Facade of the Jagiellonian University’s Collegium Maius building on the side of Jagiellońska Street in Kraków

The description below is by Róża Książek-Czerwińska from the JU Museum.
The tactile graphics have been executed by Lech Kolasiński, a painting artist. Thanks to such graphic adaptations blind and partially sighted persons are given a chance to get familiar with exhibits through touch.


At the corner of Jagiellońska St and św. Anny St in Kraków stands the oldest seat of the Jagiellonian University known as Collegium Maius, today home to its museum. On 26 July 1400, it served as the venue for a grand inauguration of the academic year attended by King Władysław Jagiełło. Thanks to earlier efforts and precious items endowed to the University by Queen Jadwiga, who had passed away a year before, Władysław was able to restore the school’s operation and buy a house at Jagiellońska St, a part of Collegium Maius still today.

On the side of Jagiellońska St, the eastern facade of Collegium Maius can be seen, made up by three buildings topped with separate roofs and closed off by pinnacle gables. Characteristic features of the facade include an asymmetrically placed ogee-arched portal of the gate leading up to the yard Collegium Maius as well as irregularly set windows at various heights of three storeys. Each of them has a different size and frame (first floor: gothic windows, second floor: renaissance windows, third floor: baroque windows). This reflects the history of the extension of the building, erected progressively over the entire 15th century and slightly modernised in the following centuries as dictated by the trends of the time. 1392 marked the start of the purchase process as the property at Jagiellońska St was bought from the Pęcherz family of Rzeszotary, including a house whose walls are the building’s oldest part. Later on, successive houses were built or converted, depending on the needs of the University, on the purchased land. 15th-century sources confirm that already then there existed a tight compound of interconnected buildings focused around a yard with reading rooms in the basement and flats for teachers on the floors above. The building got its final appearance in the 16th century, which has survived largely unchanged until today. In the second half of the 19th century, following the fashion of the time, it received a ‘neogothic coat’, removed in the 1950s and the early 1960s.

Left of the portal, a three-sided bay window of Stuba Communis can be clearly seen at the level of the first floor, set on a limestone support and covered with a bulbous baroque awning. The north-eastern corner is supported by a buttress made of stone joints. Right of the portal, there is a clearly visible shape of the building standing at the corner of św. Anny St and Jagiellońska St topped with a Cracovian-style curb roof. This is the house that used to belong to the Pęcherz family and was bought by Władysław Jagiełło using the funds endowed to the University by Queen Jadwiga in her last will.

Tactile adaptation of the facede