Tag: National Museum

Tag: National Museum

Top 10 things to do in Wrocław

There’s a lot to see and do in the city. Here’s our list of the Top 10 things to do in Wrocław. Click on the links for further information or to book a tour & buy tickets.

1. Wrocław Dwarfs

They’re referred to in Poland as dwarfs but they’re actually bronze gnomes around 20-30cm tall, which have been appearing in the streets of Wrocław since 2005. Today, there are hundreds of them, almost an invasion and they’ve become a major tourist attraction. You can even get maps and mobile apps to help you find them.

2. Old Town Hall

The 13th century Gothic Old Town Hall stands at the centre of the city’s Market Square and is one of the main landmarks of the city. It’s currently used for civic and cultural events, which are held in its Great Hall and also houses the Museum of Bourgeois Art and a restaurant in the basement. The structure is a mix of architectural styles with both Gothic and Renaissance features. The astronomical clock is made of larch wood and was built in 1580.

3. National Museum

The National Museum is one of Poland’s main branches of the National Museum system. It holds one of the largest collections of contemporary art in the country. You’ll find exhibits of Medieval sculpture on the ground floor in addition to paintings from the region, silverware, ceramics and furnishings. Polish art, primarily 17th century paintings, can be found on the 2nd floor.

Further information.

4. Panorama of Racławice

The Racławice Panorama is a monumental (15m x 114m) cycloramic painting depicting the Battle of Racławice, during the Kościuszko Uprising and is Wrocław’s pride and joy. It is wrapped around the internal walls of a purpose-built rotunda. The painting took nine artists, nine months to complete and used 750kg of paint. Visits are by guided audio tours, departing every half hour.

Skip-the-Line Panorama Raclawicka, National Museum and Ostrow Tumski tour

5. Church of the Holy Name of Jesus

This Late Baroque-Rococo church is part of Wrocław University and is one of the most picturesque in the city, if not the country. We can thank the Jesuits for this piece of architectural beauty, they built it way back in the 1690s on the site of the former Piast castle. The interior of the church has been painted to imitate marble and contains frescoes & ornate fittings.

Further information.

6. Botanical Gardens

You’ll find the Botanical Gardens on Cathedral Island. The gardens were built between 1811 – 1816 and are part of the University of Wrocław. Within the gardens, there is a large selection of plants, sculptures, aquariums, a large pond, bridges, a shop, and a café. The gardens are open from early April until mid-November.

Further information.

7. Wrocław Zoo

The Zoo is located on Wróblewskiego Street and is the oldest zoo in the country, opened in 1865. In terms of the number of animal species, it is the third largest zoological garden in the world and the largest in Poland. It is home to about 10,500 animals representing about 1,132 species.

Wroclaw Zoo tickets with private transportation

Further information.

8. Hansel & Gretel

One of Wrocław’s favourite photo opportunities, are two charming, skinny tenements known locally as Jaś i Małgosia, better known to German and English speakers as Hansel and Gretel. You’ll find them on the north-western corner of the Market Square. The two fairy tale houses are linked by a baroque archway built in 1728.

9. Church of St Elizabeth

St. Elizabeth’s Church of the Catholic Third Order of Saint Francis is a 14th century Gothic church and one of the most iconic structures of the city’s Old Town panorama. It has a 90m high tower, a triple nave and is by medieval chapels. Inside, you’ll find a mid-15th-century sacramentary and carved medieval choir stalls.

10. Archaeological Museum

This museum is housed inside of the city’s former 15th century Arsenal alongside the Military Museum. Exhibits focus on the period from the Stone Age to the 19th century. You’ll find everyday objects from these times such as tools, ornaments and weapons.

Further information.

Tripadvisor

For further ideas about what to do and see in the city, Tripadvisor are an excellent resource of information – Click here.

Top 10 Things to Do in Poznań

There’s a lot to see and do in the city. Here’s our list of the Top 10 things to do in Poznań. Click on the links for further information or to book a tour & buy tickets.

1. Ostrów Tumski

Also known as Cathedral Island, Ostrów Tumski is an island between two branches of the river Warta in the city. Poznań Cathedral and other ecclesiastical buildings occupy the central part of the island, which is part of the city’s former New Town district, although it is actually the oldest part of the city and is the place where Poznań and the Polish state was founded. The island is 1km east of the Old Town.

Srodka District and Cathedral Island tour with Old Town highlights

2. Poznań Cathedral

The monumental double towered Archcathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul is one of the oldest churches in Poland and the oldest Polish cathedral, dating from the 10th century. It stands on the island of Ostrów Tumski north-east of the city centre. The cathedral is Gothic with additions from later periods such as the baroque upper towers. The first two kings of Poland: Mieszko I and Bolesław Chrobry are buried there.

