Extraordinary in its eccentricity, the Museum of Technology is something of a misnomer. Surely it should be the Museum of Anomalies?
After all, where else would you find such diverse attractions as communist Poland’s first sports car, the Syrena Sport (“It was banned by the government,” laments our guide, “it was the great, lost hope of Poland”) sharing space with a WWII German Enigma machine and computers bigger than your bathroom. Yes, this museum really is something.
Of course, the notion of ‘sharing space’ suggests the exhibits are crammed together like tomatoes in a tin. This is not the case. Following a maze-like route in the Palace of Culture, the exhibition halls themselves are worthy of a visit just to gasp at the bling of the 1955 chandeliers that hang over the stairwells. There are other gasps, as well: a Viennese calculator dating from 1898 that’s still in working order – at the behest of our theatrical guide, it crunks into action and confirms that two plus two is indeed four; so pleased is our guide, I think he’ll break into a tap dance. And there’s a glowing ‘glass lady’ that lights up to demonstrate the inner workings of the body. Built in 1971, this Dresden-built dame scares as much as educates.
Truly, there is something for everyone – interested in the evolution of the washing machine? This is your place. Or how about a space exhibition that is anything but space age. More pertinent to the younger generation, a selection of vintage phones and laptop computers that hipsters would give their life for. And what about the TVs? View with awe the 55 kilo Ruby, Russia’s first color television, and a contraption we’re warned was ‘extremely explosive’. A mind boggling place in more ways than one.
Museum of Technology Pl. Defilad 1 (PKiN), website