Content anchor

The Collegium Maius Museum of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow


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

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:
Ignacy Jan Paderewski, 1860-1941., photo: Rue des Archives / Forum

Ignacy Jan Paderewski had been working on Symphony in B minor for several years — from 1903 to 1907. The piece was composed for the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the January Uprising. Read more about: Symphony in B minor – Ignacy Jan Paderewski

Ignacy Jan Paderewski, 1892., photo: Rue des Archives / Forum

Piano Concert in A minor, Op. 17 is both one of the most famous pieces in Paderewski’s repertoire, as well as one of the greatest Polish piano achievements. The composition is distinguished by beautiful melodics, subtle emotionality, a well-balanced virtuosity and transparent facture, especially of the solo instrument, as well as a clear construction. Read more about: Piano Concert in A minor, Op. 17 – Ignacy Jan Paderewski

George Zamka, STS-130 mission commander. Chopin: The Space Concert, promo photos, 2010, photo: courtesy of Adam Ustynowicz

What does it feel like to take a space walk? Can you explain that feeling to somebody who will never get a chance to do it? In a unique story that brought art and emotion to a scientific project costing billions of dollars, a small group found that perhaps Chopin’s music was capable of explaining the inexplicable. Read more about: Chopin: The Latest Polish Astronaut

Poster for Soundwork by Wojciech Blecharz, photo: TR Warszawa press materials

Explosions, pings, ripples, laughs and noises. Soundwork, a performance about sound and its diversity is directed by Wojciech Blecharz in TR Warszawa. The premiere took place on October 15th, 2016. Read more about: Soundwork – Wojciech Blecharz

The Time Stamp application’s logo, photo: press materials

Until 1939 Łódź was a place where four different cultures co-existed – Polish, German, Russian, and Jewish. The Time Stamp internet platform is a database of historical information about the buildings of Łódz and their inhabitants. Read more about: New Website Helps People Track Down Their Roots in Łódź

 Still from The Wedding, dir. Andrzej Wajda, 1972, source: Zebra Film Studio/Filmoteka Narodowa /

The Nowoczesna Polska Foundation has chosen seven pieces of Polish literature for the Słuchaj Wszędzie (Listen Everywhere) project, featuring podcasts on connections between history and literature in both Polish and English. Read more about: New Podcast Series on Classic Polish Literature