Founded in 1364, the University of Krakow is amongst the oldest in the world. King Wladislaw II. Jagiello bought that former noble mansion from the Anjou family for the University in 1400 which became later known as Collegium Maius. The building includes some 19th century Neogothic elements.
Today, it houses some offices of the medicine faculty as well as the University Museum. The assembly hall is still used for ceremonial purposes. Unfortunately, the museum was not open on the day of my visit, so I can't say anything about a visit. However, I know that a reservation is recommended in the high season as the entry is connected to a compulsory guided tour.
The Jagiellonian University is considered to be the most prestigious university in Poland.
Collegium Maius is the oldest preserved building in Krakow.
The oldest building of Jagiellonian University, it is the oldest university in Central Europe after Prague and is famous as it is where Nicolaus Copernicus studied. the bright red brickwork is stunning as is the architecture. The building itself dates to the 14th Century.
Upon buying a ticket, you reserve a space on a guided tour of the building in the language of your choice. Photography is permitted without a flash.
Inside, you are taken to see several glorious rooms starting with the library. Others include the dining room, Copernicus Room and Lecture hall. A cafe is on the premises and you can visit the professors garden where there are statues of notable professors and examples of experiments conducted here.
The building is situated a short walk from the town square and is a must see for all visitors to Krakow.
The Jagiellonian University was founded by Cazimierz Wielki (Casimirs III the Great) in 1364, being the second oldest university in Central Europe after Charles University in Prague (from 1348).
The Collegium Maius is the Jag. University's oldest remaining building, completed in 1400. This time it was another Polish king helping with money: Wladyslaw II Jagiello.
In the center of the courtyard there is a well from 1517.
When you get into the courtyard there is a playing clock on the sothern wall above the entrance to the souvenirs- and ticket shop. The clock is playing at 09.00, 11.00, 13.00, 15.00 and 17.00 every day, also showing a procession of six figures connected with the university. The figures were made by a folk sculptor, Ladislaus Kozyra, in the late 1950s. The present clock stems from 1999 but is at least the forth one to be seen. There is written documentation from 1465 mentioning a repair of a clock "of great size".
You can join a guided tour to see the museum and the interior of the Collegium Maius. Here's the link to the page with opening hours: museum hours.
For more pictures of the clock, please see my Travelogues.
The Residence Hall is the oldest building and the most famous of Jagiellonian University , that is one of the oldest in Europe
In the courtyard you can see at 11 and at 13 h the figures of the clock that is above the Golden Gate
Nicolas Copernicus was one of his most famous students
El Colegio Mayor es el edificio más antiguo famoso de la Universidad Jagelon que es una de las más antiguas de Europa
En el patio se puede ver a las once y a las 13 h la salida de las figuras del reloj que están encima de la Puerta de Oro
Nicolás Copérnico fue uno de sus más famosos estudiantes
In 1364, after many years of endeavour, King Casimir the Great received permission from the Pope to establish a university in Krakow, the capital of the Kingdom of Poland. It was the second university to be founded in Central Europe, after Prague in 1348. Soon afterwards other universities were established in the area: in Vienna (1365), Pécs (1367), Erfurt (1379) and Heidelberg (1386).
The Struggle for Survival
The third and final Partition of Poland posed a serious threat to the very existence of the University, but fortunately it was saved by the intervention of Professors Jan sniadecki and Jozef Bogucki in Vienna. However, the University was subjected to the process of obliterating its Polish character and to its gradual reduction to the secondary school status. This threat disappeared after Austria's defeat in the war with France in 1809, when Krakow was incorporated into the Duchy of Warsaw. Yet the city was subjected to centralising policies within the Duchy, and later, when it had the status of the Free City of Krakow (1825 - 1846), to a number of restrictive and harassing acts from the 'protector' powers. In 1848 Krakow was again incorporated into the Austrian Empire, but after long years when the University had been regarded by the government in Vienna as a 'hotbed of revolution and anti-government political activities', it gradually became a self-governing body and regained the right to teach in Polish. This was certainly achieved in the result of the process of political liberalisation within Austria and followed the granting of autonomy to Galicia, the part of Poland under Austrian rule. It was the beginning of another golden age for the University, which had been renamed the Jagiellonian University in 1817."
