Swieta Lipka Sanctuary
Elblag is situated at the mouth of the Vistula lagoon and at the interface of the two different geographical regions: Zulawy Wislane and Elblag Uplands, what makes this area very picturesque and attractive. For centuries the town’s history was really stormy: rulled by the Teutonic Knights and the polish kings, occupied by the Swedish and totally destructed by the both World Wars.
Elblag was founded by the Teutonic Knights who built there a castle in 1237, which was a seat of the land master and the top Teutonic authorities until 1309. After the Teutonic Knights’ defeat in 1410 the townspeople captured and destroyed the castle and the town bacame a part of Poland from 1466 to 1772. Elblag belonged also to the Hansa and its port rivalled with the Gdansk’s one. Unfortunately the town suffered a great destruction during the warfare of the World War II and its old town, which was considered as one of the largest and most beautiful in Europe, was reconstructed only in a small extent. The Gothic church of St. Nicholas was built in the 13th century and its interiors contains many valuable works of art: the 15th-century Crucifixion by Jan van der Matten, the high altar in a form of the triptych with the Adoration of the Magi and the Shoemakers’ Apprentices’ Altar with the painted triptych from 1520. Elblag is also one of the archeologically best-studied cities in Poland so that its museums contain many extremly unique showpieces: 15th-century horn-rimmed glasses and 13th-century oak cargo lift, the oldest preserved in Europe. Worth seeing is also a Market Gate (14th century) – the only rest of the defensive walls and the Gallery EL in the former Evangelical Church which contains many interesting examples of the avantgarde art. The Elblag Canal is one of the most extraordinary feats of hydraulic engineering in Europe, which was built in 1848-72 by the Dutchman Georg Jacob Steenke and conects the lakes around Ostróda and the Drweca River with Elblag. Its total lenght is 212 km (including its branches) and it was used for the floating timber. Elblag is also famous for its brewery, part of the Zywiec Group.