Wroclaw's History Museum has a grandiose exterior visible from the street, but inside the building's hallowed halls there is also plenty to admire, see and do.
When you enter the yard of Wroclaw's History Museum, the first thing that catches your eye are the lines of the contemporary conceptual statues, a concept that effectively contrasts the historical environment of Viennese style Royal Palace. Built back in 1717, the palace was one of the residences of the old Prussian kings.
The museum conveniently offers an audio-guide in English that guides you from room to room, giving you all the important information information along the way.
The museum's ground floor is devoted to artifacts and works related to the ancient history of the Wroclaw. This historical exhibition is set in the restored royal chambers, which features an original baroque room.
As you move up to the 1st floor, you'll see the focus shift towards Renaissance art and paintings of the era's major figures in the fields of politics, science and literature. On a big screen visitors can also see examples of the superb Renaissance gardens, which were once referred to as paradise on earth. The video takes the visitors on a journey through the aisles of these gardens, which were lined with the intertwining trees and exuberantly colourful flowers.
On top of that, the 1st floor boasts plenty 19th century paintings and artifacts, models, writing desks of important writers of the time and dinner tables of the aristocracy. Add to that some old pianos and enormous mirrors, and you suddenly find yourself in the depths of the history.
The 20th century, including both world wars as well as the rise and fall communism, gets its fair share of attention too. You can get up close and personal with the uniform of the Nazi and Soviet Soldiers as well as the various weapons they used. Also on display are the rather primitive typewriters which published anti-communist pamphlets, plus models of families immigrating with their suitcases dragging behind them in the snow.
Last but not least, the 2nd floor is specifically dedicated to an exhibition of posters from Wroclaw made between 1945 and 2016. These fascinating graphic designs are mostly inspired by surrealist and abstract styles. Some of the posters were painted during the communist times, during which artists sought new ways to either break or get round the heavy censorship of the time.
If you are living here in Wroclaw it always helps to know a bit about the history of the city, and naturally the History Museum is the right place for the job. The palace and gardens are beautiful, while the exhibitions do their best to introduce you to the city's event-laden past.
Wroclaw History Museum, Zamkowa, 50-076 Wrocław