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A Different View. The lesser known facts about the Jagiellonian University

A Different View. The lesser known facts about the Jagiellonian University

Jagiellonian University – the oldest Polish higher education institution, respected and esteemed, a symbol of Polish nation and science, an institution as integral to the history of Kraków as the Wawel Castle and St. Mary's Church. Almost every day, we unknowingly pass by places and people tied to the Jagiellonian University. For us, the university seems ageless and unchanging. However, if one decides to go off the beaten track and delve deep into the old archives in search of documents, photographs and pictures, one may discover a whole new image of the university: intriguing, fascinating, extraordinary. Such exploration is the purpose of the A Different View series.

Collegium Novum - the seat of the University

Collegium Novum is probably the most frequently photographed building of the Jagiellonian University. Located on the site of the pulled down Jerusalem boarding house, this representative edifice is the current head office of the university. And yet, the surrounding area looked very differently in the past.

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Collegium Maius - the oldest University building

Collegium Maius is the oldest building of the Jagiellonian University. For several years after its foundation in 1364, Kraków's Alma Mater probably operated out of the Wawel Castle. The history of the edifice located at the intersection of ul. Św. Anny and ul. Jagiellońska begins a few years later, in 1400.

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The turbulent history of the Professors' Garden

Professors' Garden – a relatively small green area between Collegium Maius, Collegium Minus, Collegium Witkowski, and Collegium Novodvorscianum – was officially opened to visitors five and a half years ago. During its centuries-old history, this green enclave has gone through several periods of decline.

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A short heraldic tour of the Academic Quarter

The coat of arms of the Jagiellonian University – two crossed sceptres placed on a blue shield in background, topped with crown – is commonly known and visible in many places and contexts related to the Jagiellonian University. But if you raise your eyes you will see that the university buildings are adorned with many other coats of arms. What do they mean and why have they been placed there?

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The unique clocks of Collegium Maius

There are very few objects which have accompanied humanity for as long as the clock. The first mechanical clock in Kraków was installed in the main square area in the late 14th century. The one in Collegium Maius is only a little younger.

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Botanical Garden - a place of experiments

On 10 April, the JU Botanical Garden opened its gates for a new season. The garden, established in 1783, is the oldest of its kind in Poland. It was erected as part of the Hugo Kołłątaj's reform, which in the years 1777–1786 restructured the university and introduced into it the concepts of Enlightenment. The garden is widely recognised for its rich plant collection – and rightly so; however, it is unique in more than one way.

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