This is the oldest national museum in Poland, bringing together a rich collection of Polish and European works of art, as well as works from outside of Europe. Undoubtedly it has a collection belonging to the most important and interesting people not only in Poland but also in Europe. The Museum was founded on October 7, 1879 by a resolution of the City of Krakow, who had provided for the purpose two, then-newly renovated rooms on the first floor of the Cloth Hall. The museum collection, then consisting of a dozen images, was constantly enlarged by numerous donations, subscriptions and gifts, to grow at a tremendous pace. Generously and with a patriotic duty, people have transferred collections of paintings, sculpture, decorative art, prints, coins, old books, manuscripts and family memorabilia which they had collected themselves over the years. With the development of the museum, it received buildings from the founders of the city or private individuals intended for exhibition purposes, so today's museum is not only based in the main building, but also within eight branches, located in historic buildings in the city centre. The basis of the collection are works of art which are Polish or Polish related, and there are interesting biographical museums specifically commemorating Jan Matejko, Stanisław Wyspiański, Josef Mehoffer and the composer Karol Szymanowski. The Museum also manages the Czartoryski Museum and Library, which are owned by the Princes Foundation at the National Museum in Krakow.
Nineteenth century Art Gallery at the Sukiennice
a branch of the National Museum in Krakow. The Gallery, located on the first floor of the Cloth Hall (Market Square (Rynek Główny ) 1 / 3), is the oldest branch of the National Museum. It was founded by Henryk Siemiradzki, who gave it his famous picture called Pochodnie Nerona (Nero's Torches). The first permanent exhibition opened in the Cloth Hall in 1884. Currently, the gallery is the largest permanent exhibition in Poland of nineteenth-century Polish painting and sculpture. The works are exhibited in four rooms: the Enlightenment (Bacciarelli Room), and Romanticism. National Art (Piotr Michalowski Room), Around the Academy (Siemiradzkiego Room, formerly a Prussian Tribute) and Realism, Polish Impressionism, the origins of symbolism (Chełmoński hall, formerly called Quartet (Czwórki). In the Cloth Hall you can admire works by: Arthur Grottger, Jacek Malczewski, Jan Matejko, Alexander Gierymski, Leon Wyczółkowski and Joseph Chełmoński, including the famous Frenzy Polish Art Gallery in the nineteenth century Cloth Hall which also exhibits the sculptures of Jakub Tatarkiewicz, Pius Weloński, Antoni Kurzawa and Antoni Madeyski.
Centre of Japanese Art and Technology Manggha
the initiative of Andrzej Wajda and Krystyna Zachwatowicz was brought to life in 1994. For ten years, it was a division of the National Museum in Krakow, but further to a decision made by the Minister of Culture in January 2005, the Centre is no longer part of the National Museum. Until 1 September 2007 it operated as an independent cultural institution. From 1 September 2007, the Centre has changed its status to a museum, which plans to act as a European centre of the Far East. For many years, the institution has promoted knowledge about Japan, Japanese culture, art, customs and technology. Since its inception, it has combined two functions: as a museum and as an active cultural centre.
Its full name is the Museum of Pharmacy of the Jagiellonian University Medical School. It was founded in 1946 and is one of few museums of its kind in the world (another famous example is the one in Heidelberg). Exhibits illustrating the fascinating history of pharmacy, close to alchemy, from medieval to modern times have been gathered in Krakow. You can see pharmaceutical implements: majolica from all over Europe, all kinds of mortars, laboratory equipment and pharmaceutical utensils, medicinal materials, memorabilia of outstanding pharmacists, a philatelic collection on the history of pharmacy and the peculiarities associated with ancient medical care. All of this is located in an attractive "package" because the museum recreates the interior of an eighteenth-century pharmacy and pharmaceutical lab, a cellar with barrels and wine bottles and a medicinal attic, used for drying and storing herbs. There is also furniture from old monastery pharmacies and also, for example, from the Biedermeier and Neo-Baroque Empire. One room is devoted to Ignacy Lukasiewicz - the pharmacist who was also the founder of the oil industry. In the museum library collection, among others are old herbaria, pharmacopoeias, antidotaria and other printed matter relating to the history of pharmacy.
In existence since 1980, the Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor, initially acting as the Cricot 2 theatrical centre, was founded at the initiative of the artist himself. For nearly 10 years, it created an institutional base for the functioning of Kantor's theatre, acting simultaneously as a "living archive" of Kantor's theatrical work, and to promote his idea of "not a dead library system, but in the minds and imaginations of subsequent generations." According to the final will of its Master, the Cricoteka's task is to continue to implement this idea, as its basic, most important statutory objective. Based on the original, it stores in Krakow a unique collection of hundreds of objects and costumes from performances at the Cricot 2, such as theoretical writings, drawings and Kantor's projects, video recordings, photographic documentation, and finally one thousand multilingual reviews of magazines and books. This yields the long-term migration of Tadeusz Kantor and his actors, and is constantly being expanded with new items and research developments. Cricoteka is a specific institution, serving as an archive, museum, gallery and research institution. Since 1995 Tadeusz Kantor's Gallery-studio, which was in his apartment, has been part of the Centre and it was there that from 1987 to 1990, Kantor created the last work of his life.
