Warsaw

Museum of Priest Jerzy Popiełuszko

You’d probably think a museum honouring a priest doesn’t sound like much fun, and indeed this place really isn’t. However, it is a very decent detour if you happen to be in the Żoliborz area, and that’s because Father Jerzy was no ordinary priest. Popiełuszko came to national attention in the early 1980s for his fierce anti-communist rhetoric, and with close ties to Radio Free Europe and Solidarity it wasn’t long till he ran afoul of the internal security services. In 1984, with Poland in political chaos, they decided to get rid of him altogether. A car accident was set up for this purpose, though Popiełuszko somehow survived unscathed. Six days later he was abducted, beaten and murdered, his corpse dumped in a reservoir. His funeral drew a crowd of 250,000 mourners and made headlines the world over. Today the basement of his former parish church has been turned into a museum to remember not just his life, but the whole struggle for post-war freedom. Newssheets printed by the underground, banners from the Solidarity strikes and pictures of the funeral are among the many items on display, as are the clothes he was wearing when he was kidnapped. Particularly poignant is a curved wall, it’s bricks inscribed with the names of martyrs 'dealt with' by security services between 1981 and 1989.

Metro

Plac Wilsona

Website

Open

Open 10:00 - 16:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 17:00.

Price/Additional Info

Admission free. Donations welcome.

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16.07.2013
Lance Grundy
Great Britain
I visited this small but important museum after reading Kevin Ruane's book "To Kill A Priest: The Murder of Father Popieluszko and the Fall of Communism". Don't let the fact that the museum is situated in the suburbs put you off visiting. The location, in the cellar of a church just over the road from the Pl. Wilsona metro station, is just 4 stops [10 mins] away from Centrum. The exhibits are in Polish but you can get an English language guide for free at the entrance. Admission costs nothing although you can make a donation to the upkeep of the museum on the way in. Definitely worth an hour of anyone's time.
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