Part One. Discovering the Żuławy Loop

 
      
The Żuławy Loop comprises mostly the area of the Vistula Żuławy; beyond that, it extends over the Vistula Spit, the Vistula Lagoon subregion along with the Elbląg High Plain (Tolkmicko, Frombork, Suchacz, Elbląg) and the Old Prussian Coast (Nowa Pasłęka, Braniewo), as well as the Kociewie (Tczew, Gniew, Pelplin), the Kwidzyn Valley, and the Powiśle along with Sztum and Kwidzyn.

The Vistula Żuławy (the Vistula Fenland), encompassing the Vistula River Delta, has the shape of an inverted triangle, with the top where the Vistula forks into the Leniwka and the Nogat and with the Vistula Spit as its base.

The Vistula Spit stretching from Gdańsk to Baltiysk, Russia, separates the Vistula Lagoon from the open waters of Gdańsk Bay, closing off the mouth of the Vistula. It is a large sandy dune, built by the waves of the sea and over 30 m (330 ft) high in places. The fishing villages that it used to be strewn with have turned into holiday resorts. The major cities and towns of the Vistula Spit are Gdańsk, Stegna, Sztutowo, and Krynica Morska.


The Vistula Lagoon is a bay cut off from the Baltic Sea by the Vistula Spit. The border between Poland and the Russian Federation runs across this body of maritime internal waters. Of all the area of the Lagoon, 382 sq km (147.5 sq mi) belong to Poland.

The Elbląg Upland is a moraine mound in the Littoral Gdańsk Region, with steep ridges descending towards the Vistula Żuławy, the Vistula Lagoon, and the Warmia Plain. The highest point of the Upland is Srebrna Góra (the Silver Mount), rising to 198.5 m (651 ft). The major towns of this area are: Elbląg, Frombork, Tolkmicko, Kadyny, and Suchacz.

The Old Prussian Coast is a plain stretching along the Vistula Lagoon, from Frombork to the mouth of the Pregolya. 100 sq km of the region lies within the borders of Poland. Its major places are Nowa Pasłęka and Braniewo.

The Kociewie is an ethnic and cultural region on the left bank of the Vistula, in the basin of the Wierzyca and the Wda. The region has its own anthem, and on February 10th the World Day of Kociewie is celebrated here. The major towns of the area are Starogard Gdański – the capital of Kociewie, Tczew – its largest town, and Pelplin.


The Kwidzyn Valley and the Powiśle lie in the northern part of the Lower Vistula Valley. The Kwidzyn Valley is about 40 km long and has an area of 401 sq km. It constitutes a kind of gorge where the Vistula cuts through the belt of moraines of the East Pomeranian Lakeland. The major towns in this area: Gniew in the west, Kwidzyn in the east, and Sztum.

All Thanks to Rivers  Żuławy formed about 6,000 years ago, when what used to be a sea bay began fill with warp deposited by the queen of Polish rivers – the Vistula – and by smaller rivers. It is hypothesised that the name “Żuławy” (fenland, alluvial delta) derives from the noun żuł, meaning warp, river sediment. It is thanks to the sediments that the soils of the Vistula Delta rank among the most fertile in Poland. The main watercourse of the Vistula Żuławy is the Vistula, which, together with the Nogat, divides it into three parts: the Gdańsk Żuławy, the Great Żuławy, and the Elbląg Żuławy. The Gdańsk Żuławy lies west of the Vistula, in the basin of the Martwa Wisła, and occupy the west part of the delta plain between the Kashubian Lakeland and the Vistula. To the east, there is the Great Żuławy, lying in the basin of the Szkarpawa and other rivers, and the Elbląg Żuławy – east of the Nogat. Today, Żuławy is divided between two provinces (voivodeships). East of the Nogat, the area to the Warmińsko - Mazurskie Voivodeship, and west of the Nogat – to the Pomorskie Voivodeship.

Below Sea Level The picturesque landscape of Żuławy is plains criss-crossed by watercourses, stretching to the horizon. It is also Poland’s only area partly situated below sea level. It is here, in Żuławy, in the village of Raczki Elbląskie, that the lowest point in Poland lies, 1.8 m (6 ft) bsl. What is more, nearly 30% of the Vistula Żuławy is depressions. The largest of them are found around Lake Druzno – 181 sq km of area – and in the vicinity of Nowy Dwór Gdański, 152 sq km. It should be mentioned here that the highest point of Żuławy, in Grabiny-Zameczek, lies only 14.6 m (48 ft) asl.


