SOPOT. FROM ELITARY SPA TO BATHING RESORT FOR MASSES (Sopot. Od elitarnego uzdrowiska do kurortu dla mas)
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The identity of the city of Sopot is built basically on its playing two roles - a health resort and a spa. The first part of the article presents a story of a little fishing village transforming into an important touristic and spa centre during 19th and 20th century. This process speeded up rapidly at the end of the 19th century and just before the Second World War. After the War Sopot retained its special character. The last 20 years, when the city has again been developing intensively, brought manifold consequences for its citizens. The second part of the article describes conflicts of interests between the citizens and the tourists, experienced by the citizens of Sopot. Generally, they are proud of their city, which is called 'the Summer capital of Poland' and profits from a great amount of visitors. But on the other hand, they badly miss the old Sopot, a small town with a calm atmosphere. As the research shows, the citizens want the calm Sopot back, with a smaller number of visitors. They prefer the cultural rather than mass events to take place in their town. At present, they feel that big number of visitors makes the city too commercial and unfriendly for the citizens.
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