Grudziądz – Grudziądz Museum

Before I visited this museum I was just a little confused about the entire set-up, as it seemed to comprise of several smaller museums. That did prove to be the case, although fortunately the staff were very good at transporting me from place to place. Especially since they spoke very little English and my Polish is primarily limited to ordering beer.

My thoughts on this arrangement are that it took eight staff to shuttle me around the museum and its out-buildings, and I appeared to be the only visitor in the entire museum. I’m not sure how that works out cost effective for the museum, but without that assistance it would have been nearly impossible to find my way away as the signage was limited internally.

However, the staff were all friendly and the museum seemed to be curated in a professional manner. Given the entrance price, which was 9zl (about £1.80), the size and layout did exceed my initial expectations.

The first room I went into was an exhibition of postcards from the late-nineteenth century to the post-war period. It was a reminder that this was once a German city (it was then known as Graudenz), with the bulk of the postcards coming from this period. It seems to have been quite a tourist destination, and I’m not sure that’s true to the same degree today.

I took a photo of this postcard as I took a photo from the same place yesterday. Not much has changed of this lookout point, but much else in the area certainly has.

The top postcard shows that there was an Adolf Hitler Street in the city, as in so many other German and occupied cities.

An advertisement postcard for one of the city’s hotels.

Upstairs in the main building is the modern art section. The floor seemed a little incongruous with the rest of the displays, and to be honest, I didn’t understand what the art was supposed to represent. Normally I’d walk through the gallery quite quickly, but the security guard was busy turning lights on as I walked into every room and it seemed rude to leave the room before the lights had actually gone on.

I was then shown across the road to another part of the museum, in what I think were former warehouses. There was an interesting reconstruction of what the city used to look like, and I’m still surprised at the lack of development on the foreshore.

I liked these, they’re pilgrim badges from the medieval period, and there was a lot of information about the pilgrimages which took place. I’d heard that the churches, and others, sold pilgrims a lot of religious tat at times, but I can’t remember seeing such a large collection in a museum. This was my favourite part of the museum, really nicely put together and there was a lot of back story as well.

Upstairs in the archaeology section of the museum, there were some interesting pieces from quite a broad time period.

One of the displays from the more modern period of the city’s history. I was presented with the history in a backwards manner, from modern history right back to the archaeology section. There was also very little on the Second World War, which is understandable, but rare for Polish museums to omit.

There was a display on Polish athletes, primarily focused on Bronisław Malinowski, the man who died in a car accident on the bridge which now bears his name. This was a temporary exhibition, as was one on romantic postcards, which to be honest, didn’t really pique my interest.

The warehouses that the museum is now located in, or at least, the outbuildings of the museum. I do wonder whether they really need the amount of space that they have, the buildings seem cavernous and ideally I’d have liked more information to have been provided about them.