The Grand College, or Collegium Maius, the oldest college of the Polish oldest and best Jagiellonian University, was rebuilt at the end of the 15th century. It is built as a courtyard, with surrounding arcades and a and a fountain in the center.
I really stumbled on this by accident, even though I realized now it was actually mentioned in a few guidebooks.
I was just wandering around the peripherals of Rynek Glowny, and saw these open gates along Golebia street and I just walked in there. There were a few academic types lingering around chatting and I did feel a little intrusive - like I am in someone else's house. But apparently, the courtyard is accessible to the public all day along.
Jagiellonian University in Krakow is still very much a functioning university. It was founded in the 12th century, and 600 years later, it is very much part of the Krakow life. Famous past luminaries included Nicolaus Copernicus, the astronomer.
The Jagiellonian University is the oldest one in Poland. It goes back to 1364 when king Casimir the Great founded the Cracow Academy (Akademia Krakowska). It was renewed in 1400 by king Wladyslaw Jagiello, and then it expanded by incorporating more houses in today's Jagiellonska St.
This is what we know today as the Collegium Maius (the oldest university complex in the picture) and it is a must-see!
It is now the Jagiellonian University Museum and if you have the time, check some of its interiors. It's better to book a sight-seeing tour as they let in groups of 20 people with a guide every 20 minutes. Last time I was there I couldn't see it - all the tours were booked solid! Well, if that's not possible, at least check the lovely courtyard.
For more details see the next tip and some of my General tips about the university.
Today Collegium Novum is the main part of Jagiellonian University, but it is not really old building. It was built in 80s of 19th century, so it is in neogothic-style.Inside valuable pictures (e.g. by Jan Matejko). The seat for the university's rector.
We visited the courtyard of the Jagellonian once again on my recent trip. This time we learned about the crest which was created for Pope John Paul II. Each Pope has a crest for his Papacy as well as a cross designed especially for him. You can find the cross on rosary beads. Ask a clerk and they will point it out to you.
Be sure to visit the Jagiellonian University. We were there when the tours were fully booked, but enjoyed the courtyard...and just thinking about Capernicus and the Pope being students here. There is a small gift shop with numerous items of interest. It was a good place for me to buy a canvas bag to add to my luggage, which was overflowing by this time.
Their collections in the museum include the oldest scientific instrument in Poland...a brass Arabian astrolabe of 1054. Imagine!
Architecture here is marvelous.
One of the oldest University in Europe, and the oldest one in Poland. It consists of two parts: Collegium Novum (all facultets) and Collegium Maius (this one is only medcin facultet). In Collegium Maius You should visit the museum, it has a beautiful collection.
The Jagiellonian University is one of the oldest Universities in Europe (founded in 1364). Nicolas Copernicus studied here in 1492 and he formulated his revolutionary solar system theory. Apart from this eminent scholar, the University possesses a very interesting collection of artefacts. You can see how important the University was in medieval time (I guess it is so now). You will be assisted by a guide who are multi-lingual.
This museum is located in the buildings which used to be the first buildings of the university in 14th century. There's quite an interesting exhibition showing the way students and their professors used to live and work.
The most famous graduee was Nicolaus Copernicus.
This is the university where Copernicus studied...... nothing to see in there, just pay a quick visit to the inner courtyard (I think there are some rooms open to visitors as well but we went there late.... so I'm not even sure..... but we were not able to see anything ourselves except for the yard).
Collegium Novum (thats how called New building of university) built in 1887, located in the Planty Gardens.
Red building houses some faculties for students, while old building, that is inside old town (Collegium Maius) is used more for administration and making sightseeings. It is quite famous university in Poland and makes a lot of international relationships - students exchange and so on.
The Jagellonian University were established at the end of 14th century and in 1400 it was moved at the place where it is now - to old gothic building in the old town of Krakow.
Collegium Maius is the oldest college in Poland and actually the best university here. Talking about famous students, who learned here, we can mention the astronomer Copernicus and Pope John Paul II.