The Princes Czartoryski Museum is one of the most interesting museums in Krakow and one of the most popular in Poland. The origins of the museum date back to 1801, when the collection of Princess Izabela Czartoryska was displayed in the Temple of the Sybil, in Puławy museum. The Princes Czartoryski Museum is the world's first museum dedicated to the history of the nation and presenting its heritage through historical exhibits. It focuses its scope to the history of European painting of 13th-18th centuries, European and Islamic art and crafts up to 19th century. The most famous, as well as most valuable, of the exhibits on the display is the painting of Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci. In addition to works of art, the museum also has library collections such as old prints, manuscripts and cartography, numismatics and old photographs. The department that deserves special attention is the Krakow Iconography Studio, where old views and photos of Krakow are collected.
Please note that ITS-Poland works with groups only (10 participants and more).
The origins of the museum date back to 1801, when the collection of Princess Izabela Czartoryska was displayed in the Temple of the Sybil, in her Puławy museum. After the fall of the November Uprising and the confiscation of the Czartoryski property by the Russians, part of the collection was lost or destroyed. However, most of them were saved and then transported to Paris to the Hôtel Lambert. In 1870, prince Władysław Czartoryski decided to transfer the collection to Kraków, where they finally ended up in 1876. In the same year, the Czartoryski family also donated their large collection for public use in Krakow, in the Czartoryski Library.
World War II brought significant losses to the collection. At that time, 64 objects from the Royal Treasury, 156 objects of ancient goldsmithing, 104 objects of modern goldsmithing and 375 gold coins were irretrievably lost. After the war, thanks to the efforts of the People's Republic of Poland, most of the exhibits were recovered.
In 1950, the Czartoryski Museum was incorporated into the National Museum in Krakow as one of its branches, and in 1991 it was taken over by the Princes Czartoryski Foundation. In December 2016, thanks to the purchase of the Polish government, the collection of the Princes Czartoryski became an integral part of the National Museum in Krakow.
On January 11, 2010, a major renovation of the museum began and from then on, the facility was closed until the end of 2019. From the end of 2019, the Princes Czartoryski Museum is open to visitors again.
The museum is located in the Czartoryski Palace at 17 - 19 St Jan Street. In 26 exhibition rooms, on two floors of the renovated Palace, there is an extremely valuable collection of national souvenirs and unique works of art.
The Princes Czartoryski Museum is the world's first museum dedicated to the history of the nation and presenting its heritage through historical exhibits. The museum's collection includes 336,000 objects, including masterpieces of world painting, such as Portrait of a Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci or Landscape with the Merciful Samaritan by Rembrandt van Rijn, as well as sculptures, drawings, graphics, everyday objects, sarcophagi, mummies, relics, weapons , coins, as well as over 250,000 manuscripts, graphics, books and valuable documents.
The museum's collections include items from all eras. The oldest exhibits of the Museum come from prehistoric times. The museum also has a separate collection of ancient art. The latest exhibits are works purchased from contemporary artists. In addition, the museum houses collections of medieval and modern art from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The overwhelming majority of the collection is Polish art - painting, sculpture, drawing and artistic craftsmanship. In addition, there are also many Western European exhibits, a collection of church art and a very valuable collection of Far Eastern art, mainly Japanese. Most of the collection comes from donations made mainly during the partitions and the interwar period.
In addition to works of art, the museum also has library collections such as old prints, manuscripts and cartography, numismatics and old photographs. The department that deserves special attention is the Krakow Iconography Studio, where old views and photos of Krakow are collected.
Visiting the Princes Czartoryski Museum begins from the Podest, where two monumental genre canvases by Jan Piotr Norblin are displayed. Then, visitors will go to the rooms where the history of the Czartoryski family is shown. Another room shows the history of Poland from the Jagiellonian times until the end of the First Polish Republic.
The most beautiful works of sacred art are on the first floor of the Czartoryski Palace. The next rooms will take visitors to a completely different scenery - the world of Far East art.
On the second floor of the Palace, visitors will start their tour from the Antique Salon. Then they will be able to go to the room where the most valuable work of the museum is located - Leonardo da Vinci's Lady with an Ermine. The next rooms will take visitors on a journey through the art of the Middle Ages, the art of Northern Europe from the 15th to 17th centuries - up to the time of Rembrandt. On the second floor, in the Polish Room, souvenirs mainly from the Temple of Sibyl in Puławy are displayed, and in the rooms of the outbuilding - library collections and a collection of graphics and drawings.