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RIVER PROFILE

THE MARTWA WISŁA is a former estuary branch of the Wisła. It became “dead” after the Przekop Wisły Canal was built in Świbno and the main river mouth cut off by means of locks in Przegalina and Pleniewo. The latter was dismantled after the war. The Martwa Wisła constitutes an important watercourse and enables reaching Gdańsk from the side of the Wisła, bypassing Gdańsk Bay.

THE ŚMIAŁA WISŁA emerged in the winter of 1840, when waters blocked by ice broke through the strip of seaside dunes. Until the digging of the Przekop Wisły Canal in 1895, this was the main mouth of the Wisła. It is also called the Śmiała Wisła Gorge or the Śmiała Wisła Broads.

THE MOTŁAWA is a river crossing the Gdańsk Żuławy Gdańskie and flowing into the Martwa Wisła at the Polish Hook (Polski Hak). The Żuławy Loop includesonly the final stretch of the Motława, in Gdańsk. The remaining part of the river is described in the chapter Kayaking the Loop.

NAVIGATIONAL INFORMATION

SHIP TRAFFIC
Watch out for water traffic along the entire route – including sea ships, tugs, pushboats with barges, and other professional vessels. Since inland waterways meet maritime fairways here, the navigational marking along most of the route is compatible with sea marking.

BRIDGES
The Martwa Wisła route begins at the Przegalina Lock. The permanent bridge beside the lock is a drawbridge since the summer of 2012. There is also a pontoon bridge on the route, in Sobieszewo, and permanent ones after the Stogi district: a cable-stayed bridge, a swing railway bridge (not opened), and the Siennicki Bridge. The final stretch of the Martwa Wisła is port waters and the Polish Hook. In the turning basin, at the Polish Hook, there are four directions to choose from:

1. To the north, along the Kashubian Canal – through port waters to Wisłoujście, Westerplatte, and Gdańsk Bay.
2. To the west, down the “real” Martwa Wisła – through the former areas of Gdańsk Shipyard and the Port of Gdańsk (navigation prohibited), and back to the Kashubian Canal near Westerplatte.
3. Going south, you enter the Motława, which takes you to the Old City of Gdańsk and to Marina “Szafarnia.”
4. To the east, you turn back to the Martwa Wisła in the direction of Górki Zachodnie, Sobieszewo, and Przegalina.

Shoals occur beyond the fairway on the stretch between the Przegalina Lock and the bridge in Sobieszewo. After Górki Wschodnie, there is a narrowing several hundred metres long, where the Pleniewo Lock used to be. With unfavourable wind, tacking may be difficult here. Then the river is broad again until the cable-stayed bridge.

There are numerous yacht harbours and ports on the route. In 2012 the harbour Błotnik close to Przegaliny was put for use. We can moor 5 km from the lock in Wiślanka, in harbours close to Sobieszewo, in Górki Zachodnie port, in Stogi port, in Rudniki port round the Polish Hook (Polski Hak) or Wisłoujście Fortress. In the harbours there are boat builder’s workshops, engine workshop and sails workshops. There are slips and cranes to launch the yacht.
 
HYDROTECHNICAL HIGHLIGHTS

THE STONE SLUICE (STOPIEŃ KAMIENNA GRODZA)
A fragment of 16th and 17th century Gdańsk fortifications, situated on the Motława (in line with Kamienna Grobla and Na Szańcach Streets). In place of the former lock, a flood-gate now functions. It closes and opens automatically when the water level in the Motława rises. It is possible that after passing through the gate and on returning from a trip along the Motława we will find the gate closed. The Regional Water Management Board opens it for the period when there is no danger of flood.


THE WATER BUS NETWORK IN GDAŃSK
The project aims to activate waterways through the creation of infrastructure: piers, water bus service, and marinas. Water bus stops have emerged at Westerplatte, at the National Sailing Centre, at Wiosny Ludów Street, at the Green Bridge, near Wisłoujście Fortress – at Barge Quay, at the Fish Market, and in Stogi. Sailing harbours will also be built in Sienna Grobla II and Tamka, as well as a kayak and motorboat harbour in Żabi Kruk Street.


YACHT AND MOTORBOAT HARBOUR MARINA GDAŃSK
Built in 1997, when Gdańsk was celebrating its millenary. The 290-metre harbour lies along Szafarnia Quay, opposite the Gdańsk Crane. It has electricity, light, water, and washing facilities. A new back of marina is located in Granary of Nowa Pakownia where Hotel Gdańsk and Restaurant Brewery BROVARNIA are placed. There are two sailing shops in the hotel and the granary. The marina is closed by Stągiewny Bridge and Stągiewna Tower.



TOURIST HIGHLIGHTS

SAINT DOMINIC’S FAIR IN GDAŃSK
Saint Dominic’s Fair in Gdańsk. The Fair has a 750-year tradition. It was originally meant to encourage the faithful to attend the indulgence mass. Year by year, the event grew in scale and importance. World War II disrupted the tradition. Revived in 1972, the fair lasted two weeks, and since 2004 it lasts three weeks. It is a commercial event nowadays, with handicraftsmen, collectors, and artists participating.


AMBER ROUTE
Gdańsk is an important place on the amber trail of the pomorskie voivodeship. It is worthwhile visiting the Museum of Amber – a branch of the City of Gdańsk Historical Museum, seeing the Amber Altar in St. Brigit’s Church and the Museum of Amber Inclusions at the University of Gdańsk; you can also go shopping to the enchanting Mariacka Street, where galleries and amber shops are situated.



WISŁOUJŚCIE FORTRESS
It is an unusual fortification structure, situated on an island. Its history goes back to the 15th century. Until 1758 the fortress served as a lighthouse, in the 19th century it used to be a prison, and in the interwar period it housed a sailing club. Since 1947 the fortress houses a branch of the City of Gdańsk Historical Museum. It is one of the largest wintering places of bats in the voivodeship.

 

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52

INTRODUCTION

1

IW E70 – THE EAST-WEST (E-W) STRETCH

2

THE BRDA

3

THE BYDGOSZCZ CANAL

6

THE NOTEĆ

9

THE WARTA

15

THE ODRA

19

IW E70 – THE SOUTH-NORTH (S-N) STRETCH

21

THE VISTULA

22

THE NOGAT

31

THE SZKARPAWA

36

THE VISTULA LAGOON

39

THE ELBLĄG RIVER AND THE JAGIELLONIAN CANAL

50

THE MARTWA WISŁA, THE ŚMIAŁA WISŁA, THE GDAŃSK MOTŁAWA

52

INFORMATOR

56

WATERWAY SIGNS AND MARKING

57

LEGEND

58

SCHEMES OF LOCKS AND HARBOURS

59

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