The Silesian Museum in Katowice has existed for almost 100 years! And if images straight from old, neglected museums with exhibits locked in glass cases are just standing in front of your eyes, we warn you right away – this is one of the most modern museums in Poland!
Intrigued? That’s the point, because without further ado we can admit that this is one of the most interesting museums in Poland. We very much appreciate places that allow you to move into the past, where you can stand on an old street, touch the exhibits, hear the stories of people, see and even experience what life used to be like…. and this is exactly what is happening at the Silesian Museum in Katowice.
The museum has recently, since 2015, been located in a new place – in the revitalized buildings of the former Katowice Coal Mine, in close proximity to Spodek. There’s a reason we mention Spodek because together with it and several other venues (including, among others, the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra Headquarters and the International Congress Center), they form the Culture Zone – a cultural and entertainment center in Katowice. Among other things, the project aims to maximize the use of available underground spaces and alter the post-industrial landscape as little as possible [source].
And here’s an immediate surprise: the main exhibitions at the Silesian Museum are underground! Admittedly, it’s not some outstanding depth, but it’s surprising how in an unassuming building there are several levels down full of exposure. Upon entering the main building, one immediately descends or descends to level -2, where there is a checkroom and ticket offices, as well as the first exhibitions.
But before we show you what awaits you inside, it’s worth noting that there are several other interesting and revitalized buildings on the mine site, such as the Carpentry Shop, the Main Bathhouse, the Center for Polish Scenography, or the tower of the “Warsaw II” shaft, which stands out above the other facilities (now a viewing tower, to which admission is additionally charged). Temporary exhibitions are held in some buildings.
Table of contents
Silesian Museum – sightseeing
The Silesian Museum, in the main building, has several permanent exhibitions on two levels: The light of history. Upper Silesia throughout history, Gallery of Modern Polish Art 1800-1945, Gallery of Polish Art after 1945, Gallery of Non-Professional Art And the Gallery of Silesian Sacred Art. In addition to permanent exhibitions, there are also periodic exhibitions both in the main building and in other buildings on the mine site, and for children there is a dedicated exhibition called On the Trail of Tom (currently closed until further notice).
The part about Upper Silesia is an amazing trip back in time. The entrance itself is unique – one enters through an old glass door to the mine, as a sign above the entrance proclaims, and Solidarity posters are displayed on the door. It is a reconstructed gate from the 4th. June 1989, symbolizing the beginning of change. Surprisingly, however, further on we will not at all immediately learn about the history of the mine. Initially, one enters through the marquee, with clothes hanging over visitors, to immediately move on to the section on the region’s ancient history. Behind the shafts you can see excavations, ancient coins, and through charts and graphs you can learn a lot about the time of settlement in the area.
Further parts show the changes over the centuries, here we will see, on the one hand, how life flowed in the countryside, what tools were used to work in the fields, but you can also see how people lived in manor houses and palaces.
Extremely engaging and interesting are the expositions on urban and industrial development in the region. Of course, there is no shortage of parts showing the Silesian uprisings and war times. Going further you enter the communist era, where you can see what the furnishings of apartments looked like, how contraband was smuggled in a toddler and you can even peek into the windows of an apartment block.
This exhibition is very interesting and engaging, there are many exhibits and arrangements prepared, which amazingly convey the atmosphere of the old times and make even the more difficult issues easier to understand.
Next to the entrance to the exhibition on Upper Silesia is the entrance to the Sacred Art Gallery, which features sculptures and paintings, largely related to sacred art.
The Gallery of Modern Polish Art 1800-1945, the Gallery of Polish Art after 1945 and the Gallery of Non-Professional Art are located on level – 2, which is the same level where the checkroom is and there are cash registers. Here you can see works by many well-known and lesser-known Polish artists: Jan Matejko, Stanisław Wyspiański, Jacek Malczewski, Piotr Michałowski, Zdzisław Beksiński, Andrzej Wróblewski and many, many others.
As already mentioned, both the main building and other buildings (the Carpentry Shop, the Bathhouse and the Center for Polish Scenography) host temporary exhibitions.
