Stalag Luft III Prisoner Camp Museum

Stalag Luft III Prisoner Camp Museum

History Museums
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10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
POW Camps Museum was built in 1971. It commemorates POW camps set up in Zagan (German Sagan) during WW2. One of them was infamous Stalag Luft 3 for allied airmen known from the mass breakout of 76 prisoners in 1944. The event was immortalized in the 1963 film “The Great Escape”.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
155 reviews
Excellent
103
Very good
44
Average
7
Poor
1
Terrible
0

wp12345
Anglesey, UK177 contributions
Oct 2020 • Couples
We visited late October 2020 and this was a fantastic guided tour lasting about 2 hours . Marek the Director of the Museum could not do enough to explain the history and the outcomes of the great escape. I recommend this visit entirely. Thank you Marek for a very interesting day.
Wyn and Jenny
Written October 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

evieJP
Leek, UK40 contributions
Mar 2022 • Solo
The place is very humbling and full of history lots of interesting artefacts in the reconstructed hut and the museum. The director is very knowledgeable and was able to answer all questions. Highly recommend the walking tour to visit all the sites. It helps you realise the scale of the camps.
Written March 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

mike e
Toronto, Canada290 contributions
Nov 2022
Okay, now I have to qualify this rating. My wife and I stopped by on our way to Krakow and we went because of my interest in WW2 and as we have visited many such places...the place was great especially the tunnel markings of Harry both the entrance and the exit which came up short...we looked around the forest as well as the monuments around the camp. Back in 1986 when we lived in Germany we visited many places with WW2 significance and we found then that we were the only people there, he we are in 2022 and at Zagan we again were the only two people walking around the site...it was great to be there and to know what those guys went through and sadly the 50 who were shot in cold blood for there efforts.
Written November 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

hbshbs
Reading15 contributions
Ever since I saw the movie, I wished to visit the location. However, there is very little information on the internet on how to find Stalag Luft 3. Nevertheless, I urge you to make the effort to see this piece of history before it crumbles away into the woods. The location of the camp is just southwest of Zagan in some woods to the east of the A296. It is close to a museum dedicated to pow's but the museum was closed when I visited - I think that the place gets very few visitors.
You turn off the main road down a farm track and cross a railway line. After about half a mile you come to what looks like a gravestone but which is where the tunnel "Harry" emerged. From here you can wander into the woods and find other parts of the camp. There are some signs but it is clear that few people make the effort to visit so it cannot be economical to look after the place. I had the whole site to myself.
I found it all very moving - 50 of the escapees were murdered in punishment killings and these were all guys in their 20's. The escapees included Brits, Poles, Canadians, Kiwis, Aussies, South Africans, French, Norweigians, and Dutch. They deliberately gave priority to those who could pass themselves off as foreign workeers as they would have thee best cahnce of success.
I think that in a few years what little that is left will be gone. I am really glad I made the effort. If you feel like doing the same I am happy for you to contact me for advice/directions/etc.
I drove from Germany, but Zagan also has a train station.
Written December 4, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lisa T
Kalaheo, HI117 contributions
Oct 2013 • Family
The museum curators live and breathe this museum. Their passion to recreate the Great Escape is evident. We visited with my father-in-law who had been held at the camp for 25 months and was involved in digging the Great Escape tunnels. The two men who run the museum were able to locate documentation of his time there. They walked us through the replica of barracks and listened intently as my FIL relived his experience. The barracks were accurately recreated to the point my father-in-law almost thought it was the original. The curators were able to tell us exactly where my FIL slept...as we got close to the location, he walked right to it.

The museum includes pictures of former POW's, artifacts found on the grounds, maps, and videos of the experience. This museum is a work in progress...new information is constantly being generated through visitors with connections to that time period. Can't wait to go back!
Written January 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lynda A
Orange, California, United States446 contributions
Sep 2013 • Couples
I had an above-average interest in Stalag Luft III because my father was one of the Prisoners of War held in this camp from 1943 through 1945. I didn't think I would ever be able to actually see the place since it was behind the Iron Curtain for so many years and far from my usual travels even after that era ended. But the opportunity came up to spend a little additional time in Europe so I excitedly planned to visit the museum and camp, thinking there probably would be much to see but it would still be worth the trip to just see the area that had such an impact on my father's life.

