Sopot was originally founded in the 13th century, with earthen forts, and was a fishing village but lost most of its fortunes early on with the founding of a Ducal fort in Gdansk around the same time.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, Sopot became renowned for its spas.
Due in part to a napoleonic era doctor promoting Sopot, Jean Haffner, the city grew to include many spas, a sanatarium, and public baths.
Even after being burned to ruins in the 18th century by Russian troops, Sopot retained its reputation and an affluent resort town, and the Emperor of Prussia, Wilhelm II, owned a villa and a summerhouse (The Maryla and Magnolia Hotels).
For even more curious observers, we offer the following links:
Bio: Larry Eder has had a 44 year involvement in the sport of athletics. Larry has experienced the sport as an athlete, coach, magazine publisher and now, journalist and blogger. His first article, on Don Bowden, America's first sub 4 minute miler, was published in RW in 1983. Larry has published several magazines on athletics, from American Track & Field to the U.S. version of Spikes magazine. He currently manages the content and marketing development of the RunningNetwork, The Shoe Addicts and RunBlogRun.
Of RunBlogRun, his daily pilgrimage with the sport, Larry says:
"I have to admit, I love traveling to far away meets, writing about the sport I love, and the athletes I respect, for my readers at runblogrun.com, the most of anything I have ever done, except, maybe running itself."