The Golden Gate is erected on the site of a former Gothic gate which had been built in the 13th century. At the beginning of the 17th century the old, Gothic structure was replaced by the more modern construction which was further developed during the following centuries. The most significant change probably was installation of eight sculptures at the upper part of the building in the mid 18th century. In 1878 the sculptures were reconstructed because they were heavily damaged by weather influence. Fortunately, they survived the Second World War.
Without any doubt, the most distinctive architectonic elements are the already mentioned eight sculptures in the upper part of the gate. These figures symbolize the properties and attitudes of the citizens of Gdansk – for example, the Peace, the Freedom, the Wealth, the Justice and the Wisdom. Four of them are identifiable from the western side of the gate, the other four from the eastern side. In addition, the building reads a German inscription and there are other decorative elements as well.