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The Seweryn Udziela Museum of Ethnography in Krakow

The Seweryn Udziela Museum of Ethnography in Krakow

Main Building – City Hall,
1 Wolnica Square

“Esterka” building,
46 Krakowska St.

Opening hours:
Monday: closed
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday:
11.00 a.m.–7.00 p.m.
Thursday: 11.00 a.m.–9.00 p.m.
Sunday: 11.00 a.m.–3.00 p.m.
The Museum was founded in 1911 by Seweryn Udziela: teacher, amateur ethnographer and collector. The seeds of the collection were sewn by the founder at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Located in the Kazimierz Town Hall, it was erected in the fifteenth century in the Gothic style, then rebuilt in later centuries in the Renaissance style. The permanent collection, showing the history of Polish folk culture, is presented in the Town Hall along with other temporary exhibitions. The other building, the “Esterka”, houses temporary exhibitions in its beautifully vaulted sixteenth century cellars.

The museum was born out of a passion and respect for culture. For folk culture. For European cultures. For exotic cultures. That is the striking feature of this oldest and largest ethnographic collection in Poland. In addition to the exhibits from the ethnically Polish regions, the collection contains Hutsul and Byelorussian items, as well as from other European countries, particularly from the Balkans, and also from beyond Europe, places ranging from Siberia through Asia to South America. In contrast to western colonial collections, the strongest feature of the collection is the rich presentation of local culture. They showcase Małopolska, the distinctive region of Krakow and the Tatras, with its rarely encountered, ages-old culture. In total the museum contains eighty thousand exhibits and two hundred thousand archived items.

Today, one hundred years after its inception, the Ethnographic Museum takes up the same challenges, engaging in research into society. These are long term research programs dedicated to studying customs such as the modern wedding celebration or the custom of tending to garden allotments (a phenomena which has captivated 3 million Poles). The museum produces its own films, dedicates great attention to the creation of new series of publications and puts an emphasis on reflections on the duties of modern ethnography (programs of panel discussions). The museum works with the public in innovative ways. It creates new fields for usable art, making use of the potential of ethnodesign.

From the moment of the initiation of the process of changes (in 2008), the museum has become a symbol of the fascinating investigations into the world of societies (in 2008 and 2009 foreign tourists recognized the museum as the "Best Place for Culture in Krakow”). The museum team, working with various institutions, strives to be a means of “exchange of wonders” (Clifford Geertz), teaching itself to be an attentive observer of human issues. It shares its ideas through dynamic, often bold, and always engaging presentations.
wszystkie galerie z muzeum


  • 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