Kraków is an extraordinary city. And no one needs convincing of that fact. It is one of the oldest cities in Poland, and for many years it was the capital, seat of kings and then, the site of their eternal rest. To this day, Kraków is an important cultural centre. There are many museums, art galleries and subject specific exhibitions here. Theatre has always played an important role in Kraków's history. Helena Modrzejewska was just one of those performing on the National Stary Theatre's stage. Therefore, when in Kraków, a visit to local museums and theatres is certainly worthwhile. The Princes Czartoryski Museum, established by the wife of prince Czartoryski in 1801, is the oldest museum in the city.
The Archaeological Museum, established by the Scientific Society in 1850 is the second oldest. In 1876, the Czartoryski family made another important building – their library – available to the public. In autumn 1879, the Kraków City Council decided to create the National Museum and in 1899 the Historical Museum was established. Today, these museums also have branches at various historic sites. It pays off to make a good plan for visiting them. Without doubt a stroll around Wawel will be most interesting. It is one vast museum. Here visitors will find the Royal Chambers, Private Royal Apartments, the Royal Treasury and Armoury, Eastern Art, the Lost Wawel, Dragon's Lair, Wawel Cathedral and the Royal Gardens. There are so many collections that a large number of them are shown in exhibitions and branches outside of the city.
Today the National Museum presents its collections in the Main Building, the Gallery of Polish Art in Sukiennice, Bishop Erazm Ciołek's Palace, Jan Matejko House, Stanisław Wyspiański Museum in Szołayski House, Józef Mehoffer House, Hutten-Czapski Museum and in the Princes Czartoryski Museum. Within the scope of the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków we can admire collections gathered in the Krzysztofory Palace, Cross House, Old Synagogue, Eagle Pharmacy, Hipolit House, Town Hall Tower and the Barbican. We also have university, ethnographic, history or military museums to choose from. It would be difficult to name them all, but the Archaeological Museum of Kraków, Kościuszko Museum by Kościuszko Mound or the Modern Art Museum are certainly some of the most important.
When in Kraków a visit to the National Stary Theatre and its museum is a must. The most acknowledged Polish actors performed on the stage of this theatre.