As part of an ongoing development to refurbish the entire Czartoryski Museum in Krakow, we have been commissioned to carry out a feasibility and conceptual study all of the museum galleries and the public spaces including the cafeteria and retail shops. The oldest public museum in Poland is testimony to the determination of Princess Izabela Czartoryska, who in 1796 decided to erect a national museum dedicated to preserving the memory of Poland's past and place in history. Her family, headed by Prince Adam Karol Czartoryski, now continues her work through the Czartoryski Foundation.
The current building was not the first home of the collection, which was constructed in the family estate at Pulawy. Now, located in historic Krakow, the Princess's Palace has been the residence of the collection since 1878. Apart from the numerous masterpieces such as the world renown Leonardo da Vinci "Lady with an Ermine", it also has a wide variety of high quality aesthetic and historical objects in various mediums including the first objects in the so-called "Temple of Memory" - trophies commemorating the victory against the Turks at the Battle of Vienna in 1683.
The Museum also features historical artifacts from the looted treasures of the Wawel Cathedral, the Royal Castle and other objects donated by Polish noble families. Izabela also bought the treasures of the Duke of Brabant, including his books, which were considered a particular highlight of the collection. Influenced by the Romantic artistic movement, she also acquired objects of sentimental significance that represented the glory and misery of human life. Among these were Shakespeare's chair, fragments from the grave of Romeo and Juliet, ashes of El Cid and Ximena from the Cathedral of Burgos, and relics from Abelard and Heloise, and Petrach and Laura.