Collegium Maius in Kraków

 

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Jagiellonian University grew from the Krakow Academy established by King Kazimierz the Great in 1364. Collegium Maius was the first building of the Jagiellonian University of Krakow founded in 1400 and purchased by King Jagiello. Fragment of this large limestone building survived on the corner of Sw Anny Street and Jagiellonska Street.


Its present appearance is largely due to a 19th century restoration in a Roman style, although the Gothic building's structure also survived. During the World War 2, the Nazis plundered most of its interiors. They were reconstructed mostly from photographs using period artefacts from elsewhere. Today Collegium Maius houses the oldest Jagiellonian globe, astronomical tools and precious paintings of Matejko and Malczewski. Its most impressive hall is the Auditorium with Renaissance coffered ceiling. In the centre of courtyard, there is a well which shows the coats of arms of Krakow, Poland, Lithuania and Anjou. At 11:00am and 1:00 pm every day the clock over the Golden Portal booms out the student hymn Gaudeamus Igitur and little figures from the university's history trundle around a walkway. Probably most famous student who walked in the courtyard and halls of Collegium Maius was astronomer Mikolaj Kopernik (Nicolaus Copernicus).



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