• 001 - the logo.jpg
  • 002 - Hiroshima sunset.jpg
  • 003 - Auschwitz-Birkenau ramp.jpg
  • 004 - Chernobyl contamination.jpg
  • 005 - Darvaza flaming gas crater.jpg
  • 006 - Berlin Wall madness.jpg
  • 007 - Bulgaria - monument at the bottom of Buzludzhy park hill.jpg
  • 008 - Ijen crater.jpg
  • 009 - Aralsk, Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 010 - Paris catacombs.jpg
  • 011 - Krakatoa.jpg
  • 012 - Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, Hanoi.jpg
  • 013 - Uyuni.jpg
  • 014 - DMZ Vietnam.jpg
  • 015 - Colditz Kopie.jpg
  • 016 - Glasgow Necropolis.jpg
  • 017 - Hashima ghost island.jpg
  • 018 - Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 019 - Arlington.jpg
  • 020 - Karosta prison.jpg
  • 021 - Kamikaze.jpg
  • 022 - Chacabuco ghost town.jpg
  • 023 - Eagle's Nest, Obersalzberg, Berchtesgaden.jpg
  • 024 - Kursk.jpg
  • 025 - Bran castle, Carpathia, Romania.jpg
  • 026 - Bestattungsmuseum Wien.jpg
  • 027 - Pripyat near Chernobyl.jpg
  • 028 - Sedlec ossuary, Czech Republic.jpg
  • 029 - Pyramida Lenin.jpg
  • 030 - Falklands.jpg
  • 031 - Majdanek.jpg
  • 032 - Soufriere volcano, Montserrat.jpg
  • 033 - moai on Easter Island.jpg
  • 034 - Sidoarjo.jpg
  • 035 - Hötensleben.jpg
  • 036 - Natzweiler.jpg
  • 037 - Polygon, Semipalatinsk test site, Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 038 - Srebrenica.jpg
  • 039 - Liepaja, Latvia.jpg
  • 040 - Vemork hydroelectric power plant building, Norway.jpg
  • 041 - Enola Gay.jpg
  • 042 - Pentagon 9-11 memorial.jpg
  • 043 - Robben Island prison, South Africa.jpg
  • 044 - Tollund man.jpg
  • 045 - Marienthal tunnel.jpg
  • 046 - Aso, Japan.jpg
  • 047 - Labrador battery Singapore.jpg
  • 048 - Artyom island, Absheron, Azerbaijan.jpg
  • 049 - Treblinka.jpg
  • 050 - Titan II silo.jpg
  • 051 - dosemetering doll, Chernobyl.jpg
  • 052 - Holocaust memorial, Berlin.jpg
  • 053 - Komodo dragon.jpg
  • 054 - cemeterio general, Santiago de Chile.jpg
  • 055 - Tuol Sleng, Phnom Phen, Cambodia.jpg
  • 056 - West Virginia penitentiary.jpg
  • 057 - ovens, Dachau.jpg
  • 058 - Derry, Northern Ireland.jpg
  • 059 - Bulgaria - Buzludzha - workers of all countries unite.jpg
  • 060 - Sachsenhausen.jpg
  • 061 - Tiraspol dom sovietov.jpg
  • 062 - modern-day Pompeii - Plymouth, Montserrat.jpg
  • 063 - Pico de Fogo.jpg
  • 064 - Trinity Day.jpg
  • 065 - Zwentendorf control room.jpg
  • 066 - Wolfschanze.jpg
  • 067 - Hiroshima by night.jpg
  • 068 - mass games, North Korea.jpg
  • 069 - Harrisburg.jpg
  • 070 - Nuremberg.jpg
  • 071 - Mostar.jpg
  • 072 - Tu-22, Riga aviation museum.jpg
  • 073 - Gallipoli, Lone Pine.jpg
  • 074 - Auschwitz-Birkenau - fence.jpg
  • 075 - Darvaza flaming gas crater.jpg
  • 076 - Atatürk Mausoleum, Ankara.jpg
  • 077 - Banda Aceh boats.jpg
  • 078 - AMARG.jpg
  • 079 - Chacabuco ruins.jpg
  • 080 - Bucharest.jpg
  • 081 - Bernauer Straße.jpg
  • 082 - Death Railway, Thailand.jpg
  • 083 - Mandor killing fields.jpg
  • 084 - Kozloduy.jpg
  • 085 - Jerusalem.jpg
  • 086 - Latin Bridge, Sarajevo.jpg
  • 087 - Panmunjom, DMZ, Korea.jpg
  • 088 - Ijen blue flames.jpg
  • 089 - Derry reconsilliation monument.jpg
  • 090 - Ebensee.jpg
  • 091 - Mödlareuth barbed wire.jpg
  • 092 - skull heaps in Sedlec ossuary, Czech Republic.jpg
  • 093 - Nikel.jpg
