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Hoard from Nowa Huta — Pleszów

It was discovered in August 1961 in the settlement of Pleszów. A part of the deposit was put in a clay pot with a volume of about 2 litres. The remaining part was scattered across a fairly large space. The treasure contains silver objects: coins and their fragments — 608 items, 129 fragments of ornaments, 341 cast pieces of silver and 8 pieces of lead. The treasure was hidden after 1037 and it weighs 2 532 g.

“Princely” grave from Jakuszowice near Kazimierza Wielka

The find is dated back to the 1st half of the 5th century (before 434). It is one of the most interesting pieces of proof of contact between the peoples inhabiting the area of southern Poland and the Huns in the 1st half of the 5th century. The grave was discovered by accident in 1911 while mining sand. The majority of the excavated objects were smuggled to Kraków over the then Russian-Austrian border.

Mace

A mace, that is a blunt weapon consisting of a handle and a head created of vertically placed flangs (feathers), was commonly used in the Polish army of the 17th and 18th centuries, as an insignia indicating the rank of rittmeister or colonel. According to tradition, the presented mace was owned by Stefan Czarniecki, the Castellan of Kiev, later the Field Crown Hetman.

A sword from Small Market in Kraków

The iron sword from the Mały Rynek [Small Market] Square in Kraków was discovered during the renovation of the square’s surface in 2007. So far, it is the only sword found in the archaeological research in the area of Kraków.

Hussar half-armour

The armour is made of iron sheet; at the edges and faulds it is lined with brass borders covered with repoussé and stamped pearls. Under the rivets there are laid brass rosettes decorated in the same way as the borders. A helmet has a semi-circular skull, a peak with a nasal bar, a fauld neck guard and cheek pieces with a heart-shaped cut. A five-fauld breastplate with a fishbone in the middle tied with two leather straps.

Tournament armour

The tournament armour is compiled of several suits of West-European armours created in the mid-16th century. Its basic parts are the cuirass, collarbone guard, and pads and thigh guards made by the best armourers from southern Germany. The breastplate with the fishbone and goose — that is a protrusion in the stomach area — has vertical stripes with an etched motif of a floral twig entwined over a panoply and musical instruments.

Funerary stela pediment

The dove, a symbol of the Holy Spirit, is popular in Christian iconography. The motif is frequent in Coptic art, mainly on funerary stelae presenting the same kind of composition as above. A praying figure with two crosses or a stylized crux gemmata cross is usually shown between the columns. The motif of a dove is also known from wall painting; numerous representations of doves are known from murals in the hermitages at Esna in Upper Egypt and elsewhere.

Sculpture “Roman Damian Sanguszko's bust”

In the collection there is a bust sculpture depicting an image of Roman Damian Sanguszko (1832–1917). Roman Damian was the eldest son of Władysław and Izabela née Lubomirski, and a landowner in the Zaslav Region, an heir to the family property in Volyn. He managed property in the Slavuta Region and the famous horse stud in Chrystivka.

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.

Mining trolley

Mine carts, called Hungarian dogs, appeared in the Wieliczka excavations at the end of the 18th century, and they were put into operation by the Austrian partition authorities, to whom the mine belonged at that time. The rather funny name of these transport devices is most likely related to the sounds made by their wheels while moving.

Horse mill

Because of the fact that in the salt mines of the Kraków region, i.e. salt mines in Wieliczka and Bochnia, salt lies deep underground, it was excavated through shafts by using the right tools, like devices with a horizontal drive shaft (windlass), handwheels, treadwheels (internal and external), devices with a vertical drive shaft (cross, water-mill), devices with a vertical-horizontal drive shaft (gear mill with a winding reel, gear mill with two winding reels, gear mill with a brake drum) and braking devices.

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.

Costume of a Scythian princess from Ryzhanovka

Since 1887 the collection of the Archaeological Museum of Kraków has boasted the equipment of a rich Scythian female tomb situated under the mound of a kurgan, examined in Ryzhanovka near Zvenyhorodka in Ukraine by Gotfryd Ossowski, the first curator of the Museum of National Antiquities (from which today’s Archaeological Museum has originated) at the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences in Kraków.

