Cracow Underground Museum is a real time machine and must-see of this magical city. 4-meters below the surface of the Main Square there is an extensive space where each of the 40,000 square meters has been cleverly used to show you the last 2,000 years of Krakow's history, with an enchanting mix of multimedia, technology and historical artefacts involved. Opened in 2010, the museum has unceasingly been attracting thousands of visitors a day.
The earliest settlements in the area of Krakow
, southern Poland, reach back to the 4th century BCE. The established Celtic culture and signs of abandoning the territory due to the invasion of Avars allowed for the settlement of Slavs on Wawel Hill
, conveniently located at the bank of Vistula, in the 8th century (100 years after the pagan mounds of Krakus and Wanda
had been built). In 1040, Krakow became the capital of Poland
, losing the status on account of Warsaw in 1596. Between these years, Krakow served as one of the most important European cities, where the art, culture, military, trade and manufacture of the Polish Crown would see no end to their thriving. Cracow Underground Museum is where you will see the complex past of the city covered up to the beginning of the 21st century, as assisted by 25 plasma screens, 5 holograms, 700 archaeological monuments and 500 models of historic monuments,
among others. You will need between 60 and 120 minutes to take the tour of the museum.
Find a glass pyramid
protruding from the ground near Sukiennice Cloth Hall
and meet your local guide at the entry to the museum. Descend underground to make a symbolic pass through the gate of smoke, behind which the chronologically-presented exhibition begins. What you will see is a result of 5-year lasting archaeological excavation works carried out precisely under the surface of the Main Square of Krakow. You will be exposed to the links of Krakow to other European metropoles, observing the changes that affected the main municipal space of the city the Main Square is throughout the years. You will walk through the reconstructed Medieval market square
, passing the horse-drawn carriages of the era, shopping booths, trader accessories, stone tunnels, mock-up city plans and remains of buildings from Early Middle Ages
, admiring the Medieval works of art showcasing the lifestyle of then-current residents of Krakow.
Beautifully-lit and glass-covered exhibits (even with real burial sites on display, including a textbook entombment of a vampire) are complemented with a wide range of interactive multimedia. You may observe an argument of two holographic traders
who will not miss a chance to jokingly insult you as well, watch short documentaries with subtitles or use numerous touch screens to obtain more valuable information. The instructive explanations of our experienced guide will make you an expert on Krakow, clarifying a lot before you leave, while child visitors will enjoy their time spent in especially designed areas. After you return to the sunny Main Square, you will definitely never look at the place the same way as before