Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski says the new European Solidarity Center should help raise future generations with an appreciation of freedom and democracy.

Komorowski and Lech Walesa, the legendary Solidarity leader and former president, on Sunday opened the multi-purpose center in the Baltic port city of Gdansk to mark 34 years since eastern Europe's first free trade union was founded.

The center houses documents and photos detailing Solidarity's history, a library, a conference hall and an education center for students.

Solidarity was born in August 1980 out of worker protests in Gdansk shipyard and soon became a nationwide freedom movement. In 1989 it peacefully toppled Poland's communist rulers, paving the way for similar change in other Soviet bloc nations.