Since 2013, our office has been located in Gdańsk Zaspa, and more specifically the ‘Rozstaje’ neighbourhood. The decision to choose the location was not premeditated. It was only made once some of us had discovered the charm of the place and moved in to live here.
Zaspa might be one of the most underestimated districts of Gdańsk. One can frequently hear it plays the bedroom function, so typical of other estates around the downtown area, the districts of Wrzeszcz or Oliwa, where the city expanded in the 1970s and 1980s.
Little, on the other hand, is known about the interesting and sometimes dramatic history of the place mentioned earliest in a document of 1238 (by the name Saspe – sandy dune).
Zaspa is remembered for the mass John Paul II celebrated for the worker community on 12 June 1987, and for the unique altar Marian Kołodziej designed for the occasion.
The district is commonly associated with and recognised for the Memorial Cemetery holding the earthly remains of e.g. the defenders of the Gdańsk Polish Post, the customs officers and railway staff from Szymankowo, and the prisoners of the Stutthof concentration camp. On the other hand, the fact that its open fields were the execution grounds of the Post defenders and their first resting place is largely unknown. The remains of the postmen were only discovered in 1991 during some earthworks at the convergence of Jana Pawła II and Burzyńskiego Streets, the actual execution site on the then grounds of shooting range complex.
The history of the Zaspa airfield (officially within the borders of the Wrzeszcz district) operated up to 1974 is going into oblivion even though elements of the facility, forgotten by the residents themselves, are still present in the local landscape (we ourselves were long unaware of this history aspect).
More often, probably as a matter of curiosity, one can hear Zaspa mentioned as the ex-military training grounds (the so-called Big Grounds) of the Prussian elite light cavalry nicknamed the Death Hussars or Black Hussars. Stationed in Wrzeszcz, they have made their name in the history of Gdańsk.
Be encouraged to get your personal view of the history and places of interest in our district, perhaps after a visit at our Office.