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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 is located in an old city hall building of Kazimierz, built in the 15th c. in Gothic style, and in later ages expanded in Renaissance style. The city hall houses a Polish folk culture exhibition, while in the second building, the so-called Esterka, in beautifully vaulted 16th century cellars the temporary exhibitions are held. The museum was established in 1911, at the initiative of Seweryn Udziela, a teacher, amateur ethnographer and collector, who wanted to save the memory of the disappearing folk culture.

The museum collections, which number over 80 thousand exhibits, most of which come from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, originated from Seweryn Udziela’s own collection. Most of the collections are Polish, but there are also considerable ones from other European countries, mostly Slavonic ones, and even from beyond the boundaries of Europe, many of which were donated by Polish travellers and explorers.
Apart from the exceptional ethnographic collections and specialist library, in which among 30 thousand volumes there are also unique works, the museum has a vast archive with many thousands of photographs, glass plates, manuscripts and drawings. Seweryn Udziela, the founder of the museum, started gathering them in the 1880s. There are originals of historic documents, such as peasants’ wills, district books and the records of salepurchase transactions. a large part is recorded verbal and musical folklore from the lands of the pre war Republic of Poland. The archives also include records from all fields of folk culture: customs, rites, clothing, craft, building construction, etc. a considerable part is made up of drawings, watercolour paintings and gouaches.

From its beginning the museum has been gathering photography as an excellent ethnographical source. Among the old pictures there are photos taken during the first decades after this field of art came into being, in the oldest professional ateliers in Poland in the 2nd half of the 19th century.


  • 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