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Baltic Sea. Crystal Glimpses of a Fairytale
Danzica, Royal Route
William van den Blocke. 1584
In June of this year, I moved to Gdansk,
a city in northern Poland, on the shores of the Baltic Sea.
I am an architect and mannerist sculptor. I was moving there to work in the service of the Polish King Stephen Bàthory. My aim was to beautify the city and make it amazing. Gdansk's location, with its deep-water port at the point where the Vistula River met the sea, made it one of the most prosperous cities in Europe,
as Polish grain was transported throughout the rest of Western Europe. Since most of the merchants were Dutch, the city acquired a regal appearance: elegant houses in bright, vivid colours, decorated with golden ornaments. Gdansk became beautiful and rich, and I was called upon to improve it further. The so-called Royal Walk,
usually used for celebrations and ceremonies, leads to the heart of the City. It is also walked by the king during processions, when he likes to show himself to the citizens and greet them. King Casimir IV was also celebrated here in 1457, a year after reuniting Gda?sk with the Kingdom of Poland.
At one of the crossroads on this road, looking at this wonderful city, which seemed to have come out of a fairy tale, I immediately set to work.
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