• The "Motława" ferry does not operate due to the river embankment renovation until further notice
• The Crane remains closed to visitors due to renovations - read

‘Sołdek’ Museum-Ship, a star of recent weeks

The camera flashes, distinguished guests, a sea of visitors and the artistic bohemia – the National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk sumptuously celebrated the opening of new space inside ‘Sołdek’ museum-ship that became a real star in recent weeks. The new permanent exhibition and the temporary exhibition room were developed within the project entitled ‘2 ships – common sea. Sołdek and Vityaz: the maritime heritage of Poland and Russia’.

Press Conference

On October 7, the newly developed permanent exhibition arranged in the renovated coal and ore carrier’s cargo holds saw the light of day for the first time. On that day, a press conference was held for the media. A large group of journalists listened to the speech presented by the Director of the National Maritime Museum Robert Domżał PhD, NMM Deputy Director of Science, Marcin Westphal PhD, Head of Ship Bureau, Wojciech Nadolski and Head of Education Department, Przemysław Węgrzyn, who presented the project, the concept of exhibition, last year’s renovation, as well as the family festival and a new educational offer. Jakub Adamczak, Head of the History of Shipbuilding Department answered the journalists’ questions regarding the details of exhibition, and Damian Pałaszewski from AVLPRO company talked about the exhibition technical aspects. – Thank you for the information published on Internet portals and broadcasted on the radio and television stations. The renovation of ‘Sołdek’ and the new permanent exhibition became known not only to the residents of Gdańsk but also the viewers all over Poland. This is down to the national media present during the official opening – says Małgorzata Bochenek from the Promotion Department.

Official Opening

On Friday, October 8, the new permanent exhibition was officially opened. The Director of National Maritime Museum began the ceremony, greeting the distinguished guests who gathered in ‘Sołdek’ cargo hold no. 2. The Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport was represented by Anna Maniakowska, who read out the letter of the Minister of Culture, National Heritage and Sport, prof. Piotr Gliński PhD hab. The list of invited guests included e.g. Leszek Buller PhD, Director of the Centre of European Projects; Władysław Zawistowski, Director of Culture Department at the Marshal’s Office of Pomorskie Voivodeship; Rear-Admiral of Border Guard (Res.) Piotr Stocki, President of the Society of Friends of „Sołdek” Museum-Ship; Fryderyk Tomala PhD, President of the Society of Friends of the National Maritime Museum; Master Mariner Wiesław Piotrzkowski from the Maritime Office in Gdynia; Katarzyna Bartnik PhD, Head of Joint Technical Secretariat; Igor Kovalev, Consul of the Russian Federation in Gdańsk; Paweł Gełesz PhD and prof. Piotr Mikołaczak PhD hab., authors of the exhibition concept; representatives of Gdańsk „Remontowa” Shipyard; representatives of friendly museums and the employees of NMM participating in the Polish and Russian project. Jakub Adamczak showed around the exhibition, and after the official part of the event, the guests went to the Granaries in Ołowianka Island for some refreshments accompanied by music.

Family Festival

– This is an exceptionally important moment in the history of our coal and ore carrier as a museum-ship. We are very pleased to invite aboard the ship the most important guests, namely the visitors – said Robert Domżał PhD, during the symbolic ribbon-cutting ceremony which inaugurated the family festival held on Saturday, October 9, to commemorate the opening of permanent exhibition entitled ‘Sołdek and its Times’. Numerous visitors of our event could expect a special ship-based game with gifts: a book about the adventures of Rozalia Mouse who lived at ‘Sołdek’, sweet fudge and ‘Sołdek’ souvenirs: writing pads, magnets and postcards. – We have prepared various games for families with children. Volunteers could play the role of shipyard workers: they tried a welder’s mask on and built their own ship out of blocks, or the role of sailors: they called the ‘commander’ by a walkie-talkie and used the voice tube. The virtual reality fans have been invited to visit inaccessible space of ‘Sołdek’, and the game enthusiasts could play the ship domino and maritime games: memory game and cards – says Przemysław Węgrzyn. Our guests waiting to board the ship were amused by sailors on stilts, reaching the cloudless sky, music and candyfloss. On that day, the historic steam ship was visited by as many as 803 people!

Vernissage following the Artistic Plein-Air

On Friday, October 15, cargo hold no. 2 in the historic ship became the gallery of marine paintings. The ship hosted a vernissage following the artistic plein-air ‘Impressions – Blue’ – This is an exceptional moment. We are opening the first temporary exhibition in the area of ‘Sołdek’ previously inaccessible visitors – said Robert Domżał PhD welcoming the Consul of the Russian Federation in Gdańsk, Igor Kovalev, the artists: Urszula Nieborak, Krystyna Rudzka-Przychoda, Maria Silska, Małgorzata Sobieska, Alicja Szkil, Piotr Tymochowicz, Magda Wilczyńska and Mirosław Małecki; the Museum employees and the guests. The exhibition follows the artistic plein-airs organized in Gdańsk and Kaliningrad. – The compositions of Russian artists who painted in the open air are very realistic, but at the same time filled with emotions, subtly conveying the authors’ moods. Whereas the works of the Polish artists who created the works in their studios after individual visits to Gdańsk, are filled with mythological symbolism, philosophical contemplations and reflections on the future of our planet. – said the exhibition curator, Barbara Wojczuk-Krystek from the Education Department. The opening ceremony was completed with a moving classical music concert, refreshments and discussions about art with a symbolic glass of wine – after all, this has been the bohemian tradition for centuries.

Project „2 Ships – Common Sea. Soldek & Vityaz: Maritime Heritage of Poland and Russia” is co-financed by the European Union under the Poland-Russia Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020.
Co-financed by Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.

This article was produced with the financial support of the European Union, under the Poland-Russia Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk and under no circumstances can be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union, the MA or the Joint Technical Secretariat of the Poland-Russia CBC Programme 2014-2020.

National Maritime Museum Ministry of Culture National Heritage and Sports