About the museum
The Regional Museum in Rzeszów is a multidepartmental institution based in a venerable, 17th century Piarist monastery complex at the address: 3 Maja 19, Rzeszów, Poland.
The complex includes a former Piarist male-only school, currently functioning as General Upper Secondary School no. 1. At the centre of the complex lies the parish church of the Holy Cross with its beautiful interior design and also featuring stucco work by Giovanni Battista Falconi from the years 1656–1657. The complex also includes a former monastery building, which has been used as the main building of the Regional Museum since 1953. The building was used for the accommodation of Piarists until the Austrians dissolved the order in 1786 following the First Partition of Poland.
The monastery complex was erected in the years 1644–1649 as a result of an endowment from Zofia Pudencjanna, a daughter of Mikołaj Spytek Ligęza and wife of Władysław Dominik Ostrogski, to the third Franciscan Order of Bernardines. After the death of Zofia Pudencjanna, Jerzy Sebastian Lubomirski, the inheritor of Rzeszów, passed the complex to the Piarists and continued the construction of the monastery. The monastery’s current façade was created at the turn of the eighteenth century by Tylman van Gameren, a prominent architect of the period, who also reconstructed the building. One can sense the unique atmosphere and beauty of this historic place, with its precious baroque polychrome from the first half of the eighteenth century in the cloisters on the ground floor, and a matchless set of paintings from the late seventeenth century in the monastery’s refectory and former pharmacy.
The monastery was used for Austrian offices during the partitions of Poland and was home to the municipal offices after the First World War ended and Poland regained its independence. The Nazis took over the building during the Second World War while the Soviets occupied the monastery from autumn 1944 to early 1945.
The Museum was set up in 1935 as a social institution and was located in a small tenement house in Rzeszów’s main square from 1940. At the time, the collection had a local character. The institution functioned as the Museum of the City of Rzeszów after 1945 and it became the Regional Museum in Rzeszów in 1951. It developed together with Rzeszów after the Second World War. The Piarist monastery was designated as an office for the Museum in the early 1950s and it is still home to the institution today. The Museum’s ethnographic collection became quite extensive in the post-war period thanks to the competence of the department responsible for the task, which was the Museum’s leading department at that time. As the institution continued to grow in the 1960s and onwards, it employed more staff members, whose successors continue to carry out new and significant undertakings.
Tłumaczenie: Biuro Tłumaczeń i Szkoła Językowa Skrivanek