Rynek Underground Museum

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Rynek Glowny 1, Krakow, Poland

Rynek Underground Museum Krakow Reviews

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263 reviews
nothing much to rave about; it is not the 'so-so' either... May 15, 2015
There was a long queue to buy the entrance ticket, but because we bought ours ahead of time, right ahead we rode the elevator to go beneath the earth surface. What can I say about this museum? Well, this attraction is highly advertised, so it builds up high expectations. In my opinion, it is not the kind of attractions I would rave about; but, it is not a "so-so" either. While the exhibits aren’t that many; however, the few artifacts shouldn’t be discredited. And, it may not look huge; it is (supposedly) the largest underground museum in Europe. Within that six thousand square meters lies hundreds of treasures of the medieval Krakow. The museum was a result of an archeological excavation.

Some of the discoveries were ancient cobbled stone streets, centuries-old sewerage structures, the original Sukiennice (Cloth Store) walls, wood structures and many more. They're a modest numbers of antique pieces excavated; such as pieces of jewelry, combs, shoes, knives, and other items used daily. The most intriguing to me though is the permanent exhibit about a discovery of a medieval cemetery. Some of the skeletons dug were in odd positions. A theory is that these were skeletons of people involved in witchcraft or vampire activities. At that time, people who engaged in such practices were put to death when caught. Then, buried in an irregular posture.

The scale model of the medieval town and the square glass ceiling above is something one shouldn’t miss. Both are works of an artistic and genius mind.

In the middle of our tour, we began to feel bored. Nonetheless, we continued walking on ramps made of glass, which gave me goosebumps. It just feels eerie to walk on a glass floor. In that area, more artifacts are on display including some emblems of the Jews' Star of David. There are some skulls too inside a glass casing and believed it belonged to some military guys who fought and died defending Krakow from invasion.

By the way, upon entering the museum, a smoke machine was blowing a thick fog, and the rumbling thunders were flashing through a projector. At first I wondered what those were all about, and then later, I found out; it is a visual and sound effects to give the guests a feel of what Krakow was thousands of years ago. And, I was like; “really?” The attempt to combine modern technology and the ancient era for the purpose of making the museum "more interesting," didn’t give justice to the job. Rather, it came out tacky and pretentious. To me, theme parks’ gimmicks and archaeology or antiquity don't go hand in hand. (At least IMO.)

Overall, it's a great underground museum, but visit only if there is extra time.

Entrance fee; PLN 17.00 (US$4.50) Admission free on Tuesday. A group of 30 people at a time could go under ground.

"Podziemia Rynku" is fully equipped to provide access for people with disabilities.

Lastly, the translated information in different languages is very helpful.
6 / 6 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Zagnut66 says:
Krakow must have had thunderstorms every day in the distant past. :)
Posted on: Sep 26, 2015
Vikram says:
I've been hitting Enter a bit too quickly! I recently visited Budapest and felt that way about a Terror museum. I was wondering why part of the museum which is the basement has a stale smell and turns out that it was supposed to give the tourists a glimpse of life in the Hungarian jail cells. The problem is, the smell didn't feel "real" and came across as a potentially good idea implemented in a really bad way.
Posted on: Sep 26, 2015
Vikram says:
Very well summarised around mixing technology with history and the result being tacky.
Posted on: Sep 26, 2015
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