluga) starts.

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    Looking north

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    Jacek Tower (it used to be a part of medieval city walls), St Catharine's Church (under renovation as well, I climbed it later), shipyard cranes, chimneys of the thermal power station.

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    Back of the church and its towers

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    Tower in the corner is the Town Hall, next to it Dluga, the main street.

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    Then I tried to find some way around the motion detector to get to the roof of the tower... only to set it off again and make myself visible to half of the city... I retracted, thought for a while then decided to screw it and just climbed straight on at the detector setting it off for the third time. I got to the last floor had a look around only to stare staight in the CCTV camera that was on the wall 3 metres from where I stood. At which point I decided it's best to leave... The security must have been asleep on that night because I had no problems getting out. Great night out and there were two other churches to see...
     

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