Saturday, May 21, 2011

Noc Muzeów

The brilliant idea of Noc Muzeów (Night of the Museums)  provides an excellent opportunity to get out and take in some serious culture in a light and fun atmosphere.  It's something I've never seen anywhere else, which is a pity, because the whole idea of it is pretty cool.  It's my second time taking part (please see my previous post); however, due to some circumstances I pretty much saw the same exact thing as last year.  Also, my night ended early and tragically sober.
Noc Muzeów helps bring people out and experience their own culture, and gives them a reason to visit museums they normally wouldn't see.  It's before all the tourists come and clog the museums up anyway.  The timing is pretty much perfect: the time before everyone leaves the city for vacation but it's usually warm enough to enjoy a night on the town.  In Warsaw proper (although, the event was held across Poland), they were using it as a push for having Warsaw be the Capital of Culture in 2016.

The line to get into Museum Narodowy.
So, I went to the Museum Narodowy and the Museum Wojska Polskiego.  Bitwa pod Grunwaldem was again not on show, and that kind of sucked.  The line to the National Museum was long, but moved along at a good clip.  I waited in line fifteen minutes.  The Military Museum had some new equipment on show, plus they were letting people climb into the cockpits of various planes and helicopters.
Since my last run-in with the Straz Miejska, I have been awfully wary about drinking in public.  So, I viewed these two museums stone-cold sober.

You could sit in the cockpit of the MiG-29

Polish resistance reenactors.

Plac Zamkowy
The whole experience of Noc Muzeów is a festive one.  There were percussion bands playing on the street; there were people partying hardcore in the trams; there were people singing hymns in front of the presidential palace.
As the night gets longer, so do the lines.  The museums fill up with people and everything moves more slowly.  Most people only see two or three museums tops.  If you went to the Copernicus Center, you probably waited in line for hours upon end and saw only that (I didn't even attempt to do so.)

An old Double-Decker (straight from Londontown).

The An-24.
It's not just museums that were open this night.  Everything from libraries to the National Mint to police stations were open for visits.  The Warsaw University Library did close pretty early, which irked me as I was about to go there.  I can only hope this wildly successful idea is picked up and imitated elsewhere.

At the start of the line.


Nom de Plume said...


Buzbee said...

kinda looks like it would be fun

Nau said...

You should visit Kraków, where I live. There's a "Noc Muzeów" too. It's probably even more famous than the Warsaw one.