Further information.

3. Town Hall

Poznań’s Renaissance town hall is a historic city hall located at the old market square in the centre of the Old Town. The structure is topped with a 61m-high tower and is home to the city’s Historical Museum. Situated above the clock is a pair of small doors which open each day at noon allowing two mechanical goats to emerge and butt their horns together 12 times. Originally, the building was a 13th century Gothic structure; however this was replaced in the early 16th century after a fire.

Poznan Old Town highlights walking tour

4. National Museum

The museum is one of the largest in Poland and houses an extensive collection of Polish and European art. You’ll find Polish painting from the past 200 years represented by all the well-known artists such as Jan Matejko and Stanisław Wyspiański.

Further information.

5. Historical Museum of Poznań

This museum is a branch of the National Museum in Poznań and is dedicated to the history of the city. It is located in the Town Hall on the Old Market Square. On the 1st floor, you will find the richly ornamented Renaissance Hall containing original stucco work and paintings dating from 1555. The 2nd floor exhibits memorabilia from the past 200 years, artefacts from the Prussian period and documents from the 1920s and ’30s showing what life in the city was like during that period.

Further information.

6. Śródka Mural

East of the Ostrów Tumski at ul Śródka 3 in the Śródka district, you’ll see a magnificent mural painted on the side of a building, which depicts Śródka in the 1920s. Painted by artist Arleta Kolasińska, the mural features some really interesting characters such as a fat-bellied butcher, a trumpeter, a cat and Władysław Odonic, the Duke of all Greater Poland at the time. The mural is very clever because it appears to be three-dimensional.

7. Croissant Museum

Rogalowe Muzeum Poznania is a museum of St. Martin’s croissants, located in a historic townhouse on the main square. You can learn about the history of the croissant and get involved with making some.

Further information

Poznan Old Town and Croissant Museum private guided tour

8. Parish Church

Located on ul Gołębia just two blocks south of the Main Square, you’ll find the Parish Church also known as Poznań Fara, an impressive baroque structure with an ornamented façade built between 1651 and 1701. It is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks.

9. Wolsztyn Steam Locomotive Depot

The Steam Locomotive Depot is 100km from Poznań in the town of Wolsztyn. It is a working depot with steam engines that haul passengers over a mainline railway track on a daily basis. Visitors get to see all of the activities required to prepare a steam engine for running such as oiling, watering, coaling, as well as carrying out inspections and repairs. They can also see the locomotive shed, the workshop with its forge, a water tower, an ash pit, a water crane, a coal store, and a small museum. On the first Saturday in May, Wolsztyn is also home to the Steam Parade, a festival featuring steam locomotives from across Europe.

Further information.

10. Citadel Park

A large park on the former site of Fort Winiary, a 19th-century fortified area north of the city centre. It contains two military museums, military cemeteries, and the remains of some of the fortifications.

For further information about Things to Do in Poznań – Click here.

Top 10 things to do in Kraków

There’s a lot to see and do in the city. Here’s our list of the Top 10 things to do in Kraków. Click on the links for further information or to book a tour & buy tickets.

1. Wieliczka Salt Mine

The Wieliczka Salt Mine is a UNESCO World Heritage site located around 14km southeast of Kraków and is one of Poland’s most popular attractions, welcoming tourists since 1722. Wieliczka Salt Mine is a subterranean labyrinth of tunnels, shafts and chambers, underground saline lakes, chapels with altarpieces, majestic timber constructions and unique statues sculpted in rock salt. The size of the mine is staggering, it reaches a depth of 327m and extends via horizontal passages and chambers for over 287 km distributed over nine levels. Only a small part of the mine is open to the public.

Further information

Wieliczka Salt Mine tour with hotel pickup from Krakow

2. Historic Centre Of Kraków

The historic centre of Kraków has been featured on Unesco’s World Heritage List since 1978. Packed full of restaurants, museums, galleries and bars, the medieval layout of the Old Town has not changed for centuries. The heart and focal point of the historic centre of Kraków is its graceful main market square, the largest medieval town square of any European city. Most visitors to Kraków visit the market square with its Cloth Hall, the Church of the Holy Mary, Wawel Hill and its Royal Castle, Wawel Cathedral with its outstanding Renaissance chapel, the Barbican and St. Florian’s Gate.

Further information.

3. Wawel Royal Castle

Wawel Royal Castle and the limestone Wawel Hill are extremely important historical and cultural sites containing one of the most important collection of buildings in Poland. Wawel was once the seat of Polish rulers, the residence of kings and the focal point of many Polish historical events. The hill is a symbol of the Polish nation and has witnessed some of the greatest moments in Polish history. Many Polish kings have been laid to rest below Wawel Cathedral. Located south of the old town and next to the Vistula River, Wawel Hill showcases an incredible assortment of architectural delights including Renaissance, Gothic and Romanesque designs. Wawel Royal Castle and the Cathedral are must-see attractions and a walk around the castle courtyards and open spaces are highly recommended.

