History of the building
The museum is located in the former Evangelical Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, in the centre of the city, near the port. The front part is crowned by a low timber tower with a look-out function. From here we can admire a beautiful panorama over the city, the port and the beach on the Puck Bay side.
The church was first mentioned in 1417. It was then the main parish church in Nowy Hel, as was the name of the settlement which was to develop later into the present city. In 1525 it was transformed into a Protestant church, because most of the inhabitants converted to the Evangelical faith.
In 1572 the fire of the city didn’t save the church tower. It was later rebuilt and used as a sea lighthouse. During the 1800s heavy storms and rough seas would wash over the escarpment where the church was standing. A catastrophe took place in 1861 when the front part of the church together with the tower was washed into the sea.
Two years later renovation work in the saved part was initiated. The church then took a form very much like the present look, although the tower itself was essentially different. During the defence in September 1939 the church suffered a lot, as well due to war actions in 1945, but it was renovated in 1959. Because there was no Evangelical parish on Hel at the time, it was adapted for museum purposes.
In 1972 the building was given to National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk, which established there its department – The Fisheries Museum.