The “Time Machine - Man and Missile” exhibition has been specifically created to familiarize visitors with the history of the Fort of Góra Gradowa in Gdańsk and consists of 14 permanent displays shown in this restored historical fortification setting. These displays, located in shelters and artillery depots, present not only selected episodes from the history of the Fort, but also general issues related to the art of war, such as the history of black gunpowder or a fortification engineer’s workshop. The visitors’ path, running alongside the newly restored earth embankments which follows the old fortification designs and leaves an unforgettable impression. Sometimes you are overwhelmed by the sensation that you really have been transferred by a time machine to the era of the grandeur and glory of the Fort of Góra Gradowa.
The unconventional setting of the displays and magnificent special effects provide, additional incentives to expand one’s knowledge in a way different to traditional learning methods. Visitors are on the one hand brought into direct contact with historical objects and, on the other hand, presented with an illustration of the events witnessed by these objects - this provides an entirely new and more complete opportunity to follow the complex twists and turns of history.
In addition to exhibitions concerning the subsequent sieges of Gdańsk (in 1734, 1807 and 1813), visitors may learn more about the garrison of the Prussian army stationed here, find answers to questions concerning who lived at the Fort of Góra Gradowa during the period of the Free City of Danzig or what the role of the Fort was during World War II or, finally, they can investigate how the jamming device used to jam the broadcasts of Radio Free Europe worked in Communist times. The models of selected fortification structures, presented along with biographical notes about their designers, or aerial photographs - both contemporary and from the 1920s represent another interesting diversion. All exhibits are accompanied by audio performances in which the roles of historical characters or story-tellers are played by well-known Polish actors.
The unique character and attraction of “Time Machine - Man and Missile” is also at times enhanced by shows which recreate historical events. For example, on the first anniversary of the opening of the Hewelianum Centre, there was a show of a military drill practice, fashioned on the Prussian army, as well as fencing and horsemanship shows, featuring historic uniforms from the 19th century period of the Duchy of Warsaw. What is of further interest to visitors are the popular science lectures concerning the history of Góra Gradowa, and guided tours of the Fort and its over- and underground structures. Thus, visitors to the Hewelianum Centre can learn in an unconventional way - nothing like learning in school.