When modernizing the former boiler house for the needs of the branch of the Museum of Warsaw, the architects made sure that the refurbished interiors visibly displayed elements of the old architecture. Therefore, entering the Monument Interpretation Centre we can see, among others, the base of the fourteenth-century walls of the Old Town. Brzozowa Street, where the centre is located was once called Podwalna, due to its location near the fortifications. You’d be surprised, however, seeing at the entrance an incomplete fragment of an old building and expecting a neglected or archaic interior. Monument Interpretation Centre is a unique museum fully utilizing modern technologies. Its main and permanent exhibition “The destruction and reconstruction of the Old Town” is chronologically organized. After hearing the history of Warsaw and reading a historic calendar of Old Town, visitors can experience what happened to the Old Town and its inhabitants during World War II.
Boards, large format photographs, plans and drawings, as well as multimedia presentations and themed animations fill the space with a total area of 435 m2. They explain to visitors not only the history of the Old Town or the enormity of the destruction during the war, but also the times of reconstruction. It started in 1949, and the ceremonial handover of the almost entirely reconstructed Old Town was just five years later. It is this effort, enthusiasm of architects and builders that was appreciated by Unesco, which after nearly thirty years entered the entire historic Old Town complex on its World Heritage List. This reconstruction was a unique experience in Europe. However, Monument Interpretation Centre is not only a permanent exhibition. It hosts a variety of meetings, workshops, thematic cycles and, finally, book promotions related to the overall history of Warsaw.