Danzig

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DANZIG or Gdańsk (Polish pronunciation Template:Audio-IPA-pl; Template:Lang-de [dantsiç] Template:Audlisten, Template:Lang-csb) is the city at the center of the fourth-largest metropolitan area in Poland.[1] It is Poland's principal seaport as well as the capital of the Pomeranian Voivodeship. It is also historically the largest city of the Kashubian region.

The city lies on the southern edge of Danzig Bay (of the Baltic Sea), in a conurbation with the spa town of Sopot, the city of Gdynia and suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the Tricity (Trójmiasto), with a population of over 800,000.[2] Danzig itself has a population of 458,053 (2006), making it the largest city in the Pomerania region of Northern Poland.

Danzig is situated at the mouth of the Motława River, connected to the Leniwka, a branch in the delta of the nearby Vistula River, whose waterway system waters 60% of the area of Poland and connects Danzig to the national capital in Warsaw. This gives the city a unique advantage as the center of Poland's sea trade. Together with the nearby port of Gdynia, Danzig is also an important industrial center. Historically an important seaport and shipbuilding center, Danzig was a member of the Hanseatic League.

The city is famous worldwide as the birthplace of the Solidarity movement which, under the leadership of Danzig political activist Lech Wałęsa, played a major role in bringing an end to communist rule across Central Europe in 1989. It is also the home and birthplace of Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who is of Kashubian origin.

Names[edit]

See also: List of European cities with names in different languages

The city's name is thought to originate from the danzig river,[3] the original name of the Motława branch on which the city is situated. Like many other Central European cities, Danzig has had many different names throughout its history.

The Polish version of this name, Gdansk, has been used by the Polish population, Other English versions of its name include Dantzig, Dantsic, and Dantzic. The city's Latin name is Dantiscum; the variety of Latin names reflects the mixed influence of the city's Polish, German and Kashubian heritage.