Hel, Poland

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Hel
View of Hel
View of Hel
Flag of Hel
Coat of arms of Hel
Location of Hel
Hel is located in Pomeranian Voivodeship
Hel
Hel
Hel is located in Poland
Hel
Hel
Hel is located in Baltic Sea
Hel
Hel
Coordinates: 54°36′42″N 18°48′29″E / 54.61167°N 18.80806°E / 54.61167; 18.80806Coordinates: 54°36′42″N 18°48′29″E / 54.61167°N 18.80806°E / 54.61167; 18.80806
Country Poland
VoivodeshipPomeranian
CountyPuck
GminaHel (urban gmina)
Established12th century
Town rights1351–1872, 1963
Government
 • MayorMirosław Wądołowski[2]
Area
 • Total21.27 km2 (8.21 sq mi)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total10,600[1]
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
84-150
Area code(s)+48 58
Car platesGPU
Voivodeship roadsDW216-PL.svg
Websitehttps://gohel.pl/

Hel[a] (Kashubian: Hél; formerly German: Hela) is a seaside resort city in Puck County, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland, located on the tip of the Hel Peninsula, some 33 kilometres (21 miles) from the Polish mainland.

History[edit]

Early developments[edit]

The Kashubian village of Hel was first mentioned in 1198 as a centre of herring trade area named Gellen. In one of the Danish chronicles of 1219 it is mentioned that a damaged ship of King Valdemar II the Victorious was set ashore on an "Island of Hel". By the 13th century the village became one of the most important trade centres of the area, competing with the nearby town of Danzig[citation needed]. It was then that the village was granted city rights by Duke Świętopełk II the Great of Pomerania. The privileges were again confirmed in 1378 when the town came under the rule of the Teutonic Order. Following the Order's defeat, under the imposed Second Treaty of Thorn in 1466 this area was annexed by Poland.

Initially the town (Aldstadt) was some 1.5 km (1 mi) from its present-day centre. It contained a church, hospital, city house, two market places, several guest houses and a small port. However, during the 15th century the peninsula started to shrink through marine erosion and soon the town was moved to a safer place. In 1417 St Peter's Church was built in the town, devoted to the patron saint of fishermen. Hel experienced a period of growth, but was later left behind by the faster-growing city of Danzig. In 1466 King Casimir IV of Poland granted the town as a fief to the rulers of Danzig, which ended the century-long struggle for economic domination over Danzig Bay. In 1526 King Sigismund I the Old withdrew all privileges previously granted to Hel and sold the town and the peninsula to the city authorities of Danzig. Since then Hel's fate was tied to the fortunes of its bigger neighbour.

In the 17th and 18th centuries prolonged warfare and a series of natural disasters severely damaged the town. It was severely depopulated, and in 1793 it was annexed by Prussia in the Second Partition of Poland. In 1872 the government of the newly formed German Empire abolished the town rights granted to Hel six centuries previously[citation needed]. After that the village of Hela (as it is called in German) lost much of its significance.

Modern times[edit]

The period of decline was halted in 1893 when a fishing harbour was built in the village. It provided a shelter for fishing vessels, but also became a popular destination for weekend trips of the inhabitants of Danzig and Zoppot (Sopot). In 1896 the village was granted the status of a sea-side resort.[citation needed]

As a result of World War I and the Treaty of Versailles Poland was re-established as an independent nation. Hel, before the war a predominantly German village (93% in 1905[3]), became again part of Poland. In 1921 a new railway was built along the peninsula connecting the town to the mainland. The authorities of the Pomeranian Voivodeship also planned to build a road to the village, but the peninsula was found too narrow at the time. Soon Hel became one of the most important tourism centres in Polish Pomerania. New suburbs of villas were built for tourists, as well as a new church, school, fishing institute and geophysical observatory. In addition, the village became one of the two main naval bases of the Polish Navy. The harbour was expanded and in 1936 the president declared the peninsula a "Fortified Area" under jurisdiction of the Polish Army. The naval base was expanded significantly and a battery of coastal artillery was built to provide cover for the military facilities.[citation needed]

wz. 08/39 naval mine in the open-air museum of naval equipment

During the invasion of Poland, which started World War II in September 1939, the Hel Peninsula was one of the longest-defended pockets of Polish Army resistance. Approximately 3,000 soldiers of the Coastal Defence Group (Grupa Obrony Wybrzeża) units under Kmdr Włodzimierz Steyer defended the area until 2 October 1939. Shortly before capitulation, Polish military engineers detonated a number of torpedo warheads, which separated the peninsula from the mainland transforming it into an island. Afterwards, Hel was occupied by Germany. Already in 1939, the occupiers carried out the first expulsion of Poles, who were then enslaved as forced labour of new German colonists in various places in the region.[4] During the occupation, the Kriegsmarine used the Hel naval base to train U-boat crews. At the end of the war the village was the last part of Polish soil to be liberated: the German units encircled there only surrendered on 14 May 1945, six days after Germany had capitulated.[citation needed]

