The museum is headquartered in the Main City Hall, which was once occupied by the Gdańsk authorities. The City Hall is home to the famous Red Room, with its rich, splendorous interior decoration, which is considered among the most valuable in Europe. The ceiling hosts a beautiful plafond, with a centrally-positioned painting entitled “The Apotheosis of Gdańsk” by Isaac van den Blocke. The entirety is possesses a unique atmosphere and presents the wealth of Gdańsk of those days.
The City Hall is next to the department of the Museum – the former manor of the knight brotherhoods, the Artus Manor. As we enter, we are greeted with the Kings Sigismund III Vasa and his son Władysław IV. The great hall, with a height of over 12 m, enchants with its space and slim columns, which support the ceiling. The Renaissance tiled furnace from the year 1545 was the largest furnace created in all of Europe during those days.
The final department of the museum on the Royal Tract is the House of Uphagen. The tenement house, previously occupied by Jan Uphagen, a wealthy merchant and art lover, was furnished by the host with the highest class of furniture. He left a will instructing the preservation of the interior of his home. His last will was fulfilled, and the tenement, which was leased by the city, was transformed into the Museum of Burgher Interiors.
The Museum of Tower Clocks in St. Catherine’s Church is another department of the museum which has collected unique objects. This place is the only one in Poland which preserves clock mechanisms. The collection presents objects from between the 15th and 20th Centuries. The newest keepsake of the department is a modern pulsar clock, which is the most precise in the world.
The walls of the Długa Street Gatehouse Complex hold a unique collection of amber, presented by the Museum of Amber. The “gold of the north” is presented in both natural form and in artistic products of craftsmen.
Another department of the Gdańsk Historical Museum is the Wisłoujście Water Fortress, which is located right next to the Westerplatte Peninsula. This strategically-significant city defence site, which protected the entrance to the port on the Dead Vistula, is currently one of the most valuable of such monuments in Europe.
The famous Guardhouse No. 1 on Westerplatte, which is also a department of the Gdańsk Historical Museum, is one of the best-preserved pre-war defence structures. It hosts an exhibition dedicated to the defence and defenders fighting for their freedom in September of 1939. The exhibitions include the personal belongings of Major Sucharski, a graphic map with designation of the route of military operations, and numerous photographs.
Another department presenting keepsakes from the time of World War II is the Museum of the Polish Postal Service. This department aims to preserve the memory of the Defence of the Polish Post Office in Gdańsk and distribute knowledge about the tragic events, which occurred in the Gdańsk Polish Post Office on September 1 1939.