Jagiellonian University

The Jagiellonian University (Polish: Uniwersytet Jagielloński) was established in 1364 by the king Casimir the Great. It is the oldest university in Poland and the second oldest university in Central Europe. Throughout the history of the University, thousands of students from all over Poland, from Lithuania, Russia, Hungary, Bohemia, Germany, and Spain have studied there. For several centuries, virtually the entire intellectual elite of Poland was educated at the university. The most known student to study at the University was Nicolaus Copernicus, the Renaissance astronomer and polymath who would revolutionise European ideas about the universe. Today the Jagiellonian University is still ranked as the top Polish university.

Read more...

Collegium Maius

Collegium Maius (Latin for "Great College") is the Jagiellonian University's oldest building, dating back to the beginning of the 15th century. It stands at the corner of Jagiellońska St. and St. Anne St. Today Collegium Maius houses the Museum of Jagiellonian University, which features ancient lecture rooms, communal halls, professors’ quarters, a library and a treasury containing rectors' Gothic maces and the Jagiellonian globe (the early 16th century globe considered to be the oldest existing one to show the Americas). Exhibits also include medieval scientific instruments, paintings, collectibles, furniture, coins and medals.

Standing in the middle of the Gothic courtyard of Collegium Maius, you can experience the atmosphere of a Medieval academy and watch a unique musical procession of wooden figures going out of the clock, which opens its door every second hour.

 

Collegium Novum

Collegium Novum is the main building of the Jagiellonian University. This Neo-Gothic building was constructed in the 19th century and today serves as the Jagiellonian University's administrative centre. It contains lecture rooms including an impressive assembly hall (called Aula), Rector's, Deans', and other university authorities' offices. Here, at the beginning of the II World War, the Nazis arrested professors and academics of Krakow universities - this brutal operation, known as Sonderaktion Krakau, was part of the plan to exterminate the Polish intellectual elite.