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[ first records of Sopot | beginning of Sopot | nineteenth century Sopot | Sopot before Second World War | Postwar Sopot ]
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In 1819 Sopot had only 307 inhabitants but it had been growing steadily. After 1871, there were over 2000 people living there. Although this number is relatively small, one has to realize that at the beginning of the 19th century Sopot was just a small fishing village and a place where rich merchants from nearby Gdansk had their summer mansions. Nevertheless, after 1871 the numbers were growing steadily, largely due to the fact the railway line was laid down connecting Sopot with Gdansk and Koszlain. During the period directly after 1871, the average population increase was one thousand inhabitants every 5 years. Between 1901 - 1914, the yearly average for population increase was 520 people. During that time, the construction began to take off, as in 1880 there were 451 houses, and in 1908 the number increased to over one thousand. Most of the boarding houses, hotels and summer mansions were only occupied during the summer. This was a period of poorly planned and chaotic development. Houses built at the end of 19th century had usually no more than one story, and high roofs covered with ceramic tiles. This created specious attics, which were often used as an extra living space.
Houses were built in the typical 19th century style in this region during that period, which is characterized by high attics and steep roofs, decorated with turrets. The entire construction was usually solid brick with wooden front porches, which reflected classical forms. It was not uncommon however to see mixed construction, or only wooden buildings, particularly in summer houses, which were built only of wood. Modern residential construction in Poland is concrete and brick only, unlike in United States and other countries, where you can only see a concrete foundation, with the rest being wood. Most of the buildings were situated along a south- north axis, stretching from Gdansk in the south to Wejherowo in the north. This was a major trade route, which influenced future development. On May 2nd, 1824, by crown decree, street names had been ratified and numbers assigned to houses, which was separate from downtown and upper Sopot.
By undertaking the task to urbanize the settlement, it was not forgotten to take into account the natural landscape when combining the streets together with buildings. The shoreline stroll path was developed during this time. In the west, part of the settlement inside the surrounding forest stroll paths were laid out together with sightseeing spots, the most famous being on King's Hill. Laying down a railway line throughout Sopot, which made possible a connection with neighbouring Gdansk in the south and cities on the northern coast like Slupsk and Koszalin, had a great influence on the future existence of Sopot. As a result of this new development, the division between downtown and upper Sopot started to become more visible. Due to the railway, not only was it possible to travel to those big cities mentioned, which played a significant role in the industrial age but connections to the rest of the country were made quicker and more convenient. Although Sopot did not have the status of town at this time, it slowly began to look one, partially due to the increasing number of new comers. In the settlement landscape, a new railway station, hotel and post office, built just steps from the station, made their permanent appearance. At the same time a new spa house, sanatorium, court house and prison were built. A new road system was developed and existing roads were modernized. A little later, in 1895, upper Sopot was also under a process of urbanization. This was the time when the most roads were laid down, which still exist today. As soon as the roads were laid down, new villas, mansions and even palaces were built. This is the period when the basis for today's modern town were laid down.