kami

Can't live without travels! Wherever she goes she always looks for alternative spots or street art. A huge fan of Central Europe and off the beaten path places and a living proof that you can balance full time job and extensive travel!

The wonderful, unusual Neon Museum in Warsaw

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Have you ever paid much attention to the neons around you? I must admit I haven’t, unfortunately. I always considered them such a natural part of the city landscape, they were just out there, that I haven’t even notticed the moment when neons slowly started disappearing. But the fact is that these days less and less leons can be found in the cities, at least here in Poland…

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I’ve also never known how exactly neons are made. But it turns out to be quite a fascinating method! To make a neon sign you’d need an electrified, luminous tube lights filled with rarefied neon (the gas) or other gases. The first neon could have been seen over 100 years ago, in December 1910 in Paris but the peak of the popularity for neons took place between 1920 and 1960 in United States. By 1940 only in the US there were almost 2000 shops that produced neons! The signs can have various colors, it all depends on the shade of the tube or the mix of the gases inside. And so you can see orange-red, white, pink-ish or blue neons.

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Sadly, recently in Poland neons lost their popularity and a lot of owners decided to throw them away. Fortunately there were people who decided to save this valuable part of the Polish post-war history. And that’s how the idea of the Neon Museum was created. They’ve been working on saving neons since 2005 but for a long time there were no place to show them in public (besides some exhibitions all over Poland and Europe). Eventually in May 2012 the Neon Museum was opened! It is located in Soho Factory, an old factory that is now transformed to a very hip place full of restaurants, design shops, galleries.

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The Museum might not be a very big one but it surely is an interesting place to visit, definitely not your typical museum. There are over 50 neons (couple of them are located outside in various places of the Soho Factory) – alltogether almost 500 letters. But the collection constantly grows, since my last visit, just after the opening, there were a lot of new pieces for me to admire today. Most of the neons have a short info next to it so visitors can learn about the history and whereabouts of them.

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Neons showed in the Museum come from different parts of Poland and from various times in the history. Each of the is unique, each of them is fascinating and extremely beautiful. When walking around the neons and admiring them a nice buzzing sound of the gas is a nice addition.

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I’m not much of a fan of the museum, they must be really special for me to enjoy them. Yet it was already my second visit (and I’m sure not the last one) in the Neon Museum. It’s quirky, it’s geeky and it’s really awesome, not your typical museum. And this uniqueness makes you remember that Museum for a long time or even come back there to admire the wonderful pieces even more!

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Practical Information:
Neon Museum is located in Soho Factory, ul.Mińska 25, building 55 (from the entrance go straight, then turn right after the train tracks and the Museum is located at the very end of the complex). The best way to get there is to take any train from the center (Warszawa Śródmieście or Warszawa Powiśle) to Warszawa Wschodnia and then walk for ~10 minutes (here’s the map how to get there)
The Museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 12am to 5pm and on Sundays from 12am to 4pm. The entrance fee is 10PLN. Lovely people who work there might tell you a little bit about the neons that are displayed there. You can also buy some quirky Warsaw and neon related suvenirs there.

More pics from the Neon Museum can be found on my FB profile.

Do you also enjoy such unusal museums? Would you be interested in visiting Neon Museum?


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21 Mar '13

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