A Swiss in Krakow – discovering Art Nouveau architecture

The Rynek and around – this is where I head to first

As always, when I come to Kraków, I stroll along the central market square, the Rynek, and the narrow streets around it.

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But then… there are some more hidden gems: Art Nouveau achitecture

Adjoining the old city center there are two areas called Piasek and Nowy Swiat.  They boast some nice Art Nouveau architecture: Palaces from around 1900. With one of my Krakówian friends I start to discover this area. We look for the chimera of the Palac Hutten-Czapskich. There is a panel explaining it, but where is it? Stepping back helps. The chimera sits above the panel on a column. It looks like a monkey to me. I like the clear and elegant lines of the palace reminding me of an ancient classical building.

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Next we search the frog on the House below the Singing Frog. At 4:30 pm it is already dark in Kraków – difficult to see the frog that for some odd reason was selected as the symbol for the music school that was here. The notes on the facade also point to music. Well, Kraków is two hours west of Basel, has the same time and it gets dark earlier. We decide to go back to the palac of the Hutten-Czapskich and check out their museum.

The collection of the Hutten-Czapskich

Hutten-Czapskich was an art collector. The museum has just opened recently. On display are his coins, books and some armament.  We are the only visitors. A lady guard follows us showing enthusiasm for her museum and suggesting the best sequence of visit.

Coins, coins and coins… room after room

On the second floor we find coins from the Black Sea, from Greece, from Rome, from all European countries in medieval times and above all from Poland. The vitrines are meticuously curated. Each coin has a number and a touch screen display explains the coin with its background. For instance there was a time in Poland, where one side of the coin showed the current king and the second side was used for political propaganda.  This must be an eldorado for a history teacher.

Then books and books and books

On the third floor we found books – the shelfs became the tapestry of the rooms.

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The oldest books are from the 15th century, when book printing started. Will we produce any literature today that will be on display in museums in 500  years?

Piasek – I will come back next week before it is dark

This was just a small glance at Piasek. I will come back and take more photos with day light.

One thought on “A Swiss in Krakow – discovering Art Nouveau architecture

  1. Damian says:

    Nice to read about some places in Kraków which I probably passed by many times but I have never found time to look around and admire architecture, step into museum. Enjoy Kraków!

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