“THE THINGS OF WARSAW.” The Opening of the Newly Renovated Museum of Warsaw

If you are planning to visit the capital of Poland, where better to touch the spirit of the City than at the Museum of Warsaw? On 26-28th May 2017, during a special weekend cultural event, the Museum will once again open its main building to tourists after a three year long, intensive modernization, renovation and restoration period. A brand new core exhibition, a cinema, a café, a library, a bookstore and an observation point with
a marvelous view over the city’s UNESCO Heritage List historic city center are just a few things to look forward to in the reopened building.

The Museum of Warsaw was established in 1936 with a mission to collect, store and present objects and information relevant to the city’s history and identity. In its 80 years of operation, it assembled an impressive collection of over 300 000 objects related to Warsaw’s past and its culture. The oldest object in the collection dates back to the early 14th century. The Museum’s headquarters is located in 11 historic tenement houses numbered 28-42 in the Old Town Market Square; the Museum also has 9 external branches, spread out throughout the city and its surrounding area, including the Praga Museum of Warsaw, Korczakianum, the Heritage Interpretation Center, and the Museum of Printing.

In 2014, the Museum commenced a three year long endeavor to restore and conserve the Museum’s Old Town headquarters; the buildings were beautifully renovated and made available to physically disabled persons on levels -1, -2, level 0, and levels +1 and +2. Work is in progress to make the remaining levels available for wheelchair access. The Museum will also be friendly for pets.

In the course of the project, the Museum’s collection was photographed and digitized and a brand new core exhibition, “The Things of Warsaw,” was installed.

“The Things of Warsaw,” along with its accompanying sections: “The Warsaw Data,” “History of the Tenement Houses” and the temporary exhibition, is spread over 5 floors of the 11 restored tenement houses and constitutes the fruit of 4 years of intense work by a team of 32 curators and the entire Museum staff.

Walking through the beautifully renovated tenement houses and ascending their twisting staircases will be somewhat like wandering through the city itself – discovering different places, districts, people, pieces of history from its beginnings in the middle ages to the modern times. Visitors will be able to navigate the 2500 square meters of the exhibition in any way they see fit. Divided into 21 themed rooms, the exhibition helps to explore the city through the stories of the 7500 objects on display: architectural details, photographs and postcards, souvenirs, clothing, pocket watches and even chamber pots. Visitors will learn about the city not from history books, facts and figures, but from a box of chocolates adorned with the 19th-century Warsaw skyline from the city’s most famous and beloved chocolatier E. Wedel, or a bronze Mermaid-shaped door handle, the only remnant of the no longer extant city hall building. All these objects come together to create an intricate story of an intricate, ever-evolving city.

In May 2017, the first part of the core exhibition will be opened. It will comprise 8 rooms and the accompanying sections, as well as a temporary exhibition and the educational program. The visitors will also be able to enjoy the café, the bookstore, the library, the cinema and the observation point. The opening of the second part of the exhibition has been planned for October 2017.