Tony Halik Explorers’ Museum

Franciszkańska 9/11 Pokaż na mapie

Opening times Godziny otwarcia

closed Mondays

From 1st May to 30th September:
Tuesday – Sunday
10am – 6pm
From 1st October to 30th April:
Tuesday – Sunday
10am – 4pm


Ticket prices Ceny biletów


Tony Halik Explorers’ Museum and Museum of Far East Art in the Star House

normal ticket

25,00 PLN
Tony Halik Explorers’ Museum and Museum of Far East Art in the Star House

reduced ticket

21,00 PLN
Admission to the permanent exhibitions is free on Wednesday!

Buy a ticket on-line

Location Lokalizacja Obiektu

The Tony Halik Explorers’ Museum found its home in a tenement house at ul. Franciszkańska 9/11, opening its doors to the public in 2003. The impulse for its creation was the gift of over 800 exhibits representing non-European cultures which the residents of Toruń received in 1999 from Elżbieta Dzikowska, a well-known explorer and journalist. The donated collection of artefacts was collected during numerous world travels undertaken by Elżbieta Dzikowska and her husband, Tony Halik. Every year, Elżbieta Dzikowska supports the Museum with valuable gifts in the form of ethnographic objects she brings from various distant parts of the world. For this reason, the relatively small area of the original museum exhibition soon became too restricted for further exhibition purposes. Acquisition of the neighbouring tenement house located at ul. Franciszkańska 9 made it possible to create an expanded modern exhibition space. Comprehensive modernization and adaptation works were carried out in the historic early-20th-century tenement house to make it fit to house the constantly growing collection of travel souvenirs and temporary expositions.

The main theme of the permanent exhibition is the human passion for travelling and our irresistible need to discover the diversity of the world and learn about its wonders. This is why the entrance hall of the museum focuses on the history of travel, presenting copies of old maps illustrating the history of the expansion of our knowledge of the world and creating an appropriate atmosphere. A personalised map of constellations was also added on the ceiling of the hall to emphasise the multidimensionality of human journeys in search of the geographic and cosmic order which constitute the foundation of our exploration of the world at the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the modern era.

The first room in the museum is titled Tony Halik. My Great Adventure and it is devoted to the most fascinating South American travels which Halik made as a journalist and reporter of NBC, an American television network.

The first floor is dedicated to the joint expeditions of Tony Halik and Elżbieta Dzikowska, mainly to Mexico and Guatemala. They were fascinated by the scope and achievements of pre-Columbian civilizations, as well as the crafts of contemporary ethnic groups living in the territory of the ancient Mesoamerica, especially, the Maya culture. The room is filled with multi-coloured fabrics (mainly women’s garments, so-called huipils) originating from various villages in Guatemala, as well as several Mexican pieces. Women’s outfits are particularly fascinating, due to the pre-Columbian pedigree recognisable in their cuts, as well as their ornamental patterns. However, the most rare objects of this section of the exhibition are included in the pre-Columbian collection of nine ceramic figures of the so-called Western Mexican cultures (which developed between 200 BC and 800 AD) which originated from Jalisco and Colima, two Mexican states.

Another two small exhibitions – In the Land of Head-Hunters and Through the Black Land – are located on the first floor. Elżbieta Dzikowska decided to follow the trail of tribes which were formerly known as brave head-hunters. She managed to visit the hard-to-reach villages of the Asmat and Dani peoples inhabiting the Irian Jaya province in New Guinea and the Konyak tribes settled in Nagaland, India. The Toruń exhibition presents the body ornaments which Dzikowska acquired from said tribes – all characterised by richness of forms and diversity of natural raw materials. The explorer took several trips to and across Africa between 2004 and 2009. She went to northern Namibia to visit settlements of the Himba people. Ethiopia was her next destination, as she was interested in the tribes that live in the Omo Valley and its outskirts, such as Mursi, Hamar and Dassanach people, because of their compelling traditions and customs. Dzikowska gifted the Museum with interesting ethnic jewellery from that area. From her travels to Gabon, she brought also ritual masks of the Chokwe tribe, an anthropomorphic harp from the Fang tribe group and a valuable ancestor figure attributed to the Sango people.

Another exposition of the museum titled Great Explorers and Discoverers performs an educational function and is devoted to the greatest historic foreign explorers and discoverers. It highlights such sailors and explorers as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan, James Cook, and Alexander von Humboldt.

The second floor of the building is devoted to items which Elżbieta Dzikowska collected during her Asian travels and showcases fabrics and ornaments from China, as well as interesting jewellery made of semi-precious stones, mainly corals and turquoises.

The tour of the Tony Halik Explorers’ Museum ends in a room presenting Polish Exploration and Description of the World – highlighting Polish contributions to exploration of new lands and peoples. The many outstanding people presented in this section of the museum include Johann Reinhold Forster, Georg Foster, Paweł Edmund Strzelecki, Count Edward Mycielski-Trojanowski, Kazimierz Nowak, Arkady Fiedler, Jan StanisławKubary, OlgierdBudrewicz, and Borys Malkin.

The Museum will be OPEN on the following days and holidays: 6 January (Epiphany), 1 April (Easter Monday), 1 May (Labour Day), 2 May (Polish Flag Day), 3 May (Constitution Day), 19 May (Pentecost Sunday), 30 May (Corpus Christi), 15 August (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary), 11 November (Polish Independence Day), 26 December (Second Day of Christmastide)

The Museum will be CLOSED on the following days and holidays: 1 January (New Year), 29 March (Good Friday), 30 March (Holy Saturday), 31 March (Easter Sunday), 1 November (All Saints Day), 24 December (Christmas Eve), 25 December (Christmas Day), 31 December (New Year’s Eve)