After the war the village yet again became a naval base. In 1960 a road linking Hel with Jastarnia on the mainland was built. Three years later city rights were reintroduced. Since then the tourist industry started to recover and several hotels, guest houses and inns were built. In 1996 the Polish Navy sold all remaining parts of the peninsula to the civilian authorities and only a small naval base is there today.[citation needed]

The harbour now serves primarily as a yacht marina, though there are some fishing boats and ferries to Gdańsk, Sopot and Gdynia in the summer.[citation needed]

Sights and culture[edit]

Hel houses a sea life biological laboratory and there are interesting examples of naval armament and equipment exhibited throughout the town. There is popular beach along the shore between the inner and outer harbour walls, with a seal sanctuary (the Fokarium) just behind it. There is a Fishing Museum [pl][5] that forms part of the National Maritime Museum, Gdańsk[6] in an old church on the sea front.[citation needed]

The most easterly edge of Hel, which was once a military territory, can now be accessed by the general public making it possible to walk all the way around the peninsula.[citation needed]

Hel is the setting for the Polish crime series Zbrodnia (2014–2015 ) "The Crime" in English.[1]

Climate[edit]

Hel has an oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb). Its peninsular location generates a unique climate in Poland and more similar with the northwest of Europe.[7]

Climate data for Hel (Hel Lighthouse), elevation: 1 m, 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1951–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 11.3
(52.3)
12.9
(55.2)
20.5
(68.9)
26.2
(79.2)
28.0
(82.4)
31.7
(89.1)
35.0
(95.0)
31.8
(89.2)
28.1
(82.6)
23.2
(73.8)
15.9
(60.6)
11.7
(53.1)
35.0
(95.0)
Mean maximum °C (°F) 7.1
(44.8)
7.1
(44.8)
12.1
(53.8)
19.3
(66.7)
23.7
(74.7)
26.8
(80.2)
28.0
(82.4)
27.4
(81.3)
22.9
(73.2)
17.2
(63.0)
11.5
(52.7)
8.3
(46.9)
29.2
(84.6)
Average high °C (°F) 2.1
(35.8)
2.6
(36.7)
5.6
(42.1)
11.0
(51.8)
16.0
(60.8)
19.7
(67.5)
22.1
(71.8)
22.1
(71.8)
17.6
(63.7)
12.0
(53.6)
7.0
(44.6)
3.7
(38.7)
11.8
(53.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) 0.6
(33.1)
0.7
(33.3)
2.7
(36.9)
6.7
(44.1)
11.4
(52.5)
15.4
(59.7)
18.1
(64.6)
18.2
(64.8)
14.5
(58.1)
9.7
(49.5)
5.3
(41.5)
2.2
(36.0)
8.8
(47.8)
Average low °C (°F) −1.1
(30.0)
−1.1
(30.0)
0.2
(32.4)
3.2
(37.8)
7.6
(45.7)
11.8
(53.2)
14.8
(58.6)
15.1
(59.2)
11.9
(53.4)
7.6
(45.7)
3.7
(38.7)
0.6
(33.1)
6.2
(43.2)
Mean minimum °C (°F) −8.5
(16.7)
−7.5
(18.5)
−5.4
(22.3)
−2.2
(28.0)
1.4
(34.5)
6.2
(43.2)
10.4
(50.7)
10.5
(50.9)
7.0
(44.6)
2.0
(35.6)
−1.8
(28.8)
−5.8
(21.6)
−10.7
(12.7)
Record low °C (°F) −19.1
(−2.4)
−20.0
(−4.0)
−17.0
(1.4)
−9.0
(15.8)
−5.1
(22.8)
−0.1
(31.8)
5.4
(41.7)
5.3
(41.5)
−2.3
(27.9)
−3.0
(26.6)
−9.2
(15.4)
−15.2
(4.6)
−20.0
(−4.0)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 38.5
(1.52)
30.7
(1.21)
32.9
(1.30)
30.7
(1.21)
48.9
(1.93)
57.7
(2.27)
77.9
(3.07)
67.6
(2.66)
60.6
(2.39)
57.4
(2.26)
49.2
(1.94)
46.0
(1.81)
598.1
(23.55)
Average extreme snow depth cm (inches) 6.3
(2.5)
7.0
(2.8)
4.6
(1.8)
0.8
(0.3)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.8
(0.3)
4.3
(1.7)
7.0
(2.8)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 18.30 15.47 14.23 11.17 11.87 13.87 14.43 14.20 13.93 15.83 17.20 18.57 179.07
Average snowy days (≥ 0 cm) 11.3 13.1 6.8 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.4 6.3 39.4
Average relative humidity (%) 86.9 85.7 82.8 80.6 80.4 80.5 81.8 81.8 83.1 84.9 88.1 88.1 83.7
Mean monthly sunshine hours 41.5 68.5 135.2 216.2 273.1 277.7 276.1 258.9 175.1 113.7 48.0 35.2 1,919.3
Source 1: Institute of Meteorology and Water Management[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]
Source 2: Meteomodel.pl (records, relative humidity 1991–2020)[16][17][18]

