Three top museums of Upper Silesia

¡Hola a todas/os! (Hi everyone!)

In this following blog post I want to share with you three top museums that I have visited some days ago. First of all, let me explain that, historians are very critical with today’s concept of museums because they have become a tool to disseminate a history focused on the nationalist aspect without respecting historiography and research. So, when we visit museums, we try to be critical with all the expositions. But, apart from this topic, that it is a bit discussed at all levels and, in fact, it is a huge debate inside the historiography, I would like to recommend you three museums. Let’s start!

Tarnówskie Góry – History of Mines and Miners

We begin with three museums in one. If you visited this beautiful and small localization, Tarnówskie Góry, you will find one part of the so interesting history of mines and miners in three museums: Tarnówski Góry Museum, Historic Silver Mine and Black Trout Adit. The first one shows the history of the town in a small house where you can find the museum and a cheap restaurant, in my opinion. The amazing thing is that in this house, some time ago, took rest some kings of Poland, the great Jan III Sobieski during the battle of Vienna and, also some part of the Hohenzollern family. Furthermore, the museum explains all the historically evolution of the place since prehistoric times until now with special attention to the history of silver, zinc and lead mines. Apart from this museum, the other ones are more interactive or they are like a field trip because in both of them (Historic Silver Mine and Black Trout Adit) you can visit a mine underground and, specifically, in Black Trout Adit, they explain the history of the underground mine while you have descended a few metres under de surface and are sitting in a small boat that transports you a few metres above the water. It is so recommendable and funny (and a bit scary!). To sum up, I think that in Tarnówskie Góry you can find two different types of museums and, in consequence, you could invest one historical and complete day in this beautiful Silesian localization. Ah! One hour by bus from Katowice.

Świętochłowice – Museum of Silesian Uprisings

This second town is one hour and a bit more from Katowice by tram and, geographically, it is interesting because it is a big region but the centre is so small. But, this doesn’t mean that it hasn’t got anything. In fact, this town has the so important Museum of Silesian Uprisings, the best historical interest of this area where we are. In this museum, based in a good-looking and historical building (with a cheap restaurant!), you will find the history of Silesia but more focused in 20th century history of the region beginning when the three empires (Russian, Prussian and Austro-Hungarian) collapsed after the First World War (or Great War, that is better named) in 1918 (but take into account that this war didn’t finish in 1918. I have the opinion that it finished in 1923). So, as a result of this, the history of the well-known Three Silesian Uprisings began. And the museum it is chronologically organised and, apart from that, you follow some videos (explained by a guy in a screen) that explain you all the transformation of the region. It is worth to visit and to know more about the history of Silesia.

Katowice – Museum of the History of Katowice

The last museum in located in the capital of Upper Silesia, Katowice, and it is not the Silesian Museum, but the Museum of the History of Katowice. Probably, you will think that it is not interesting and not worth to visit it, but it is. Why? (Dlaczego?) Because you can learn a lot about the history of the city, of course, but also you can find some non-touristic places worth it to visit. In addition, you can understand some of the street and their names and the history of several building. But, it is no worth only for this but for two other aspects: first one, at the beginning of the visit, you can see how it was an aristocratic flat of that époque and you can do a comparison with another worker flat. It is a permanent exhibition, which they wanted you to learn how, was life in these two social classes. The second aspect is related to the Świętochłowice museum because, in the second part of the visit, you follow a guy explaining you the historical evolution of the city in Polish but with subtitles and it is easy to follow and to understand. The only negative thing that I found is that the exhibition doesn’t show so much information about the history of the city during the Third Reich and Second World War. Take into account that Tuesdays are free to enter and visit and, when you finish, I bloody recommend to you to turn the street left and sit down in front of the Music Academy just to listen the music and the rehearsals.

Any more historical topics or debates that you would like to discuss, I am open to it 🙂

Arnau Roura

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