Marie Curie is one of the most well-known scientists in history, famous for her work in physics and chemistry, for being the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize and the first person to be awarded it twice, in two different fields no less. Yet despite her pioneering fame, many people also wrongly believe that Madame Curie was French, when in fact she hails from Poland, where she is known as Maria Skłodowska-Curie.
Curie lived in Warsaw as a child, in a building that is now a biographical museum honoring the remarkable scientist and her pioneering work. Though she became a French citizen, Curie never forgot her link to Poland and visited often with her husband and children. In fact, she even named one of the elements she discovered, polonium, after her native country.
The Maria Skłodowska-Curie museum, run by the Polish Chemical Society, is located in the 18th-century apartment building where Curie was born, marked by a plaque on the exterior honoring her birthplace and scientific legacy. The building was destroyed by German forces during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, but rebuilt after the war. Today the collection displays scientific equipment, photographs, personal belongings from Curie’s life, and even the sink that was salvaged from her childhood home.
Know Before You Go
Ticket prices are 11 zpl for regular visitors with a discount for students. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday all year round, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. September to May and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in summer.