The Museum of the Second World War is opening its doors to visitors.
23 March 2017 – this date will be a historic day for Gdansk. It is on this spring Thursday that an extraordinary institution will open – the Museum of the Second World War. The Museum's goal is to show in detail the entirety of the 6 year long conflict. The institution is located in Gdansk, in the heart of the city where the most tragic conflict in the history of humankind began.
A Bit of History
The concept of creating an institution which would present the theatre of war in a comprehensive manner and the reasoning behind all of the sides of the conflict, appeared in 2007. The next step was taken on 26 November 2008 when the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Bogdan Zdrojewski, created the Museum of the Second World War with a directive. Gdansk, as a symbol for the beginning of the war, was selected for its location. The foundation act was signed during the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War on the Westerplatte Peninsula. The winning architectural concept was selected on 1 September 2010. The Jury decided to choose the design by the Studio Architektoniczne "Kwadrat" architecture company from Gdynia. The characteristic construction, with an over 40 metre high pyramid-shaped tower, has quickly become a part of the Gdansk landscape.
The mission of the Museum of the Second World War is to create a modern institution which would present the history of the war as the greatest cataclysm of the 20th century. Even after 70 years after the beginning of the Second World War this task had not been completed as until now, there were no museums in Europe which would exhibit the events and the nature of the conflict in a comprehensive manner.
One of the main goals of the Museum is to show the world the war experiences of Poland and other countries of Central and Eastern Europe, which in many aspects were different and less known than in the case of Western Europe and countries outside the Old Continent. The fate of individuals, societies and nations is a special point of focus in the historic narration of the institute. Military history is a background for the stories about the everyday life of civilians and soldiers, the terror of occupation or such phenomena as genocide, resistance or great politics. This type of narration is used to present the unique character of the Second World War, during which civilians suffered the greatest losses.
The Museum's building has about 23,000 square metres. The permanent exhibitions cover 5,000 square metres of that area. It presents a modern outlook on the Second World War from the perspective of great politics and more importantly, from the point of view of the survival of ordinary people. The exhibition presents the fates not only of Polish people but also those of other nations. A 1,000 square metre area is designated for temporary shows. Apart from being an exhibition centre, the Museum's goals are to facilitate education, culture and science.
The main exhibition is divided into three narrative blocks: The Road to War, The Horror of War and The War's Long Shadow. The exhibition presents the Polish war experiences within the wider European and global context. It is divided into 18 thematic sections reflecting the arrangement of the exhibition rooms.
The main exhibition presents approximately 2,000 items, but the Museum did not forget about modern interactive stations (240 units). Visitors can use them to browse through old photographs and films, watch interviews with witnesses of the war, and learn from interactive maps presenting battles and the country border shifts during the Second World War.
The main exhibition also includes space for the presentation of items connected to everyday civilian life during the Second World War as well as the Time Travel exhibition for children.
Visitors will be able to see e.g. a reconstructed pre-war street, and military equipment enthusiasts will surely appreciate the exhibited devices of war, including the Sherman and T-34 tanks. Interestingly, the tanks were so large that they were placed first on the site, before the walls and the roof of the Museum were built.
The Museum is open to visitors:
from Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
The "Time Travel" exhibition for children is open 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm during working days and 10:00 am – 7:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Museum ticket offices are open during visiting days from 9:30 am – 5:00 pm. Last entrance to the main exhibition and the exhibition for children is 5:00 pm.
On Tuesday visitors are able to see the permanent exhibition and the exhibition for children free of charge.
Regular ticket – PLN 23
Reduced ticket – PLN 16
Family ticket (2 adults and a max. of 3 children) – PLN 55
Regular group ticket (more than 10 people) – PLN 23
Reduced group ticket (more than 10 people) – PLN 16
Audio guide – PLN 5
Children’s exhibition – "Time Travel"
Child ticket – PLN 8
Adult ticket – PLN 13
Organised groups (max. 25 children and 2 guardians) – PLN 5
More details: http://www.muzeum1939.pl/en