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The tradition of an elegant summer resort, dating from the 16th century, has been persevered until today. The reason for this preservation is the sheer beauty of the place. People are attracted by the landscape of the bay, sandy beaches and the picturesque slope rising towards Orlowo. Many are fascinated by the wooden pier, immersed in the water far from the shore and many are also bewitched by the green hills rising above the seven valleys. Walking along the shady paths of Sopot, you sometimes come across the centers of entertainment and recreation or else you disappear into the realm of greenery and silence. The wooden buildings, dating from the 19th and early 20th century (and quite well preserved), have their own unique value. Quite a number of charming neo-baroque, neo-classicistic and eclectic villas have remained here. There are also numerous grand bourgeois houses decorated with towers, and shapely gables, with facades complete with wooden sun verandas, which is typical for the architecture of holiday resorts. The lanes of Sopot are also very romantic. Scientists - Maria Sklodowska, writers - Józef Ignacy Kraszewski, Henryk Sienkiewicz and Stanislaw Przybyszewski, Maria Jasnorzewska-Pawlikowska, the poetess, with her sister Magdalena, the poets - Wincenty Pol, Jan Lechon and Julian Tuwim all were among the visitors here, staying for short or long periods. There was also the famous ethnographer Oskar Kolberg and the great actor Ludwik Solski. Friedrich Lorentz, an outstanding German linguist, and researcher of the Kashubian dialect stayed here for some time as well. There were also a number of other people who added color and splendor to the life of this seaside resort.
In the second half of the 19th century construction took off, new development being mainly due to a new railway which allowed the connection of Sopot to the rest of country. This was a time when villas, and boarding houses surrounded by gardens started to appear. At the turn of the 19th century, residential buildings, usually no higher than three stories, and large multi family villas started to fill Sopot's landscape. Owners and architects were looking to make a big impression with their real estate. According to the fashion of the time, elements of design from various styles were used. They were looking to great ancient times, renaissance, gothic and baroque for inspiration. It is very rare that a building was in just one style, as usually there are mixed styles with the addition of folk culture. Different shapes, turrets, terraces, bay windows, balconies, steep and bent roofs all reflect romanticism. This type of architecture is most visible in Sopot and belongs to the eclectic - romantic style. At the beginning of 20th century, elements of eclecticism were enriched by secession elements and later by modernism. Secession it is a new style characterized by continuous, soft lines with shaped ornaments, which are elements of the early 20th century architecture. Earlier buildings are connected to classicism based on ancient forms. This style is represented by the 200 year old Sierakowski Mansion and Miller Mansion and a one storey building located at; 25 Powstanców Warszawy Street, 17, 25 and 44 Grunwaldzka Street, 36 Boleslaw Chrobry Street, 6 Aleksander Majkowski Street , 10, 11, 58 and 58a Bohaterów Monte Cassino Street, 19 Kazimierz Pulaski Street, and 819 Niepodleglosci Avenue.
From the second half of 19th century came original residential and boarding houses, which are typical for the local style. These are usually one or two storey buildings surrounded by gardens with a simple design, decorated by wooden porches and bay windows with attached wooden armaments to the edge of the roofs. This type of construction is still visible downtown and most of the houses here survived more than a century. Old classic three storey houses built at the turn of 19th century in upper Sopot are also decorated with wooden porches
The main idea behind secession was to detach itself from all historical influences, but it was quickly incorporated with previous styles. The most prestigious buildings of the secession style had stained glass windows, which are still preserved in some buildings like the Church of the Sea Star, Bath House and in few residential buildings. Later, the architects abandoned most of the decorative details to simplify the design. One of the most interesting buildings of that time is the monumental Grand Hotel.