Along the southern Baltic Sea coast are a number of port cities that were members of the Hanseatic League, a coalition of German-speaking ports located at the mouths of major rivers draining into the sea. From the time of the Teutonic Knights’ conquest of the city in 1308 until the surrender of Germany in 1945, Gdansk appeared on maps as the German name Danzig. Its main waterway is the Motlawa and as the city grew, its network of waterways included canals and defensive moats.
The most prominent of the city’s moats is the Opływ Motławy, seen in a 1931 aerial photo above and largely unchanged since then. Continue reading