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Museum on Island

Museum on the Island

In 2007-2009, the museum buildings on the Młyńska Island in Bydgoszcz were revitalized within a municipal project – Renovation of Cultural Heritage Sites – co-financed from funds of the European Mechanism of Economic Area, thanks to support offered by Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Norway.

As a result of the revitalization on the Młyńska Island, the Leon Wyczółkowski Regional Museum has five buildings with separate collections and the Informatorium at the Modern Art Gallery. Bydgoszcz residents call it the Island of Museums.

The river island in Bydgoszcz, called the Młyńska Island, is located at the bend of the Brda River, between the main course of the river and its branch, the Młynówka River, west of the Old Market Square. In the past, the area served as an economic support site of the city on the Brda River – during modern times, there was a seat of the Royal Mint, and starting from the late 18th century – it served as a center of the milling industry. Along with diminishing of the industrial character of the Island, it started to become a venue of cultural activities. Today, as a result of revitalization works conducted on the site, the Młyńska Island will be fulfilling strictly social-cultural, entertainment and tourist functions.

Originally, the area of today’s Młyńska Island was known as Okole. In the 19th century, as a result of development of the western parts of the city, the name Okole was moved to the area around Grunwaldzka Street, whereas the Island became a separate municipal area. On the other hand, the present name Wyspa Młyńska (Mill Island) derives from numerous mills, which had been built on the island starting from the 14th century, with particular intensification in the 19th century.

Until the mid-1670s, the Island had been divided into three parts, namely the Eastern Island (known also as the Royal Island), the Western Island and the Northern Island. The latter one had disappeared along with construction of the Bydgoszcz Canal. Initially, two most likely manmade cuttings, so-called “Międzywo­dzia,” were present on the Młyńska Island. The first one was located just behind Ro­ther’s Mills, whereas the second one was behind the Red Granary, outlining the western boundary of the Eastern Island. Both cuttings were backfilled after 1945. The cutting, replaced with the second one, was presently restored in its present form (water from the Młynówka River flows under Mennica Streets and runs in cascades to the river).

The Młyńska Island is intersected by Mennica Street, which was outlined in 1890, starting near the Fara Church Weir and reaching Marszałka Focha Street. Recently, the final stretch of the street, beginning at Rother’s Mills, was named Tamka.

18th meridian, running through the Młyńska Island, is commemorated by a monument erected in the vicinity of the White Granary.


Archeology Department
White Granary, 2 Mennica Street

Works were conducted in accordance with detailed documentation. The damaged and secondary parts of the building were pulled down, the crack on the cross vault in the central bay was rebuilt, measuring points and benchmarks were mounted on the facade. Floor heating and new brick floor were installed. Ventilation system around the building was renovated. All components of the wooden structure of the building were thoroughly maintained along with reinforcement or replacement of damaged parts. Brick areas of the wall were removed, cleaned and once again built in. New windows and doors were mounted. The single room interiors on the ground floor and in the attic were divided, in which scientific workshops and classrooms were established. The building was provided with new installations (central heating, sanitary heating, electricity, telecommunication, ventilation, lightning protection, etc.) and conveniences, including wheelchair access. Plain tiles were installed on the roof and new metal flashings were made.


Numismatics Department
European Money Center, 4 Mennica Street

Works started from pulling down the tenement house to the basement level. Archeological and geological research was conducted. Based on it, the decision was made to completely pull down the building. Rebuilding started from installation of foundation piles and foundation slabs along with insulation. Basement with brick and plaster tunnel vaults was built. An entrance from the ground level was placed on the western wall. Gable walls of the basement were faced with bricks recovered from the original building. Stones were built in the walls as well. Reinforced concrete floor was made over the basement. Three-layer brick walls of the first and second floors were constructed. Over it, attic and loft structure was built as well as steel rafter framing. Ceramic tiles were installed on the roof. Windows and doors were mounted. On the western facade, at the ground floor level, a canopy was made with ceramic tiles, supported on two rows of wooden posts. Massive stair structure was built on all levels. Utilities (central heating, sewage system, electricity, telecommunication, ventilation, lightning protection, etc.) and conveniences for wheelchair access were installed.


8 Mennica Street

The Miller’s House was pulled down to the ground and rebuilding started from construction of foundation piles, foundation slab and proper foundations. Walls were built from ceramic bricks and steel structure of rafter framing was erected. The previous layout of windows was restored. Roller blinds were covered by stylish shutters. The main entrance layout was preserved and the entrance from the west was moved to the south. Exterior wooden doors with a balustrade were built as well. Reception room was designed in the lower part. At the height of the second floor, an entresol was build, supported on steel posts and the walls alongside the passage of the new, exterior staircase of the Red Granary. Stone lining was installed on interior walls and floors. In the southeast part, a driveway was made to the entrance leading to the staircase of the Red Granary. In addition, the museum complex monitoring center was installed.


Art Department
Modern Art Gallery
Red Granary, 8a Mennica Street

Renovation works started from pulling down damaged and secondary materials. It was recommended to reinforce the building spatially and reinforce its foundation. Basement walls were repaired and technical rooms were established. An exterior staircase with passage openings was added to the northern gable. The structure was closed with glass and aluminum panels and an elevator was installed. Reinforced concrete stairs, at the entire height of the building, supported by steel balustrades were constructed in the eastern part. Comprehensive renovation of wooden parts was performed. The wooden rafter framing was reinforced and preserved. The roof was insulated and covered with ceramic tiles. All components of the granary were protected against fire. Doors with proper fire resistance were mounted on every story of the building. The brick faces of the wall were cleaned using Le Gommage method, producing an effect of deep removal of layers. Joints were replaced with new technology containing Rhine trass. Utilities (central heating, sewage system, electricity, telecommunication, ventilation, lightning protection, etc.) and conveniences for wheelchair access were installed.


Leon Wyczółkowski Department
7 Mennica Street

The range of adaptation of the building to its museum function did not cause any significant interference to its structure and interior. Basement walls were unveiled all the way to the foundation and insulation was made. Thorough renovation of all components of the wooden structure of the building was performed, combined with reinforcement of weakened parts. The wooden structure of rafter framing was covered, the roof was insulated and covered with double lapped ceramic tiles. New metal flashings were installed. Floor space was newly divided and floors were installed. The wooden interior stairs were repaired. Exterior parts of the wooden framework structure were fully renovated. Utilities (central heating, sewage system, electricity, telecommunication, ventilation, lightning protection, etc.) and conveniences for wheelchair access were installed. Utility buildings were pulled down and the fence was removed.

Designed: Jimpenny / Programmed: FreshData