European Maritime Day Celebrations
A colourful outdoor event known as Europejski Festyn Morski was held on 20-22 May on the sunlit isle of Ołowianka. The banks of the river Motława and the heart of the old harbour, filled with shantey music, hosted those with a passion for sails and marine tales. The event had been organised by the City of Gdańsk and the Polish Maritime Museum (CMM) as part of the EU SeaSide project.
The greatest attraction of the fête was certainly the demonstration of the boatbuilding craft. Boatbuilders from Germany, Sweden and Poland continued to build a traditional wooden boat brought from Rostock, while some already completed wooden vessels were displayed outside the CMM main building and around three historical granaries. Visitors could try their hand at rope-making, sewing and dying sails and building a KUN boat. Children could take part in the group painting of a giant naval scene “The Battle of Oliwa” or search for historical objects hidden in a chest full of sand. The archaeological site captured the attention of the visitors, as did an indoor educational programme “Life on Board”. A diver aboard The SOŁDEK gave a talk about underwater work and demonstrated specialised equipment. You could also make your own souvenirs by striking a coin, having your picture taken in front of a tinted seascape photo or your name branded on boatbuilder’s timber.
The fête abounded not only in attractions, competitions and prizes, but in people in the first place. The quay at Ołowianka was a bustling place, with the Lithuanian BRABANDER moored in front of the granaries. The marina in Gdańsk was full of yachts, while on Saturday afternoon, many visitors aboard The SOŁDEK museum ship admired a real forest of masts on the river Motława during the parade inaugurating this year’s yachting season. And even though the former coal and ore carrier was not as crowded as on the Night of Museums, the ship and the granaries were visited by some 3,500 people. Europejski Festyn Morski was the closing event of the European Maritime Day celebrations in Gdańsk.