Neon Museum Warschau

In Warsaw, there is a real Neon museum. Now, neon lighting itself is beautiful to look at, but the story behind Neon + Warsaw makes it all the more interesting.

Warsaw (like all major cities) has had neon lighting from the beginning of general use. But…. During the 2nd World War, almost the entire city was destroyed. Not a stone was left upon another, and so the first generation of Neon has almost been completely lost. But the story doesn't end there. Certainly not.

After World War II, Poland fell under the rule of the USSR and was a communist country. At one point, people wanted to make Warsaw look like a metropolis again, but advertising is a bit difficult when the country is communist. “Everything belongs to the state” / “everything belongs to everyone” and advertising = capitalist. And that is not possible.

So what do you do if you still want Neon in your city as a government? Then you make rules about what is and is not allowed. Capitalist brands are not allowed, however putting "flowers" on a flower shop is allowed, as are the words "library" and more general names for the right buildings. Also, flashing red was not allowed, for example, and there was a whole mountain of rules that you had to follow if you even thought of Neon “advertising”. The application then had to go through an entire committee and took another couple of months.

When the economy got worse in Poland, the neon signs also disappeared more and more. There was often no money for maintenance (anymore), the same goes for the people who could maintain it.

Little is left of all those signs, so there is a special museum where they can now be viewed. Caution is advised when walking around because little hangs behind protective plastic and the hum of the high-voltage transformers is impressive. It would be a shame if you damaged something of all that beauty with your backpack.

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