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Museums in Warsaw

Countries:

Poland
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Royal Lazienki Museum
This vast park is a favourite place for Varsovians where they go for long walks amid beautiful nature and architecture to rest from the hustle and bustle of the city. At the heart of the park is the summer residence of the last king of Poland – Stanisław August Poniatowski. The name of the complex comes from the seventeenth-century bathhouse of a Polish nobleman, rebuilt in the 18th century into a palace. Here, in the Palace on the Island, King Stanisław August Poniatowski hosted his famous Thursday dinners, to which he invited scholars and poets to discuss the issues of the day. Today it is a museum where you can admire paintings from the royal collections. In the grounds of Łazienki you will also see an orangery, an amphitheatre, an eighteenth-century court theatre, the Museum of Hunting and Horse-riding, the Myślewicki Palace and numerous free-standing sculptures.
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Fryderyk Chopin Museum
Fryderyk Chopin is one of the most famous Varsovians and a trip to his museum is a must on any visit to Warsaw. It is located in the historic Ostrogski Palace and is one of the most modern biographical museums in Europe. The exhibits and multimedia displays tell the story of the life and the work of the composer. You will learn everything about his childhood and youth spent in Warsaw and his life after he emigrated. You will see letters written to him and by him, drawings and dedications. You will see portraits made during the composer’s lifetime, his hand casting, his death mask and priceless memorabilia: a gold watch given to the 10-year-old artist in recognition of his talent, a candy box, a keyring with his initials, a cufflink, and a priceless Pleyel piano on which the composer played for the last two years of his life.
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Palace of Culture and Science
The highest and most recognisable building in Warsaw can be seen from almost every part of the capital. Where did it come from? It was opened in 1955 on the initiative of Joseph Stalin as a “gift of the Soviet people for the Poles”. Built by Russian workers, for a long time, it was considered to be a symbol of socialist power and the pride of People’s Poland – it was where conventions of the Polish United Workers’ Party took place. Since its very beginning, its monumental interiors have hosted numerous concerts, exhibitions, fairs and shows. Currently, the palace is home to theatres, a cinema, museums, trendy pubs and the main Warsaw Tourist Information office. Go up to the observation deck on the 30th floor of the building and see the beautiful panorama of the city from a height of 114 metres. Take a look at the socialist realist sculptures placed in the niches of the palace’s facade. Each symbolises a different field of science, art, technology or culture, for example a young man with a book of classical literature, a member of komsomol, an archer and a woman from Central Asia. In a direct line from the main entrance, you will find a stone honour tribune, from which the first secretaries of the Central Committee of the Polish communist party greeted those marching on the May Day parade.
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Warsaw Rising Museum
A unique place that helps visitors understand contemporary Warsaw. This interactive museum commemorates the largest underground combat operation in German-occupied Europe during World War II. The 1944 Warsaw Uprising changed forever the face of the Polish capital. The multimedia exhibition reflects the atmosphere of the Uprising, shows not only the military history of the 63 days of fighting and the everyday life of the civilian population, but also describes the post-war communist terror. Strolling along the granite pavement among the rubble of the destroyed capital, you will listen to the stories of the insurgents and see original exhibits from the uprising. You will understand how soldiers moving through the sewers felt and you will see a birds-eye view of the flattened city in the film City of Ruins.
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Warsaw National Museum
The museum houses a magnificent collection of over 830,000 exhibits from all periods, from antiquity to the present. Masterpieces of Polish and world art are presented in themed galleries. In the Faras Gallery you can see the largest collection of Nubian artefacts in Europe from the eighth to the fourteenth centuries, including a unique collection of wall paintings. They come from the flooded Christian cathedral at Faras in Sudan and depict divinities, dignitaries and saints. Authentic 15th-century altars from various regions of Poland, Gothic sculptures and paintings for private prayer houses can be seen in the Gallery of Medieval Art. If you want to understand the role of art in the past, this is the place for you. In the Gallery of Old Art, you will be transported to an era when painting and sculpture functioned on a par with crafts. Next to paintings and sculptures, you will see beautifully decorated furniture, fabrics and dishes, and even the coat and coronation insignia of the King Augustus III. Don’t forget to check out the schedule of temporary exhibitions.
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POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
The POLIN Museum restores the memory of the rich, thousand-year shared history of two peoples: Poles and Jews. The interactive exposition will take you on an incredible journey across centuries. You’ll have the chance to walk the streets of a pre-war Jewish shtetl and discover how Polish and Jewish cultures have intermingled. The edifice of the museum is itself an architectural attraction and a landmark of modern Warsaw. Before you start your tour, pay attention to the building itself, which conceals many symbols and meanings, for example: the main hall “cuts” the museum building from the underground to the roof, symbolising the crack in the history of Polish Jews caused by the Holocaust. On the glass panes covering the façades is the Hebrew word Polin, which means “Poland” or “here you will rest”. Then go on a journey through the centuries following the route designated by eight theme galleries. Antique objects, paintings, interactive exhibits, reconstructions and video projections will bring you closer to this fascinating history.
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Zacheta National Gallery of Art
Zachęta is one of the oldest showrooms in Poland. The impressive building was built between 1898-1900 and designed by Stefan Szyller. All the most outstanding Polish artists’ presented their works in Zachęta, including Wojciech Gerson, Jan Matejko, Józef Chełmoński, Józef Brandt, Stanisław Wyspiański, Józef Mehoffer and many others.
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