Żuławy and Man Traces of settlement in the Vistula Żuławy date back to 2500 BC, which finds confirmation in archaeological finds. Initially, human settlements had a temporary character and were mostly connected with fishery, sealing, as well as amber fishing and processing. With time, they were replaced by rural and rural-urban settlements, which formed a dense network during the Middle Ages. Yet, the constant danger of flood, resulting from the situation of Żuławy, was not conducive to the development of that network. The beginnings of an efficient land improvement system in Żuławy date back to the 13th century and the State of the Teutonic Order. But the revolutionary stage in Żuławy’s population increase begins in the mid-16th century, when this territory came under the Polish rule following the Second Peace of Toruń (1466). The legendary religious tolerance of the First Polish Republic resulted in the reception of settlers persecuted for religious views in their own country. At that time, the so called Hauländers (Olędrzy) arrived in Żuławy from the Netherlands and Northern Germany. The new inhabitants considerably improved the land melioration and embankment system. With them, modern
agricultural and technical thought arrived in Żuławy, facilitating the land’s economic development.


By Boat to the Market and to Church Until the 19th century, the basic means of transport in Żuławy used to be boats and ferries. You used a boat to get to the field, to the market, to the tavern, or to church. A dense network of drainage canals provided better communication than poor roads, impassable after every rain. Some villages in Żuławy were originally set up along water arteries, and every farm had its own harbour and boat which kept it in touch with the world. Such sights are still to be seen today, though motorisation and road communication has supplanted water transport.

INTRODUCTION

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Part One. Discovering the Żuławy Loop

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Tales of the Loop: A Page from History

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Harmony: The Key to Reading the Landscapes of Żuławy

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Architecture: The Land of Arcaded Houses and Hydrotechnical Monuments

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Part Two. The Sailing Routes of the Żuławy Loop: Sailing and Sightseeing

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The Vistula

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The Martwa Wisła, the Śmiała Wisła, the Motława Gdańska

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The Szkarpawa

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The Wisła Królewiecka

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The Elbląg River and the Jagielloński Canal

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The Nogat

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The Wielka Święta–Tuga

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The Vistula Lagoon

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Pasłęka River and the Canal of Pasłęka

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The Kaliningrad Lagoon

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Part III. The ABC of Sailing: Before You Sail on the Żuławy Loop

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Proposed Trip Routes

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II. The Little Loop of Żuławy

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III. To the Capital of the Vistula Żuławy

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IV. From Gdańsk to the Vistula Lagoon

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V. Down the Vistula to Gdańsk

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VI. Around the Vistula Lagoon

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Informator

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Captain’s Tips

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signs shipping

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signs shipping

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Część IV. Nautical Base of the Żuławy Loop. Ports and marinas.

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Mooring Platforms in Tczew

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The passenger and yacht harbour in Tczew

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The fishing port in Świbno

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The fishing harbour in Mikoszewo

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Marina in Błotnik

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Harbour „Tęcza”

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River side hostel in Wiślinka

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Maritime Yacht Club “Neptun”

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Marina Delphia Yachts - Górki Zachodnie

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Gdańsk Shipyard Yacht Club

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Joseph Conrad Yacht Club

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Academic Maritime Club in Gdańsk

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AZS Cosa - Academic Sports Association in Gdańsk

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The National Sailing Centre of the University School of Physical Education and Sport

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Gdańsk Maritime Club Yachting Harbour

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Marina on „Tamka” Street

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Yachting Harbour “Stewa”

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Northern Yacht Club Harbour

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WOPR Gdańsk Harbour

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Marina Gdańsk

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Kayak and Motorboat Harbour “Żabi Kruk”

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Marina Sienna Grobla II

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Polish Maritime Club Harbour (Wisłoujście)

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Mooring piers in Drewnica

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Harbour in Żuławki

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Mooring piers in Rybina

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Yacht harbor in Rybina

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Yacht harbor in Osłonka

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Houseboat Harbour in Rybina

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Marina Baltica in Sztutowo

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Yacht harbor in Sztutowo

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Yacht Wharf by the Zygmunt August Boulevard in Elbląg

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Yacht harbor Fala

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The marina of Scout Water Centre “Bryza”

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Yacht Club Elbląg

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Yacht harbor in Biała Góra

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The harbour of the Sports and Leisure Centre in Malbork.

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Castle Harbour in Malbork

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“Park Północny” harbour in Malbork

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The harbour in Kamienica Elbląska

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The harbour in Nadbrzeże

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The harbour in Suchacz

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The harbour in Kadyny

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The harbour in Tolkmicko

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The port in Frombork

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The port in Piaski

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The yacht port in Krynica Morska

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The fishing port in Krynica Morska

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The port of Kąty Rybackie

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Yacht harbor in Kąty Rybackie

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Sailing harbour “Neptun” in Kąty Rybackie

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The port of Nowa Pasłęka

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“Dom Rybaka” harbour in Stara Pasłęka

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Stara Pasłęka harbour

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Yacht harbor in Braniewo

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Explanation of the symbols of services available on harbours and their surroundings (1.5 km).

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Water nodes of the Żuławy Loop.

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Gdańsk Water Tram

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Legend

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