The Gdańsk Shipyard - the birthplace of Solidarity and a symbol of the Fall of the Iron Curtain in Europe

Gdansk Shipyard - logo_engThe Gdańsk Shipyard - the birthplace of Solidarity and a symbol of the Fall of the Iron Curtain in Europe - is a unique area of outstanding universal value, the preservation of which for everybody and for ever is our common privilege, duty and great responsibility.

This valuable historic complex is a testimony to the peaceful strikes ending with the signing of the August agreements and the establishment of the Solidarity Trade Union, as well as a unique example of post-industrial heritage in which the remains of shipbuilding architecture and infrastructure have been preserved, showing the changes in shipbuilding technology from the mid-nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth century. Unfortunately, it has been deteriorating due to the lack of proper protection and social awareness of the value and importance of this place. A chance to restore the memory of the Gdańsk Shipyard's heritage and give it its proper status is to enter it on the UNESCO World Heritage List, which includes cultural heritage objects of "outstanding universal value".

To do this, we have taken a number of actions to effectively promote the value of the heritage of Gdańsk Shipyard among entities that decide about the future of this post-industrial complex. In supporting the shipyard on the way to UNESCO, we decided to involve as many allies from various backgrounds as possible. A common voice is the greatest strength!


is an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history

  • represents a nearly 200-year tradition of building ships– (1844-2021), (from vessels with wooden hulls, followed by ships with iron hulls and magnificent warships, including U-boot submarines (U-2 and VIIC and XXI types); after the Second War the shipyard produced large sailing vessels, fishing vessels, bulk carriers and general cargo ships,
  • the authentic spatial layout (streets, storage yards, quays, docks), buildings and elements of shipbuilding infrastructure (cranes, shipways, railway tracks) bear cumulative and unique testimony to the 100 years of development of seagoing and military shipbuilding technology – passenger and war ships, from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, reflecting important stages in the development of humanity,
  • the spatial layout, buildings and elements of shipbuilding infrastructure still provide clear insights into the technological process of ship production (from the transport of materials and components by rail from other plants, processing and prefabrication, to the assembly of hulls on shipways and providing ships with complete furnishings and equipment at the quays),
  • the fully authentic complex of buildings and structures is representative of over 100 years in the development of industrial architecture (resulting from changes in the stylistic convention, progress associated with materials and construction solutions, as well as technical and technological progress (from buildings with a partially wooden structure, through to Schinkel’s traditions of historic revival in architecture (Rundbogenstill), early 20th-century buildings with Art Nouveau features and modernist buildings from the 1940s using reinforced concrete structural solutions), and is closely intertwined with important stages in the development of mankind,
  • this large-scale industrial plant covers a large area and accommodates a coordinated process of constructing several different ships at the same time, relying on its own manufacturing capabilities and an extensive network of business partners (around 1 000 domestic and foreign companies), the shipyard is the largest producer of ships in the entire Eastern bloc (34 vessels a year) and the fifth largest in Europe. The plant employed more than 17 000 workers and was self-sufficient, with its own bus and train service for collective transport,
is directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance

  • The Gdańsk Shipyard area – is directly interwoven with the latest history of Poland, Europe and of the world.
  • The Gdańsk Shipyard is the place where in August 1980 the largest peaceful strike of workers in Eastern Europe broke out. The strike spread to include workplaces all over Poland.
  • Protesters have compiled a list of 21 Strike Postulates of the Inter-Factory Strike Committee, demanding, above all, freedom of expression, observance of constitutional rights and improvement of social conditions; in 2003, this text was inscribed on the UNESCO’s “Memory of the World” Register, which showcases the most significant documents of the world,
  • Gdańsk Shipyard is the birthplace of the SOLIDARITY Movement - one of the most important 20th century freedom movements in the world and the first independent, self-governing trade union in the Eastern Bloc. On 31 August 1980, an agreement with the authorities was signed at the Gdańsk Shipyard OHS Room, under which SOLIDARITY – the first independent self-governing trade union in the Eastern bloc – was established,
  • As a result of the events at the Gdańsk Shipyard and the activity of the Solidarity Movement, Poland regained sovereignty in 1989. They also triggered a wave of democratic change in other countries of the region, which contributed to the collapse of the Iron Curtain and the unification of Europe. These momentous changes reversed the course of the world’s history and are of exceptional universal importance,
  • Poland became a model of peaceful transformation for the entire Eastern Europe. Polish experience has shown that civic courage and peaceful actions can overcome seemingly insurmountable geostrategic adversities,
  • The preserved authentic buildings (in particular gate 2, the building of the OHS Hall, the building of the Directorate, several production buildings) and open spaces (in particular the square in front of the Directorate, hall 3B and Główna Street, Narzędziowców Street, Malarzy Street, as well as courtyards, quays, shipways and docks) are directly or tangibly associated with strike events, the rise of the Solidarity Movement and ideas of exceptional universal importance (demanding the rights of freedom and democracy),
  • The Gdańsk Shipyard - as the place where Solidarity was born, is the symbol of the idea of solidarity of nations, which was decisive for the collapse of the communist system and the end of the division of the world into two hostile camps,
  • Gdańsk Shipyard is an inspiration for oppressed societies demanding recognition of universal rights - freedom and democracy.
Documentation dossier
Management Plan