The mining tradition of the Olkusz area dates back to the 8th century B.C. when precious silver was extracted from argentiferous lead. The Regional Museum in Olkusz focuses on presenting the history of metallic mining. Since the 13th century, Polish lead and silver mines were taken advantage of by dukes from Kraków and also kings, who supported the development of mining techniques and the Polish mining industry.
Minerals and ores from the mines of Olkusz are presented in the museum: lead and smelted silver, tools and mining equipment, such as mining lamps, a mock-up of mining territories and adits as they looked in the 18th century. The most interesting exhibits are connected with the history of the town, which became a centre of metallic mining at the turn of the 16th and the 17th centuries. Various seals and coats of arms as well as one of the oldest exhibits in the Museum – a fragment of the municipal register of 1631 – originate from that period.

Elaborated by Julia Czapla, Joanna Kotarba,
Licencja Creative Commons

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

Photograph by Marek Antoniusz Święch, arch. MIK (2014),
Licencja Creative Commons

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

www.pttk.pl

Rynek 20,
32-300 Olkusz


phone 32 643 42 27
page museum

Opening hours

Monday  — Friday
9.00 — 16.00
Saturday  — Sunday
reservation required

Ticket Prices

normal 4 PLN reduced 2 PLN
Objects

House mark of Stanisław Amenda

This is a trademark of one of the richest Olkusz gwarek, that is, entrepreneurs who organized the mining and production of lead and silver.

Executioner's sword

In the collection of the Regional Museum in Olkusz, there is a well-preserved medieval sword. It is called an executioner's sword, because local legend claims that it was used for an execution carried out in the square in Olkusz. Scientific research does not, however, confirm such a hypothesis with regard to the presented exhibit.

Spear of the Lombards

The presented spear could have been forged either in the fifth or fifteenth century. In spite of the metallurgical examination carried out by specialists from the Jagiellonian University, it was not possible to determine the production date of the spearhead.

Oil mining lamp

This is a miner's oil lamp with a wick. In the second half of the eighteenth century, miners began using tin oil lamps, which were mostly fuelled by oil mixed with kerosene.

Mining weight

A weight for the town mining scales, once standing on the market square in Olkusz. The ore and melted metal were weighed on it to calculate the tax due to the crown treasury.

Carbide mining lamp

Carbide lamps consisted of two metal containers, one on top of the other. Carbide was the bottom one, whereas the top one contained water. The carbide container had a pipe going out of it with a burner at the end. At the bottom of the water container there was a small hole through which water dripped slowly onto the carbide.