Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2017/City&Venue
Host city: Warsaw
A few words from a Warsaw-maniac
Warsaw is Poland's largest city and has been the national capital since 1596. It has ca. 1.75 mln registered inhabitants within its city limits, but its wider metropolitan area is home to ca. 3.1 mln people. It is not just the biggest, but also the most diverse and the most cosmopolitan city in Poland. Everyone can find something to their liking!
Warsaw is divided into two main parts by Vistula, Poland's longest and largest river. In terms of local administration, Warsaw consists of 18 large districts, each of which is further divided into neighbourhoods. You can find all types of urban landscape in Warsaw: from modern skyscrapers to the historical Old Town and royal palaces. From huge communist-style apartament blocks to upmarket villas and manors. And from the very numerous public parks and even forests, to heavily industrialised parts of the city.
The city was extremely badly damaged during the Second World War, particularly during and after the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. Only ca. 15% of the pre-war buildings survived. Today's Warsaw is a fine example of a city reborn - rebuilt almost from scratch, in a long and painstaking process. Almost all historical buildings of Warsaw are in fact post-war reconstructions. However, this difficult history is a source of great pride to the Warsaw people, because it proves that you can destroy Warsaw, but you can never really kill it!
Top 10 Warsaw tourist attractions
The CEE Meeting 2017 conference is supported by the Warsaw Tourist Board (WTB) and its' warsawcitybreak.com portal: all conference attendees will receive printed maps of the city, as well as basic tour guides in printed form. According to the WTB the Top 10 Warsaw tourist attractions are:
- the Old Town
- the Royal Residences (the Royal Castle, Royal Baths, Wilanów Palace)
- Palace of Culture and Science
- Warsaw Uprising Museum
- POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews (our conference venue!)
- National Museum
- Copernicus Science Centre
- National Stadium
- the banks of the Vistula River
- places related to Frédéric Chopin
Venue: POLIN Museum
Our main conference venue for CEE Meeting 2017 is POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews (address: Anielewicza 6). Announced in 2005, the Museum opened its doors in April 2013. In 2016 it received the European Museum of the Year Award, presented by the European Museum Forum. The Museum is run jointly by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the City of Warsaw and the Jewish Historical Institute.
"Polin" is simply the Hebrew word for Poland. It derives from the words "po" (here) and "lin" ("rest"), so it literally means "rest here". Unlike many other Jewish history museums in the world, Polin Museum does not place its main focus on the tragic events of the Holocaust. The wartime suffering of Jews is obviously presented, but as part of a broader picture. Polin documents Poland's unique historical role as the place which, at some points in history, was called home by up to 80% of the world's Jews. Polin's main, largely interactive exhibition shows over a thousand years of importance of Jews in the Polish history, but also of Poland in Jewish history. It talks openly about the demons of antisemitism, but it also shows that the Polish-Jewish relations have always been complex and multidimensional.
Polin's now iconic building is situated in the heart of the neighbourhood of Muranów, which before the Second World War used to be the Jewish district of Warsaw and then, during the German occupation, became the Warsaw Ghetto.
Part of POLIN's building houses dedicated conference centre, located on a separate floor. It offers all the required infrastructure, including a fast WiFi connection, a professional PA system, flexible room arrangement and a large foyer we plan to use for catering and workshops. The venue is also fully-accessible to people with disabilities.
For CEE Meeting 2017, we will be using:
- two fully equipped rooms – one for 100, the other for 60 participants
- a large L-shaped foyer, for catering and organising workshops/informal meetings as well as plenary lectures.
Accommodation: MDM Hotel
Accommodation will be provided in the MDM hotel located on the monumental Constitution Square in the southern part of the Warsaw downtown, in the neighbourhood called "MDM" (address: Plac Konstytucji 1). The district was built in the early 1950s in monumental socialist-realist style and was mainly occupied by Communist Party top-rank officials. Nowadays, it is a fashionable area with expensive apartments and cozy, fancy restaurants, bookshops, boutiques, and coffee shops.
The participants will be hosted in comfortable double rooms. On Monday - the conference will be hosted in the MDM hotel itself, which has spacey and well-equipped conference facilities.
On Friday - after the Polish Wikipedia's 16th Birthday - there will be dinner provided in MDM hotel or a nearby restaurant, courtesy of Wikimedia Polska.
On Saturday and Sunday continuous coffee breaks and lunches will be provided by the Besamim restaurant which is located in the POLIN Museum. It provides traditional Kosher and Polish cuisine, as well as vegetarian dishes. See: the restaurant's website.
On Saturday - during the late evening session in MDM's conference room there will be informal style food ordered in one of the nearby "fancy" restaurants and provided in the conference room.
On Sunday evening we plan a guided walk tour of the city, with the destination in the Harenda club, right next to the main campus of the Warsaw University. There we plan a dinner of traditional Polish cuisine, with beer and other alcoholic beverages. See: the venue's website.
On Monday the coffee break and lunch will be provided in MDM Hotel restaurant.
See the interactive map of Warsaw with marks of main points of interest for conference participants. You can click on marks to get some more information as well as move and expand entire map. Have fun with it.
- For pictures and venue details see the conference centre's presentation (in Polish)
- See also a detailed guide on Accessibility of the Museum for people with disabilities (in English)