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Watch Day: Kindler Chapel, Poland

On September 24, Kindler Chapel in Pabianice, Poland welcomed local officials, architects and conservator specialists, students, and community members for a series of Watch Day activities focusing on the restoration of the chapel and its architectural, historical, and social value. The event included a lecture and a panel discussion in which participants learned about the importance of Protestant culture in Poland and Europe, and explored common visions for the future function of the site. 

The early twentieth century Kindler Chapel was included on the 2020 World Monuments Watch in an effort to support the efforts of Pabianice municipal authorities to integrate a restored Chapel into a broader strategy of urban revitalization and socio-cultural regeneration.

"Kindler Chapel was one of the most important buildings we considered when we created the revitalization program for the city of Pabianice," explained Małgorzata Grodzicka - Kowalczyk, one of the sites' nominators to the 2020 Watch, during a special interview leading up to the Watch Day.

"We knew that it is an important building for residents - not only because of its amazing history, but also because of the cultural function it will perform [in the city] after the renovation. The chapel is a testament to the historic strength of the factory owners and their contribution to the material heritage of the city and the region. Restoring the chapel as a cultural object will help strengthen the local community, it will remind them of the roots and the strength that built the city. I expect it to be an amazing magnet for descendants of factory families who live all over the world!"  

By promoting the site and engaging both local the community and potential partners, Watch Day activities will help gather resources and increase support for the restoration of the site. "There are already groups (foundations and associations) in Pabianice that engage in cultural and educational projects related to the functioning of the parish and the chapel itself," said Malgorzata. "They are ready to get involved in the further operation of the chapel." 

The chapel's restoration already brings delight to the faces of residents, Malgorzata told WMF. Now, the community hopes this cultural and historical site will become a place of social gathering and activity in a revitalized Pabianice.