We are launching our challenge - visit all of Warsaw's museums during a single vacation. For the first fire went Museum of Dollhouses, Games and Toys. The museum surprised us very positively - everyone should find something for themselves here, and at least for several minutes even the biggest malcontent should not be bored.
The museum has two branches, both located in Warsaw's Old Town, so they give Old Town strollers an excellent opportunity to see more. In the first, main branch of the museum (at 15 Podwale Street) there are 2 exhibition halls. One dedicated to dolls' houses and the other with sacred toys.
It was the exhibition of sacred toys that made an incredible impression on us! This exhibition alone is a good enough reason to visit the museum (which does not mean that other exhibitions are not very interesting). The second branch of the Museum of Dolls, Toys and Games Houses (2/4 Krzywe koło Street) hosts temporary exhibitions. At the moment you can see toys from the communist era there.
The exhibition of dolls' houses brought together more than 80 houses of different sizes, from different times, made in very different techniques. What impressed us the most were the very precisely recreated interiors of the houses-workshops such as the workshop of a glassblower, an upholsterer or a house-painter's studio.
Also very impressive are replicas of multi-story houses, full of fine details of a pharmacy, butcher's store or a British mini beach, where beach houses and changing rooms are on display. Not far from the beach, a model of an English house built with his own hands by a Polish fighter pilot of Squadron 304 is on display.
Various models of schools are of interest to the youngest children. The most commented on is the school where friendly rats study. Boys are said to be eager to point out the old hospital, where you can see an ancient Roentgen machine, a steel lung or miniature incubators. Also surprising is the 50-year-old playmobile, which hasn't lost its distinctive look in all these years.
Older children - high school students who have a better understanding of the broader context of the exhibits on display - usually comment on the 1940 gymnasium from Germany, which features only blondes - so total Nazi propaganda even used toys.
In the next room there is an exhibition of sacred toys. Due to its unusual theme, it is very impressive. After crossing the threshold of the hall for the first few minutes, we go into shock. Here you can find replicas of altars (including a 200-year-old altar in neo-Gothic style), miniatures of chapels and churches or dolls depicting nuns and priests. Most of the exhibits relate to Christianity, but references to other religions can also be found.
After the initial surprise at the unusual subject matter, one can admire the details of the workmanship and take a closer look at the various exhibits. We spent the most time in the chapel, in which a funeral is taking place: around a doll enclosed in a coffin with a glass lid are kneeling nuns, and next to it, with a chalice in hand, a priest is praying. The whole composition is complemented by details - such as a finely crafted miniature of a funeral wreath. Would today's modern parents buy such a toy for their children?
The exhibition of sacred toys is surprising and impressive. It evokes a real culture shock and takes your breath away for a while. It is not very often that you can find such unique exhibits treating topics that are not discussed in Poland in terms of play, much less presented in the form of toys. Definitely recommended!
Temporary exhibition - toys of the (communist era) People's Republic of Poland
300 metrów od głównej siedziby muzeum znajduje się budynek z wystawami czasowymi. Obecnie znajdują się tu zabawki z czasów PRL. Do sali wystawowej wchodzimy przez szafę i cofamy się w czasie o 70 – 50 lat. Można tu znaleźć na pewno ponad setkę zabawek z epoki. Dominują mebelki dla lalek, ale można też znaleźć roboty, zastawy kuchenne czy zestawy w stylu młody fryzjer. Osoby starsze z dużym prawdopodobieństwem znajdą coś co przypomni im dzieciństwo. My z przyjemnością odkryliśmy zestaw młodego lekarza – bardzo podobny do tego którym bawiliśmy się w dzieciństwie.
Tickets and practical information
A normal ticket for admission to the permanent and temporary exhibition costs 30 PLN (15 PLN for the temporary exhibition). Children up to 100cm tall enter for free. A discounted ticket (22 PLN for both exhibitions) is available for children and students under 26 and seniors over 60. Family and group tickets are also available.
How much time to see Museum of Dollhouses, Games and Toys
You should spend a minimum of 20 minutes on the main exhibition. The temporary exhibition (toys of the People's Republic of Poland) can be viewed much faster (less than 10 minutes).
Attractions for kids
The exhibition should appeal to children from 4 - 5 years old. However, it lacks interactive elements, so the youngest ones may get bored quite quickly. There is a store at the ticket windows, where you can buy, among other things, do-it-yourself houses and other toys.
Opening hours of Museum of Dollhouses, Games and Toys
Muzeum jest czynne w godz 11:00 – 19:00. W porównaniu do innych muzeów jest ono otwarte do dość późna, co jest doskonałą informacją dla osób pracujących lub uczących się. Jeśli ktoś nie zdąży zobaczyć obydwu wystaw może przyjść następnego dnia.
How to get to Museum of Dollhouses, Games and Toys
The two exhibitions of the Museum of Dollhouses, Toys and Games are located in the Old Town. The museum's main exhibition is located at. ul. Podwale 15. The best way to get there
- by tram 4,6, 13, 20, 23 to the Stare Miasto stop
- by bus 116, 178, 180, 503, 518 to the Kapitulna bus stop
And walk a few hundred meters. The entrance to the main exhibition is quite complicated: you have to pass the gate and turn left in the courtyard (signposts lead to the museum). The temporary exhibition is located just off the Old Town Square, near the Kamienne Schodki restaurant.