Shipyard at Michalczyka St. is also known as the Downtown Shipyard or the Repair Shipyard. It has been operational continuously since 1945, today being headquarters of several companies providing services for foreign ship-owners. Not many citizens of Wrocław do actually realize that it still works and that it processes large orders for cargo barges for the Netherlands and other destinations.

Located on the outskirts of Szczepin, on the left bank of the river, opposite the CHP Wrocław, until 2002 it was called “Odra shipyard”. On can still visit its production hall (including many machines being still there), the old forge and repair facilities as well as ramp-mounted crane.

Designed on a rectangular plan repair rooms and the hall beside (in reinforced concrete and brick) were connected to the siding in order to facilitate the transport of materials and raw materials necessary for construction and reparation of ships. The shipyard used to process several thousand tons of steel annually which were then treated in the shipyard. Some elements were hand made - in the forge. Sheets of metal were processed in separate halls. Even now the machines such as presses, cutters and guillotines can be found in the building. Currently, a great part of work is done in the mill. A majestic crane “towering over the shipyard” produced in Hungary in 1991 has replaced its ancestor. The original rope system used to lift ships on the slipway is still operational.

Right next to the shipyard there used to be a project office responsible for renovation, reconstruction and construction of ships as well as adaptation of old units. By the end of the eighties of the 20th century the shipyard was buzzing. Right next door there was a bar for workers and a canteen.
One of the units being currently repaired in the shipyard is the already mentioned barge "Irena" - the third ship owned by the Museum of Odra in Wrocław. During the Festival we invite to explore not only the shipyard but also the revitalized barge. It was produced in 1936 in Bydgoszcz shipyard, ordered by one of shipping families. Over next decades, the barge sailed down the Odra and Warta rivers. In 2003 it was purchased by the Foundation of the Open Museum of Technology, which after 10 years of efforts, thanks to a grant from the Municipality of Wrocław, in 2014 began its revitalization and adaptation to the role of the Center for Interpretation of Odra Heritage.

Text and tour by: FOMT - Foundation of the Open Museum of Technology

Photo: Wioletta Wrona-Gaj, FOMT