Museum of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising


Warsaw street scene pre-war

One of the classical paintings which served as a blueprint for rebuilding the old town

One of the classical paintings which served as a blueprint for rebuilding the old town

Many would be familiar with the destruction of Warsaw during WWII.  Our first stop today is to the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising.  To do this museum justice you should allow at least half a day.  By the time we had queued with all the others who were waiting for the ticket office to open, we were left with about ninety minutes. I couldn’t take it all in.

An aerial shot of the destruction of Warsaw

An aerial shot of the destruction of Warsaw

The museum tells the story of the German occupation of Warsaw, and in the background the story of the Polish army and the government in exile.  By the time one reaches the second floor, the saga of how Poles in Warsaw came to be encouraged to rise up against the well armed Germans, and how their uprising unfolded,  is told in a series of displays each outlining a theme.  They were defeated after two months of valiant and desperate struggle, and Hitler was so enraged at their defiance that he ordered the destruction of the city.  Our visit concluded with a six minute film of the devastated city, a bird’s eye view taken from a slow flying bomber after the war in Europe ended.
Old Town market square 2013

Old Town market square 2013

Another part of the old town by night 2013

Another part of the old town by night 2013

The Warsaw heart, the old city, was rebuilt in its original style, sometimes drawing on paintings from the old masters to provide the blueprint.  The last time I was here, in 1978, I sat at a restaurant in the market square, listening to classical music from the windows in another building, and marvelling that what looked ancient was really only twenty years old.  Bob confirmed the location of the restaurant in my memory, and that there was only one other in the square.  Now you cannot see the actual square for want of all the outdoor restaurants and umbrellas.  You certainly can’t enjoy the strains of a string quartet.

Warsaw is a very modern city now, with a public transport and ticketing system that would put Sydney to shame.  Under Bob’s leadership, we were happily hopping on and off as if we were locals.
By one p.m. he had happily shepherded us on to our next train – destination Lublin for the next three nights.
Saturday 27th July 2013, Garrulous Gwendoline, Warsaw, Poland

6 thoughts on “Museum of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising

  1. Pingback: Guest Post from Jay in Lublin: Professor Marek and his “Hungry Fingers” | The Reluctant Retiree

  2. Hi GG, I think the top photo of the pre-war Warsaw is a fascinating image. It captures something authentic about bustling city life that so many similar photos of contemporary Western cities now seem to lack. Or, do you think that familiarity with our own time and culture makes us overlook or miss these moments?

    And, thank you, just found your comment on another post of mine. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, but I don’t seem to get a notification if somebody has commented and as that is quite rare – I miss them! Apologies for not replying sooner. Back to your top photo – I would like to use it, if I may, in a future post as a comparison to a picture I took last week of a busy Norwich market.

    I hope you enjoy Lublin.


    • Agnes, here is the little I have learnt about comments in the three months I have been logging, both tricks hiding in your “dashboard”.
      Keep an eye iron the star at the top right hand side of the menu bar. Click it open and check if there are UN-noticed, likes, follows or comments.
      Go into Settings > Discussions > email me whenever ……
      And there is also a tab about comments or unread, or something like that in your dashboard toolbar.

      I am having most trouble when I make a comment on someone else’s blog (such as acknowledging a like). if 8 opt to receive an email for comments, I get bombarded with every comment everyone makes. I can’t cope with that when I am travelling. The result is I end up ignoring a conversation if someone comes back to me, which is not my intention


      • Sorry Agnes. That previous response was badly formatted. I had a fight with the iPad keyboard. The iPad won. They were alternative suggestions.
        1. Keep eye on star
        2. Go into the settings option in your dashboard
        3. Have a scroll through the various options in your dashboard menu. I remember seeing something about unread comments, but I can’t remember where.

        Now, as for the photo. Yes please feel free to use it, but please insert a note that it was taken at the Warsaw Museum of the Uprising. We paid our additional zloty to take photographs so my interpretation is that allows us to use the images.
        It is a marvellous photo isn’t it? I imagine it was taken by a professional. From time to time I do take random street scenes and people think I am mad. Things like people waiting at a bus stop, or getting on and off transport. As a latent historian I feel such scenes hold value. But mine are snapshots, nothing of the quality of that Polish shot.


      • Thanks for all your suggestions re the dashboard etc. Please don’t feel obliged to struggle with communications when you are on the move. I just think it’s great that you recording and uploading in real time on your travels.

        Of course, I will credit both the Warsaw Museum of the Uprising and you when I use your photo. Thank you. I think taking random street scenes is really important as it is the everyday details that are recorded. It is stuff people just take for granted until it’s all gone.

        Happy travelling, Agnes.


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