Photo Alina Żemojdzin



In terms of population, Przeróbka is one of the smallest districts of Gdańsk – it has slightly more than 4,000 inhabitants, and this number is dwindling year after year. Around a decade ago, the neighbourhood still had almost 5,000 residents. Nevertheless, in terms of size, this is by no means a small quarter of the city. It encompasses vast industrial and warehouse areas, the Westerplatte peninsula, which played an important role in Polish and universal history, and a unique heritage building, the oldest coastal defensive structure in Poland: the Wisłoujście Fortress. Residential buildings are located in the southern part of the district, and this is the area typically perceived by Gdańsk locals as Przeróbka. Westerplatte and Wisłoujście, separated by industrial zones, are not generally seen as components of the district. Since the NARRACJE 2021 festival will be focused on the district’s residential area, this is the part that is described in most detail in the present study.

Przeróbka is a small working-class district without any significant institutions, a church or even a park. However, the architecture is rather varied – the neighbourhood features small houses with gardens, red-brick tenements, and even 10-storey tower blocks. Its history may be summarized in one sentence: until the 20th century, this was meadowland where rafters would dry – or “process”1 – grain later sold in Gdańsk, and then the small local settlement evolved into a working-class district, whose life was governed by the local rolling stock factory (Zakłady Naprawcze Taboru Kolejowego).

Przeróbka is one of the eastern districts of the city. These areas tend to score relatively low on the citizen satisfaction index. The lower standard of living is caused by a number of factors, with the most important ones being: low sense of security related to higher crime levels, decidedly lower level of commercial and service infrastructure as well as cultural infrastructure, the quality of residential architecture, inadequate transport connections with the rest of the city (the situation has greatly improved with the recent construction of the tunnel under the Dead Vistula), decidedly poorer access to medical care as well as secondary and tertiary education (there are no hospitals, higher education institutions or even secondary schools in the eastern districts). The eastern part of the city is dominated by industrial and port functions, which has a significant impact on the quality of life experienced by residents of such quarters as Przeróbka, Rudniki, Stogi, Krakowiec and Górki Zachodnie. In spite of the seaside location, the unfavourable circulation of wind blows the pollution emitted by industrial facilities towards the land, as a result of which Gdańsk and its immediate vicinity has for years had one of the highest values of cancer incidence.


Read more about the district in a study prepared for NARRACJE by Gdansk historian Klaudiusz Grabowski.

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Narracje #14