Historical Museum of Krakow
was established in 1899, and so is one of the oldest of its kind in Poland. It was originally a branch of the Archive of Historical Acts. It has been an independent institution since 1945, and during this time the museum has experienced several relocations; during occupation: the House under the Cross (Dom pod Krzyżem - ul. Szpitalna 21), Krauzowska building (ul. św. Jana 12), and since 1964 the palace Krzysztofory (Rynek Główny 35) . In order to meet the growing needs of the collections, the museum now uses nine historic buildings, including such symbols of the city as the Town Hall tower and the Barbican. The Museum collects objects of material culture, political and economic history, art and the traditions and customs of the inhabitants of Krakow from the earliest times up to the present. First of all among the museum exhibits should be mentioned the iconographic collections: art (city views, portraits of its leading people, etc.) and photography (including a unique collection of Ignacy Krieger glass plates). There is also a range of militaria, watches, theatrical items, Judaica, arts and crafts, Krakow cribs and historical monuments, including those associated with the history of the Krakow guilds, national uprisings and the Krakow kurkow fraternity. Among the branches of the museum there are: the Wyspiański Theatre, the Old Synagogue - History and Culture of the Jewish people, Mieszczański House, Zwierzyniecki House, a branch named "the History of Nowa Huta," and Oskar Schindler's Enamel factory.
Jagiellonian University Museum - Collegium Maius
Collegium Maius, situated at the junction of św. Anna and Jagiellońska streets, the University is the oldest building in Poland. Its history dates back to 1400, when King Wladyslaw Jagiello gave the University a corner house belonging to the Pęcherzów z Rzeszotar family. The appearance and internal layout of the Collegium have more or less not changed much since the nineteenth century. Its appearance and character only changed during the reconstruction in neo-Gothic style, undertaken in the years 1840-1870. At that time and until 1940, the operations of the building were transferred to the Jagiellonian Library, and after the war, on the initiative of prof. Karol Estreicher, the Collegium Maius was completely renovated and restored to its original appearance of that prior to 1840. Works continued for 15 years from 1949 to 1964, and after their conclusion, the old university collections (works of art and souvenirs) and a rich collection of scientific instruments were based here at the Jagiellonian University Museum. The Underground Collegium Maius, since extensive renovation and restoration work has been carried out, has become among others, a conference (Lecture Room U Kazimierza Wielkiego) and socializing (U Pęcherza café) location, and all rooms are also used as exhibition halls. The interior of the Collegium Maius also performs representative functions. Today the most important scientific conferences are held here, as well as most of the meetings of the Senate of the Jagiellonian University. All of the distinguished guests of the University, such as John Paul II, Queen Elizabeth II and the Imperial Japanese Couple have been inside the Collegium's walls.
Museum of the History of Jews
the Galicia Jewish Museum is located in Kazimierz, in a former furniture factory building, which after its interior refurbishment gives this place a unique atmosphere. Over the nearly 1,000 square feet it has 4 exhibition halls, a cafeteria, library and the Educational Multimedia Resource Centre. In addition to exhibitions, the museum also hosts concerts, performances, lectures, seminars and other events. The purpose of the Galicia Jewish Museum is not only to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust, but also the Jewish culture that existed and still exists in Polish Galicia areas. At the heart of the museum's permanent exhibition of photographs is: "Traces of Memory - Śladami Pamięci", which presents the results of 12 years work by the British photographer Chris Schwarz and Professor Jonathan Webber, who travelled through villages and towns in southern Poland, documenting the remains of Jewish life and culture there. In the museum there are also temporary exhibitions, including "Hitler's List," "Polish Heroes: Those Who Rescued Jews", "Fight for Dignity: The Jewish Resistance Movement in Krakow", "March 1968 in the Krakow press" and " Letters to the Hall. The life of a young woman in Nazi labour camps." The museum also runs educational activities, both for foreigners and for all ages of Polish schoolchildren.
Valery Rzewuski Museum of the History of Photography
is the only museum in Poland, where her photography and artwork have become the sole subject of study. In addition to the collections of photography there are: stereoscopes, autochromes, ambrotypes and albumen, on glass plates and celluloid, as well as an extensive collection of cameras and photographic laboratory equipment. Photographs have been gathered here, including stereoscopic ones, commemorating the siege of Paris in 1871, defensive war events in Poland in September 1939 and images of Italian cities and colour albumen of Japanese landscapes. The museum also holds the first colour slides - from the years 1908-1912 which are autochromes made by Tadeusz Rzaca. A special, constantly replenished role is played, with a rich collection of images that are iconographic documentation of Krakow. Especially noteworthy are the works by Jan Bułhak, a photographer, theorist and maker of photographic interwar backgrounds, a respected authority of Polish artistic photography, and also the creator of the "motherland photography", which is a form of national style exploration after Poland regained its independence. The museum collection includes many works by Polish artists, representing various trends and styles, from avant-garde to realism. An important area of interest are the techniques and technology of photography and a rich collection of cameras, old projectors, transparencies, enlargers and film projectors.
Cracow Salt Mine Museum
is one of the biggest mining museums in Europe, being one of the 17 museums of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. It has two permanent exhibitions: the underground one is located on the third level of the historic Salt Mine in Wieliczka (depth. 135m). The second exhibition is located in the Saltworks medieval castle which was the headquarters of the salt industry from the end of the thirteenth century to 1945, when it was renovated for the museum's needs, as the heirs of the historical tradition of the wielicko-bocheńskich mines. The institution's mission is to protect and popularize the rich history of salt mining in Poland, which is perceived as a lasting legacy of humanity. The idea of rescuing the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a monument of nature and the work of Polish miners, was made by Alfons Dlugosz - an artist and professor at Wieliczka secondary school. Collected over many years, the collections include mining equipment and tools, discovered as a result of penetration work conducted in the old excavations. This has allowed the museum to have the world's only complete collection of ancient wooden lifting machines, which are the ancestors of steam and electric machines. In addition, a valuable collection of mining maps have been transferred to the museum archives and library.