History of Sopot 2019-06-17T12:43:39+02:00


City history

Museum of Sopot

Famous characters



The first mention of Sopot comes from 1283, when a small fishermen’s village of that name, the Pomeranian prince Mściwój II, donated to the Oliwa Cistercians. They managed these areas for almost 500 years. Already from the middle of the 16th century rich Gdańsk patricians and diplomats from foreign countries began to build their summer residences in Sopot. At that time, the first attempts to organize special places for sea bathing appeared. After the first partition of Poland in 1772, Sopot became Prussian.

After the defeat of Napoleon in Russia and the retreat of the French army from Moscow, a French military surgeon Jan Jan Haffner settled in Gdańsk, who bought a piece of land here and in 1823 he built a bathing establishment (bathrooms). A year later, the first Spa House was created here. Then, thanks to Haffner’s activity, a nearby park was established (existing until today), walking paths were marked out and the first pier built. First patients came to Sopot, and the town was considered a bathing resort. After the railway connection of Koszalin with Gdańsk and Warsaw was started in 1870, along which Sopot was heading, the town developed quickly. In 1901, Sopot was granted city rights, the resort was slowly becoming a very fashionable place in Europe – it was called the Riviera of the North. In 1909, the Forest Opera began its activity.
The Treaty of Versailles incorporated the area of ​​Sopot into the Free City of Gdańsk. In 1920, a casino was founded in the city, and in 1927 the Grand Hotel was put into operation. The wooden pier was extended to the current length of 511,5 m.
After World War II in 1945, Sopot was incorporated into Poland, while the remaining German population was displaced and replaced by Poles from the Eastern Borderlands. In 1961, the city was once again renowned when the First International Song Festival was organized here.
In 2001, Sopot celebrated the 100th anniversary of granting city rights.

City coat of arms of Sopot

In a late-gothic shield, on a blue background a white seagull with black legs, sitting down on white (silver) cod lying on a mound of yellow sand. Above the shield of the coat of arms corona muralis in the shape of a red (brick) wall with three such towers with white battlements, a white gate with a black frame.

Coloring of the coat – wall: PANTONE 172U, background: PANTONE 292 U, sand: PANTONE 115 U
Graphic design (according to the heraldic study) – A. Markowicz
Computer working – A. Reichel STUDIO REICHEL

City flag of Sopot

Description (according to the heraldic study)
Rectangle with a width to 2/3 proportions. A field of flags divided into two colorful, equal-sized stripes. The upper belt is blue, the bottom is yellow. In the center of the flag is the image of a gull holding a fish in its claws.

The flag can be supplemented with the town’s coat of arms or its elements.
Colors of the coat of arms – background: PANTONE 292 U, sand: PANTONE 115 U
Graphic design (according to the heraldic study) – A. Markowicz
Computer working – A. Reichel STUDIO REICHEL

Sopot city logo

The name of the city in the logo gives expression to the brand. Sopot is a value in itself. For over 100 years, patients and tourists have been coming to the seaside resort for health and relaxation.

The combination of elements – a characteristic logotype and complement – underlines the diversity of Sopot, thanks to which both residents and guests improve their state of mind and body.
A tight sail stimulates to action. It refers to positive energy, associated with movement, sport, meetings and allowing one to live life to the fullest.
The artistic signature emphasizes the unique character, peculiarities and qualities of the city. It highlights things, places, situations, events that are unique and unheard of.
The author of the logo is the company TOTEM

Sopot city hymnal

The hymnal of Sopot was composed by Tadeusz Kassak and is played during official city celebrations.

Music Tadeusz Kassak, performance of the Polish Chamber Philharmonic – Sopot, under the direction of Wojciech Rajski:

Download mp3 file


Museum of Sopot

The Museum of Sopot is located in the historic Villa Claaszena which dates to 1904. On the ground floor you will find rooms decorated with old art and furniture which have been recreated using archival photographs from the early twentieth century, to show the villa as it looked when it was a family home. Currently, the villa is open to the public as a permanent display of historic burgher interiors.

The upper floor of the villa has various exhibition halls. The museum presents temporary exhibitions devoted to various aspects of the history of Sopot every year.

Current exhibitions:

  • Villa Claaszena – reconstruction from 1904-1924
  • The exhibition “Silence before the storm. Summer 1939 in Sopot”

Adres: Księcia Józefa Poniatowskiego 8, 81-724 Sopot
Telefon: +48 58 551 50 31
Mail: sekretariat@muzeumsopotu.pl
Strona www: http://muzeumsopotu.pl


Jerzy Haffner

Jean Georg Haffner (born September 20, 1775 in Colmar – Alsace, died April 20, 1830 in Gdansk), arrived in Gdańsk in 1808 as a physician of the Napoleonic army (major-surgeon) and settled here permanently. In 1808, he married Regina Karolina Bruns, the widow of Jan Krzysztof Boettcher.

