The POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews has launched a new smartphone and tablet travel app for Jewish Warsaw. It is available on both IOS and Android platforms.
The app, called “Warsaw, Varshe” — referring to the Yiddish name for the Polish capital — is the latest in a growing international list of mobile apps designed to aid tourists and other visitors to various cities engage with Jewish history, culture and heritage.
A follow up to an exhibition of the same name, Warsaw, Varshe will help visitors find important places on the map of Jewish Warsaw, such as plac Grzybowski, plac Żelaznej Bramy, and the streets of Tłomackie, Rymarska, Przejazd, and Nowolipki.
The app lets users recognize in the contemporary city its non-existent objects and elements and its particular layers, helping them discover and understand the multicultural face of Warsaw. We want the user to consider the influences that made the Polish capital so diverse in a number of aspects – historical, cultural and sociological ones.
The walk covers three characteristic areas of Jewish settlement in Warsaw. Plac Żelaznej Bramy is an area around which Jews lived for many generations, enjoying their cultural, ethnic and religious diversity and at the same time offering services and trade to other Warsaw residents. Since the mid-19th century, Tłomackie and the areas around Bank Square were connected with the activity of Jewish intelligentsia, originally centered around the Tłomackie synagogue and then at the Judaic Library and a club at 13 Tłomackie Street. The streets of the former northern district that was shaped largely by immigrants from the Russian Empire, the so-called Litvaks (Lithuanian Jews), constituted the most diverse area. We want the user to notice this diversity and its influence on the contemporary shape and nature of the capital in particular points of the urban space.
Development of the app was supported by The Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation.