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Welcoming cup of Sword Bearers' Guild

A welcoming goblet is a cup, often made of tin, which was used to raise solemn toasts by guild members. The opportunity could be, for example, to welcome a craftsman coming from another city to the guild (hence the name of “welcoming goblet” from the German wilkommen — to greet) or a free journeyman (official admission to the masters). The joint celebration of religious ceremonies also ended with a common feast of guild members at the guild's inn.

Welcoming goblet of tailors' guild

The welcoming Goblet is one of Kraków's most valuable guild relics, preserved at the National Museum in Kraków. It was submitted to the museum on 19 September 1905, by the Association of Tailor's Companions, along with a collection of souvenirs belonging to the tailors' guild: a guild counter, a bell, a tray, and a crucifix.

Painting “City Hall north view” by Teodor Baltazar Stachowicz

The view shows the edifice of the city hall on the Main Square in Kraków, according to its state before its demolition in 1820. In the foreground, you can see the Renaissance part of the complex with the characteristic attic; on the left, the upper parts of the city hall tower.

Painting “View of Kraków's north fortification” by Józef Brodowski

A view of the northern section of Kraków's defensive walls with the Barbican, the neck connecting it with Florian Gate and the towers, from the left: Karczmarzy I, Pasamoników, Stolarska and Ciesielska. On the far right is the one-storey Kleparz building. The ring of fortifications, with wall towers and gate towers, surrounding Kraków, was built during the Middle Ages and became a characteristic element of the city's panorama. A significant part of the defensive walls was built at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries. In the southern part of the city, they were probably completed in the1st quarter of the 14th century. From the mid-14th century, the fortifications were maintained at the cost of the city and gradually expanded. o Craftspeople of various specialities were responsible for the direct care of their individual sections, from whom the names of the towers were derived.

Copperplate engraving “View of Kraków from the south, from the Krakus Mound”

The inscription in the field of view, at the top, in the middle, in the cartouche: CRACOVIA / MINORIS POLONIAE METROPOLIS.; in the central part, against the river: VISTULAFL. REGNVM DIVIDENS; in the lower left corner a cartouche with a legend in two columns, which explains the type and name of the fourteen buildings marked with letters in the view; on the frame of the cartouche on the left the date, “A(nn)o 1617”; below the legend “Depictum ab Egidio vander Rye / communic Georgius Houfnaglius”.

Woodcut “View of Kraków from the north”

It is the oldest representation of Kraków and the cities of Kazimierz and Kleparz. It was made for the requirements of what was, at that time, the monumental historical and geographical atlas, Liber Cronicarum, by Hartmann Schedl. The view is in an intermediate form between a panorama and a plan, which means that the side elevations have been taken into account in the restoration of the city development, and, at the same time, the area is shown slightly from above. It presents a schematic image of the buildings, to some extent in accordance with the reality of Kraków from the end of the 15th century, that provides the impression of being an accurate reflection of its topography. It is not, however, accurate in its detail, and does not reproduce the actual location and appearance of the buildings.

Painting “View of Mikołajska's Gate” by Teodor Baltazar Stachowicz

This is a view of a part of Mikołajska Street, closed by Mikołajska's Gate. On the left, you can see the characteristic window grates and the gutter protruding on the street, and, on the right, a fragmentary view of the Church of Our Lady of the Snows in Gródek can be seen. The gate is covered with a tent roof with a break—the hole in the base is topped with a sharp arch.

Escutcheon of Gorlice city

This consists of an oval shield, which decorated the entrance to the municipal council of Gorlice from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. The shield has numerous bullet holes, being clear evidence of the battles which took place in the city and its surroundings for six months, at the turn of 1914 and 1915.

Confirmation of the statute of the Grand Guild in Koszyce issued by Stefan Batory

The document is the confirmation of the statute of the Grand Guild of Koszyce by the king, issued a year earlier by the city council, which is also presented on our website.

Statute of the Great Guild in Koszyce given by the City Council

The City Council, the mayor and his deputy played a significant role in the development and functioning of the city. The City Council had the right to issue statutes of guilds.

Furriers' guild chest in Myślenice

The presented exhibit belonged to the Guild of Furriers, which has a centuries-old tradition in Myślenice, dating back to the Middle Ages. The guild chest was a richly decorated chest, whose decoration displayed elements usually associated with a given craft and which was used for storing valuable utensils, such as ceremonial cups, documents, and seals.

Cooper’s guid chest

The chest is made of oak, with inlaid work made of ash. The inlaid work presents two angels, and between them there is a wooden bathtub (on the lid) and two mallets, callipers, and an axe (on the front wall). There are metal handles on the sides of the chest, and, in the middle, there is a compartment for guild privileges.

Ring of the Kraków’s mayors

The date of creation was engraved inside the golden hoop of the ring: 1532. The octagonal sapphire stone of the ring is decorated with Kraków’s coat of arms made in a concave relief. The ring was the symbol of the mayor’s power, and also served as a city seal. The stone needed to be made from a hard, abrasion-resistant material.

Seal of Koszyce

The seal of Koszyce imprinted in green wax, hanging on a parchment belt attached to a document probably issued for coopers in Koszyce. In the stamp field, there is a figure of Saint Stanislaus — another symbol of the town, along with two little baskets.

Copperplate engraving “Panoramic view of Kraków from nort west” by Georg Houfnagel

The panorama comes from the sixth volume of the publication by Georg Braun and Franz Hogenberg Civitates Orbis Terrarum (Cologne 1617, tab. 43). It is unsigned. Some inscriptions are visible on ribbons placed against the sky above the respective cities and suburbs: LOBZOVIA, PROMNIK, CLEPARDIA, CRACOVIA METROPOLIS REGNI POLONIAE, STRADOMIA, CASIMIRIA and — without a ribbon — Opidum Iudeorum. In the upper right corner, the legend provides the types and names of ten buildings marked with numbers next to them. In cartouches placed above the relevant parts, there are the coats of arms of: Kleparz, Kraków, Sforza Snake, Polish Eagle, Pogoń, and Kazimierz.

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.

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).

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.

“Kraków, Szczepański Square, northern frontage”

Kraków, the Szczepański Square, northern frontage; the market square and kramnice stalls. A fragmentary view of the market square — you can see two gabled wooden kramnice stalls and tables with baskets on them. There are also barrels and wicker brooms lying on the pavement. A few persons are trading.

“Danube channel — Vistula — 2”

Kraków was to become an important hub for water transport. The idea came to light in 1901, when the Vienna State Council adopted the so-called the Koerber Act (from the name of the Austrian Prime Minister Ernst von Koerber, initiator of its adoption). The venture had a huge budget (1 billion kroner); it assumed the construction of new waterways...