16 July 2008



Every time we go to a museum I leave thinking that it's the coolest museum I've ever been to... I guess each one just gets better and better. The Czartoryskich Museum is where we went today, and it has everything from famous paintings to ancient Roman, Greek, and Egyptian artifacts. I wish I could have taken some pictures, but as is usually the case, we weren't allowed.

We were trying to figure out how such a large collection of artifacts from ancient Rome made their way to Krakow, but I don't have any answers. They had urns telling ancient mythological stories like Hercules defeating the Lion and Penelope with her suitors, actual coins from the time of Julius Caesar and other subsequent emperors, and mummies with their sarcophagi from Egypt. I've never actually seen artifacts from ancient Egypt, so as one can imagine, I was practically drooling over them when we walked into the room. Liz and Paul thought it was pretty funny, but they also loved that I could tell them some interesting facts about the Roman and Egyptians artifacts and the myths that pertain to them (Jeff, excessive reading does come in handy!).

This museum also had a large collection of odds and ends. A medieval device used to make playing cards, ancient horse tails decorated for battle, and a Turkish military tent. I was very impressed. Not to mention, that the Czartoryskich Museum is one of only six in the world to house a work of art by the grand master Leonardo da Vinci. His painting: "Lady With an Ermine" is housed in the museum. It is considered to be the most well-preserved painting of his that exists. During the second World War the painting was actually stolen by the Nazis; after the war it was found in an ex-commander's Bavarian country house and returned to Krakow. The Poles are very proud to own this painting and almost every person living in Krakow has a copy hanging somewhere in their house.

I really wish I could have taken pictures so that you could see just how fabulous this museum was. It looks so unassuming on the outside, and Liz and I probably never would have gone if it weren't for Paul suggesting that we should go. So, next time you're in Krakow, check out the Czartoryskich Museum-- it's worth it!!! Much love to you all.

P.S.- I've attached a copy of the famous painting so that everyone can see what I am talking about.

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