Karol Wojtyla Museum
The Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (subsequently Pope John Paul II) Archdiocesan Museum in Krakow is located at ul. Kanonicza 19 where professor, and later Bishop and Cardinal Karol Wojtyla lived from 1957 to 1967.
This museum was founded in 1906 by Cardinal Jan Puzyna, and originally intended to be based in two houses on Wawel Hill. Remodelling was undertaken on the houses and the location was prepared to be opened to the public. History would not, however, permit them to open their doors - two World Wars and the period of Communism prevented the museum from opening for the next 50 years.
Cardinal Karol WojtyĹ‚a was to be the next to attempt to open the museum, allocating space for it in the former Augustinian Monastery in Krakow. Unfortunately, this too was unsuccessful. In 1992, Cardinal Franciszek Macharski named Father Andrzej Józef Nowobilski the director of the museum, and in May 5th, 1994, it opened in the most picturesque street of Cracow, Archbishop's Palace which is WojtyĹ‚a's last residence before leaving for the Vatican in 1978. The museum showcases ecclesiastical art from the thirteenth to the twentieth centuries, including painting, sculpture, fabrics, and artistic handcrafts. It would be impossible to list all of the museum treasures, but particularly worthy of mention is the thirteenth-century painting of Sts. Catherine and Agnes, painted on a wooden board. It is from the church in DÄ™bna and is the oldest painting of its type in Poland. The collection of art associated with the saints, altars, liturgical accessories and painting, some of which are of the finest quality, document a millennium of history of the Bishopric of Krakow.
Here you can see the flat where Karol WojtyĹ‚a lived while working as a lecturer of theology. The museum also houses a valuable collection of “Papal Gifts” (400 items), but also the famous "papal window", where John Paul II used to show up to chat and chant with the youth of Cracow during all his visits and where thousands of people lit candles and prayed during his last days.. These pieces were received by Pope John Paul II during his pontificate and later donated to the museum. In addition, every year the museum organizes over a dozen exhibits of works by famous artists from Poland and abroad.
The goals and tasks of the Archdiocesan Museum are the presentation of ecclesiastical art and promotion of contemporary artists who create new works inspired by the culture of Christianity. It also has an educational role, working with primary schools, gymnasia, and middle schools.
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