The first jetty with the length of 31.5 m was built by dr George Haffner in 1827.
The first jetty with the length of 31.5 m was built by dr George Haffner in 1827. Till the end of XIX century the Pier was extended to 150 m, and in 1910 it reached the length of 315 m. Initially the facility performed the function of a local harbour, gradually transforming (in hand with the growth of the spa) into leisure facility, and then – following the development of land infrastructure (the fountain, the bandshell) – also into an eventful facility. Here, it is worth mentioning that the admission to the facility was payable as early as in the second half of the XIX century.
The present shape of the facility was given to it in 1928 after the greatest in the Pier history reconstruction works initiated a year earlier to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the city and the 100th anniversary of the Pier (among others, significant extension of the pedestrian jetty and development of the Bathers Square). Since then, the Pier’s look has undergone little changes, despite several major repairs. The most recent significant works took place in the years 1989-91 (at that time, the reinforced concrete head protecting the main jetty was built) as well as in 1999-2000,2002-03 and 2004-05.
Since the very beginning, the Pier has been an undertaking of international dimension: its construction was initiated by a Frenchman, a veteran of Napoleon wars, on Polish lands belonging to the Kingdom of Prussia (since 1871 to the German Empire), and since the beginning, its history engaged both Germans and Poles (including Kashubians and Jews). At the turn of XIX and XX century, thanks to railway and sea links, bathers from all over Europe came here. On grounds of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, the facility (just like the whole Sopot) became part of the Free City of Gdańsk. Only the 3rd Reich, since 1936 tried to grant access to the facility to only one nation, which eventually gave the opposite effect- after World War II there were mass resettlements of Germans from the area of the Tricity. A symbolic reconciliation took place in the years 1999-2000, when the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation donated 2 million PLN for major repairs of the main jetty. The latest major repairs were conducted in the years 2011-14 on the land part and covered the fountain, the arcades, and lawns.
In 2005, the City Council gave the name of John Paul II to the pier in the remembrance of the Pope’s visit to the facility in 1987, as well as a visit to the Sopot Hippodrome in 1999.