Wow, when I got there I discovered far more than I ever imagined - the museum has a lot of artifacts from the camp itself, with an emphasis on The Great Escape, of course. My father had participated in building the tunnels, getting rid of dirt, etc, but had been moved to the South Compound before the actual escape took place so he was not one of those who tried to get out [thank goodness]. Still, I grew up hearing stories about Stalag Luft III and various details of the tunnels, the escape, etc, and I had also read a number of books about the topic - so I assumed I knew most of what there was to know. Until I reached the museum, that is - they have so much information there, my brain couldn't really absorb it all in one day.

When one of the museum guides discovered I was a family member of one of the POWs, he immediately got out his records and looked up my father, providing me with the exact building and room number he occupied, as well as some other information I didn't have. He asked me some questions and provided a TON of other information, then took us over to the actual camp site and showed us all the areas of the camp, even though it was raining. My dad had spent some time in the North Camp when he first arrived so Mirek showed us the replica of Tunnel Harry, which was the one my dad worked on the most, and it's relationship to the various buildings, including the guard tower and German headquarters buildings. He gave me extensive details about many other buildings and took me to the area where my father was when he got the evacuation order on January 27, 1945, which resulted in a grueling march, an even worse ride in railroad box cars, followed by an even longer and more grueling march as my dad and others were transferred from Stalag Luft III to Stalag Luft VII-A. Mirek gave me many details about the evacuation, the transfer and other things of life for the POWs that I didn't previously have, including showing me copies of the camp newspaper and other items.

After our extensive exploration of the North Compound, Mirek took us over to the South Compound and the exact building where my father lived during his time there. He told me they don't know for sure how the rooms were laid out but showed me where my dad's room was probably located based on their best information. Between all the information he told us and the information provided on the many boards around the camp, it was truly overwhelming to take it all in. In fact, we had only allowed 4 hours for our visit, thinking we couldn't possibly need that much time, but even though we exceeded our limit by more than an hour, we still had a lot more to see!! So obviously the only thing we could do was to schedule a second visit a week later!!

Mirek was very nice and scheduled an appointment with us for our return visit to be sure he or someone else would be personally available when we arrived. On our second trip, we toured the replica of the barracks building, which has loads of additional information about the escape and life in camp for different groups of people. I had previously been under the impression that only Americans and British, along with a handful of Canadians and one or two others, were held in the camp. I was astonished to learn just how many other countries were represented among the prisoners and what a wide variety of cultures, religions and backgrounds were present in that camp. It was a truly amazing experience and I am totally impressed with everything they have done.

But wait - there's more!! I actually decided to go back a THIRD time since it's unlikely I'll get to return to this area again, at least not any time in the near future, and I purchased some postcards, coffee cups and other mementos for my siblings and other family members. Each time we went to the museum, there were people visiting it and each time, we observed museum employees explaining things, showing a group something or being helpful in some way. I've been to a LOT of museums but never one that had such a dedicated group of employees. This place is truly something very, very special - if you are anywhere in the area, it's really worth the effort to visit!!

Note - the Museum is currently closed on Mondays and there is free admission on Tuesdays! Otherwise, there is a small entrance fee which helps cover some of the costs of maintaining the exhibits and displays.
Written October 5, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Scaramangar
London, UK2 contributions
Sep 2011 • Friends
I travelled to this place from London whilst in Berlin with my father. We flew into Berlin Schonefeld (easyjet £50 rtn) and rented a car, driving all the way to Zagan. What a ride. We headed South East in a VW Polo on the E36/13 in the direction of Cottbus and in the torrential rain. Once you get over the Polish border, it appears the roads haven't changed since the original autobahns were built in 1936 (the borders actually moved slightly West post-war so that would have been Germany initially) so be prepared for a bumpy ride.

