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The Cathedral Museum

The Cathedral Museum

Wawel 2

Monday – Saturday (April – September) 9:30 – 17:30
Monday – Saturday (October – March) 9:30 – 16:30
Closed holidays, including Jan 1, Thursday - Sunday of the Holy Week, November 1, and December 24 and 25.
The John Paul II Cathedral Museum was established in 1978. It is the property of the Chapter of the Metropolitan, and is managed by the Archcathedral Parish of St. Stanisław the Martyr Bishop and St. Vaclav. The seat of the museum is the Cathedral House on Wawel Hill in Krakow. The museum was opened on 28 September 1978 by Cardinal Karol Wojtyła. That was his last official appearance at Wawel before being elected Pope. Shortly after that event the Cathedral Chapter decided to rename the museum in honour of Pope John Paul II. That institution continues the works of the Museum of the Metropolitan, established in 1906. The collection is found in galleries on two storeys of the Cathedral House. The museum displays mementoes from the Wawel Cathedral Treasury and the Chapter Library including many priceless and unique items, such as a sixteenth-century Italian brocade from the royal foundation, a seventeenth-century tapestry from Delft, liturgical vestments from the thirteenth to nineteenth centuries, and a richly ornamented monstrance and liturgical vessels. In 2008 a newly arranged exhibition was opened permanently displaying the regalia and artworks of the Cathedral Treasury and mementoes of Pope John Paul II. The exhibition is divided into four parts: The Royal Room, which features St. Maurice’s spear, the rationale of Krakow’s Bishops given by Queen Jadwiga, the orb of Anna Jagiellonka, and the coronation mantle of King Stanislaw August Poniatowski; The Cathedral Treasury Room (eleventh to sixteenth centuries) featuring items from the grave of Bishop Maurus, a "Saracene-Sicilian" silver box, the chalice of St. Jadwiga of Silesia, and liturgical vestments from the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries, including a chasuble donated by the Krakow Voivode, Piotr Kmita. The Cathedral Treasury Room (seventeenth to twentieth centuries) featuring the mitre of Bishop Andrzej Lipski, the monstrance donated by Bishop Stanisław Dąmbski, an antependium from the altar donated by Piotr Gembicki, and portraits of bishops; The Papal Room, with portraits of Popes, mementoes associated with the Holy Father John Paul II (personal items – cassock, biretta, shoes) and with Benedict XVI.

The exhibition includes the oldest and most important Polish regalia and objects associated with religious veneration: works of artistic craftsmanship, fabrics, paintings and sculptures donated by royalty, bishops, and noblemen, which are among the most important historical items of the Polish Nation. The most valuable items presented from various periods are in some cases not displayed in chronological order, but rather according to their historical and artistic value. The majority of them were stored until the present day in the Cathedral Treasury, which is among the most abundant in Poland.
  • Program regionalny
  • województwo maloposkie
  • Unia Europejska
The following Project is cofinanced by the European Union under the Małopolska Regional Operational Programme for the years 2007 – 2013