With a small square and a house named after him, Stefan Żeromski (1864-1925) is one of the more prominent names you’ll see in the city. The fact that Zeromski was born in Strawczyn (near Kielce) and spent the majority of his life not based in Gdynia at all should tell you as much about Gdynia’s need to create local heroes in its early years of existence as it does about the importance of the man to Polish culture. Born during the time of the Partitions, Żeromski spent most of his life either around Warsaw, in the south of the country, or abroad including Switzerland where he worked as a librarian in the Polish Museum in Rapperswil.
Throughout his life Żeromski was dedicated to the restoration of the Polish state and although it wasn’t until he was in his late thirties that he could begin to live from writing he made a lasting impression and became regarded as the ‘conscience of Polish literature’. He is fondly remembered in these parts as after Poland regained its freedom in 1918, Żeromski came and lived here, in Orłowo, for a while in the 1920s. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1924 and awarded an apartment in the Royal Castle in Warsaw in 1925. You’ll find a selection of works on display in the small museum and cafe of his name close to the pier in Orłowo and the district is worth a visit to see a peaceful and classic part of the coast.