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Jagiellonian Hall

Known as the Jagiellonian Hall, the former theologian lecture room serves a representative function today. It is located in the oldest section of Collegium Maius. Originally, the house owned by the knight Mikołaj Pęcherz from Rzeszotary stood in this location. The building was later purchased by King Władysław Jagiełło and endowed to the university in 1400. Among other events, honorary degree and habilitation ceremonies take place in the Hall, as well as conferences and music concerts.

The stone portal reveals the Latin sentence ‘Plus ratio quam vis’ (‘By reason rather than by blunt force’) placed there by the Museum founder Prof. Karol Estreicher. The phrase became the University motto shortly thereafter.

The Hall features a gallery consisting of 100 portraits depicting the most significant people connected to the university (16th-20th cc.): Polish kings, Kraków bishops (university chancellors), and the most distinguished professors (including rectors) and alumni. Especially noteworthy are the 17th-century portraits of Queen Hedwig Anjou, King Władysław Jagiełło, and King Jan III Sobieski (the only Polish ruler who studied at Kraków University) painted by one of the greatest Polish Baroque artists, Jan Trycjusz (Tretko). A special place is occupied by five portraits hanging above the window facing Jagiellońska St. which commemorate the professors murdered in German concentration camps during the Second World War. Above the central door hangs the portrait of Pope John Paul II (painted by Leszek Sobocki, 1980), an alumnus and professor of the Jagiellonian University. During the visit to Collegium Maius in 1980, the pope received the honorary doctorate in the Hall.

At the other end of the hall visitors can see the Mannerist inlaid door from 1593, relocated together with a stone portal from the non-existing Kraków city hall. The portal leads to the representative ‘Rector’s’ staircase.