Gdynia (gədĭnˈyə) [key], Ger. Gdingen, city (1994 est. pop. 252,100), Pomorskie prov., N Poland, a port on the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Danzig. It is the port of a larger urban area that includes Gdańsk and Sopot. It is an important rail center with industries producing metals, machinery, and food products. Originally a small German fishing village, it was transferred to Poland after World War I. Gdynia as a port was built up after 1924 to end Poland's dependence on Danzig (Gdańsk). By 1934, Gdynia handled more freight than Danzig and was a leading Baltic port. It also became the main naval base and shipbuilding center of Poland. Although the harbor was heavily damaged in World War II, the city suffered relatively little destruction. By 1950 most of the harbor was rebuilt, and Gdynia was again an important commercial port.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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