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The Jagiellonian University Museum

The Jagiellonian University Museum

15 Jagiellońska St.

Opening hours
Mondays: 10.00 a.m.–2.20 p.m. (last admission)
Tuesdays: 10.00 a.m.–2.20 p.m.* (last admission)
Wednesdays: 10.00 a.m.–2.20 p.m. (last admission)
Thursdays: 10.00 a.m.–2.20 p.m.* (last admission)
Fridays: 10.00 a.m. –2.20 p.m. (last admission)
Saturdays: 10.00 a.m. –1.20 p.m. (last admission)
Sundays and public holidays: closed

* – from April to October last admission at 5.20 p.m.
Counting over 2300 exhibits, the collection of historical scientific instruments is the greatest and most valuable collection of this kind in Poland, documenting the evolution of science at the Jagiellonian University from the 15th century to modern times. Its pride is the collection of instruments donated by Marcin Bylica from Olkusz (1433–1493), an astronomer and astrologist, professor at the Krakow Academy and the court astrologist of the Hungarian king Maciej Korwin: the astrolabe from 1054 – the oldest scientific instrument in Poland – and the unique set of three brass instruments made by Hans Dorn around 1480 – a torquetum, an astrolabe, and a sky globe. The arrival of these instruments in Krakow was greatly celebrated at the academy, and among those celebrating was Nicolaus Copernicus. From the beginning of the 16th century comes the so-called Jagiellonian Globe, an armillary sphere with a clockwork mechanism and the oldest preserved globe on which features the name “America”. This globe was donated by another outstanding professor – the 17th century mathematician and astronomer Jan Brożek. The museum collection also includes some other gifts of this professor that have survived to our times: an astrolabe and an ivory diptych sundial.

An important part of the Jagiellonian Museum collection is the group of instruments that formed the equipment of the first astronomical observatory in Krakow, opened in 1791. This includes telescopes (i.e. achromatic Dollond telescopes), wall quadrants (i.e. Ramsden’s and Canivet’s), and also many meteorological and geodetic instruments, sundials and globes.

The turn of the 19th and 20th century was the turning point in the development of the University’s sciences. The Museum collection comprises optical instruments (spectroscopes, polarimeters), instruments for experimenting with electrostatics (electrostatic machines, Leyden bottles, and electroscopes), microscopes, electric meters, spectral tubes, thermometers, aerometers, measuring instruments (theodolites, levellers), as well as chemical utensils that were donated by the faculties, and institutes of Jagiellonian University. Among the many instruments from this period, deserving special attention is the cryogenic equipment of Karol Olszewski’s laboratory, in which the first condensation of air was accomplished.

“The world of senses” is an interactive exhibition open since 2005, aimed at familiarising the audience with the anatomic, physiological and physical basis of how the organs of senses work. The subject matter is presented through special interactive models. Using instructions, the spectator can make simple observations on his own, gaining insight into the chosen phenomena in the fields of biology, physics and chemistry. Approximately 60 various experiments can be performed at the exhibition.
  • 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