Harmony: The Key to Reading the Landscapes of Żuławy

The idyllic Vistula Żuławy is one of those corners of Poland where nature and the work of human hands harmonize. The scenic landscapes full of willows and colourful fields would not exist but for the meticulously designed network of canals and embankments. Together they make up a varied and diverse scenery, appreciated by painters, photographers, writers, and nature lovers. The senses sharpen here. A person slows down and begins to rest. Due to the dense network of canals and rivers and the natural character of landscape, Żuławy is often called “Wild Holland.”

Żuławy: A Gift of Rivers

Yet, the history of Żuławy is an eternal struggle with the elements. This area may well be called the land brought by rivers. Initially, it was deposited in the form of marshes and forests. With time, through diligent work, the inhabitants of Żuławy reclaimed the land for farming. They safeguarded it from water with a dense network of drainage canals, painstakingly developed over generations. Today, excess water is transported to intermediate pumping stations and further to the Vistula Lagoon and the Baltic Sea, but for many years the inhabitants of Żuławy had to obey an unwritten pact with treacherous water. The chronicle of floods records what happened here when nature showed its menacing face. The information available goes back to 1328, and the full inventory contains 173 events. The chronicle ends with the “Great Storm Flood” in the Elbląg Żuławy on January 19–20, 1983, and with the small flood of October 14, 2009.
 

Rivers, among them the Vistula, the Nogat, the Szkarpawa, the Wielka Święta–Tuga – one river with two names – and others are the main heroines of Żuławy landscape. Today, even though the element has been put under control by means of locks and floodgates, they retained their natural character. A kayaking, yachting, or houseboat trip on the Żuławy Loop – that is, on the waterways running through the Vistula Żuławy– will convince you that the rivers live to their own rhythm. The largest river of the Vistula Żuławy and of the Żuławy Loop is the Vistula – the Queen of Polish rivers, also called the Polish Amazon River. Ranking among the largest unregulated rivers in Europe, it has been included in the Natura 2000 programme in recognition of its natural qualities, e.g. as a river of the European
Avifauna Trail. The Vistula differs in size and character from other rivers making up the Żuławy Loop. The Nogat, the Szkarpawa, the Martwa Wisła, and even the Jagielloński Canal put you in a relaxed holiday mood and let you feel part of nature. The Vistula teaches vigilance and humility.


The Four Seasons on the Żuławy Loop


Spring is the most picturesque period in the life of rivers. It is then that the Vistula and the Nogat show their true character – that of living, natural rivers. Hospitable broads attract water birds, creating perfect
breeding conditions. In summer, rivers make an exemplary image of symbiosis between man and nature. Hundreds of cows and horses grazing on flood-land meadows may be admired from the river as
well as from roads, road or railway bridges, or cycling lanes and routes. Autumn rivers are not merely a nostalgic picture of birds flying away or colourful scenes of golden leaves floating with the current. Autumn
on rivers also means the most vivid light, the palette of warm colours that makes this particular season enchanting to artists, photographers, and painters. In winter, rivers close their gates to boating enthusiasts, showing enormous power and the still dangerous side of their life.

INTRODUCTION

1

Part One. Discovering the Żuławy Loop

2

Tales of the Loop: A Page from History

3

Harmony: The Key to Reading the Landscapes of Żuławy

4

Architecture: The Land of Arcaded Houses and Hydrotechnical Monuments

5

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

6

The Vistula

7

The Martwa Wisła, the Śmiała Wisła, the Motława Gdańska

12

The Szkarpawa

14

The Wisła Królewiecka

16

The Elbląg River and the Jagielloński Canal

18

The Nogat

20

The Wielka Święta–Tuga

24

The Vistula Lagoon

26

Pasłęka River and the Canal of Pasłęka

29

The Kaliningrad Lagoon

30

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

32

Proposed Trip Routes

33

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

50a

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

73a

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

79a

“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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