After five years of its closing, the beautifully situated Water Mill in Oliwa reopens for visitors.
The Water Mill in Oliwa, which had belonged to the National Museum of Technology in Warsaw, was handed over to the Museum of Gdańsk in 2018. It was about two years after the flood in July 2016, which caused severe damage to the building.
‘We hope that the Water Mill will become one of the “living” historical attractions of Gdańsk, showing the industrial past of the city. There used to be several dozens such water mills in the region. But we have ambitious plans for this one. After Ernsttal Court is renovated, we want the Water Mill to be one of Gdańsk landmarks, promoting the city legacy in the country, and a venue of events addressed to the local community, organised in cooperation with the blacksmith circle,’ says Waldemar Ossowski, CEO at the Museum of Gdańsk. ‘The building will reopen this summer after the first stage of safety and renovation works is completed.’
Heightened dam and a new exhibition room
The safety works in the Water Mill involved a lot of different entities, but hydrotechnical works were the priority. The works were performed by Gdańskie Wody. The company dredged the reservoir and heightened the dam securing the building. The Water Mill has a bypass, which makes it possible to drain excess water during heavy rain. The building was reinforced, and a new roof was built. Now, the mill houses a new permanent exhibition with new exhibits, whose main attraction will be working historical water hammers from the 19th century.
Exceptional water hammers
The Water Mill in Oliwa was first mentioned in 1597. At first, it belonged to the Cistercian Abbey in Oliwa; later, it changed hands many times. It was destroyed in 1945, but its 19th-century water hammers weighing 250 kilograms survived. Their reactivation from 2018 was one of the main goals of the museologists.
‘The two water hammers which set water in the Oliwski Stream in motion are the site highlight. We were collecting the new exhibits relating to blacksmithing workshops for three years. We practically started from scratch. Other one-of-a-kind exhibits include tools of a famous Gdańsk blacksmith, Leonard Dajkowski,’ said Remigiusz Pacer, Manager of the Water Mill. ‘We will do our best to organise weekend blacksmithing workshops later this year, focused on the entire high-temperature tasks.’
Open every day until 18 September
The Water Mill in Oliwa is open every day from 10 to 19 until 18 September. It offers guided tours, during which you can get to know the history of the site and learn something about blacksmithing. The visit takes about 20-30 minutes.
Ticket prices are PLN 8 (full ticket) and PLN 4 (reduced ticket). Holders of the Inhabitant’s Card are entitled to free entry to the site.
The building will reopen in the summer season.
Photo Credit: Dariusz Kula
The renovated building will house a new permanent exhibition as well as working historical hammers of 250 kg.
Photo Credit: Grzegorz Mehring