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Permanent exhibition

The permanent exhibition of the Heritage Interpretation Center entitled Destruction and Reconstruction of the Old Town presents the story of Warsaw’s Old Town before, during and after World War II. It focuses on its reconstruction and inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The reconstruction of the Old Town began in 1949, and only five years later the solemn commissioning of the almost completely reconstructed Old Town took place. This effort and the enthusiasm of architects was recognized by UNESCO by inscribing Warsaw’s Old Town on the Heritage List in September 1980. This was the first historical reconstruction inscribed on the list. It was an expression of great respect and admiration for the Polish architects, conservators, historians and art historians who undertook something unprecedented in history – reconstruction of an almost completely ruined historical center of a city.

Visiting the exhibition begins with a fragment of the Old Town wall discovered by archaeologists. Then, after a brief introduction to the history of Warsaw and the historical calendar of the Old Town, you can learn more about the Old Town before World War II.

The next room presents materials showing war damage. A very interesting element are the only colorful slides from the Warsaw Uprising made by Ewa Faryszewska. Beneath a transparent floor there is a large model of the Old Town presenting the area rebuilt after the war.

In the third room there are photos from subsequent stages of reconstruction, supplemented with information about the Warsaw Reconstruction Office (BOS). At the exhibition you can also see photos of the most important architects and their studio, and deepen your knowledge of the reconstruction and the people responsible for it by using multimedia displays with maps, biographies, radio broadcasts and archival films. In a small, adjacent room is the architect’s studio staged with authentic objects.

The Heritage Interpretation Centre is a unique museum fully utilizing modern technologies. Our exposition is a combination of boards, large format photographs, plans, drawings and multimedia presentations.

More information about the reconstruction of the Old Town.