Silesian Museum for children
The museum is so interestingly designed that it will interest even younger visitors, especially the exhibition on Upper Silesia. Here you can touch many exhibits, there are multimedia screens, audiovisual effects that will also interest younger visitors. The situation is different when entering galleries – here you need to be very careful, due to the valuable and original works. Silence is also advisable ;) For that, an interesting variety of sightseeing in this part are special coloring books, which are given to the youngest children.
Of particular interest is the exhibition “On the track of Tom”. – is a dedicated space for families with children from 4 to 14 years old. Families have tasks to complete and must find Tom Wilmowski. Unfortunately, the exhibition is currently closed, but we hope it will reopen.
There is an additional fee to enter this section.
Practical information about the Silesian Museum
Facilities for families with smaller children
As befits a brand new place, the facility is wheelchair-accessible, so by the same token, entering with a baby stroller will not be a problem. In addition, a child care room is available at the museum.
Prices – how much does a ticket to the Silesian Museum cost?
The Silesian Museum offers several types of tickets, depending on what you want to see. There is a basic ticket for all exhibitions, a ticket only for temporary exhibitions, only for the children’s exhibition or the observation tower. Tickets can be purchased at the box office on site, but also online at the museum’s website.
On Tuesdays, the museum can be visited for free.
Permanent and temporary exhibitions:
- Normal ticket – 24 zł
- Discounted ticket – 16 PLN
- Family ticket – 62 PLN
Children under the age of 7 enter for free.
- Normal ticket – 7 zł
- Discounted ticket – 5 PLN
- Family ticket – 15 PLN
Children under the age of 7 enter for free.
Exhibition on the trail of Tom (temporarily closed):
- Normal ticket – 14 zł
- Discounted ticket – 9 PLN
- Family ticket – 35 PLN
Children under the age of 7 enter for free.
Opening hours of the Silesian Museum
The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. The museum is closed on Mondays.
Getting to the Silesian Museum
The Silesian Museum is located in Katowice, close to the Katowice Spodek and the NOSPR concert hall. If you come by car you can park on the museum grounds – there is paid parking here, but for museum visitors the first 3 hours are free.
Close to the Museum are ZTM public transport stops: Katowice Strefa Kultury Muzeum Śląskie, Katowice Strefa Kultury NOSPR and Katowice Rondo.
Exact address and contact information:
T. Dobrowolski 1
phone: +48 32 213 08 70
Where to spend the night near the Silesian Museum?
In Katowice you should easily find an accommodation that suits you (unless you happen to be at a concert or other event, then it may be difficult ;) ).
We stayed at the first property on the list (and also recommend it), but the ones listed below also have at least very good reviews and are worth considering:
- Vienna House Easy by Wyndham Katowice
Address: Sokolska 24, 40-086 Katowice
Prices: from 494 PLN for a double room
- Novotel Katowice Centrum
Address: Al. Roździeńskiego 16, 40-202 Katowice
Prices: from 297 PLN for a double room
- Campanile Katowice
Address: ul. Sowinskiego 48, 40-018 Katowice
Prices: from 224 PLN for a double room
- Best Western Hotel Mariacki Katowice
Address: 15 Mariacka St., 40-014 Katowice
Prices: from 289 PLN for a double room
- Courtyard by Marriott Katowice City Center
Address: Uniwersytecka 13, 40-007 Katowice
Prices: from 599 PLN for a double room
- ActivPark Apartments
Address: ul. Chorzowska 210-216, 40-101 Katowice
Prices: from 180 PLN for a double room
Our opinion about the Silesian Museum Katowice
We need museums like the Silesian Museum in Katowice in Poland! Interesting exhibitions, full of interactive stations, engaging arrangements and elaborate sets. A visit to the Silesian Museum, especially the section on the history of Upper Silesia, is a fantastic trip back in time, very educational and reveals many interesting aspects.
The Silesian Museum is definitely one of our favorite museums in Poland and we will definitely return here more than once.