Nowodworski Collegium

ul. Świętej Anny 12, Kraków

In 1588, the professors of the Jagiellonian University (which at the time was still known as the Kraków Academy) established St. Anne's Lyceum, or so-called “Classes”, which is currently considered to be the oldest secondary school in Poland. Between 1638 and 1643, architect Jan Laitner erected the school's edifice on Św. Anny Street.

Its construction was greatly aided by the resources of Bartłomiej Nowodworski, a nobleman whose biography could be the groundwork for a good adventure film. He took part in Stephen Báthory's wars and was his envoy to the court of the Sultan. After a quarrel in which he killed his adversary, he had to flee Poland. He served in the French court for King Henry III of France and Henry IV of France.

Later on, he joined the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. As a knight, he fought in crusades against Muslims. He gained his fame during the siege of Lepanto in 1603, which was successful thanks to his blowing up the entry gate to the fortress. Upon his return to Poland as a hero, he served in the court of King Sigismund III, who entrusted him with reforming the army. He was considered an expert in explosives and the art of siege.

The stair-shaped gables embellished with pinnacles are modelled after the late-Gothic architecture of the neighbouring Collegium Maius. But the main ornament of the edifice is the internal courtyard with an early-Baroque arcaded cloister and picturesque "palace" stairs, added in mid-19th century.

Date: 2013-06-07 Show ticket
News author: Weronika Dulowska
News Publisher: Portal główny EN
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