Content anchor

The Collegium Maius Museum of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow

Where: 

Jagiellońska 15
Kraków, Poland

Brak przypisanych miejsc.

Opening hours: Closed Sundays and public holidays; open Saturdays, 11am-2pm, other days, 11am-3pm.

Cracow's oldest university building, the Collegium Maius acquired its present-day shape in the fifteenth century. Reminiscent of the architecture of Italian universities of the time, the building has a quadrangle court and cloisters on the first floor, stretching along all of its wings.

The origins of the holdings of the Jagiellonian University go back to the fifteenth century. It was in 1492 that Marcin Bylica, the Polish scholar and lecturer at the universities of Cracow, Padua and Bologna, presented his astronomical instruments to Cracow's Alma Mater, thus starting a collection of "scientific objects and curios". Grown for years through royal and magnate endowments and gifts by scholars and collectors, the holdings became dispersed during World War II. Luckily, most of them were returned after the War and made available for the public to see in 1964, on the 600th anniversary of the Jagiellonian University.

While the Museum boasts a rich collection of works of art in the areas of painting, sculpture, prints and drawings, and decorative arts, its uniqueness is defined by its collection of old scientific instruments. Some two thousand items strong, it is the only collection of such class in Poland and one of the most valuable ones in Europe. The exhibits include astronomical instruments, notably those used by Marcin Bylica in the fifteenth century as well as a unique eleventh century Arab astrolabe; physical and optical instruments; chemical and pharmaceutical vessels; a collection of globes, the oldest of which date from the fifteenth and sixteenth century, with the so-called Jagiellonian Globe on which America was first shown; Fifteenth through nineteenth century clocks, eighteenth century microscopes, thermometers, balances, weights, and the like are also exhibited. Together with the art collection, these valuable holdings form one of the permanent exhibitions inside the Collegium Maius's historical interiors. Other permanent exhibitions include Medieval Painting and Sculpture, West-European Paintings from the Collections of Wiktoria Oseka and Ewelina Lipko-Lipczynska and Sciences Old and New. The latter exhibition opened in 2000 and has been highly popular with visitors. Its interactive character allows everyone (no special background is required) to do simple mathematical, astronomical and physical experiments and calculations using instrument models. Visitors are also attracted by the reconstructed interior of an alchemist workshop.


Muzeum Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Collegium Maius
ul. Jagiellońska 15
31-010 Kraków
Phone: (+48 12) 422 05 49, 663 13 07
Phone/Fax: (+48 12) 422 27 34
WWW: www.uj.edu.pl/muzeum
Email: [email protected]

Current events

Facebook Twitter Reddit Share

Did you like our article? English newsletter here

Sign up for newsletter

  • 0 subscribers
  • In accordance with the law from August 29, 1997, relating to the protection of personal data (consolidated text, Journal of Laws, 2002, no. 101, Item 926), I am hereby giving my formal consent to the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, located at 25 Mokotowska Street in Warsaw (00-560), to process my personal data.

  • Email Marketingby GetResponse
See also:
The most famous Polish reporter Ryszard Kapuściński, photo: Aleksander Jałosinski / Forum

Poland has a long tradition of non-fiction writing referred to as reportage or, as it is also called, literary reportage. Here’s our list of the best Polish non-fiction books translated into English (plus one which is not yet translated but, we think, it should be). Read more »

Still from the film Pan Tadeusz by Andrzej Wajda, 1998, photo: Piotr Bujnowicz/ FabrykaObrazu.com / Forum

Once a favourite among the gentry, the Polonaise has a long and fascinating history, and it is still an indispensable ritual of the studniówka, a ball for graduating high school students. Read more »

A cover of Henryk Sienkiewicz’s Sir Michael, photo: Greg

‘For the strengthening of hearts’ – in those closing words of the third part of The Trilogy Sienkiewicz defines the idea that accompanied the whole historical cycle. At first, the reader gets to know Sir Michael – the first sabre of the First Commonwealth.Read more »

Jean Michel Jarre, photo: Arkadiusz Wojtasiewicz / Forum

Living legend of electronic music Jean Michel Jarre is to co-create a show for the Multimedia Fountain Park in Warsaw. Read more »

Still from No End, dir.: Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1984, in the photograph: Grażyna Szapołowska and Jerzy Radziwiłowicz, photo: Studio Filmowe Tor /Filmoteka Narodowa/www.fototeka.fn.org.pl

Krzysztof Kieślowski’s 1984 film. At the time of its premiere the film was criticized by all sides: the communist authorities of Poland blamed the director for antisocialist diversion, the opposition considered the film to be ordered by the authorities, whereas the Catholic Church criticized the antichristian ending.Read more »

The Sixteen, Helper and Protector, the cover of the album, photo: Anna Stowe Travel / Alamy

Italian influences in Polish architecture and the cuisine of the 16th and 17th century are well-known to the average audience member through a shared education. However, one can get the impression that the time between the beginning of the Polish state up to the era of Chopin was a mute period.Read more »

Robert Rumas, Urban Manoeuvers, 2000, Public Relations CSW Łaźnia in Gdańsk. Selected pictograms: The Homeless, No Benches, Baldies - Fans, photo: courtesy of the artist / http://www.robertrumas.pl/pliki/start-en.html

Urban Manoeuvers is about working in urban public spaces with the aim of bringing to attention the social specificity of particular cities. To achieve this purpose the artist places illegal road signs around the chosen cities.Read more »

Still from the film Call Me Marianna, dir. Karolina Bielawska, photo: KFF promotional materials

Karolina Bielwaska’s documentary has won an award at the 19th Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in the USA. The Polish artist received a Charles E. Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award given to the best director for a debuting feature-length documentary. Read more »