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Collegium Maius, Krakow, Poland

In 1400 King Wladyslaw II Jagello of Poland decided to dedicate a new building to the Jagiellonian University from the funds that he inherited from his deceased wife Jadwiga. This building, which was repaired and renovated for numerous times, till now, stands at the corner of St. Ann and the Jagiellonian streets. In the middle of the 15th century the building received the name Collegium Maius, which in Latin means Great College. Today Collegium Maius is the oldest university building in the Poland.

The building was rebuilt in the late 15th century in Gothic style. In the 19th century the building was restored in Neo-Gothic style. The courtyard is decorated with arcades. The courtyard has a well and a garden, which before the 19th century was used as a kaleyard for the kitchen of the professors. The building is constructed from stone and brick.

Until 19th century, the building housed the lecture rooms, as well as living rooms for the professors. In 19th century, the building was housing the university library. In 1930s it was converted into a museum, which works until now. The museum contains different exhibits related to the history of the university, interesting scientific instruments and so on.

There is an impressive hall inside the building with Renaissance-style ceiling and walls with portraits of Polish kings, famous Poles, as well as university chancellors. Inside the building you can find a variety of interesting exhibits - from Oscar to astronomical instruments used by Copernicus himself (he was a student at the Jagiellonian University). Here you can also find the world's oldest globe depicting America, and a wonderful alchemy lab.

Today the building contains a conference room, a cafe, a gift shop and a hall for exhibitions. This unique building has attracted such famous people like the Queen Elizabeth II, Emperor and Empress of Japan and many others.

Collegium Maius, thanks to its ancient and mysterious atmosphere, carries its visitors to the fascinating world of medieval science and alchemy.

By Anna Pambukhchyan,


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