Historical Museum of the City of Kraków – Barbican

ul. Basztowa, 30-547 Kraków
Opening hours:

Summer season (April – October):

Monday – Sunday: 10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

closed on every second Monday of the month

Winter season (November – March): closed

There is a one shared ticked for both the Barbican and the City Defence Walls.


The Barbican is the most interesting historic part of the mediaeval fortifications of Krakow, and one of the few of its type in Europe to survive to our times.

Built in 1498–1499 of brick and partially of stone, it was a kind of spacious tower with four levels of chequered embrasures and 7 watchtowers.

The walls were virtually impervious to artillery fire. For a long time the building was an integral part of St. Florian’s Gate, with which it was connected by a long “neck”. The Barbican was surrounded with a crescent-shaped moat. The outer gate of the Barbican, called Kleparska Gate, housed a drawbridge.

For many years it was an extremely important element in the city’s defences. It successfully defended Krakow during the sieges against the armies of Archduke Maximilian Habsburg in 1587, against Swedish troops in 1655, and Russian soldiers in 1772. In the first half of the 19th century the building was saved from demolition thanks to the efforts of Free City of Krakow Senators Prof. Feliks Radwański and Jan Librowski.

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