It’s already the next Tuesday (12.06) when the Polish Vodka Museum opens its doors to its first visitors who will learn about the rich, centuries-long history and the tradition of making Polish Vodka. This Poland and the world’s only Museum devoted entirely to our national alcoholic drink is housed in the revitalized Koneser Praga Center in Warsaw. The Museum will be open 7 days a week with tickets available online from 7th June at noon and from 12th June at the Museum’s box office.
The Polish Vodka Museum is located at 1 Konesera Square in a 19th century historic rectification plant within the premises of the former Warsaw Vodka Factory “Koneser”. No other location would fit the purpose better, because this is where one of the most famous vodka factories in Poland was built at the end of the 19th century to develop its own recipes of Polish Vodkas. The Museum has five thematic exhibitions and a screening room. A tour of the Museum and several centuries of the history of the Polish drink will begin with a screening and take about an hour to complete. A modern multimedia installations seamlessly merged with the historic interiors.
Andrzej Szumowski, CEO of the Polish Vodka Foundation, emphasized that Poles should know the heritage of our national drink and be proud of it: “Polish Vodka is inseparable from Polish culture and customs. Polish Vodka, one of the staple Polish exports renowned for its exquisite flavour and high quality all over the world, has joined French Cognac and Scotch whisky on the list of Protected Geographical Indications. We want the Polish Vodka Museum to reveal to its visitors the centuries-long and rich history, tradition and production methods of Polish Vodka. During educational workshops on Polish Vodka, our visitors will have the opportunity to discover various flavours and aromas of Polish vodkas made from traditional Polish cereals and potatoes,” he said.
The historic building also houses the Vodka Academy Bar, where tastings and educational workshops on the principles of serving Polish Vodka and pairing it with dishes will take place. To savour delicious cocktails, some of which based on Polish Vodka, visitors can go to elegant “¾” bar located on the third and fourth floors. The Museum will also include WuWu 24/7 bistro, and restaurant ZONI where visitors will sit at the tables above the huge historic kilns of the former vodka factory. For dessert, visitors can go to a Wedel Chocolate Lounge next to the Museum lobby.
The restoration works for the Polish Vodka Museum began four years ago. At the end of 2014, an interior arrangement project was presented by the renowned Nizio Design International architectural studio and accepted for deployment. The visual identification of the Museum was created by Andrzej Pągowski, a renowned Polish graphic designer. The extensive revitalization works of the historic building started shortly afterwards, and in the spring of 2017, its premises were ready for interior design works and the installation of the exhibitions. The project was supported with PLN 2.5 million from EU funds.
“The Polish Vodka Museum is a unique and architectonically challenging undertaking that aims to breathe new life into the post-industrial walls of the former vodka factory”, said Mirosław Nizio, the owner of Nizio Design International. “Right upon entering the exhibition space, its visitors will immerse in the world of history, flavours, colours and textures inextricably linked with the production and heritage of the most popular Polish drink. The Nizio Design International team was tasked with creating a space in this historic and revitalized building with the carefully designed setting, multimedia installations and interactive displays that will allow visitors to experience the spirit of the place with all their senses,” said Mirosław Nizio, the owner of the Nizio Design International architectural studio, responsible for the design and construction of the permanent exhibition at the Polish Vodka Museum.
“I am delighted that we can finally present the Polish Vodka Museum to the general public,” added Andrzej Szumowski, CEO of the Polish Vodka Association. “It is a project that brought together many dedicated people who worked on its implementation with great passion. I strongly believe that this place will be visited by both Varsovians and guests from all over Poland and abroad,” concluded Szumowski.
The revitalization of the entire complex of the Koneser Praga Center with the Polish Vodka Museum is a joint project of the Liebrecht & wooD Group and BBI Development. The opening of the Koneser Prage Center is planned for autumn this year. “Thanks to the pioneering revitalization project, the Koneser Praga Center regains its former splendour. The area of the former vodka factory, an inherent part of the cityscape of Old Praga, will become one the most unique quarters of the capital. The Koneser Praga Center is the right and only place to house the Polish Vodka Museum. This is going to be an unusual must-see for both the city’s residents and its numerous visitors,” said Marc Lebbe, Managing Director of Liebrecht & wooD Group.
The Polish Vodka Museum can be visited by adults only. It will be open from Sunday to Thursday 10:00 20:00 and on Friday and Saturday 11:00-21:00 with tickets at PLN 40. Vouchers for tasting Polish Vodkas will be also offered. Online reservations are available at www.muzeumpolskiejwodki.pl from 7th June, whereas tickets will be sold at the Museum’s box office from 12th June.
fot. Marcin Oliva Soto