The Historical Museum of the City of Krakowa

The Historical Museum of the City of Kraków presents the past heritage of Kraków and focuses on showing all the aspects of its long and complex history. Established in 1899 upon the initiative of Kraków councillors, it shows the history of the city from its early beginnings, through its incorporation as a medieval town, the period of partitions and autonomy, World War II, to the People’s Republic of Poland. It also describes the social, professional and artistic activities in the city as well as the daily life of its population.
The three Museum branches – Pomorska Street (Ulica Pomorska), the Eagle Pharmacy (Apteka pod Orłem) and Oskar Schindler’s Emalia Factory (Fabryka Emalia Oskara Schindlera) – form the Remembrance Trail with three exhibitions constituting three complementary stories: People of Krakow in Times of Terror 1939–1945–1956 (in the “Pomorska Street” Branch), Tadeusz Pankiewicz’s Pharmacy in the Kraków Ghetto (in the “Eagle Pharmacy” Branch) and Kraków under Nazi Occupation 1939–1945 (in the former administrative building of Oskar Schindler’s Emalia Factory).

The museum exhibits are divided into fourteen branches:
The Krzysztofory Palace (Pałac Krzysztofory) (Main Market Square n° 35) — the history of the city, temporary exhibitions
Rynek Underground (Rynek Podziemny) — multimedia archaeological show Following the Traces of European Identity
Medieval municipal structures — Town Hall Tower, city fortifications with the Florian Gate and three adjacent towers as well as the Barbican
The Hipolit House (Kamienica Hipolitów) (The Marian Square nº 3) — bourgeois interiors dating back to the 17th–19th centuries
The Old Synagogue (Stara Synagoga) (Szeroka Street nº 24) — the most precious items from the museum’s Judaica collection
Oskar Schindler’s Emalia Factory (Fabryka Emalia Oskara Schindlera) — Kraków under Nazi Occupation 1939–1945 exhibition
Pomorska Street (Ulica Pomorska) —The People of Kraków in Times of Terror 1939–1945–1956 exhibition
The Eagle Pharmacy (Apteka pod Orłem) — Tadeusz Pankiewicz’s Pharmacy in the Kraków Ghetto exhibition devoted to the Holocaust and the operation of the Kraków ghetto
“Celestat Branch (Lubicz Street nº 16) — the history of one of the oldest marksman brotherhoods in Europe
The History of Nowa Huta Quarter (Dzieje Nowej Huty) (os. Słoneczne 16) — the quarter’s history and monuments
The Zwierzyniec House (Dom Zwierzyniecki) (Królowej Jadwigi Street nº 41) — the house of the Zwierzyniec Art Salon
The Cross House (Dom pod Krzyżem) (Szpitalna Street nº 21) — the Stanisław Wyspiański Theatrical Museum

Elaborated by Julia Czapla, Joanna Kotarba,
Licencja Creative Commons

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

Photograph by Wojciech Szczekan, arch. MIK (2015),
Licencja Creative Commons

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

Rynek Główny 35,
31-011 Kraków

phone 12 619 23 00
phone 12 619 23 02
Fax 12 422 32 64
page museum

Opening hours

The Krzysztofory Palace — permanent exhibitions
Tuesday  — Sunday
10.00 — 17.30

Ticket Prices

The Krzysztofory Palace — permanent exhibition normal 12 PLN reduced 8 PLN family 24 PLN normal group 8 PLN reduced group 6 PLN Tuesday — free admission

Torah crown

Six-arched, closed, covered with a canopy with a small crown and a bunch of flowers at the top. The profiled rim, decorated with two appliqué, openwork bands. The crown arches, alternated with figures of birds, are in the shape of lions standing on their hind legs with the front legs resting on narrow, flat bands in the form of a twig supporting the canopy with a drapery in the shape of leaves.

Actress Jadwiga Mrozowska’s costume of Lady Macbeth

The costume for the role of Lady Macbeth was given to the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków as the inheritance after the actress and singer Jadwiga Mrozowska, who had connections with the Kraków stage in the years 1902–1905. From 1905 the artist settled down in Italy, where she performed as an opera singer.

Crucifix for swearing in city counsellors

The silver cross with a full figure of Christ, placed on a cuboid profiled plinth, decorated with plaques with the coat of arms of Kraków (SIGILLUM CIVITATIS CRACOVIAE METROPOLIS REGNI POLONIAE) and the coat of arms of the Segnitz family.

Counter of the surgeons’ guild

A guild counter was used for keeping documents connected with the guild, the power insignia of seniors, guild books. The counter of the surgeons’ guild is a cuboid wooden chest with a cover. Its external walls are decorated with panels, ornamented with rhombus motifs filled with stars made in the technique of intarsia (a form of inlaying wooden surfaces with other types of wood).

Kraków nativity scene by Marian Dłużniewski

Kraków nativity scene, small, illuminated, not mechanical, multi-towered. The Holy Family is in the middle, set against the altar. On the right is a figure of a Kraków resident with a nativity scene, on the left is a figure of a highlander with a star. Above, in the recess (a kind of a side-altar), a figure of Christ (like from a contemporary painting), on the right a figure of a nun (St. Faustina).

Torah shield

Rectangular, closed with a trifoliate arch, with the figures of Moses (on the left) and Aaron (on the right), and the Decalogue tables (in the middle), with the initial words of the commandments engraved in Hebrew. The figures of Moses and Aaron are flanked by spiral columns. On their plinths are Hebrew inscriptions marking the date: on the right plinth, תקס ("560"), on the left: לפק (“according to the abbreviated calculation”) [=1800]. In the three-leaf top, three openwork crowns with colourful glasses are attached.

