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Gdynia

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Gdynia (/ɡəˈdɪniə/ gə-DIN-ee-ə; Polish: [ˈɡdɨɲa] (listen); German: Gdingen (currently), Gotenhafen (1939-1945); Kashubian: Gdiniô)[a] is a city in northern Poland and a seaport on the Baltic Sea coast. With a population of 244,969, it is the 12th-largest city in Poland and the second-largest in the Pomeranian Voivodeship after Gdańsk.[1] Gdynia is part of a conurbation with the spa town of Sopot, the city of Gdańsk, and suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the Tricity (Trójmiasto) with around 800,000 inhabitants.

Historically and culturally part of Kashubia and Eastern Pomerania, Gdynia for centuries remained a small fishing village. By the 20th-century it attracted visitors as a seaside resort town. In 1926 Gdynia was granted city rights, after which it enjoyed demographic and urban development, with a modernist cityscape. It became a major seaport city of Poland. The violent 1970 protests in and around Gdynia contributed to the rise of the Solidarity movement in nearby Gdańsk.

The port of Gdynia is a regular stopover on the cruising itinerary of luxury passenger ships and ferries travelling to Scandinavia. In 2013, Gdynia was ranked by readers of The News as Poland's best city to live in, and topped the national rankings in the category of "general quality of life".[2]

The area of the later city of Gdynia shared its history with Pomerelia (Eastern Pomerania). In prehistoric times, it was the center of Oksywie culture; it was later populated by Slavs with some Baltic Prussian influences. In the late 10th century, the region was united with the emerging state of Poland[3] by its first historic ruler Mieszko I. During the reign of Bolesław II, the region seceded from Poland and became independent, to be reunited with Poland in 1116/1121 by Bolesław III.[4] In 1209, the present-day district of Oksywie was first mentioned (Oxhöft). Following the fragmentation of Poland, the region became part of the Duchy of Pomerania (Eastern), which became separate from Poland in 1227, to be reunited in 1282. The first known mention of the name "Gdynia", as a Pomeranian (Kashubian) fishing village dates back to 1253. The first church on this part of the Baltic Sea coast was built there. In 1309–1310, the Teutonic Order invaded and annexed the region from Poland. In 1380, the owner of the village which became Gdynia, Peter from Rusocin, gave the village to the Cistercian Order. In 1382, Gdynia became property of the Cistercian abbey in Oliwa. In 1454, King Casimir IV Jagiellon signed the of act of incorporation of the region to the Kingdom of Poland, and the Thirteen Years' War, the longest of all Polish-Teutonic wars, started. It ended in 1466, when the Teutonic Knights recognized the region as part of Poland. Administratively, Gdynia was located in the Pomeranian Voivodeship in the province of Royal Prussia[5] in the Greater Poland Province of the Kingdom of Poland and later of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

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