Cipher Centre

Exhibition

The Enigma Cipher Centre is an extraordinary place – a unique exhibition which engages visitors and presents the story of the breaking of the Enigma code and the ways of encrypting messages developed over the centuries. It is mystery and adventure in one.

An open mind and the willingness to test oneself by solving cipher mysteries are important to us. Our visitors will face an intellectual challenge prepared for them at an innovative, multimedia exhibition. It will be an engaging introduction to the tale about the events that changed the course of the Second World War and paved the way for the digital world we live in.

Everyone is welcome to visit our exhibition. It is visitor-friendly and meets all accessibility requirements for the people with disabilities. The visitors have four audio tours to choose from. Three of them are adjusted to the needs of people with disabilities: an audio-described tour, a tour in an easy-to-understand Simple Polish language and a tour in the Polish Sign Language. We are also accessible for international visitors who can visit our exhibition with an audio guide available in four languages (Polish, English, German and Russian).

Enigma Cipher Centre’s exhibition consists of three main parts. The first one presents the history of ciphers over the centuries. Visitors will explore the most popular ciphers and try their hands at the art of encoding using for example the Caesar Cipher or the more advanced techniques of encrypting messages. They will participate in a crash course in ciphers – similar to the one in 1929 which Polish cryptologists attended as part of a secret course organised by the University of Poznań.

The second part of the exhibition presents the history of the breaking of the Enigma code by the University of Poznań’s graduates: Marian Rejewski, Henryk Zygalski and Jerzy Różycki. It talks about the achievements of the Poles, their discoveries and the machines invented to crack the Enigma code, including a cyclometer, Rejewski’s bomba and Zygalski’s perforated sheets. It also presents the further work on cracking German ciphers by the French, the British and Americans.

The third part of the exhibition focuses on the computer revolution which began after the Second World War, thanks to the hard work of the cryptologists, and lasts till this day.
You will also find a few special treats at the exhibition – we mention some of them in the HIGHLIGHTS section.

However, the exhibition is not all that the Enigma Cipher Centre has to offer. An important part of the institution is a multimedia library addressed to the people who want to extend their knowledge of the history of the breaking of the Enigma code. The library holds a collection of thematic books and digital materials of all kinds.

We also offer an education programme addressed mostly to students and families with children: guided tours, thematic meetings, games for children, workshops for students and teachers. Events for children take place in the Cipher Zone – a special area designed for workshops with the youngest visitors.