How could you possibly ignore such a claim? I ventured into several museums on my recent visit to Kraków, but none more beautiful. Pałac Pełen Piękna makes no false claim. More properly known as the Bishop Erazm Ciołek Palace, it was built originally between 1501-1503, for the Bishop of Płock. Erazm Ciołek, secretary to King Alexander Jagellion, was a diplomat, humanist and a patron of the arts.
The architecture of the building features traditional Gothic elements and influences from the Italian Renaissance. It was added to down the centuries, including the frescoes which took my breath away. Austrian occupation turned it rather incongruously into a police station and prison in 1805. Rescue was forthcoming and in 1996 it became the property of the National Museum of Kraków, and was restored to its former glory. Today it houses art of Old Poland, 12th-18th Centuries- medieval, Renaissance and Baroque.
It was the beautiful frescoes and the incredible painted wooden ceilings that captured my imagination, as much, if not more than, the collected art works. I gazed upwards in awe. I apologise for the poor quality of my photographs, but I mean only to give you a sense of what I felt.
The building is as beautiful as its contents in my eyes. I’m no appreciator of medieval art. I’m just thankful that it has been preserved so that I can share with you a tiny fraction of its splendours. The museum is to be found at Ul. Kanonicza 17.
Paula is featuring Traces of the Past again in this week’s Thursday’s Special. Don’t miss it!