Further information

Wawel Castle private guided tour

4. Auschwitz-Birkenau

Auschwitz-Birkenau is synonymous with the Holocaust and the largest attempt at genocide in human history. More than a million Jews, and many Poles and Roma, were murdered here by German Nazis during WWII. Both sections of the camp, Auschwitz I and the much larger outlying Birkenau (Auschwitz II) have been preserved and are open to visitors. Everyone should visit Auschwitz at least once in their lives, it is a stern reminder of the horrors that human beings can inflict on each other and the only way to understand the extent and horror of the place and the atrocities that took place there.

Further information

Auschwitz-Birkenau: Entrance + Guided Tour in English

5. Schindler’s Factory

The story of Oskar Schindler is well-known since Steven Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List; however despite the name of the museum, it covers all aspects of the German occupation of Kraków from 1939 to 1945 through a series of well-organised, interactive exhibits. Take a tram to Plac Bohaterów Getta, then follow ul Kącik east under the railway line to find the museum. Learn the story of Krakow and its inhabitants, both Polish and Jewish, during the war. The exhibition, ‘Krakow under Nazi Occupation 1939-1945’, is in the former administrative building of Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory. An amazing venue, not to mention subject!

Tickets for Schindler’s Factory Museum: Skip The Line + Guided Tour.

6. Cloth Hall (Sukiennice)

The Kraków Cloth Hall dates to the Renaissance and is one of the city’s most recognisable icons. Dominating the centre of the Main Market Square, this building was once the heart of Kraków’s medieval clothing trade. The hall was once a Gothic structure but rebuilt in the Renaissance style after a fire in 1555. On the ground floor, you’ll find craft and souvenir shops and on the upper floor is the Gallery of 19th-Century Polish Painting.

Krakow Old Town private tour with Cloth Hall entrance ticket

7. St Mary’s Basilica

Saint Mary’s Basilica is a striking 14th century brick Gothic church adjacent to the Main Market Square in Kraków, best known simply as St Mary’s. The church is dominated by two towers of different heights and is famous for its wooden altarpiece carved by Veit Stoss, which took over 10 years to complete prior to it being consecrated in 1489. The altarpiece has a central panel and two pairs of side wings and is intricately carved in lime wood. It measures about 13m high and 11m wide and is the country’s largest and most important piece of medieval art. On every hour, a trumpet signal called the Hejnał mariacki is played from the top of the taller of Saint Mary’s two towers.

Further information

St. Mary’s Basilica entrance ticket

 8. National Museum

The National Museum in Kraków is the largest museum in Poland and also the main branch of Poland’s National Museum. The collections of the museum number almost 780 000 objects, with the core of the collection being Polish art. You’ll find the museum on ul. Piłsudskiego, around 500, west of the Old Town.

Further information.

9. Rynek Underground

Beneath the city of Krakow and housed within the underground corridors of the market square, you will find a museum; which showcases how the city looked and felt during the Middle Ages complete with stone roads with potholes made by cart wheels during the 13th century. It consists of an underground route through medieval market stalls and other long-forgotten chambers.

Book tickets & further information.

10. Kościuszko Mound

Kościuszko Mound was erected in commemoration of the Polish military hero Tadeusz Kościuszko between 1820 and 1823. It stands 34m high and includes soil from both the Polish and American battlefields where Kościuszko fought. A serpentine path leads to the top with a panoramic view of the Vistula River and the city. The memorial is located in Zwierzyniec, 3km west of the Old Town.

Further information.

Tripadvisor

For further ideas about what to see in the city, Tripadvisor is an excellent resource of information – Click here.

Top 10 things to do in Kielce

There’s a lot to see and do in the city. Here’s our list of the Top 10 things to do in Kielce. Click on the links for further information or to book a tour & buy tickets.

1. Kadzielnia Reserve & Amphitheatre

Kadzielnia is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kielce. The former quarry attracts visitors interested in music, extreme experiences such as ziplining and also geology enthusiasts. It is located on a hill as part of the Kadzielnia Range and is 295m above sea level. As a quarry back in the 18th century, it was a significant source of limestone, which was required primarily for road construction and you can still find traces of mining activity around the area. In the centre is the Geologists Rock and this is protected as part of the Kadzielnia Nature Reserve and is not open to tourists, instead visitors admire the rock from the surrounding paths and viewpoints surrounding the quarry. You’ll find a number of attractions in Kadzielnia such as the underground tourist route, the amphitheatre, a zip-line station and a waterfall. The Kadzielnia Amphitheater is one of the most unique and beautiful stages in the country. The surrounding rocks provide a natural backdrop and also enhance the acoustics. The amphitheatre has operated for more than 50 years and underwent a thorough modernisation in 2010, today it can seat as many as 5,430 spectators. During inclement weather, the stage and auditorium is covered with a retractable roof.

