Historical exhibit for 750th anniversary


A new exhibition devoted to five centuries of Krakow history will be open for viewing at the city?s Historical Museum on Rynek Glowny from June 5.
The exhibition entitled, ?Krakow, European City of Magdeburg Law,? will open June 5 to celebrate Krakow?s 750th anniversary. The exhibition will spotlight the period between 1257 and 1791 — the time from the bestowal of the Krakow Location Act to the Great Seym?s (Parliament) passage of the ?law about cities? in conjunction with the Constitution of May 3.

Although some settlements had already existed before the 10th Century on Wawel Hill, and King Boleslaw Krzywousty had bequeathed Krakow as the capital of Poland in 1138, it was the Magdeburg Law of 1257 that legally sanctioned Krakow?s existence. The law bestowed upon Krakow the rights of a city and provided guidelines for the development of Krakow?s  urban structure.
?The Krakow Location Act was a document tha tcaused the city to develop in many different areas including architecture, art and jurisdiction,? explains Grazyna Lichonczak-Nurek, the exhibition?s curator.

Exhibits from different eras will be presented on three different levels at the museum. Showpieces from pre-location Krakow will be shown in the recently redecorated cellars of Krzysztofory Palace, where the city?s History Museum is based.

?Among the exhibited objects are a large collection of jewelry and a unique loaf of lead (a unit of weight) that was found during recent archeological excavations under Rynek Glowny,? says Lichonczak-Nurek.
One of the cellar rooms will be transformed into the interior of a middle-class medieval tenement. A model of the pre-location city and a multimedia presentation will also be shown.

On the museum?s ground floor, Krakow?s development after 1257 will be depicted. There will be a large three-dimensional city model presenting a detailed guide through the city center and the Kazimierz and Kleparz district. Horror lovers will also be happy to see miniatures emulating the different methods of torture used in old Krakow. Visitors will also have a chance to see the original Location Act from 1257.

?The first floor is dedicated to the intellectual and religious life of Krakow?s middle class. The works of prominent bourgeois are on display here. The last element of the exhibition is the original Constitution of May 3,? added Lichonczak-Nurek.
The presented exhibits come from 40 individuals and institutions. An over 700-page illustrated history of Krakow accompanies the presentation. A guidebook in English is available. The exhibition is also available on the Internet:

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