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Museum's history

 


The beginnings of our Museum are associated with archaeological research conducted in Gniezno started the late 1940s. In connection with them, in 1956, the first proper museum was established – it was a branch of the Archaeological Museum in Poznań. Its task was to present the results of the archaeological research and, of course, to take care of the artefacts acquired. At that time, the seat of the Gniezno AMP branch was located at St. John street. It shared the building with a medical clinic. And while that museum is gone, the clinic has remained.

In 1966, the highest state authorities in Warsaw decided to build a large educational and sports complex in Gniezno, the Monument to Mieszko I and Bolesław the Brave. This was, of course, related to the then celebrations of the 1000th anniversary of Polish statehood. This complex was to house a new museum. Finally, after a few years, the design of the entire complex was created at the State School of Fine Arts in Poznań and the construction work began in 1973. In the same year, an independent institution under the name of the Museum in Gniezno was established, no longer dependant on the AMP. Until the new building was put into use, its seat was still at St. John street.

Construction works on the monument-complex lasted until 1978. From the original, grand plans of the complex only a three-part building was actually built: a museum, a school and an auditorium. This new seat of the Museum was (and is) one of the very few buildings in Poland, actually designed specifically for museum purposes. The building itself, built in a postmodern style, was, at that time, very modern and richly finished. The marble floors were imported all the way from Hungary. A special art installation for the new Museum was designed by a known contemporary artist - Magdalena Abakanowicz.

The New Museum in Gniezno dealt not only with the early Middle Ages, but also with the history of the city and its surroundings. It was only in 1983 that the first permanent exhibition entitled "The Beginnings of the Polish State" was set up. At that time, it was one of the most modern exhibitions in Poland. In the same year, a new name was officially given too - the Museum of the Origins of the Polish State in Gniezno.