Further information.

2. Palace of the Kraków Bishops

The Palace of the Kraków Bishops in Kielce was built in the 17th century as a summer residence for the Bishop of Kraków, Jakub Zadzik. The architect of the palace was Tommaso Poncino of Lugano who designed the building using both Polish and Italian building traditions. The design included a loggia with marble columns and four hexagonal domed towers on its corners. Above the loggia’s arches were cartouches with the coats of arms of Bishop Zadzik, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Kraków chapter. At the rear of the palace is a geometric Italian garden surrounded by fruit trees. Currently the palace houses a branch of the National Museum with an important gallery of Polish paintings.

Further information.

3. National Museum

The National Museum in Kielce is located in the Palace of the Kraków Bishops. Its collections include exhibits of Polish and Western European art, antique weapons, coins, archaeology and natural sciences. The art collection includes Baroque and Rococo portrait painting to Realism and Impressionism.

Further information.

4. Kielce Cathedral

The full name for Kielce Cathedral is the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is actually a Roman Catholic church that has been given the status of cathedral and is located in the heart of the city next to the Palace of the Bishops of Kraków on Castle Hill. It was originally built during the 12th century but was subsequently destroyed by the tartars in 1260. Reconstruction of the building began in 1719 in the early Baroque style.

Further information.

5. Museum of Toys and Play

The Museum of Toys and Play is the largest and oldest museum of this type in Poland. It has an exhibition area of 631 square metres and thousands of exhibits. You’ll find historical and folk toys, dolls from all over the world, model cars, aeroplanes, boats, railway models, theatrical dolls and much more. Many of the exhibits are interactive and children are encouraged to get involved. The museum has two play areas, one indoors and the other in the courtyard, which is open during the summer. You’ll find the museum in the 19th-century market hall at Plac Wolności

Further information.

6. Rynek (Market Square)

Kielce’s historic market square has been the administrative heart of the city since the middle of the 14th century. On the west side of the square if the Neoclassical city hall and just to the left of this on the corner of Ulica Mała, you’ll find an adorable painted blue house with a small arcade containing a café, which dates from 1767. The house once belonged to the Bishop of Kraków’s cook.

7. Dworek Laszczyków (Laszczyks’ Manor house)

Ulica Jana Pawła II on the southern slope of Castle Hill is home to the only 18th century wooden mansion still standing in Kielce. It is considered to be one of the city’s architectural treasures and a visit there is a great way to tap into the folk culture of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship. Today it serves as the administrative office of the Open-Air Museum of the Kielce Village and hosts temporary exhibitions.

8. Sanctuary of the Holy Cross Wood Relic

The Sanctuary of the Holy Cross Wood Relic and Museum of the Missionary Oblates of the Virgin Mary are located on Łysiec mountain, nowadays referred to as Święty Krzyż mountain. Święty Krzyż (Mount Holy Cross) is the second highest mountain in the region at 595m. If you believe local folk legend, the mountain was especially liked by witches and during their Sabbaths, they practised witchcraft and organised hellish parties and dances on the summit. Today, you can see remains of a 9th century stone rampart surrounding the top of the mountain in addition to the Benedictine monastery with its Relics of the Holy Cross Tree. The 1000 year old monastery is managed by the Missionary Oblates. Every year, the Holy Cross Sanctuary is visited by crowds of pilgrims, visitors and tourists, who want to see this unique place. In the church on the mountain you can see a valuable painting of Franciszek Smuglewicz, monastery porches, a sacristy, the Oleśnicki family’s chapel and the Museum of the Missionary Oblates of the Virgin Mary.

Further information.

9. Karczówka Monastery

Karczówka Monastery was built shortly after the city of Kielce was spared from a plague epidemic in 1622 by the Bishop of Kraków to say thank you to God for sparing the city. In 1655, the monastery was destroyed by the Swedes and was re-built in the early 18th century. The structure is crowned by two copper-covered cupolas and is decorated in the Rococo style. It has a lovely chapel under the main tower with an altar piece made from lead discovered in Karczówka’s mines in 1646.

Further information.

10. Stanisława Staszica Park

You’re find this lovely 8 ha park at the southern foot of Castle Hill. It features a large pond, willow trees, a fountain, a mature forest and an aviary containing a variety of rare birds.

Tripadvisor

For further ideas about what to do and see in Kielce, Tripadvisor are an excellent resource of information – Click here.