Visiting the University of Krakow, Poland

University of Krakow photo by Monica Goslin

This travel blog series on Krakow, Poland continues with: Visiting the University of Krakow, Poland


The University of Krakow – Jagiellonian University

The University of Krakow is the second oldest university in central Europe, founded in 1364 by King Casimir II the Great. The university provided studies in law, theology, and astronomy, attracting students from Germany, Spain, Russia, etc. Between 1500 and 1535 the university had over three thousand students; however attendance declined in later centuries before growing under the Austrian Empire when new buildings were added. The university was shut down during World War II but now the university is doing well again, with over fifty thousand students and a third campus is being built. The university offers 48 degrees and 93 specializations.


Notable Alumni of The University of Krakow – Jagiellonian University

Many distinguished alumni of the university include poets, diplomats, scientists, economists, etc. Two very notable and well known alumni of the University of Krakow are: Nicolaus Copernicus and Pope John Paul II.


Visiting the University of Krakow – Jagiellonian University

You can see many of the university buildings but the main one to visit is the Maius Museum, which is the oldest university building dating back to 1400. The building was donated to the university by King Wladyslaw Jagiello. After World War II the building was converted into a museum. Each room served a different function – you will walk through the library, a dining hall, a lecture room and more where you will see scientific instruments, historical documents, etc.

Location and Tickets – The Maius Museum is not far from the main square and you can see the main courtyard and gardens for free. The main building ticket price is 12pln but entrance is free from 3-6PM on Tuesdays (April to October) and 2-4PM on Tuesdays (November to March).


The clock at the Maius Museum of the University of Krakow

 There is a clock in the courtyard of the Maius Museum which has a small “show” five times a day in which trumpets sound and the doors open for a small procession of figures to circle the clock. The musical clock procession is at 9AM, 11AM, 1PM, 3PM, and 5PM.

The clock has been restored four times, but the original clock was installed in the late 1400’s. The present day clock was restored in 1999. The current music during the procession is from the 16th century. The figures that go through the doors five times a day are historical Polish figures and were made in the 1950’s by the folk sculptor, Ladislaus Kozyra.


The next post will talk about the Jewish Quarter of Krakow, Poland and what you can see and visit today.

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