Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

Warsaw, Poland

Galeria Forty / Forty

A hidden art gallery in an abandoned Warsaw fort. 

An abandoned fort in Warsaw attempts to eschew the limitations often imposed by closed exhibition spaces and instead celebrates the spontaneity and anarchism of street art.

The walls of the unsupervised Northern Barracks building, which is open 24 hours a day, are covered in images and text and installed art. There are plenty of different styles on display in the old tsar’s barracks, including stencils, tagging, and installations.

The project is run by the Outdoor Art Foundation, and the works and structure are protected by the Capital Conservator of Monuments. Artworks created by those invited to the project are mixed with text and images added spontaneously by “uninvited” graffiti artists and vandals.

The art within the walls of the fort is constantly changing and decaying, just as street art in the wild. Each artist is encouraged to create spontaneously and individually, without any of the restrictions commonly placed on gallery works.

The abandoned building, built in the 1880s, isn’t easy to find, making it a favorite among both locals and adventurous travelers. And the art makes for a kind of low-budget revitalization project, helping to preserve and draw visitors to the old fort.