The Dr Tytus Chalubinski Tatra Mountains Museum
Opening hours: Closed Mondays and (November-February) Tuesdays; open Tuesday-Saturday, 9am-4pm, Sundays, 9am-3pm.
The Dr Tytus Chalubinski Tatra Mountains Museum is housed in a purpose-built building designed by Stanislaw Witkiewicz and Franciszek Maczynski in the Zakopane style and constructed in 1913-22.
One of the oldest regional museums in Poland, it was first created in 1888 as a museum of nature to commemorate Dr Tytus Chalubinski (1820-89), the physician, botanist and great public figure who was enamoured with the Tatra Mountains, uncovered the beauty and originality of the highlanders' culture, and promoted Zakopane. The key champion of the initiative to open such a museum in Zakopane was Adolf Scholtze, the Warsaw industrialist, chemist and devoted naturalist.
The Museum preserves its holdings in several departments. The Nature Department is devoted to the nature and wildlife of the Tatra Mountains, their geology and caves. Among its prized possessions is Tytus Chalubinski's collection of more than 2,700 specimens of moss, nine albums containing 900 species of vascular plants, a unique collection of nearly 140 species of lichen, and numerous herbaria. The zoological holdings, spanning the areas of the Tatras, the Rocky Podhale, the Orawsko-Nowotarska Dale and the Pieniny Mountains, number some 581 exhibits and are particularly noted for the collections of birds, of the Tatra and Podtatrze butterflies, and of the Tatra dragon-flies. The geological holdings include 2,081 specimens of rocks, minerals and fossils from the areas of the Tatras and Podtatrze. Of special interest is a beautiful collection of 96 marine fossils, with ammonites, sea-urchins, molluscs and snails.
The Ethnographic Department preserves objects of material culture, crafts and folk art from the areas of Podhale, Spisz and Orawa. Visitors will see the local sheep-herding and household equipment; costumes, including the precious female attire from the area of Czorsztyn; paintings on glass; decorated metal and leather objects; and embroideries. There is also a valuable collection of folk instruments and metal pins. The Art Department is home to a precious collection of paintings, graphics and drawings, all having the Tatras as their subject, a new occurrence in the Polish art in the first half of the nineteenth century. There is also a large collection of portraits executed in various techniques and presenting the top-most Zakopane artists, politicians, sportsmen, as well as mountain folk. The Museum's patron, Tytus Chalubinski, has a number of portraits by various artists, Stanislaw Witkiewicz among them. There are also several pastels drawn by Witkiewicz's son, Stanislaw Ignacy (nicknamed Witkacy) in his famous "Portraiture Company". Of special note is also a collection of fifty cartoons of the author's contemporaries by Kazimierz Sichulski, one of Poland's most renowned cartoonists, as well as a collection of sculpture by Zakopane artists.
Contemporary art is represented by artists' individual collections, such as that of works by Wladyslaw Hasior. A separate place is dedicated to exhibits related to the history of climbing and skiing in the Tatras and to the Tatra Mountains Rescue Service. On display is historical sports gear, club badges, medals and mementoes of leading sportsmen.
Permanent exhibitions: History: The Exploration of the Tatras; Nature: Nature and Wildlife, Geology and Caves of the Tatras; Ethnographical: Interior of the Highlander's Cottage in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries; Folk Culture in its Many Aspects.
Muzeum Tatrzańskie im. Dra Tytusa Chałubińskiego
ul. Krupówki 10
Phone: (+48 18) 201 52 05, 201 29 35
Fax: (+48 18) 206 38 72