At his instigation, in 1808, General Jean Rapp – the French governor of Gdańsk – ordered to build bathrooms in Gdańsk-Brzeźno for sea baths – the first such facility in the region. Later, at the request of the Prussian authorities, Haffner started to establish a sea resort in Sopot and the organization of the resort. From 1811 he practiced as a doctor in Gdańsk. After the departure of French troops in 1814, he remained in Gdańsk, after which he moved to Sopot, a village of just over 300 inhabitants at that time. He is one of the “founding fathers” of Sopot. In 1823 he received from the Prussian government the right to establish a bathing area. Two Magdeburg morges were rented to the sea shore, where today a part of the Sopot park stretches. There he planted trees, in which he helped the fishing population, who called him “a happy French doctor”. He built a curative house and facilities for hot and cold baths at his own expense. He laid down the bathing rules. The spa he founded was later owned by his heirs for many years.

Source – wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Georg_Haffner


Kompleks trzeciego Domu Zdrojowego, 1915 r. Zbiory Muzeum Sopotu

Kasino-Hotel tuż przed jego otwarciem, wiosna 1927 r. Zbiory Muzeum Sopotu

Pocztówka sopocka lata 50-90 XX w. Zbiory Muzeum Sopotu

Pocztówka sopocka lata 50-90 XX w. Zbiory Muzeum Sopotu

Pocztówka sopocka lata 50-90 XX w. Zbiory Muzeum Sopotu

Pocztówka sopocka lata 50-90 XX w. Zbiory Muzeum Sopotu

Fotografia barwna z widokiem na Łazienki Północne, lata 70. XX w. Zbiory Muzeum Sopotu

VII – XI century, e.
In the area of ​​today’s city there was an early medieval stronghold, elements of which survived at ul. Haffner. For several years, the open-air museum has been open to the public on the Sopot castles.

The first reference to Stawow and Gręzów – two settlements within the limits of today’s Sopot. Both settlements were listed in the foundation document of the Cistercian monastery in Oliwa among four villages constituting the original salary of the Oliwa Abbey.

1212 – 1214.
In the foundation document issued by Mściwoja I – the Duke of Gdansk – for the Norbertine monastery in Żukowo, for the first time appears the name of Świemirowo – once an independent village, today an area located within the city limits of Sopot.

In a document issued by the Duke of Gdansk, Mściwoja II, the village of Sopot is mentioned for the first time. The settlement was mentioned among the sixteen villages that the Cistercians of Oliwa received in exchange for the towns lying in the Gniew Land, lost by them for the benefit of the Teutonic Knights. The Cistercian monastery in Oliwa remained the owner of Sopot for nearly five centuries – until the disappearance of monastery property after the first partition of Poland.
In the same document from 1283, the present-day district of Sopot Brodwino was also mentioned for the first time.

The Cistercian abbey in Oliwa, by exchange with the Norbertine monastery in Żukowo, became the owner of the village of Świemirowo. Since then, the entire area of ​​today’s city was within the boundaries of the Cistercian olive estate.

As a result of the second peace of Toruń, Sopot and the entire Gdańsk Pomerania were incorporated into the borders of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Half of the sixteenth century
Sopot from the peasant village begins to transform into a place of summer recreation of Gdansk patricians. Over the decades, the richest representatives of Gdansk merchants built in Sopot – on the land leased from the Cistercian olive oil – twelve summer mansions surrounded by decorative gardens. The center of the village was located near the intersection of today’s 1 Maja and Bohaterów Monte Cassino streets with the Niepodległości avenue. Located below the Sopot escarpment, the lower terrace remained uninhabited until the beginning of the 19th century, only by the sea there was a small fishing village.

During the peace negotiations that took place in nearby Oliwa, ending the Polish-Swedish war, the Polish king Jan Kazimierz stayed with Piotr Maria Ludwika and the whole court in the neighboring property of Karlikowo for several weeks. The head of the Swedish delegation Magnus de la Gardie resided in Sopot itself, in the most magnificent of the local courts, known from that time as the Swedish Court.

Sopot is completely burned by the Russian army besieging Gdańsk. The destruction of the settlement was the result of the war of the Polish crown between Stanisław Leszczyński and August III, which had been going on since the autumn of 1733. At the end of September 1733, Leszczynski came to Sopot and for a few days lived in the local Swedish Manor. Then he took refuge in Gdańsk, where he expected help from the French. In response to the French landing, the Russian armies besieging Gdańsk burnt down nearby coastal settlements, including Sopot. After the end of hostilities, the ruined mansions in Sopot were abandoned by the existing tenants – Gdansk patricians – and remained largely undeveloped until the mid-18th century.

Second half of the eighteenth century
Most of the manor houses in Sopot were bought by the Pomeranian family of the Przebendowski family. In the years 1756-1757, General Józef Przebendowski purchased nine properties in Sopot, in 1786 a widow of him, Bernardyna from Kleists, bought two more mansions. In this way, at the end of the 18th century, Przebendowscy gathered eleven of the fifteen Sopot courts in their hands. In 1804, all this property was sold to the Gdansk merchant Carl Christoph Wegner.

