Hel (Kashubian: Hél; formerly German: Hela) is a seaside Resort city in Puck County, Pomeranian Voivodeship, in northern Poland, located on the tip of the Hel Peninsula, some 33 kilometres (21 miles) from the Polish mainland.
The territory became part of the emerging Polish state in the 10th century, under its first historic ruler Mieszko I. The Kashubian village of Hel was first mentioned in 1198 as a centre of herring trade area named Gellen. In one of the Danish chronicles of 1219 it is mentioned that a damaged ship of King Valdemar II the Victorious was set ashore on an "Island of Hel". By the 13th century the village became one of the most important trade centres of the area, competing with the nearby city of Gdańsk. It was then that the village was granted town rights by Duke Świętopełk II the Great of Pomerania. The privileges were again confirmed in 1378 when the town came under the rule of the Teutonic Order.
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