Queen Jadwiga’s tombstone

Carved in a single block of marble from Carrara and covered with a slightly smaller flat block with the figure of the queen lying with head directed towards the east. It is situated in the first arcade from the west in the southern wing of the ambulatory. An austere block tomb is supported by a base decorated with highly stylised lilies, a frize of square panels filled with heraldic eagles in the top part. The longer side (southern) is divided into seven panels, with the outer ones overlapping narrower sides.

Zakopane style cupboard

Wojciech Brzega was a designer of furniture which can be found in the collection of the Pieniny Museum, and which was made in the Zakopane style at the request of Jan Wiktor, a writer. The most impressive exhibit is an oak sideboard. It is one of the elements of a full set of furniture in the Zakopane style which can be found in the Pieniny Museum.

Soup vase with a monogram of Prince Eustachy Erazm Sanguszko

Sets of tableware were initially assembled of objects made in a different style, time, and places. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries uniformly decorated tableware, known today as services, began to appear. Until the beginning of the 19th century, there were no strict rules determining what dishes should be included in such a set; therefore, they were put together according to current fashions or the personal preference of the person ordering them...

Sculpture “Portrait of Zofia Potocka” by Walery Gadomski

Walery Gadomski studied at the School of Drawing and Painting under Wojciech Stattler (drawing and painting) and Henryk Kossowski (sculpture) in the period 1850–1858. He was simultaneously educated in Franz Bauer’s workshop at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (1856–1858). He fought in the January Uprising. In the years 1876–1889, he taught sculpting at the School of Fine Arts in Kraków. He became famous for his busts of contemporaries, for example, Jan Matejko or Józef Szujski, and historical figures (Veit Stoss, Jan Długosz).

Altar of queen Jadwiga’s miraculous crucifix

An altar made of black marble from Dębnik, situated in the south-eastern corner of the ambulatory in the Wawel cathedral. A huge five-axis structure with an expressive, recessed layout, supported by a high, two-storey base. External axes are slightly tilted towards the ambulatory, while the base on internal axes projects towards the ambulatory. In the bottom part, centrally, there is a separated altar stone in the shape of a horizontal rectangle with a niche, in which a bronze reliquary with the remains of queen Jadwiga is placed. Sides of the bases feature panels in the shape of vertical rectangles. Sides of the base feature frames in the shape of vertical rectangles filled with panel made of pink marble from Paczółtowice. Central part in the shape of vertical rectangle with a rectangular niche, topped with a semicircle, with rich-profiled framing. It is flanked by two columns on each side which support massive entablature that dominates the whole structure and strengthens the visual tilt side axes towards the ambulatory. Such a solution adds to the altar's character of a deep aedicula which forms a spectacular setting for the magnificent monument and relic – the miraculous crucifix. A realistic, detailed from all sides, yet unnatural in size figure of crucified Jesus is extremely dynamic and expressive. This result was achieved thanks to asymmetrical composition. The Saviour is hanging facing the right side, with knees pulled up in this direction and head lowered towards the right shoulder.

Cranked butter churn

In peasant farmhouses butter was usually made by whipping cream in wooden stave churns. However, this must have been an exhausting activity: hands fainted and the back numbed. Nonetheless, whoever has ever tried real cottage butter shall never regret the effort.

Salada type helmet

The closed profile of the helmet and the shiny, smooth surface of steel, contrasts with the heads of spirally twisted rivets, that — despite their severe functionality — provide it with an extraordinary elegance. Until the middle of the 20th century, this helmet was considered a 19th-century copy. Covered with a thick layer of black paint (designed to protect against corrosion) it closely guarded its secrets. After being subjected to maintenance procedures, not only did this reveal its raw beauty, but also shed light on its mysterious past. It represents a late Gothic form of the helmet, evolved from the medieval cervelliere, widespread at the end of the 15th and early 16th century. It appeared in numerous variations and variants, serving both knights and soldiers from other classes.