Krakow

Collegium Novum

  ul. Gołębia 24 ,   Old Town         11 Sep 2019
The main building of Jagiellonian University, Collegium Novum (Latin: New College) was built in 1873-1887 to a Neo-Gothic design by Feliks Księżarski to match the style of Collegium Maius. Subsidised with money from Vienna when Kraków was a ‘property’ of Austrian Galicia, the building was opened for the university’s 500th anniversary after years of controversy and debate. In addition to the gorgeous façade, the building contains a beautiful assembly hall (Aula) where a painting of Austria’s Franz Jozeph I hung until a group of students famously shredded it in a symbolic act calling for the restoration of an independent Polish Republic in 1918. Several important paintings remain, however, including portraits of university founders Kazimierz the Great and Władysław Jagiełło, and Jan Matejko’s Copernicus: Conversation with God. A plaque commemorating ‘Sonderaktion Krakau’ can be found in the first floor lecture hall from which the university’s professors were arrested. Today the university’s administrative centre, Collegium Novum is not necessarily open to tourists, but you can have a poke around if you pose as a student. A monument to Copernicus also stands nearby.

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