Karol Estreicher Villa

  ul. Sarnie Uroczysko 15 ,   No District          (+48) 501 45 12 52     18 Oct 2021
This historical timber villa was the private home of Professor Karol Estreicher Jr., who moved it from Ojców to this picturesque estate in Wola Justowska, just west of the Old Town, in 1945. Estreicher - a local art historian, writer, professor at Jagiellonian University and head of the Collegium Maius museum - lived here with his wife from 1948 until his death in 1984. Estreicher was instrumental in recovering Poland's lost art treasures from the Nazis after World War II. Despite his direct involvement in dismantling, protecting and hiding the altarpiece of St. Mary's Basilica and other priceless works in Kraków, after Germany occupied the city these treasures were systematically sought out, stolen and sent to Germany. Estreicher was determined to systematically get them back. He personally gave the Allies a 600-page secret report on the country's looted monuments, which led to the formation of the 'Monuments Men' unit that succeeded in recovering many works stolen by the Nazis (and inspired the half-accurate 2014 film directed by George Clooney). After the war he worked tirelessly to track down every clue leading to every lost work he possibly could, and played a role in the recovery of St. Mary's altar and Leonardo's famous Lady with an Ermine oil painting.

His home was donated to the Friends of the Fine Arts Society in Kraków, but ironically it was looted and fell into devastation after his death. Fully renovated from 2005-2009, today groups (10 person minimum) can visit with a guide, however tours are only in Polish, only offered on Saturday, and must be arranged by phone in advance. Inside you'll see original artwork, antique furnishings and Estreicher's personal effects. Needless to say, this one is for scholars and die-hards (like us) only.

A taxi from the Old Town will cost 20-25zł; or take bus 152, getting off at 'Królowej Jadwigi 1.'
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Open by prior arrangement only.

Price/Additional Info

Guided tours only; 50zł per person; must be arranged in advance.

Associated Venues


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