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Krakow's numismatic treasures


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Last week I had the pleasure and privilege of visiting the Czapski Museum in Krakow (link to museum's webpage) with my dear friend @Barnaba6. One of the most valuable numismatic collections in all of Poland is hidden in a small, inconspicuous building in the middle of the historic old town. The museum began in the earliest years of the 20th century with the countal Hutten-Czapski couple (hence the Museum's name) bequeathing their gargantuan private collection for public purposes, then grew even more with further donations. Almost miraculously, the collection survived the Second World War, impoverished only by a few stolen gold coins.

As befits a Polish collection, the Czapski museum has an almost unimaginable assembly of old Polish numismatics, both coins and exonumia. However, I was naturally most interested in antique coins. Even in this department, the collection is nothing else but stunning. As we were informed, only tiny part of the actual collection is put onto display.

The only "flaw" (if you even can say so) of the Museum is the lighting at the exhibition, which sometimes makes it difficult to visually distinguish the metal from which the coin is made.

For me personally, the highlight was the beautiful assemblage of coins from Sicily and Magna Graecia. Including, of course, the crown jewel of every possible coin collection - the dekadrachm from Syracuse itself.



Of course, there were also coins from other areas and eras of the ancient world.












As I wrote, my attention was mainly focused on ancient coins. However, I could not be indifferent to at least some of the treasures of Polish coinage. And here the Museum had something to show. Not only were there the oldest Polish coins in general (10th and 11th century) or the oldest Polish gold coins (14th century), but also treasures such as one of the most expensive coins in the world - the massive gold 100 ducat coin of King Sigismund III from the first half of the 17th century.






One 100 ducat? How about two? Because then we went to the Wawel Castle, where there is a second copy on display.
That's some chonky coin.



Much more photos can be seen here




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