The opening of the Museum was a celebration presided over by the Head of State, Józef Piłsudski, on October 27, 1919. This took place during Piłsudski's first historic stay in Poznań, which he visited as the head of the again sovereign state.
The present collection of arms and weapons illustrates their development in the territory of Poland from the 11th c. through the present, with the exception of heavy equipment, which is not collected for lack of adequate room (in Poznań there are two museum institutions which display fighting vehicles, military vehicles and planes - the Museum of Armoured Weapons in the former Stefan Czarniecki Officers' Academy and the Citadel Museum).
Represented in the Museum are almost all kinds of individual edged weapons and firearms, starting with Neolithic shock weapons through one- and two-hand swords, rapiers, sabres, broadswords, Eastern and Polish sabres, including curved swords and so-called hussar broadswords, French, Prussian and Russian sabres, swords and broadswords, through sabres and broadswords of the navy and infantry as well as daggers and bayonets. Shaft weapons are represented by spears, halberds, partisans, spontoons, pikes, and lances. Defensive arms is represented by helmets, armour garniture and its parts (Poznań bakhter-type armour from 1580, hussar armour), cuirasses and helmets of mounted soldiers from the 18th- 19th c. The firearms in the collection include muzzleloaders and breechloaders, long and short firearms, repeatable and machine, as well as crew-served weapons. There is a 15th-century harquebus as well as blasting-fuse, wheel lock, flint lock, and match-lock weapons and various examples of breech-loading weapons. Moreover, the collection comprises firearms accessories and a small set of cannon barrels, salute cannons and old cannon models.
The oldest uniforms in the Museum hark back to the 18th c. (cavalry hats and boots) and the period of the Duchy of Warsaw (caps). Uniforms of the Polish cavalry of the reborn Polish army constitute the majority of the objects here. The Museum is in possession of a set of lancer's tunic of all the four regiments of lancers from Wielkopolska from 1919, the only of its kind in Poland. The oldest horse trappings (saddles, harnesses, caparisons, curb bits, and stirrups) come form the 17th c. Military signs include standards, banners, flags, pennants, horse-tail ensigns and signal instruments - bugles, fanfares, and kettle-drums with appropriate accessories (all categories represented in the collection). In addition, the Museum is in possession of a sizeable set of Polish and foreign decorations and orders, insignia and badges.
The photographs collected in the Museum are mainly documents related to the Polish Army of the Second Republic and the Polish Armed Forces in the West. Earlier photographs, in particular a substantial set of them, are connected with the Polish Legions WW I . The collection of documents represents all their kinds used in the military. These are mainly personal documents such as patents, diplomas, identification cards, and documents issued by military units (e.g. orders, journals). The Museum also gathers objects created by soldiers when in military service, in wartime or in captivity, objects of military art, such as paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, or medals. Limiting its collection predominantly to the history of the Polish Army, the Museum likewise houses objects related to armies of the neighbouring countries (from the period of the partitions of Poland).
Military Museum of Wielkopolska
Only in the early 1960s the Museum moved in a one-storey pavilion erected in the centre of the Market Square in the place of the medieval cloth hall. The building was redesigned by a team led by architect Jan Cieśliński.
7 / 5 PLN / Free admission on Saturdays
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