One of the exhibition pavilions of the National Museum in Szczecin dedicated to pivotal moments in the contemporary history of West Pomerania, starting from the incorporation of Szczecin into Poland in 1945.
The Dialogue Center "Przełomy" is located in the immediate vicinity of the Old Town, in an exposed place, next to important monuments - the gothic church of Saints Peter and Paul - one of the oldest churches in Szczecin, the Royal Gate - baroque remains of Prussian fortifications, erected as one of the four entrances to the city by Gerhard Cornelius van Walrave in the years 1734–1738–and the brick police headquarters - a magnificent office building built in the early twentieth century, according to the plans of the Berlin architect Oskar Launer.
The quarter adjacent to the prestigious Royal Square (currently Plac Żołnierza Polskiego), housing the representative building of the Municipal Theater, a classicist work by Carl Ferdinand Langhans from 1845-1849, was marked out in the 1880s, after the liquidation of the ramparts running through this area. After the decision to liquidate the fortress (1873), the arrangement of the tree-lined passage of the Royal Gate was determined by the plan drawn up in 1876-1877 by Konrad Kruhl, which determined the width of Matejki Street (along the former road leading from the Royal Gate) and the course of Małopolska Street.
In the years 1883–1884 a magnificent neo-baroque philharmonic was established here. The first building, shaping the corner of Matejki and Małopolska Streets. Within the regular, rectangular Solidarności Square, a compact complex of four-storey tenement houses, partly with services on the ground floors, is planned.. The buildings were started from the side of the Royal Gate, where two magnificent tenement houses with outbuildings were erected. Their front elevations are decorated with rich, eclectic details: rustication, cornices, panels, pilasters, pediments and brackets - also in the form of caryatids - obtained a distinct vertical division with bay windows, which on the cut corners of the quarter were exposed with turrets dominating over the low surface of the ceramic roof. A similar character was given to the facades of buildings erected in the center of the quarter from the side of Żołnierza Polskiego Square and Małopolska Street in the 1990s, as well as tenement houses built before the First World War from Świętych Piotra i Pawła Street. The latter, however, according to the architectural tendencies of the time, are devoid of fragmented detail and horizontal divisions, but they work with chiaroscuro separation of the body with bay windows, balconies, loggias and gables protruding above the roof surface.. High ground floors with exposed entrance portals housed the seats of prestigious companies, and from the side of the wide, most attractive passageway, also shops and restaurants, which in the summer invited to gardens arranged on a part of the pavement.
During the Second World War, the entire quarter was destroyed as a result of bombing raids. After the rubble was removed, a square was created here, gradually filled with greenery. On three sides, the square is surrounded by rows of linden trees, and the interior is filled with lawns decorated with modest vegetation, among which the old robinia specimen stands out. In the 1960s, a playground with a sandbox and a fishing boat was set up here, which "went down in history" after the events of December 1970, when the workers gathered here, striking against price increases, tried to use it to ram the gates of the nearby police headquarters.
.As a place symbolizing solidarity resistance to the communist authorities, the square became the site of opposition demonstrations. In December 2005, a monument to the victims of December '70 was unveiled from the side of the church - with a cast-iron sculpture of the Angel of Freedom, Czesław Dźwigaj. On August 30, 2013, on the 33rd anniversary of signing the August Agreements, during the official ceremony, the foundation act was laid for the construction of the Dialogue Center "Przełomy". The object is impressive. It is a concrete, undulating slab on Plac Solidarności, which on one side goes down to the level of the road, and on the other, it reaches over the second floor of the police building. It is intended that the roof of the Museum is to be a meeting place for the inhabitants of Szczecin.
Currently, the Dialogue Center "Przełomy" is a multimedia historical museum of war and post-war Szczecin and Western Pomerania, a department of the National Museum in Szczecin. Being both a building and a square, the facility is also a synthesis of the history of the place.
You can get to the Przełomów pavilion from two sides. The entrance from the street is in the only corner - the highest part of the building. The second entrance - from the side of the rising square - the pavilion's roof, is marked with a simple indentation in a smoothly shaped body. The level differences are secured with glass-filled steel barriers, created as a result of the uplift of the square, and then the road leading to the entrance cut out in it. Rotating wall fragments from the corner side, if necessary, "smoothly" close the body of the building, making it an impenetrable and homogeneous whole, or a monolith. In addition to the implemented general assumptions, what is noticeable is the precise coordination and harmonization of the divisions of the square-building surface with the surrounding pavement and the divisions of composite façade panels. This discipline of the line of cladding joining is to continue in the floors, walls, woodwork divisions and ceilings inside the pavilion.
The aim of the exhibition is to show the breakthrough moments of Pomeranian history, starting with the incorporation of Szczecin into the Polish state as a result of the Potsdam Agreements in 1945, with particular emphasis on the moments of social rebellion (1970, 1981, 1989), which led to Poland regaining sovereignty in 1989. It won't be just a story about what was great - a true story is also a story about people's choices, good and worse. It will be a space for debates between people with different views and memories, unconventional educational projects, and the use of the latest media and multimedia techniques in creating the exhibition.
Currently, in addition to events related to the opening of exhibition expositions, the Center hosts historical debates, museum and history lessons, lectures and conferences, historical performances, competitions for children, workshops, and celebrates anniversaries and promotional campaigns.