  • 094 - Fukushima-Daiichi NPP.jpg
  • 095 - Tital launch control centre.jpg
  • 096 - Dallas Dealy Plaza and Sixth Floor Museum.jpg
  • 097 - Auschwitz I.jpg
  • 098 - Stalin and Lenin, Tirana, Albania.jpg
  • 099 - Malta, Fort St Elmo.jpg
  • 100 - Peenemünde.jpg
  • 101 - Tarrafal.jpg
  • 102 - Kilmainham prison, Dublin.jpg
  • 103 - North Korea.jpg
  • 104 - Mittelbau-Dora.jpg
  • 105 - St Helena.jpg
  • 106 - Stutthof, Poland.jpg
  • 107 - Merapi destruction.jpg
  • 108 - Chueung Ek killing fields, Cambodia.jpg
  • 109 - Marienborn former GDR border.jpg
  • 110 - Mig and star, Kazakhstan.jpg
  • 111 - Nagasaki WWII tunnels.jpg
  • 112 - Hellfire Pass, Thailand.jpg
  • 113 - Kiev.jpg
  • 114 - Grutas Park, Lithuania.jpg
  • 115 - Zwentendorf reactor core.jpg
  • 116 - two occupations, Tallinn.jpg
  • 117 - Trunyan burial site.jpg
  • 118 - Ushuaia prison.jpg
  • 119 - Buchenwald.jpg
  • 120 - Marienthal with ghost.jpg
  • 121 - Murmansk harbour - with an aircraft carrier.jpg
  • 122 - Berlin Olympiastadion.JPG
  • 123 - Bastille Day, Paris.jpg
  • 124 - Spassk.jpg
  • 125 - Theresienstadt.jpg
  • 126 - B-52s.jpg
  • 127 - Bledug Kuwu.jpg
  • 128 - Friedhof der Namenlosen, Vienna.jpg
  • 129 - Auschwitz-Birkenau barracks.jpg
  • 130 - mummies, Bolivia.jpg
  • 131 - Barringer meteor crater.jpg
  • 132 - Murambi, Rwanda.jpg
  • 133 - NTS.jpg
  • 134 - Mauthausen Soviet monument.jpg
  • 135 - pullution, Kazakhstan.JPG
  • 136 - palm oil madness.jpg
  • 137 - Berlin socialist realism.jpg
  • 138 - Okawa school building ruin.jpg
  • 139 - Pawiak, Warsaw.jpg
  • 140 - flying death, military museum Dresden.JPG
  • 141 - KGB gear.JPG
  • 142 - KZ jacket.JPG
  • 143 - ex-USSR.JPG
  • 144 - Indonesia fruit bats.JPG
  • 145 - Alcatraz.JPG
  • 146 - Chernobyl Museum, Kiev, Ukraine.JPG
  • 147 - Halemaumau lava lake glow, Hawaii.JPG
  • 148 - Rosinenbomber at Tempelhof, Berlin.jpg
  • 149 - Verdun, France.JPG
  • 150 - hospital, Vukovar, Croatia.JPG
  • 151 - the original tomb of Napoleon, St Helena.JPG
  • 152 - Buchenwald, Germany.JPG
  • 153 - Bhopal.JPG
  • 154 - Groß-Rosen, Poland.jpg
  • 155 - at Monino, Russia.jpg
  • 156 - blinking Komodo.jpg
  • 157 - inside Chernobyl NPP.JPG
  • 158 - Mount St Helens, USA.JPG
  • 159 - Maly Trostenec, Minsk, Belarus.jpg
  • 160 - Vucedol skulls, Croatia.JPG
  • 161 - colourful WW1 shells.JPG
  • 162 - Zeljava airbase in Croatia.JPG
  • 163 - rusting wrecks, Chernobyl.JPG
  • 164 - San Bernadine alle Ossa, Milan, Italy.jpg
  • 165 - USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.JPG
  • 166 - Brest Fortress, Belarus.JPG
  • 167 - thousands of bats, Dom Rep.JPG
  • 168 - Hohenschönhausen, Berlin.JPG
  • 169 - Perm-36 gulag site.JPG
  • 170 - Jasenovac, Croatia.JPG
  • 171 - Beelitz Heilstätten.JPG
  • 172 - Kremlin, Moscow.jpg
  • 173 - old arms factory, Dubnica.JPG
  • 174 - Pervomaisc ICBM base, more  missiles, including an SS-18 Satan.jpg
  • 175 - Cellular Jail, Port Blair.jpg
  • 177 - control room, Chernobyl NPP.JPG
  • 178 - Podgorica, Montenegro, small arms and light weapons sculpture.jpg
  • 179 - Vught.jpg
  • 180 - Japanese cave East Timor.jpg
  • 181 - Ani.jpg
  • 182 - Indonesia wildfire.jpg
  • 183 - Chacabuco big sky.jpg
  • 184 - Bunker Valentin, Germany.JPG
  • 185 - Lest we Forget, Ypres.JPG
  • 186 - the logo again.jpg

