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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.

Welcoming goblet

Welcome cup was a decorative container for drinking beer in guild inns during important celebrations. Its Polish name wilkom comes from the German greeting willkommen [welcome]. Each newly arrived guest had to empty the cup filled with an alcoholic beverage in honour of the guild. The production of such cups developed in Germany in the 2nd half of the 16th century, and later spread throughout Europe.

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.

“Wawel: Cathedral's courtyard”

This artistic photograph by Jan Motyka presents Wawel outlined with a white line, a side elevation of the Wawel cathedral with the Silver Bells’ Tower, Wawel itself, and Sigismund’s chapel. In the foreground, two men are standing in the alley; one is standing in front of the easel...

Urn for the Piłsudski Mound with the ground from all the airports of the Second Republic of Poland

A large urn in the form of a cylinder, on a round flat plinth, supported on three stylised animal paws. At the edge of the urn is a crowned eagle with outspread wings. On the external wall of the urn is a map of the Second Republic of Poland on which all the airports are marked; above the map is a flying airplane, further to the right the marshal’s baton and a relevant inscription. The urn contains ground collected from 40 airports.

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.

Signboard with movable types (the Foltin family)

The signboard promoted services and products offered by Leon Foltin, who was a car mechanic and an enthusiast of motorisation in the pre-war period in Wadowice. He descended from the famous family of printers who, for almost 100 years, formed the publishing and bookselling market in Wadowice. Three members of the Foltin family with the Franciszek name — grandfather, father and grandson — cherished the printing and publishing tradition in the town.

Rzeszów Home Army Inspectorate Office Flag

The flag was made in 1943 upon the initiative of the Inspector of the Home Army Inspectorate for Rzeszów, Major/Lieutentant-Colonel Łukasz Ciepliński a.k.a. Pług. The development process was supervised by Special Affairs Officer Dr. Gabriel Brzęk a.k.a. Dewajtis.

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).

Kraków nativity scene by Maciej Moszew

Maciej Moszew is the author of the nativity scene presented. He has been participating in the Kraków Nativity Play Competition continuously since 1961. Mr. Moszew, a resident of Kraków by birth and by passion, began his adventure with nativity scenes at the age of six. He is an architect by profession, which is reflected in his works, but his real passion, which can happily be described in the case of Maciej Moszew also as a profession, is constructing nativity scenes.

Painting “Fencing” by Leon Chwistek

Along with Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz and Zbigniew Pronaszko, Leon Chwistek is the main theoretician of the group of Formists who comprehensively analysed the theoretical fundamentals of art and tried to implement the theories he elaborated. Cubism and Italian Futurism were of significant importance in his paintings.

Lajkonik’s costume designed by Stanisław Wyspiański

The costume of Lajkonik, also called the Zwierzyniec Horse, designed by Stanisław Wyspiański in 1904, could be seen in the streets of Kraków until 1963. The costume used today during the annual frolics of Lajkonik is a faithful copy of the displayed exhibit. Although legend associates the origins of Lajkonik celebrations with the Tatar invasions of Kraków in the 13th century, the first ever source reference to it dates back to 1738.

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.

Manuscript “Charter of shoemakers’ guild”

The charter of the shoemakers’ guild is laced with a parchment stripe at the bottom. It is a legal document regulating the structure and tasks of this guild in the town of Gorlice. It was drawn up in Latin. The existence of the charter of the shoemakers’ guild in the 2nd half of the 15th century (the year of 1450) showed the high position of the town with a perfectly developing craftsmanship, and — what followed — the functioning of guilds.