Old Bishops' Palace

Gdańsk & Pomerania

The museum’s main exhibition space can be found in the southeastern corner of the complex, though the entrance can take a bit of finding. The ground floor is taken up with objects discovered during postwar archaeological excavations, stained glass and ecclesiastical treasures while the other levels are largely devoted to the life and work of Copernicus, along with temporary displays.

The most interesting section is on the 1st floor, where modern artists’ interpretations of the great man, in sculpture and oils, are presented, before you pass into the room containing books and other artefacts from his time.

Though Copernicus is essentially remembered for his astronomical achievements (supplanting the old geocentric Ptolemaic system with his revelation that the earth revolves around the sun), his interests extended across many other fields, including medicine, economics and cartography. Apart from an early edition of his famous De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), there are copies displayed of his treatises and manuscripts on a range of subjects, together with astronomical instruments and other scientific bric-a-brac. The exhibits are well lit and creatively placed, but English captioning is sadly lacking.

The 3rd floor is occupied by an easily skippable collection of religious art.

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