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Downtown is basically where the action happens. This is where tourists come to enjoy their time. The tourist base is located downtown. Here you can find countless pubs, restaurants, most of the town’s hotels and of course many shops, almost all of what you need and expect to have. Downtown and Upper Sopot is naturally divided by a cliff which was an old sea bank about 5-6 thousands years ago. But dense development has made it hardly visible today. Until the 17th century, the area below the cliff was a swamp, so the first settlement started to appear in what today is known as Upper Sopot. Originally, the area under the cliff was uninhabited and access to the sea was limited but the area was dried after irrigation was constructed. A small fishing settlement was shown on the map for the first time in 1714. Today it is a very busy place with a lot of commerce and strollers, and a statue of fishermen stands where the settlement once was. The settlement was connected to the upper Sopot by a small path. On most maps from that time until 19th century you can see dense network which once provided irrigation.

Development of the downtown area is related to the arrival of Jean Haffnera, a doctor from Napoleon’s army, and the construction of the spa resort he had started, which was later continued by his inheritors. The first building appeared in what is today the town center, the process was slow and the development was limited to just a few buildings. We can find a written account from 1858; almost 30 years after Haffner started his enterprise. This account is by Jadwiga Luszczewska, as he describes Sea Street (ulica Morska in Polish) as undeveloped in its mid section, as he says you could see an open field to the left and right stretching far away.

Today this street is called Heroes of Monte Cassino and it is one of the busiest streets in Sopot. Its development continued slowly through 19th century and was limited to summer houses with big wooden porches for people to enjoy the idyllic life of summer vacation. It was slowly changing at the end of 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century, the construction of residential houses for use all year takes off. Today, downtown is very modern. The introduction of surveillance cameras allows the monitoring of activity all day, and keeps it safe. It allows emergency crews to respondin the shortest possible time in case of emergency.

All the beach is under surveillance and it allows the coordination and quick response in case that there is trouble in the water. The most characteristic landmark downtown is the famous pier and Grand Hotel combined together with the most famous street in Poland, the Heroes of Monte Cassino, which is closed to traffic. The pier is an artificial extension of the street 511 meters long. Every year in mid June a festival takes place to celebrate the existence of the most famous street, not only is Sopot, but in the rest of the country as well. The procession starts on the boundary between downtown and upper Sopot by the Saint Jerzy Church and ends by the balneology buildings just next to the beach, around the pier. For the last few years, the Prokom Open, an international tennis tournament, has been the biggest attraction, which takes places every year downtown, where the tennis courts are located. Also, many sporting events which are organised on the pier and the beach add to the summer's attractions. Most of the downtown area goes through constant development and renovation, the latest being the Haffner Center, which contains a shopping center, cafes, pubs, cinemas, a gallery and shops. Most of the buildings along the main street have been renovated, and new ones have been built, changing the street dramatically over the last few years. The entire main street is a very busy centre of commerce and entertainment populated by various amateur and professional entertainers.

strona domowa