Museum of Independence Traditions

   
   - darkometer rating:  3 -
 
A museum in Lodz, Poland, inside a former prison building from the Tsarist era. The exhibition includes some prison cells, related prison artefacts, but is mostly about Poland's struggle for independence from the late 18th century until 1921. Its name in Polish “Muzeum Tradycji Niepodległościowych w Łodzi” is translated alternately as 'museum of the tradition of independence' or 'museum of independence traditions', sometimes also as 'museum for the struggle for independence' or is simplified to just 'independence museum'. 
    
What there is to see: This is a rather old-school museum that does have its quirky, if a bit stuffy, charms, though parts of its content are of little relevance to dark tourism in the stricter sense, especially the older bits and pieces. 
  
What makes the museum qualify for being listed here is primarily the first part, the prison cells, and some of the references to the ghetto and Nazi era.
  
The reconstructed prison cells are complemented by displays of shackles, handcuffs and items made by prisoners (such as playing cards or chess sets). But it all remains rather silent to the foreign visitor, since all labels and texts are in Polish only. (You can, however, pick up a leaflet in English that provides a brief overview, but it's really quite general and says virtually nothing about any specific exhibits other than the cells.)
  
Yet the cell tract with its cell doors looks grim enough. Also grim is the coverage of the Litzmannstadt ghetto (see under Lodz). Here it helps if you can read German, to decipher original documents from the time or displayed letters from the ghetto. 
  
Another section is about the role the museum had after WWII until 1953, namely as a prison for women who were involved in the underground independence movement during the early days of communist Poland
  
The remainder of the museum is about earlier phases of history, some of which fall outside the usual framework for dark tourism, though the early 20th century parts do. The latter is true for the 1905 rebellions against Russian rule, when industrial Lodz was shaken by strikes and revolts, which were brutally crushed (with dozens killed). But again, you'll get little in terms of historical information out of this part of the exhibition without knowing Polish. 
  
This is especially true for the section with vintage political cartoons. A few ones relying purely on graphic humour are just about comprehensible and mildly funny, but the majority will remain obscure, both for linguistic reasons and due to lack of context. 
  
All in all, this museum may be worth a short pop-in visit but probably not deeper inspection. In fact, I was done with it so fast that I felt embarrassed to leave so soon after arriving and instead of passing the stern elderly ladies staffing/guarding the museum on my way out I did another loop around sections I had already been to, just to drag the time out a bit more. 
  
  
Location: in the northern part of the “centre” of Lodz, just south of the Manufaktura complex, on ul. Gdanska 13.  
  
Google maps locator: [51.7758, 19.4473]
  
  
Access and costs: easy enough to get to; free 
  
Details: The museum is within easy walking district from both the Manufaktura complex (just a block down from Ogrodowa Street which runs along the southern edge of Manufaktura and the hotel – see under Lodz) or Plac Wolnosci at the top of Piotrkowska, two blocks to the east along Legionow Street.  
 
Opening times: Monday to Wednesday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed Friday. 
  
Admission free
  
  
Time required: not long – unless you can read Polish, in which case you might need an hour or so. But otherwise maybe 20 minutes or so will suffice.   
  
  
Combinations with other dark destinations: see under Lodz
  
  
Combinations with non-dark destinations: unlike the other dark sites with separate chapters here, this museum combines quite well with exploring the central parts of Lodz, especially the Manufaktura complex, which is just up the street and the main pedestrianized drag of Piotrkowska, where most of the city's bars and restaurants are. 
  
The Museum of the City of Lodz is also not far, just to the east of Manufaktura, housed in one of the grandest palaces of this city's textile industry barons, Izrael Poznanski.     
  
Two blocks further down on ul. Gdanska is another Poznanski family palace, this time Karol Poznanski's mansion (one of Izrael's sons), now belonging to the Music Academy of Lodz. 
  
And just south of that, on the corner of Wieckowskiego, yet another ornate city palace can be found, formerly the residence of Maurycy Poznanski (another son) and these days home to a modern art collection, the Museum Sztuki. 
  
 
  
 
  • Independence Museum 1 - former prison buildingIndependence Museum 1 - former prison building
  • Independence Museum 2 - former cell blockIndependence Museum 2 - former cell block
  • Independence Museum 3 - cellIndependence Museum 3 - cell
  • Independence Museum 4 - grim bustIndependence Museum 4 - grim bust
  • Independence Museum 5 - exhibitionIndependence Museum 5 - exhibition
  • Independence Museum 6 - grim exhibitsIndependence Museum 6 - grim exhibits
  • Independence Museum 7 - not so grim exhibitsIndependence Museum 7 - not so grim exhibits
  • Independence Museum 8 - older historyIndependence Museum 8 - older history
  • Independence Museum 9 - more exhibitsIndependence Museum 9 - more exhibits
  
  
  
  
  
  

 

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