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.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Details


Category: Museums in Poland

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Marta Kaminska (2 months 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 months 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 months 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 (4 months 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 (4 months 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.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Beersel Castle

The moated castle at Beersel is one of the few exceptionally well-preserved examples of medieval fortifications in Belgium. It remains pretty much as it must have appeared in the 15th century. Remarkably, it was never converted into a fortified mansion. A visitor is able to experience at first-hand how it must have felt to live in a heavily fortified castle in the Middle Ages.

The castle was built in around 1420 as a means of defence on the outer reaches of Brussels. The tall, dense walls and towers were intended to hold any besiegers at bay. The moat and the marshy ground along its eastern, southern and western edges made any attack a formidable proposition. For that reason, any attackers would have chosen its weaker northern defences where the castle adjoins higher lying ground. But the castle was only taken and destroyed on one occasion in 1489, by the inhabitants of Brussels who were in rebellion against Maximilian of Austria.

After being stormed and plundered by the rebels it was partially rebuilt. The pointed roofs and stepped gables are features which have survived this period. The reconstruction explains why two periods can be identified in the fabric of the edifice, particularly on the outside.

The red Brabant sandstone surrounds of the embrasures, now more or less all bricked up, are characteristic of the 15th century. The other embrasures, edged with white sandstone, date from the end of the 15th century. They were intended for setting up the artillery fire. The merlons too are in white sandstone. The year 1617 can be clearly seen in the foundation support on the first tower. This refers to restorations carried out at the time by the Arenberg family.

Nowadays, the castle is dominated by three massive towers. The means of defence follow the classic pattern: a wide, deep moat surrounding the castle, a drawbridge, merlons on the towers, embrasures in the walls and in the towers, at more or less regular intervals, and machiolations. Circular, projecting towers ensured that attacks from the side could be thwarted. If the enemy were to penetrate the outer wall, each tower could be defended from embrasures facing onto the inner courtyard.

The second and third towers are flanked by watchtowers from which shots could be fired directly below. Between the second and third tower are two openings in the walkway on the wall. It is not clear what these were used for. Were these holes used for the disposing of rubbish, or escape routes. The windows on the exterior are narrow and low. All light entering comes from the interior. The few larger windows on the exterior date from a later period. It is most probable that the third tower - the highest - was used as a watchtower.