Collegium Maius – the oldest academic building in Poland
The Jagiellonian’s Univeristy Collegium Maius is by far the best-known academic building in Krakow and perhaps all of Poland and is well-worth seeing. The first tenement house for the college was founded by King Wladyslaw II Jagiello in the year 1400 as a lecture hall and a residence for the university’s professors.
Because of the rapid expansion of the university and lack of space, adjacent houses were bought and incorporated into the college. After fires which occured in 1462 and 1492 all the houses of the college had been combined into a harmonious unity with an arcaded courtyard.
The lecture halls of the college were located on the ground floor. The library (Libraria), the common hall of the professors (Stuba Communis), the theologists lectorium and the treasury were situated on the first floor. Finally, the professors apartments were located on the ground, first and second floors.
Until the second half of the 19th century, the appearance of the college and its interior had not been changed. Between 1840 and 1870 the college was rebuilt in a Neo-Gothic style and was ordained for the site of the Jagiellonian Library. Collegium Maius was the site of the Jagiellonian Library until 1940.
Between 1949 and 1964 the building was renovated and lost its Neo-Gothic look. From then on, it was the premises of the Museum of the Jagiellonian University.
Collegium Maius Info
Address: Jagiellonska 15, 31-010 Krakow.
Map ref: 50.061556, 19.933936
Opening hours: Courtyard: all year long, every day a week from 10am until dusk;
Museum: 1 Apr-31 Oct: Mon 10am-2:20pm, Tue 10am-5:20pm, Wed 10am-2:20pm, Thu 10am-5:20pm, Fri 10am-
2:20pm, Sat 10am-2:40pm; 1 Nov-31 Mar: Mon 10am-2:20pm, Tue 10am-3:20pm, Wed 10am-2:20pm, Thu 10am-2:20pm, Fri 10am-2:20pm, Sat 10am-2:40pm.
Cost: Admission to the couryard is free. Tickets need to be bought for the Museum of the Jagiellonian University inside Collegium Maius. The Museum: costs 12 PLN, concessionary prices are 6 PLN, children up to 7 years enter free.
Free entrance to the Museum: 1 Apr-31 Oct: every Tuesday 3pm-6pm (last entrance at 5:20pm);
1 Nov-31 Mar every Tuesday 2pm-4pm (last entrance at 5:20pm).
Guided tours of the Museum every 20 minutes in organised groups of max. 20 people. Approximate time of tour: 30 minutes.
More information: http://www.maius.uj.edu.pl/zwiedzanie [only in Polish]
Images by Mateusz Świercz for Absolute Tours