The exhibition will present hydraulic structures serving navigation, flood protection system, water management, energy, etc., which make the Wrocław’s water junction unique on the European scale. There are only few barrages, which documents - as well as Wrocław’s downtown barrage - processes of interaction between the river and the land taking place over centuries - processes, which, on one hand, developed a great urban center, on the other hand, has made out of the river (created by nature) a piece of culture .
We present sluices such as Mieszczańska, Piaskowa, Różanka or Rędzin which illustrate the process of advanced technical solutions’ development in the field of hydraulic engineering between the 18th and the 20th century, being at the same time a starting point of the Odra sewer system: from Koźlę to Wrocław. The Poirée system weir, called Psie Pole weir, is the only witness of Odra’s needle weirs. There are another sources of historical information, like Wrocław's hydroelectric weir segment Różanka dating from 1906 and the unique needle segment weir of Rędzin (1913-1917) with extremely valuable and unique technical equipment of weir bridge or engine rooms located in the pillars’ heads.
Odra’s navigation - blossoming in the 19th century and until the seventies of the 20th century – has left an exceptional heritage. A rich catalog of Odra’s ports and harbors, yards and vessels, on the basis of which a unique Museum of Odra river is being constructed. The museum is located on a historic tugboat steamer’ board: "Nadbor", a navigating crane "Wróblin", a barge “Irena” and on two ferries. The heritage of technical culture related to the Wrocław’s part of Odra fits perfectly this year's DOFA theme "City flows" - discovering our river – the known and unknown of this major European waterway, today abandoned, but still hiding a great economic, social and cultural potential. If, in the discourse about Odra’s waterway future, we refer to various reserves of growth, then the heritage of stone and steel should also be taken into consideration. The heritage which we want to explore, the witnesses of history which want to be listened to, the old buildings still serving us, the old ships, the people for whom Odra was not only a working place but also home.
Stanisław Januszewski, the founder and the president of the Foundation of the Open Museum of Technology, historian of technology, author of the concept of Open Museum of Technology in Wrocław, founder of the Museum of Odra river FOMT, retired professor of Wrocław University of Technology, author of over 300 publications on the history of technology and industrial archeology, including “Rodowód Polskich Skrzydeł “ ( Origin of Polish wings”), “Wynalazki lotnicze Polaków 1836–1918” (“Polish air inventions 1836-1918”) , “Zabytki techniki” (“Monuments of technology”). Honored with “Błękitne Skrzydła” ("Blue Wings") in 2012 - the highest honorary distinction awarded by the National Council of Aviation and the editors of "Skrzydlata Polska", awarded with Złota Lotka(“Golden Aileron”) by the Aviators’ Club Loteczka. He’s been also honored with the privilege of planting an oak in the Polish Aviation Alley of Glory and a honorary membership of the Test Pilots‘ Club in 2006. Awarded with “Przyjazny Brzeg” ("Friendly Shore" ) by the Lower Silesian Air Force Academy. Creator of the International Study of Industrial Archaeology formula – the five editions of which has resulted in approx. 70 graduates: museum curators and technology conservators .
Text: Stanisław Januszewski, FOMT