Museum of Japanese Art and Technology
Frequent workshops, events for kids
Pleasant cafe with a terrace and view on the royal castle
Unique, modern architecture
On the other side of the Wisła from Wawel, you may notice a low building with a wavy roof. It is one of a kind, both outside and on the inside. It is the Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology.
In 1994, the great Polish director Andrzej Wajda, and his wife Krystyna Zachwatowicz, opened a branch of the National Museum which aimed to nurture Japanese culture in Krakow, and to explore Polish-Japanese relations. The success of the museum project showed that there is a lot of interest in Japanese culture in Krakow. It would be wrong to classify Manggha as a typical museum, however. It is a centre which is bursting with life and which organises both cyclical and one-off workshops, Japanese language courses, academic meetings, and releases publications. The museum also welcomes children – Japanese Children’s Day in May is very popular year after year. It is worth visiting the museum shop, which sells goods related to Japan (books, souvenirs and interesting gifts).
Feliks Jasieński, the art critic, collector and star of Krakow’s bohemian set who lived at the turn of the 20th century, is the patron, and a figure who is very much a part of the museum. It was he who chose the artistic pseudonym “Manggha”, which was later chosen as name for the institution founded by Wajda. It is interesting to note that the word manggha (which is now written mangha) means drawing, caricature, comic.
You can enter the museum from Konopnicka Street (ulica Konopnickiej), or through the restaurant by the Wisła river. You enter a stylishly decorated café, and then visit a large room containing the permanent exhibitions. Each exhibition is related to the culture of Japan. On the floor below, there is another exhibition room. An unhurried visit will take you at least three quarters of an hour. If you find yourself enthralled by the blissful atmosphere, you can make yourself comfortable in the café or on the terrace, and order something to eat or a Japanese drink at a reasonable price. You can also simply sit down and have a pleasant coffee with a friend. Admiring the view of Wawel while sipping Japanese umeshu will certainly tempt many visitors to make a return visit!
It is worth looking at the museum’s website to find information about the temporary exhibitions (http://manggha.pl/en/exhibitions) and the cyclical or one-off events being held (http://manggha.pl/en/events).
Manggha centre website: http://manggha.pl/en/
Address: ul. M. Konopnickiej 26, 30-302 Kraków
tel: (+48)12 2672703, (+48)12 2673753
Opening times: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00 – 18:00.
Please note: the centre is closed on Mondays
TICKET PRICES (without guide):
20 PLN (full)
15 PLN (reduced)
Tuesdays – entrance is free