Gallery[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ [xɛl] (listen); Kashubian: Hél; German: Hela

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.polskawliczbach.pl/Hel#:~:text=Hel%20jest%20bardzo%20ma%C5%82ym%20miastem,zmala%C5%82a%20o%2025%2C1%25. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Wybory samorządowe 2018".
  3. ^ Gemeindelexikon für die Provinz Westpreussen: auf Grund der Materialien der Volkszählung vom 1. Dezember 1905 und anderer amtlicher Quellen (Berlin 1908), p.101 f.
  4. ^ Wardzyńska, Maria (2017). Wysiedlenia ludności polskiej z okupowanych ziem polskich włączonych do III Rzeszy w latach 1939-1945 (in Polish). Warszawa: IPN. p. 54. ISBN 978-83-8098-174-4.
  5. ^ "Marmucommerce chemical information". Archived from the original on 3 January 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Marmucommerce chemical information". Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
  7. ^ "Hel climate: Average Temperature, weather by month, Hel weather averages – Climate-Data.org". en.climate-data.org. Archived from the original on 3 January 2019. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  8. ^ "Średnia dobowa temperatura powietrza". Normy klimatyczne 1991-2020 (in Polish). Institute of Meteorology and Water Management. Archived from the original on 3 December 2021. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  9. ^ "Średnia minimalna temperatura powietrza". Normy klimatyczne 1991-2020 (in Polish). Institute of Meteorology and Water Management. Archived from the original on 15 January 2022. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  10. ^ "Średnia maksymalna temperatura powietrza". Normy klimatyczne 1991-2020 (in Polish). Institute of Meteorology and Water Management. Archived from the original on 15 January 2022. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  11. ^ "Miesięczna suma opadu". Normy klimatyczne 1991-2020 (in Polish). Institute of Meteorology and Water Management. Archived from the original on 9 January 2022. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  12. ^ "Liczba dni z opadem >= 0,1 mm". Normy klimatyczne 1991-2020 (in Polish). Institute of Meteorology and Water Management. Archived from the original on 15 January 2022. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  13. ^ "Średnia grubość pokrywy śnieżnej". Normy klimatyczne 1991-2020 (in Polish). Institute of Meteorology and Water Management. Archived from the original on 15 January 2022. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  14. ^ "Liczba dni z pokrywą śnieżna > 0 cm". Normy klimatyczne 1991-2020 (in Polish). Institute of Meteorology and Water Management. Archived from the original on 15 January 2022. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  15. ^ "Średnia suma usłonecznienia (h)". Normy klimatyczne 1991-2020 (in Polish). Institute of Meteorology and Water Management. Archived from the original on 15 January 2022. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  16. ^ "Hel Absolutna temperatura maksymalna" (in Polish). Meteomodel.pl. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  17. ^ "Hel Absolutna temperatura minimalna" (in Polish). Meteomodel.pl. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  18. ^ "Hel Średnia wilgotność" (in Polish). Meteomodel.pl. Retrieved 12 February 2022.

External links[edit]