Permanent exhibition

The Middle Ages

Free
Address ul. Cieszyńskiego 9, Wrocław
Tags History exhibitions
Entry Free

The focal point of this exhibition is the life-size reconstruction of a wooden, thatched house. It is a typical example of an early town dwelling. Meticulously reconstructed, it contains furniture, clay and wooden vessels, quern-stones, a butter churn, a potter’s wheel, a loom and many other items. The exhibition contains a range of everyday tools like ards, sickles, whetstones, firesteels, awls, chisels and knives and more unusual artefacts including jewellery (temple rings, finger rings and necklaces) and other items including clothes, footwear etc. The other part of the exhibition focuses on religious beliefs. Ritual items, which were important to the spiritual life of the pagan inhabitants of early medieval Silesia, are displayed. Related with religion are funerary rites. Before the adoption of Christianity in the 10th century, the dominant burial rite was cremation. Urns, filled with cremated human remains, were placed on top of a barrow or a wooden pole. Christian burials resulted in the interment of the complete uncremated body. As Christianity became established, the custom of providing grave goods with the dead ended. The adoption of Christianity had a profound influence on all aspects of life, not only the spiritual one. It is associated with brick architecture, writing skills, art related to the new religion, pilgrimage and pilgrims' special equipment like water flasks or pilgrims' signs. Much of the space in the exhibition is devoted to the beginnings of Wrocław. Here the locations of the first settlements within the later city, its gradual spatial development and artefacts related to various spheres of Wrocław inhabitants’ lives (crafts, trade, art, religion, plays and games, water supply, heating, transport etc) are all on display. The model of the castle in Bardo and artefacts discovered during the excavations at the castle, in turn, illustrate the everyday life of a garrison of a small mountain fortress in the late Middle Ages (the castle was destroyed in 1428). Weapons, tools, pottery and other objects from these excavations are on exhibit in this part of the museum.

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