In the C13th the Teutonic Knights set up what was to become one of the largest castles in the world. When they got too big for their boots the Polish kings made it their headquarters and later still the Prussians took it over. It was heavily damaged in WW2 in fighting between the Germans and Russians. Today, however, it is a World Heritage site and is being restored beautifully. The Visitors’ Centre, maps and audio guide make the visit very enlightening. The tempestuous and varied history of the site is well presented. My one quibble would be that the museum superintendents tend to patrol around like prison guards. A few lessons on PR wouldn’t go astray. I realise they have a treasure to protect but this can be done in a far more positive way.
Posts Tagged With: poland
Gdansk and Solidarity
The memorial to the Solidarity movement in Gdansk isn’t pretty. Large lumps of concrete and steel shape the formidable memorial. The museum behind it is constructed of rusty steel representing the ship building industry and provides a fitting backdrop.
But then again it remembers shipyard workers who gave their lives to free Poland from Communism. The movement that started in the ship yards of Gdansk was a struggle of life and blood and ended with the collapse of communism as it was. The hard brutality is quite appropriate.
I found it quite moving. It speaks of hardship and struggle, brutality and victory. All through Poland we have found tributes to the events that started in Gdansk and spread throughout Eastern Europe.
My hope is that Poland will hold on to these events because it is clear that rampant capitalism wants to take the place of the old enemy.