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Pawiak Prison Museum, Warsaw

4.4
#11 of 37 in Museums in Warsaw
Specialty Museum Museum
Muzeum Więzienia "Pawiak" is a museum in Warsaw, Poland, established in 1965. It shows the history of Pawiak Prison which was notably used during the German occupation between 1939 and 1944.HistoryPawiak Prison Museum was founded in 1965 on the initiative and with the participation of former Pawiak political prisoners. It was designed by architects Romuald Gutt and Mieczysław Mołdawa. The museum building was built in the foundations of the surviving underground casemates of the prison which was blown up by the Germans in August 1944. During the construction, items from the rubble, including object grilles, hinges, locks and fittings, documents, equipment and items used by the prisoners were recovered.Monuments important to Pawiak also include: a pillar represents a part of the entrance gate, the Monument Tree of Pawiak (which is bronze copy of the famous elm, witness to its history - on which the victims' families since 1945 have placed the epitaph plates), concrete wall of sandstone blocks surrounding the grounds of the Museum, with symbolic sculptures by Tadeusza Łodziany and Stanisława Słoniny, as well a monument within the old prison courtyard: an obelisk by Zofii Pociłowskiej.In a reconstructed courtyard there are marble plaques at specific points and an entrance going down to the morgue from the street.On the other side of the avenue now named for John Paul II, crossing the former prison's grounds, is the site of the women's prison Serbia, where there is a plate commemorating the bravery and suffering of its prisoners.Since 1990, the Museum of Pawiak Prison, together with the Mausoleum of Struggle and Martyrdom is a branch of the Museum of Independence in Warsaw.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
164 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Seek out this museum- very small attendance but so worth while- in a former prison in Warsaw that was mostly destroyed by the Nazis at the close of WW2- but what remains and the exhibits tell a very c...  more »
  • Excellently presented exhibition with very moving displays. Tree memorial is also beautiful. Thursday has free entry.  more »
  • Having watched Czas Honoru on TV in Scotland for years, this was my first stop in Warsaw. It is haunting, but fascinating. The few staff (I was the only person there) are helpful and buy the DVD.  more »
Google
  • A good museum to see real pieces of history, but not a great one to learn about what actually took place. It needs a little rethink about how to get information across.
  • There is no information at this museum. If you want to see drawings, paperwork and other objects from the time, and that's it. This is a good museum. But unless you know the history very well, and don't want to learn anything, it is a waste of time. It could have been an amazing museum, but they give you no information. There was one room with stories, but the whole room repeats the same thing without giving good details of things a museum should give. It is good to have museums about what happened, but this is not one; there are so many other goos museums in Warsaw, do not waste your time.
  • Good lesson history
  • Places like this are important to remember the terrible suffering that Polish people endured during WW2. Good museum with the original bits that are left. Sombre and humbling experience to visit some of my history.
  • Interesting museum

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Where to stay in Warsaw

Many centrally located hotels in Warsaw cater mostly to business travelers, which makes them much too expensive for backpackers and other visitors on a limited budget. Although hostels may seem like the only affordable option at the height of the season, you can find less expensive lodgings in mid-range hotels on the outskirts of town. Alternatively, time your visit for the weekend, when many hotels near the city center slash their prices and offer special deals for early booking.
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