The Klawitter Grave in Gdansk(Danzig)

The area around the Klawitter grave used to be the Corpus Christi Cemetry, an area close to the railway station. The Klawitter grave seems to be the only visible remnant of the old graveyard. (Is there a particular reason?)

The two gravestones in closeup.

Johann Meyer also found some information on Johann Wilhelm Klawitter (1801-1863):

Johannes Wilhelm Klawitter (1801-1863)

He was born in a family with a long tradition of ship constructing. Boatbuilders of that name were recorded in Gdansk in the beginning of the 18th century. First of them was Georg Klawitter, a boatbuilder in 1712. Johann Jacob was most probably the father of Johann Wilhelm. He was a boatbuilder master in 1793, and the head of boatbuilders' guild in 1804. Johann Wilhelm followed his father first, and became boatbuilders' guild master. In 1814 he and his brother went to England where he learned the newest ship construction technologies.

He got out of the frames of the guild very quickly. After he came back from England ha managed to collect enough funds to break free from the rules of guild and transformed his business into a modern capitalistic shipyard. It started in 1827 in Brabank (part of Gdansk) on the left bank of the Motlawa River. Here Klawitter started constructing first iron hulled vessels in the region. The technology he used was obviously brought from England. He invited to Prussia one of the most respected experts in the field - Englishman Jensen, a former employee of the famous Brittish shipyard near belonging to Scott Russel in London.

The Klawitter shipyard produced everything that was needed on board of a ship. Besides the hulls they constructed boilers and steam machines and all the needed mechanical devices.

The shipyard made both wooden sail ships and iron steam ships. Then they adjusted the offer to local needs and mostly produced wooden merchant ships, used for transport of grain, wood, coal and other goods.

In 1840, along with merchant Gibson, Klawitter established a company named "Weichsel" - dedicated to provide a regular boat transport between the City of Gdansk and Neufahrwasser. The company used two wooden steamships: "Pfeil" and "Blitz". Those were first two steamships used in Gdansk.

His reputation of the ship constructor made him an advisor of the Prussian navy. He was assigned to supervise the construction of the first Prussian steam corvette "Danzig".

He was known to be a daring constructor. In 1853 he designed and constructed a wooden flowing dock - first in Prussia - based on Dutch experience. Klawitter died during his business trip to Berlin on September 15th, 1863.

From "100 Danziger (famous and worth to be remembered)" by Pawel Pizunski
Translated by Johann Meyer

There is a page on the Klawitter wharf (in Polish).

The arrow shows the location of the grave, the green area shows the whereabouts of the (former) Klawitter wharf.

Images are courtesy by Johann Meyer.

Page Made by Holger Klawitter
Sat Jul 3 14:40:09 CEST 2004