The advantage of Pruszcz and its surroundings that could have a significant impact on the development of the region may be the fact that between the first and the fifth century AD there was an amber route with an ancient trade village here. According to archaeological research Faktoria was the end of the northern branch of the route and one of the strongest centers of trade by the Baltic Sea.
During this period the area of Żuławy was under water and the area of today's Pruszcz was situated on the banks of the lagoon, which made it possible to reach the trading post both by water and land. It was a place where the cultures of the civilized world met - Roman merchants arriving by amber route and barbaric trade settlement, whose culture referred to the customs and cults of the later Vikings. This is confirmed by archaeological research that has been conducted in Pruszcz for about 100 years. There are about 2 thousand exhibits from the excavations in Pruszcz area in the collection of the Archaeological Museum in Gdańsk.
The reconstruction of the amber route takes place in Pruszcz Gdański largely due to acquired EU funds. The concept, on which the reconstruction of the route is based, was prepared within a project co-financed by Phare funds. For about 59 000 Euro technical documentation, feasibility study and report on the impact on the environment were prepared. On the basis of these documents the city applied for the money for the investment.
The first stage of the project was implemented within Neighbourhood Programme Interreg IIIA - for the amount of 1 298 390 Euro about 2.7 km of amber route for pedestrians and cyclists stylized for Roman period was built and the park by Matejko street was revitalized. Additionally approximately 5 hectares of land were turned into the Baltic International Cultural Park with an amphitheater, a skate park, a playground for children, four seasons garden, multifunction sports fields and a sledging slope.
The second stage was implemented within the Regional Operational Programme for Pomorskie Voivodeship for the years 2007 – 2013 - further fragment of the amber route was built (2.39 km) and 0.35 km of existing tourist routes was rebuilt. The new infrastructure will make it possible to include the earlier parts of the route and the reconstructed Faktoria into the network of tricity bicycle paths.
At the time being the route reaches the border with Gdansk, which has promised to build a path connecting the amber route with its system of bicycle paths soon. Moreover, the amber route became also a didactic trail thanks to four signs directing tourists to historic sites located in the city centre and eight educational boards containing important information about the paths in Polish and English.
Some fragments of the route are also being built when city streets are repaired.
At the time being a tourist can reach Faktoria by bike from the railway station as well as from bus stops in the city centre and from the administrative border with Gdańsk.
Amber Route (photo S. Czalej)
Amber Route (photo S. Czalej)
Amber Route with didactic board (photo J. Swis)