Port elbląski - dawniej i współczesnie
The origins of Elbląg as a port town can be traced back to the 13th century. Sailors and merchants of Elbląg were made famous for their biggest activi . 1 . ity on Hanseatic trade routes in the early 14 century. In that period Elbląg was one of the biggest port centres of Nadwiślańskie Pomorze (Pomerania on the Vistula). In the early 15th century the communication link between the port of Elbląg and the Vistula river, as well as navigation conditions in the port and the roadstead began to worsen. Towards the end of the 15th century the port of Elbląg lost its dynamic development and did not manage to regain it till the end of Middle Ages. Between 1772 and 1793 Elbląg belonged once again to important port centres on the southern Baltic Sea. In the period before the World War I the annual turnover of the port equalled 104,000 tonnes. In 1936 the cargo of about 500,000 tonnes was reloaded. At that time the port serviced only inland units. In 1945 the link between Elbląg and the sea was broken when the state border between the Polish People's Republic and the USSR cut the Vistula Bay, closing the water track leading to the Baltic Sea. In the 1960s and 1970s successive reduction of the port centre in Elbląg followed. After 1989 new political and economic conditions influenced positively restoration and improvement of importance of the Elbląg port. The port authorities were reactivated in Elbląg at the end of 1992. In 1994 the port area was delimited. In 2000 the port was communised. The port has good infrastructure and suprastructure; its landing-piers are in a good technical condition. Ships of 2-metre draught can harbour there. Reactivated in 1992, the port had a very dynamic increase in reloading until 1997 (from 42,000 t to over 641,000 t). Thanks to that it took the 4th place among Polish ports. Import of Siberian coal from Kaliningrad contributed to the success. Under the pressure of the national coal lobby the Government introduced tariff walls and the reloading returned to the level of the early 1990s. Between 1993-2000 the number of passengers serviced by the port increased from 11,000 to 34,000. Nowadays, the leading tourist function, the increase in passenger transport and development of sea and inland sailing are being stressed. The basie segment of Elbląg's foreign trade is the District of Kaliningrad. It is assumed that the main source of loading mass in international turnover will be goods coming - from Kaliningrad and Baltiysk. The second potentially important areas are northeastern regions of Lithuania within the access of inland water tracks. After Poland's accession to the European Union the District of Kaliningrad will have an opportunity to become a bridge between the Union and Russia. This seems to be a good perspective for Elbląg. The revival process of the port in Elbląg started in 1990 has been difficult and more complex than it was assumed. Will it be finished in the first decade of the 21st century? This question remains open.
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