Uniwersytet Jagiellonski is renowned for being the highest rated university in Poland – that’s probably because it has had quite a bit of practice, over the centuries, as to what is required of a top university. Its oldest campus (Collegium Maius) dates back to 1364 ,which makes it the oldest in the country, and one of the oldest in Europe and the world. It celebrates its 650th birthday in 2014. Famous Poles such as Mikolaj Kopernik (better known as Nicholas Copernicus – yes, that’s right he is the astronomer who postulated that the sun is in fact at the centre of our solar system); Henryk Sienkiewicz (author of Quo Vadis); Stanislaw Lem (author of Solaris – perhaps you haven’t read it, but you may have watched George Clooney in the Hollywood adaptation) and Pope John Paul II have walked its corridors. More than 50,200 students registered for the 2012-3 academic year, one of the reasons for Cracow’s youthful spirit.
Collegium Maius is located along one of the main cobbled streets that leads towards Cracow’s Old Town Square (Stary Rynek in the mother tongue). The courtyard is open to the public and has become quite popular among tourists and photographers for its gutters that are shaped like the long neck of Cracow’s resident dragon (read my other post on that dragon). It also hosts numerous free photography and art exhibitions and performances. I spent the better part of an hour transfixed on a photography exhibition on Bolivia’s Salar De Uyuni salt flats in one of the many underground chambers.
Address: ul. Gołębia 24, Kraków
Tel: +48 12 422 10 33