Roads to Freedom Exhibition

Gdańsk, Poland

Roads to Freedom Exhibition, opened on the 20th anniversary of the 1980 shipyard strikes, traces the history of the Solidarity movement and Poland's struggle to wriggle out of the grip of communism. The "Roads to Freedom" multimedia exhibit consists of two parts; in the outdoor portion you'll see a section of the Berlin Wall beside the wall Lech Walesa climbed to lead the shipyard workers, an armored tank used to put down demonstrations and more.

Inside, elaborate dioramas and props recreate the bare cupboards and empty shop shelves with only lard and vinegar of Poland in the 1980s. Slideshows and crackling film-reels tell the stories of the political uprisings and the nightmare of martial law. The famous 21 demands of the August 1980 shipyard strike, handwritten on plywood boards and honored by UNESCO's World Heritage List, are also on display along with letters of support from all over the world. The well-presented museum is sure to leave a strong impression, particularly of Polish sacrifice.

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Category: Museums in Poland

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Marta Kaminska (2 years ago)
Inspiring place. It’s a museum devoted to the history of the Solidarity movement in Poland during the 1980s. This building is very open - there is public space inside with trees and various plants. There is an observation deck on the rooftop with free admission and it offers views over the area of the former Shipyard.
Max Kieturakis (2 years ago)
One of Europe's most interesting museums. The museum does a great job of conveing the history of Solidarity which led to the fall of the Iron Curtain. The exhibits are informative and at times emotional. The architechture of the building itself is unique tying into the ship building culture of the area.
Mikko Ovaskainen (2 years ago)
Very informative exhibition. The audio guide is included in the admission fee. I don't know if I missed a bit of the exhibition but there seemed to be a leap from the martial law to Wałęsa's release: would have been interesting to learn more about the life during the martial law and more about it. Be aware that from October to April the exhibition is closed on Tuesdays even that the building is open.
Stephan S (3 years ago)
Fantastic museum. I suggest you quickly look at the monument and gate building but then go to the museum, and later return to reflect at the monument and gate building as they will be more meaningful. Look for a reproduction large plywood sign outside on the gate house and the original inside. The audio guide is a must. The guide knows where you are inside so you don’t have to type in numbers. Very moving displays especially if you remember the 1980’s. It brought it to life more than I thought possible. It was incredible to stand on that ground in a place I never thought I’d be (East if the Iron Curtain).
luke Dempsey (3 years ago)
Probably the best museum I’ve ever visited....superbly laid out with excellent audio guide. What a story. Could have stayed the entire day, but was confined to 3 amazing hours. Highly recommend.
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Beckov Castle

The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.

The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.

The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.

The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.

Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.

The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.