The coat of arms of Bydgoszcz depicts a city gate with three towers, a raised portcullis and half-opened gate.
In ancient times, however, the gates were closed and strictly guarded. People who came to the gates of Bydgoszcz and did not get a hospitable welcome, turned around and headed to nearby Toruń. That was the reason merchants from distant parts, travellers and rich knights bypassed the city that was unfriendly and unwelcoming for strangers. The citizens of Bydgoszcz suffered from that fact, because they lacked overseas goods and news from the world. In this situation the town councillors decided that the gates should always be open. This was also the image they ordered to be presented on the city’s coat of arms and since then it has been clear that the inhabitants of Bydgoszcz willingly host guests.