The Ethnographic Museum in Kraków was established on a basis of passion and respect for peasant culture, European cultures and the cultures of distant continents. It is a striking feature of this oldest and greatest ethnographic collection in Poland.
Apart from objects from the past and present areas of Poland (relics of folklore, craft, handicraft, wooden constructions, folk art), the Museum collection also contains unique items from other European and non-European countries.
The museum was established in 1911 thanks to the efforts of  Seweryn Udziela, a teacher, amateur ethnographer and collector. For the ethnographic museum, he envisaged a research workshop where one could “sit down to work and study the history as well as the current condition of the nations’ culture” (1904). Today, more than one hundred years after its establishment, the museum keeps pursuing the same goal: to document and interpret contemporary lifestyles.
By organising exhibitions, publications, workshops and research projects, the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków creates a space for and encourages discussion and debate. This is further achieved through the use of experiments and innovations. The Museum presents cultural information for our personal reflection, thus bringing into awareness their very existence. It also allows us to compare our current lifestyles to past ones.

Elaborated by The Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Kraków, © all rights reserved

Photograph by Marek Antoniusz Święch, arch. MIK (2012),
Licencja Creative Commons

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

ul. Krakowska 46,
31-066 Kraków

phone 12 430 60 23
Fax 12 430 63 30
phone 12 430 55 75 (Ratusz)
phone 12 430 63 42 (Dom Esterki)
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Opening hours

Tuesday  — Wednesday
11.00 — 19.00

Ticket Prices

normal 13 PLN reduced 7 PLN family 23 PLN Sunday — free admission

Tibetan medicine set

A part of the Ethnographic Museum's collection, the so-called Tibetan medicine set is one of a few complete 19th/20th-century descriptions of Tibetan medicine in the world, including a set of medicines and a description of their application. It consists of two medical manuscripts and almost 300 medicines, or actually products to prepare them such as seeds, plants, fruit and minerals, mostly labelled in the Tibetan language.

Women's shoes hungarian style for Kraków costume

Para butów kobiecych do stroju krakowskiego typu węgierskiego. Wykonane są z czarnej skóry boksowej, usztywnione wewnątrz jasną skórą bydlęcą. Buty posiadają cholewy dwuczęściowe zszywane po bokach, na górze usztywnione, na dole, przy kostkach skóra ułożona w harmonijkę zwaną „miechem”.

Photograph “Selling palms to be consecrated at St. Mary’s Church in Kraków” by Leopold Węgrzynowicz

Exhibits given to the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków by Leopold Węgrzynowicz include sculptures, paintings on glass, costumes, archival records, items related to rites... However, the Museum owes much more to Węgrzynowicz than shown by inventory sheets, which he even co-created in the first years of the Ethnographic Museum's operation, helping to catalogue and inventorise the Museum's exhibits.

Women's cropped jacket

A few kinds of cropped jackets were used around Kraków, though the most popular and liked ones were those worn by Kraków women in the Young Poland time. Cropped jackets emerged as a popular piece of women's attire in the 1960s and 1970s, though their history dates back to as far as the 19th century.

Russian POW's shirt

A shirt with a mandarin collar and long sleeves, sewn from red satinet. The rectangular front part is decorated with a black embroidered border featuring a recurring star motif. A fastening on the side, along the front part. The exhibit shown is a shirt of a Russian POW from 1916, given to the Museum by Adam Wrzosek (a physician, anthropologist, medicine historian and professor of the Jagiellonian University).

Women's shirt for Bronowice costume

Koszula kobieca do stroju krakowskiego uszyta z białego płótna bawełnianego, ozdobiona haftem ręcznym białym, dziurkowym i ściegiem atłaskowym. Krój z karczkiem, bez kołnierza. Na środku przodu rozcięcie długości około 27 cm, zapinane pod szyją na guziczek. Rękawy długie, u góry marszczone, w dole zakończone haftowanymi mankietami.

Fishskin jacket

A jacket sewn of tanned sea fishskin as protective wear for an Aleut child. Jackets and waterproof capes made of fishskin or intestines of sea mammals were worn over clothes made of seal or reindeer leather. The jackets provided protection against wind and water, being a necessary element during seal hunting trips.

