Naval Battle. Defending the Wisłoujście Fortress
Bitwa Morska. Obrona Twierdzy Wisłoujście
Next edition to be announced (the event was last held in 2014)
Wisłoujście Fortress, Gdansk, (Pomeranian Voivodeship)
Napoleonic Naval Battle reenactment in Gdansk
Geographical, cultural and historical context
Gdansk is a charming city located along the Baltic Sea in a strategic position at the mouth of the Motława river, a branch in the delta of the Vistula river, in the Pomerania region in northern Poland. The first settlements in the area date back to the 7th century AD with small group of fishing hamlets, while the city foundation is commonly referred to the 10th century and the first Christian missions, when in year 997 the Bishop of Prague, Adalbert, christened the inhabitants of the small fishing village of Gdansk. Being close to the former boundaries between the Slavic and Germanic lands, the city suffered a complex political history alternating periods of Polish and German rule. Thanks to its strategic position Gdansk developed soon as a flourishing seaport, and in AD 1361 joined the Hanseatic League (an economic alliance of trading cities in Northern Europe). During the 16th century Gdansk enjoyed its golden era as a wealthy and important centre of trade and culture, while during the Napoleonic Age it was a free city from 1807 to 1814 before being given back to Prussia after Napoleon’s defeat and the Congress of Vienna in 1815.
Event description and programme
The event, which celebrates the Napoleonic Age when Gdansk was a free city protected by the French army, is organized by the Historical Museum and attracts every year thousands of visitors. Set of the event is the Wisłoujście Fortress, located in the proximity of the Westerplatte peninsula, once an important strategic area defended by about 40 bronze cannons and a garrison of 1,000 men-at-arms as a key place to control the movement of ships entering and leaving Gdansk. The scenario conceived by the organizers having in the background the realities of the period, assumes that in the last days of May 1807 two English ships try to break into the city to steal the gold kept there, but, while passing the Wisłoujście Fortress, the british are withstood by the allied Polish and French troops.
In the waters surrounding the fortress the audience will have the unique chance to experience a great and realistic naval battle reenactment from the Napoleonic Age featuring over 200 reenactors, three huge galleons (two of them, the "Black Pearl" and the "Lion", under English flag attacking, and one, the "Dragon", defending), dozens of guns of various caliber set up around the fortress ramparts and the deck of the ships, and about 90 kilograms of gunpowder. The programme includes displays and guided tours at the Napoleonic bivouacs, but also medieval settings and workshops as well as many leisure and cultural activities for adults an children.
Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.
Info & Contact
Historical Museum Of The City Of Gdansk
Muzeum Historyczne Miasta Gdanska
Address: Gdask, ul. Długa 46/47, Poland
Tel.: +48 0-58 76 79 100
Location: Wisłoujście Fortress
Address: Gdansk , ul. Stara Twierdza 1, Poland
Tel.: +48 0-58 351 22 44
Image: Historical Museum Of The City Of Gdansk
Text sources: Historical Museum Of The City Of Gdansk, Wikipedia
Gdansk and Wisłoujście Fortress on Google Maps:
Promos and video reportages of the event: