The Warsaw Uprising Museum is dedicated to the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. The institution of the Museum was established in 1983, but no construction work took place for many years, and the museum finally opened on July 31, 2004, marking the 60th anniversary of the Uprising.
The Museum sponsors research into the history of the Uprising, and the history and possessions of the Polish Underground State. It collects and maintains hundreds of artifacts, ranging from weapons used by the insurgents to love letters, in order to present a full picture of the people involved. The Museum's stated goals include the creation of an archive of historical information on the Uprising and the recording of the stories and memories of the still living Uprising participants. Its director is Jan Ołdakowski, with historian Dariusz Gawin from the Polish Academy of Sciences as his deputy.
The museum covers all aspects of the Warsaw Uprising. There are many exhibits over several floors, containing photographs, audio and video, interactive displays, artifacts, written accounts and other testimonies of how life was during the German occupation of Warsaw, the uprising and its aftermath. There are displays dedicated to each district of Warsaw and many informative leaflets and flyers which visitors can take away for free, including 63 calendar pages covering the dates from 1st August 1944 to 2nd October 1944 - each containing a summary of the most important events that took place on that particular day of the uprising.References:
The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.
Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.
The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.
As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).