The history of Sobieszewo Island is inextricably linked to the history of the Żuławy settlement and its problem: frequent flooding. How did Sobieszewo Island come to be? What settlements will we find on the Island? The sluice in Przegalina, the Vistula Crossing, the creation of Górki Wschodnie and Zachodnie – find out more about the important places and events that have shaped the district. 

The Vistula Crossing

a historic event and an idea for flood protection in Żuławy

To be able to talk about Sobieszewo Island today is already due to human action. Due to the yearly floods in Żuławy, the Prussian parliament decided to ditch the Vistula, regulate the Vistula embankments and build sluices in Przegalina. A 7.1 km-long artificial canal was dug from Szewce to the Gdańsk Gulf. A celebratory opening of the Vistula Crossing took place in 1895. On a telegraphic signal from Kaiser Wilhelm II, Gustav von Gossler, the West Prussian Supreme President, opened the way for the first streams of Vistula water between today’s Świbno and Mikoszewo with his own hands. Since then, the waters of the Vistula Crossing have merged with the Baltic Sea, thus creating Sobieszewo Island.

Did you know that...

300 000 cubic metres of fascine (a construction element made of wicker shoots) was used in the construction of the Vistula Crossing?

The Przegalina sluice

In the 19th century, the Żuławy region, including Gdańsk, was hit by catastrophic floods on three occasions. Influenced by the losses recorded then, the authorities of the time decided to regulate the Vistula and shorten the estuary section of the river by building a crossing to speed up the flow of waters threatening Żuławy and Gdańsk. This investment involved cutting off branches of the Vistula estuary, Szkarpawa and Nogat, and creating a new estuary between Świbno and Mikoszewo (the so-called Przekop – the Crossing). In 1895, the branch of the Vistula estuary that had previously led through Gdańsk was cut off in the village of Błotnik, thus creating Martwa Wisła (the Dead Vistula). From then on, navigation from the Vistula towards Gdańsk has been possible through the sluice in Przegalina.

The South and North Sluice

The water junction at Przegalina is formed by two sluices: South and North. The first one, built between 1975 and 1982 at the junction of the Vistula River and Martwa Wisła, is currently the only barrage on the Vistula Gdańsk waterway. The usable length of the sluice chamber is 188.37 m, and its width is 11.91 m. The facility allows the sluicing of vessels with a maximum difference in water level of 2.49 m between the upper and lower stations. The historic North Sluice, built in 1895, was entered in the register of historical monuments exactly 30 years ago and is currently out of service.

The sluice complex was not damaged during the Second World War, and its technical part was not looted in the post-war turmoil. Most of the equipment, which dates back to the late 19th century, has remained intact. In contrast to the technical solutions used in most similar hydraulic structures, the hydraulic drive of the north sluice in Przegalina used not oil but water as the working medium for power transfer.

Did you know that…

approximately 1,500 crossings take place in the sluice each year?

What are the functions and importance of the Przegalina Water Junction?

The Przegalina water junction allows free passage of barges and ships between Martwa Wisła and the Vistula Crossing, forming part of the international waterway E40, connecting the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea. Approximately 1,500 crossings take place at the sluice each year. The junction also played an important role in the flood protection system of Żuławy Gdańskie and Gdańsk itself: the upper sluice gates work as flood gates.

Program Społeczny
Rozwoju Wyspy

The site was created as part of the Sobieszewo Island Social Development Program related to Gdansk's candidacy for the 2027 World Scout Jamboree.


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ul. Dowolna 123,
01-234 Miasto


ul. Dowolna 123,
01-234 Miasto
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