Hydropolis – Wrocław, Poland - Atlas Obscura
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Wrocław, Poland

Hydropolis

This oddly beautiful water cistern is a techno-temple to the wet stuff and a multimedia masterpiece. 

Under the looming shadow of a 1920s water tower, and sandwiched between Gothic Revival towers is a defunct 19th-century underground reservoir. In 2015, the site was converted into an awesome interactive educational shrine to water, honoring its fundamental role in our biological and cultural lives, as well as in our environment, planet, and the wider universe.

Built in 1893, the 6,000-square-yard underground facility was used as a clean water store by Wrocław’s Municipal Water and Sewage Company until as recently as 2011. The site, once an important part of the city’s distribution network, was already a Polish National Monument at the time of its conversion into its current informative incarnation.

Visits to the facility begin with a 360-degree informational movie displayed on a curved screen surrounding a dark pool reflecting a holographic image of the Earth. Guests are told of the stellar origins of water before the doors to the cavernous underground space open for the curious to explore the many interactive displays at their own pace.

Exhibits vary from a replica of the Bathyscaphe Trieste Abyssal Exploration Submarine to interactive videos and displays featuring deep-sea organisms, ocean explorers, the states and properties of water, water in art and religion, water engineering, water distribution, water technologies, and ships and shipwrecks.

For those suffering from information overload, there is even a chillout zone in the former cistern with internally illuminated chaise longues, pulsing lights, crashing waves, and rainforest sounds.

Know Before You Go

All interactive displays are available in Polish or English, and video attractions are mainly in Polish with English subtitles.

Opening times vary, so it's best to check the website in advance. Advance tickets can also be bought online.

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