As a result of the first partition of Poland, Sopot became part of the Prussian state. By virtue of the decision of King Frederick II, the landed estates of the Oliwa monastery – among them the Sopot estates – were confiscated and incorporated into the Prussian state domains.

The largest Sopot estates, Carl Christoph Wagner, made the first attempts to launch a sea bath – he built a modest building by the beach equipped with hot tubs and cabins-changing rooms. Wegner’s undertaking, however, did not bring success.

There are 23 houses in Sopot at that time; the village has 350 inhabitants; the area of ​​the rural commune is 44 Prussian (about 337 ha).

In Sopot, the first professional Bathing Center is built, built by Dr. Jean Georg Haffner. This date is considered the beginning of the Sopot resort.

Haffner, an Alsatian of origin, came to Gdańsk in 1808 as a physician of the Napoleonic army and settled here permanently. The task of the device in Sopot, a sea bathing resort, took real effect at the request of the Prussian authorities. In the following years, Dr. Haffner expanded the bathing area with further devices for patients. In 1824, the first Sopot Spa House was opened. At that time, the first wooden pier, approximately 63 meters long, was created – the prototype of today’s pier – and wooden bathrooms – changing rooms on the seashore – separate for men and women, as well as a curative park. The first Sopot tourist guidebooks were published, as well as the first magazine issued for the bathers coming to Sopot.

Jean Georges Haffner died in 1830. Stepson Erolf Adolf Böttcher took his Sopot legacy. The Bathing Company founded by Haffner remained privately owned until 1877.

Ernst Adolf Böttcher expanded the Kuracyjny House and staged the first theater in Sopot. He also built new bathrooms. At that time, Sopot has 150 homes and has 937 permanent residents. In the mid-19th century, the number of visitors visiting the Sopot swimming pool in the summer season remained between 800 and 1200 people per year.

A railway line Gdańsk – Słupsk – Koszalin is being built through Sopot, later extended to Berlin. The launch of rail connections, thanks to the increased availability of Sopot, contributed to the extremely dynamic development of the bathing resort at the end of the 19th century. Sopot from a small center of local importance in a short time has become a modern, elegant resort with European ambitions. The number of vacationers coming to Sopot began to grow rapidly, in order to reach 12.5 thousand in 1900.

As a result of poviat reforms, in place of the previous mayor, the administrative authority in Sopot took over the management of the commune with the head of the municipality and the commune council. In 1874, the settlements of Karlikowo, Świemirowo and Stawów were incorporated into Sopot. The area of ​​the commune of Sopot reached then 889 ha, the number of permanent residents exceeded 2800.

The communal authorities bought the Bathing Company from the heirs of Dr. Haffner and proceeded to its extension. In 1881, on the mole axis, a new (second), impressive Kuracyjny House was established. The pier was extended and widened, reaching a length of 85 meters.

The first tennis courts were opened, located in the vicinity of the North Park.

The existing horse racing track has been opened in Karlików.

1900 – 1902.
Around 1900, nearly 52% of the Sopot population were Catholics, 46% Evangelicals, and 1% followers of Judaism.
On September 17, 1901, the solemn dedication of the Evangelical Church of the Savior, built in the center of Sopot, took place. Maritime Hill.

On December 21, 1902, a new Catholic temple was also consecrated, which received the call of the Virgin Mary of the Sea.

On October 8, 1901, under the edict of the Emperor of Germany, Wilhelm II, the rural commune of Sopot received city rights. The newly elected mayor of Sopot and the city board began their work on April 1, 1902. October 8 is now celebrated as the anniversary of granting city rights to Sopot.

New, impressive Bathing Plant was put into use. The building, preserved to this day, decorated with a high tower, is one of the most characteristic elements of the Sopot landscape. Currently, there is a Balneological Institute, belonging to the complex of the Provincial Rheumatology Hospital.

New South Bathrooms were built – a wooden building referring to Old Norse architecture. Currently, a Chinese hotel with a restaurant is located in the complex of former bathrooms.

The Forest Theater was opened – the predecessor of today’s Opera Leśna.

The construction of a new (third) Health House has begun. The investment, carried out on a large scale, was completed in 1912. The extensive complex of buildings of the III Kuracyjny House housed, among others, hotel rooms, restaurants, wine bar, theater room.

On the eve of the First World War, Sopot had 17,400 permanent residents, the area of ​​the city was 899 ha, in the season the resort visited over 20,000. holidaymakers.

Under the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, the Free City of Gdańsk was proclaimed, which also covered its borders with the Sopot district. For nearly twenty years, the northern border of Sopot was at the same time a state border between the Free City of Gdańsk and the Republic of Poland.
At the Health Club, the famous Sopot casino game was opened, attracting countless gambling lovers in the interwar years. In 1923, a new wing was added to the complex of the Kuracyjny House for the purpose of the casino.