The Crane (Żuraw) is one of the defining symbols of Gdańsk and represents what little is left of the city’s great trading age. First mentioned in 1367, the original structure was burnt down in 1442 before its current design was created in 1442-1444. As a working crane it was used to transfer cargoes and to put up masts on ships. At one time this was the biggest working crane in the world but it also served a defence function and as one of the gates to the city. It had a lifting capacity of 4 tonnes to a height of 11 metres and this was achieved by two huge wooden wheels at its heart each with a diameter of 6 metres. These wheels were originally powered by men walking inside of them to turn the lifting mechanism. It remained a working crane until the middle of the 19th century and was 80% destroyed in 1945 in the battle for Gdańsk.

After the war it was rebuilt and donated to the Polish Maritime Museum of which it remains a part today. You will be able to view a collection of permanent and temporary exhibitions inside including an exhibition on port life between the 16th and 18th centuries. In Polish only, displays include models of lighthouses, the old port, lifesize recreations of counting houses and old port life in general plus access to the crane's two huge drive-wheels.

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Aishaa21 said 3 years ago
If I had to choose my favorite city on the coast surely would be a Gdansk. It is incredibly energetic place with many sights and restaurants serving great food. The great example is here for sure Szafarnia10. It is located on the Motlawa River and the glazed terrace you can enjoy this amazing river. Dishes of seafood and fish which are served there are excellent.


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Château de Chaumont

The Château de Chaumont was founded in the 10th century by Odo I, Count of Blois. The purpose was to protect his lands from attacks from his feudal rivals, Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou. On his behalf the Norman Gelduin received it, improved it and held it as his own. His great-niece Denise de Fougère, having married Sulpice d'Amboise, passed the château into the Amboise family for five centuries.

Pierre d'Amboise unsuccessfully rebelled against King Louis XI and his property was confiscated, and the castle was dismantled on royal order in 1465. It was later rebuilt by Charles I d'Amboise from 1465–1475 and then finished by his son, Charles II d'Amboise de Chaumont from 1498–1510, with help from his uncle, Cardinal Georges d'Amboise; some Renaissance features were to be seen in buildings that retained their overall medieval appearance. The château was acquired by Catherine de Medici in 1550. There she entertained numerous astrologers, among them Nostradamus. When her husband, Henry II, died in 1559 she forced his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, to exchange Château de Chaumont for Château de Chenonceau which Henry had given to de Poitiers. Diane de Poitiers only lived at Chaumont for a short while.

Later Chaumont has changed hands several times. Paul de Beauvilliers bought the château in 1699, modernized some of its interiors and decorated it with sufficient grandeur to house the duc d'Anjou on his way to become king of Spain in 1700. Monsieur Bertin demolished the north wing to open the house towards the river view in the modern fashion.

In 1750, Jacques-Donatien Le Ray purchased the castle as a country home where he established a glassmaking and pottery factory. He was considered the French "Father of the American Revolution" because he loved America. However, in 1789, the new French Revolutionary Government seized Le Ray's assets, including his beloved Château de Chaumont.

The castle has been classified as a Monument historique since 1840 by the French Ministry of Culture. The Château de Chaumont is currently a museum and every year hosts a Garden Festival from April to October where contemporary garden designers display their work in an English-style garden.