Sopot is one of the country’s most famous towns and is extremely fashionable particularly in the summer months when it often feels that half of the capital has decamped here to see and be seen.
The town’s reputation was built during the late years of the 19th century and the first few decades of the 20th when, as part of the German Empire and then as a part of the Free City of Gdansk, it became the summer home and playground for many of Europe’s ruling classes. Kaiser Wilhelm II, for instance, had a summer home here, (now the Maryla hotel) and a separate villa for his guests (formerly the Magnolia hotel). His wife, meanwhile, was responsible for the building of what is now St George’s Garrison Church at the top of the main street - ulica Bohaterów Monte Cassino.
Damaged but not destroyed by WWII, the city attracted an increasingly Bohemian, artistic and later reactionary crowd during the years of communist rule when its fame was also increased by playing host to the Soviet Bloc’s equivalent of the Eurovision Song Content.