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Crane of Gdansk

The Gdansk Crane is a unique example of a medieval port crane in Europe and the only surviving example of a two-tower gate in Gdansk. The first mention of a wooden crane-gate at the exit. The first mention of a wooden crane-gate at the exit of Szeroka Street dates back to 1367. After the fire of the oldest building the new one was built in the years 1442-1444. The brick western facade was not built until 1483. The crane was the largest water gate in Gdańsk. On the ground floor there were rooms adapted for cannon firing, and on the upper floors there were shooting ranges for handguns. The main mechanism of the crane were drums set on a common shaft, on which a rope was wound up. Initially there was one pair of drum wheels, then in the 16th or 17th century there were already two pairs of such wheels. Each drum was driven by four workers, the so-called Crane Workers, walking on the inner circumference of the wheel. From the beginning of the 17th century, the object began to lose its military significance (documents from 1605 already bring information about the apartments inside it), at the end of the 17th century, its role as a crane also began to decline (it was used to a limited extent until 1944).


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