Sopot is a seaside town in Eastern Pomerania on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea in northern Poland, with a population of approximately 40,000. Sopot is a city with powiat (county) status, in Pomeranian Voivodeship. Until 1999 it was in Gdańsk Voivodeship. It lies between the larger cities of Gdańsk (to the south-east) and Gdynia (to the north), the three towns together making up the metropolitan agglomeration called Trójmiasto (Tri-City). Sopot is a major health-spa and tourist resort destination. It has the longest wooden pier in Europe, at 515.5 metres, stretching out into the Bay of Gdańsk. The city is also famous for its Sopot International Song Festival, the largest such event in Europe after the Eurovision Song Contest. Among its other attractions is a fountain of bromide spring water, known as the "inhalation mushroom".
The area of today's Sopot contains the site of a 7th-century Slavonic (Pomeranian) stronghold. Initially it was a commercial trade outpost for commerce extending both up the Vistula river and to cities north across the Baltic Sea. With time the significance of the stronghold diminished and by the 10th century it was reduced to a fishing village, eventually abandoned. However, a century later the area was settled again and two villages were founded within the borders of today's' city: Stawowie and Gręzowo. They were first mentioned in 1186 as being granted to the Cistercian abbey in Oliwa. Another of the villages that constitute today's Sopot, Świemirowo, was first mentioned in 1212 in a document by Mestwin I, who granted it to the Premonstratensian (Norbertine) monastery in nearby Żukowo. The village of Sopot, which later became the namesake for the whole city, was first mentioned in 1283 when it was granted to the Cistercians. By 1316 the abbey had bought all villages in the area and became the owners of all the area of the city. After the Second Peace of Thorn (1466) the area was reincorporated into the Kingdom of Poland. The spa for the citizens of Gdańsk has been active since the 16th century. Until the end of that century most noble and magnate families from Gdańsk built their manor housees in Sopot. During the negotiations of the Treaty of Oliva King John II Casimir lived in one of them, while Swedish negotiator Magnus de la Gardie resided in another — it has been known as the Swedish Manor ever since. During the 1733 War of the Polish Succession Imperial Russian troops besieged the nearby city of Gdańsk and a year later looted and burned the village of Sopot to the ground. Much of Sopot would remain abandoned during and after the conflict.
Memorial Stone for Danuta Siedzikówna in Sopot In 1757 and 1758 most of the ruined manors were bought by the Pomeranian magnate family of Przebendowski. General Józef Przebendowski bought nine of these palaces and in 1786 his widow, Bernardyna Przebendowska (née von Kleist), bought the remaining two.