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Wreck found near Wisloujście Fortress is not "Yellow Lion"

Underwater archaeologists exploring the bottom of the Martwa Wisła river near the Wisłoujście Fortress in Gdańsk found, among others, a shipwreck dating back to the 17th-18th century. However, it is not the “Yellow Lion” – the first warship of the Polish fleet, which sank in this area in 1628. Andrzej Gierszewski, spokesman for the Historical
Published: September 8, 2017 - 16:54
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 15:35
Wreck found near Wisloujście Fortress is not “Yellow Lion”

Underwater archaeologists exploring the bottom of the Martwa Wisła river near the Wisłoujście Fortress in Gdańsk found, among others, a shipwreck dating back to the 17th-18th century. However, it is not the “Yellow Lion” – the first warship of the Polish fleet, which sank in this area in 1628.

Andrzej Gierszewski, spokesman for the Historical Museum of the City of Gdańsk (MHMG), which takes care of the Wisłoujście Fortress, informed on Wednesday about the results of the research carried out between 23 August and 3 September by archaeologists and divers from the Archcom company.

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Gierszewski reminded that during the works the bottom of the Martwa Wisła river section, neighbouring with the Fortress, was examined along the length of about 650 metres and width from 5 to 10 metres. He explained that the divers checked 22 places, which had been selected earlier – during sonar research – by employees of the Maritime Institute in Gdansk as potentially interesting. “The divers descended to a maximum depth of 11 metres, where visibility was no more than one metre,” – Gierszewski added.

He said that during the works traces of pilings were found, which “may date back to the 14th-15th century at the latest”. He explained that wood samples were taken from the piles and it was possible to establish the exact age of the structure.

Gierszewski added that the divers also found fragments of a wreck dating back to the 17th-18th centuries. “Preliminary examination of the fragments lying in the silt layer allows us to say that the wreck could have been up to 16 metres long. It is not the +Yellow Lion+, but we want to examine it in detail next year” – MHMG director Waldemar Ossowski explained in a message provided by Gierszewski.

When starting the works, archaeologists hoped to discover the remains of the warship “Yellow Lion” – the first pinnace built in Gdansk shipyard and serving in the royal fleet. The ship was sunk on the night of 5-6 July 1628 as a result of Swedish artillery fire. Sources indicate that it took place in the close vicinity of the Wisłoujście Fortress.

The survey of the bottom of the Dead Vistula was carried out as part of the 103,500 PLN project “Underwater reconnaissance of the area around the Wisłoujście Fortress in Gdańsk”, for which the MHMG obtained funding from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Wisłoujście Fortress is a complex of defensive buildings on the right (eastern) bank of the Dead Vistula River. It was built in the place where in the Middle Ages coastal watchtowers controlling the estuary of the Vistula River to the Baltic Sea operated. The complex consists of two forts: a four-bastion brick fort called carre (built in the years 1586-1602) and the surrounding five-bastion earth fort currently known as Szańc Wschodni, built in the years 1624-1626.

Most of the buildings comprising the Wisłoujście Fortress have survived to the present day in their original form.

In recent years the Historical Museum of the City of Gdansk has carried out a number of renovation and conservation works at the fortress site. Many of them were carried out thanks to the funds obtained from the European Union, the Ministry of Culture, the treasury of the City of Gdańsk, and the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. The renovation of the four bastions of Fort Carre carried out several years ago alone cost over PLN 16 million.

More funds are being sought, as the building, neglected for many years, needs a lot of urgent work.

Source: www.naukawpolsce.pap.pl

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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