Hutsul cane with axe

Laska z drewna bukowego, o przekroju sześciobocznym, lekko spłaszczona, równa na całej długości. Zaopatrzona jest w rączkę odlaną z mosiądzu, w kształcie toporka z lekko zaokrąglonym ostrzem. Na wierzchu toporka znajduje się tak zwana szyszka mosiężna wypustka w kształcie owalu wpisanego w prostokąt, przybita czterema gwoździkami.

Hurdy-gurdy from Łękawka

Hurdy-gurdy was an instrument known across Europe whose history dates back to the Medieval period. In the Polish territories, as early as the beginning of the 20th century, the tradition of playing this instrument was in decline. A hurdy-gurdy was one of the instruments used to perform church, court and folk music. Hurdy-gurdy performances accompanied dances and songs.

Costume “Easter Monday Dziad” by Piotr Opach

Easter Monday Dziad (dziad śmiguśny, dziad śmigustny or słomiak), a costume for a boy or a young man walking on Easter Monday from home to home as part of the śmigus dyngus tradition in Małopolska, in villages around Limanowa. The wooden frame, a dummy imitating a standing person.

“Turoń” (the type of horned creature) from Stary Sącz

Turoń (horned creature), or actually the head of one, i.e. a head of an animal with ears and horns made of several hefty pieces of wood nailed together and mounted on a stick. Originating from Stary Sącz (1908), this Turoń head, just like other similar exhibits from the very beginning of the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków, has been shown at the permanent exhibition in the form it was used in, i.e. as a part of an animal monster, a disguise of a member of a group of carollers.

Sculpture “Angel” by Karol Wójciak

The author of the sculpture, Karol Wójciak, also known as Heródek (1892–1971), is considered to be one of the most original amateur artists. The angel is represented in a primitive way. Its head and torso are made up of a block of wood with a round section, truncated flat on both sides. The wings nailed to the back are made of triangular pieces of wood with a non-planed surface.

Chinese saddle from Harbin

The first exotic exhibit arrived in the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków as early as in the first year of its operation. This Chinese saddle from Harbin was given by Dr. Julian Juliusz Szymański, an ophthalmologist from Chicago, or actually from Kielce, located within the territory of the Russian Empire at the time.

Men's shirt collar stud

In the 19th century, jewellery was worn with folk costumes both by women and men who tied a red ribbon around the shirt collar or fastened the sides of the collar with a collar stud. It was usually made of an alloy of lead, zinc and nickel (bakfon — a material made of imitation silver). The collar stud was adorned with a bead, although few men could afford real coral beads, artificial or even bread beads were used much more often.

White sukmana coat — Bronowice costume

A men's sukmana coat with a mandarin collar, made of white cloth. The sleeves are finished with small trapezoid lapels, with two oblique pocket holes on the front, fastened with a brass hook and eye. The collar, sleeve lapels, and a slit on the front are lined with red cloth; the edges are finished with a red trim. The sukmana coat is adorned with amaranthine silk cord appliqués and similar motifs of thread bundles embroidered with silken threads.

Throne of Zanzibar

Throne, decorative chair (the attribute of power and dignity) of ebony wood, consisting of 6 elements connected by pins. The seat, backrest and footrest components made ​​from braided cord made ​​from palm leaves. Decorative elements located on the finial seat manufactured of ivory inlays.

Toy “Lajkonik's march” by Jan Oprocha (father)

A toy cart, or actually a platform on wheels with holes to thread a pulling cord through and 31 figurines arranged on it, rocking while the toy is pulled. The whole toy, including the platform and the figurines, is made of polychrome wood. The rectangular platform with its bevelled corners and wheels are painted green. The edges are coated with white, yellow and pink paint, and the spokes are marked with yellow, blue and red.

White woollen apron

An apron to match the Kraków costume made of two gores of white thin woollen fabric with motifs of green twigs, roses and other pink and red flowers, and blue and pink tiny flowers and buds printed over it.

Sculpture “St. Onuphrius”

The sculpture originates from a wayside shrine and represents St. Onuphrius the hermit. The massively built saint is kneeling with his hands folded at the chest in prayer. He is naked, with his body covered only with his long hair and a beard with a surface underlined with carved undulating lines. He has a broad face, hair with a parting across the middle of the head, a straight long nose, opened eyes and lips surrounded by facial hair.

Orawa peasant cottage

An architectural 1:10 model, a replica of a real cottage in Górna Orawa, created in the former modelling studio of the Ethnographic Museum in Kraków. It represents a rural hut with a single row of rooms, with a long side facing the road, used both for residential and livestock-keeping.

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