The town is very easy to find. The signposts for Zagan on the motorway are very clear and it is then about 5 kms, left (north) from the motorway. The camp and all that goes with it, you will see prior to entering the town on your right hand side. There is a large signpost saying Stalag Luft III which will point you down a track (past the left of the museum) and from there it is about a 500m down. You will see a memorial on the left side which is the start of the tunnel Harry, going across the track to your right. The place is enormous. There were apparently 56,000 POWs staying here at one point so be prepared to have a march around (walking boots are a good idea) looking at all the different areas which have information points detailing what was what etc. I would also advise strong insect repellent. We got bitten to smithereens but that is a small cost to pay for such a deeply moving and unforgettable experience.

The museum dedicated to the POWs and their experience was closed when we went there but we had a quick look and you can gain access to the mock prison huts they have constructed with a few exhibits inside. I would also advise going into Zagan and getting a local bar experience - one keg of beer on tap and 5 bottles of vodka on the shelf - what more could you need?!
Written January 9, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

kiska05
Portland, OR68 contributions
Oct 2011 • Friends
Stalag Luft III is the POW camp from WWII featured in the movie "The Great Escape." There is a reconstructed barracks and then also the crumbling remains of the rest of the camp that you can see. The best part was seeing the tunnel line of "Harry" and walking through the woods to see the remaining ruins.

You can actually go down into the basement of the hospital site, walk around the kitchen area (careful! the ground is uneven with the cement ruins and from the grass/brush growing over the top), walk the top of Tunnel Harry, see the location of the "freezer " (solitary confinement), the water cistern, the location of hut 104, etc. There were many artifacts from the actual camp on display.

While the museum is not very spectacular, and the the reconstructed barrack 104 near it didnt have the most impressive displays ever, the rest of the camp is great. You should plan to drive or be prepared to walk a couple of km between the musem site and the camp ruins. We drove up from Boleslawiec, Poland- it took about 1.25 hours. Very easy to find, and the town of Zagen was close enough that a taxi ride from there wouldn't be too high, i imagine.

As the previous reviews say, this is an amazing piece of history available for interactive viewing- very rarely will you be able to actually walk around and through an old POW camp. I'd recommend wearing decent walking shoes and be prepared to tromp through the forest a little- the various sites of different buildings are marked with only a wooden sign describing what the ruins are/were.

We stopped at three places- the main museum, the camp about 1 km down the road, and then drove to the cemetery. I would definitely recommend watching The Great Escape to get a feel for what the men of this camp did (and also the Wooden Horse- another escape!), and there is a wonderful, interactive map of the tunnel Harry on the nova website (per tripadvisor rules, i cannot post the exterior link).

It's obvious that due to limited funding and interest, that this camp will slowly deteriorate and be swallowed by the woods- definitely put this on your list of places to go. It's off the beaten path but as i titled this review, WELL worth it.
Written October 10, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

britinsussex
Britinsussex39 contributions
Oct 2013 • Solo
About 35 minutes brisk walk from Zagan Town and about 15 minutes from the station. Ring the bell to gain entry to the museum as it looks closed. (small entry fee). The exibition is small but interesting and the film presentation typical of small museums but the obvious star attraction is the curator who gave me about 45 minutes of his time. His English is good and he has a great deal of knowledge and is bursting with enthusiasm.
About one KM from the museum is the site of Stalag Luft III - "The Great Escape". It is worth the walk. The site of tunnel "Harry" can be seen, as can the site of "The Cooler" isolation building. There are lots of information boards.
Written October 20, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

margo c
Edmonton, Canada57 contributions
Sep 2011 • Couples
we toured around the different stalags and barracks as the museum was closed for the holiday. The area is rich in history. you can see the tunnel and there are plaques with all the names of the escapees and what happened to them. This is a must see in Poland!
Written September 20, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Stalag Luft III Prisoner Camp Museum, Zagan

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Stalag Luft III Prisoner Camp Museum is open:
  • Tue - Fri 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Sat - Sun 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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