Vase with a dance circle motif

A vase with a flat bottom and a belly gradually widening upwards. Around the vessel a decorative ornament presenting a circle of dancing figures holding each other’s hands, also serving as a vase handle. The pottery and tile ware factory, J. Niedźwiecki and Co. in Dębniki, was also famous for the production of artistic faience in the years 1900–1910.

Counter for writing accessories of a city scribe

The counter of the City Council is a chest which served counsellors for storing the Mayor’s ring (stamp) and writing accessories (today a nib holder, an inkpot and a sand-box have been preserved) and perhaps other valuable documents and precious items belonging to the city.

Hanukkah synagogal candelabrum

Candelabrum, synagogal, nine-branched. Supported on a flat base, tapering in a bell-like shape to the top. A multi-levelled stem, finely profiled, with four pairs of branches fixed in the sockets cut in its flat elements. The branches are slightly flattened, curved and finished with a trifoliate at the bottom.


The elongated rectangle of maroon velvet consisting of three rectangles sewn together: the largest embroidered one in the centre and two smaller ones attached on its sides, not embroidered. The decoration in a silver and gold-like hue fills in the surface of the central rectangle: a crown flanked by griffins-lions and vases with flowers. Above them, right at the upper edge, runs a one-line Hebrew inscription composed of four divided words: כתר תורה “Crown of the Torah”

Photograph “Tadeusz Pankiewicz in the company of four people in the duty room”

Dr Roman Glassner is sitting in a dark leather armchair in the middle; on the left is Helena Krywaniuk sitting back on an armchair, leaning against Aurelia Danek who is standing behind her. Dr Leon Glück is sitting back on the seat on the right. Tadeusz Pankiewicz stands behind the armchair in the background.

“Righteous Among the Nations” medal for Tadeusz Pankiewicz

The original of the medal granted to Tadeusz Pankiewicz (21.11.1908—5.11.1993) by the Israeli Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority Yad Vashem on 15 September 1983 is stored in the Częstochowa sanctuary, placed there as an offering by his widowed wife after the death of Pankiewicz.

Barrel of red bronze cannon with carved cartridge belt crest of earl Henryk Brühl

This beautifully preserved cannon barrel with the Brühl coat of arms belongs to a group of decorated cannons. Alongside their unquestionable functional qualities, they also presented a high artistic level, becoming, to a degree, works of art in themselves. The barrel was cast from bronze, slightly angled (conical), and clearly divided with smooth rings into three parts: frontal, middle, and rear. It is covered with a functional decoration, subordinated to the tectonic canon, consisting of four rings, decorated with an acanthus and a cartouche with the Brühl coat of arms.

Besamin tower box from Vienna

The container for fragrant spices (e.g. clove, cinnamon, vanilla, myrtle), the aroma of which is ritually inhaled during the ceremony called Havdalah (in Hebrew: separation) is held in Jewish houses at the end of Shabbat. The base is in the form of a square frame. The stem has four rods fastened with four elliptic medallions.

Copy of the Maurycy Gottlieb's painting “Shylock and Jessica” by Marcin Gottlieb

The image is a copy of a picture by Maurycy Gottlieb (1856—1879), made by his younger brother Marcin Gottlieb (1867—1936) eight years after the artist’s death. The original was created in Munich in 1876, as a school work painted under the supervision of Professor Carl Piloty, who had suggested the subject to the artist.

Counter of the guild of red tanners, leather dressers and glove makers

A wooden cuboid counter with a flat cover belonged to the guild of craftsmen specialising in processing animal skin and the production of leather items. Red tanners owed their name to the oak bar used in tanning, which gave the skin a red tone. Leather dressers delicately tanned skins for gloves and clothes with an alum solution.

Drawing for the performance “Wielopole, Wielopole” by Tadeusz Kantor

This invaluable drawing presents the scene: “Properly handling the invention of Mr. Daguerre: the military way” of the first act of the work, Wielopole, Wielopole, directed by Tadeusz Kantor. The drawing has watermarks. The composition was made with ink and pencil and placed in a black cardboard passe-partout. The outline of the female photographer is marked in black ink. The woman is absorbed in the action of photographing/shooting.

Flandrian heavy embankment crossbow

This is a Flemish heavy rampant crossbow with the pull of a so-called English elevator. The crossbow represents a type of western European heavy infantry crossbow, used for sieges or the defence of the cities. It is a late variant in which structural improvements were applied — a movable viewfinder was introduced and the trigger lever was modified. According to the sixteenth-century chronicles, the effectiveness of this type of crossbow was tremendous. A good crossbowman could strike an unarmoured opponent at a distance of 650 steps, with a speed of one shot per minute.

Fragments of the Adam Mickiewicz Monument demolished by the Germans

Three inconspicuously-looking fragments of the bronze sculpture: the head of an old man and the fragment of a hand and an arm are the elements of one of the most important 19th century monuments in Kraków — the monument commemorating the national bard, Adam Mickiewicz. The monument, erected in 1898 by the sculptor Teodor Rygier, was demolished by the German occupant in 1940 as a symbol of Polish statehood.

Fragments of the Grunwald Monument demolished by the Germans

The head of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas (45 x 35 cm) — the head of a middle-aged man with a short neck, slightly bent down, long hair combed backwards. Around the neck a wide strap with threaded screws.

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