WŁĄCZ WYSOKI KONTRAST

Vistula

The topics devoted to the Vistula river are presented in the second exhibition room. In this part of the exhibition, discussed is the significant relationship of Wyszogród and the largest of Polish rivers.

The exhibits which can be seen here recall the history of Polish river shipping and the benefits of using the river. The initial part presents the oldest historic mentions of Vistula and the characteristics of the central Vistula river basin. The visiting pathway leads to a fairly unknown topic of button manufacturing, which was characteristic for the town of Sochocin, a commune in the eastern part of the Wyszogród Land. In the display case devoted to the manufacturing of buttons from the shells of river clams, one can see the effects of each of the stages of the button production: clam shells with holes, which are a production waste, shell rings, untreated buttons and the ones which already had been polished and are ready for sale.

Vistula as a communication route played a very important role in the history of towns located on its banks. Owing to the river, the trade and economic exchange flourished, and as a result so did the economic development of the riverine towns. The exhibition of the Vistula Museum, in its part devoted to the river, refers to the history of river shipping. Presented are the oldest inland ships: one can admire a majestic cog – a large mercantile sailing ship, used on inland waters as well as on the seas by the Hanseatic League cities until the 16th century, the model of which is presented together with a trade seal from the turn of the 16th century, used for sealing textile materials, with a picture of a Hanseatic ship of “Holk” type. Furthermore, the models of native production can also be seen here: a “berlinka” – large sailing ship used for the transportation of goods on the Vistula river and a “lejtak” – a traditional small fishing boat with a flat bottom characteristic for the central Vistula as well as a “krypa” – a flat-bottom barge in the shape of an elongated rectangle. Such barges replaced older rafts and were used to transport goods, cattle and machines.

The next nodal point of the history of shipping on the Vistula river is the appearance of mechanized civil boats. Exhibited are the fully recreated models of passenger side-wheelers “Płock” and “Romuald Traugutt”, steam icebreakers “jaguar” and “Gardenga”, sailing barge “Triton”, steam tugboat “Smolka” used for towing “berlinka” type boats and the hotel boat of the Warsaw Sailing Company “Aldona”.

Apart from the civil ships, the military fleet also sailed on the Vistula river. On the exhibition in the museum, one can find some of the Polish Navy ships, which fought during the September campaign on the central Vistula section. OW “Wisła” (Individual Division “Wisła”) is represented by the models of a heavy armoured cutter (CKU) ORP “Nieuchwytny”, the river torpedo boat KU-30, armoured tugboat cutters KU-4 and KU-5 and the communications cutter KU-6.

The model boats have been created by the employees of the shipbuilding company in Płock together with the director of the Vistula Museum Zdzisław Leszczyński. Apart from the model boats, the Vistula Museum holds on deposit some exhibits from the Mazovian Museum in Płock, which were a part of the equipment of original ships: a lifebelt, a PSR W-1159 ship bell and position lamps of the river boats. Moreover, on the exhibition the are two anchors: three-, and four-part and the anchor chain, which is a deposit obtained from the Salesian Congregation in Czerwińsk nad Wisłą.