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Muzeum Geologiczne Instytutu Nauk Geologicznych PAN w Krakowie

Wandering down a side street in Kraków Old Town, I see a Geological Museum. I knew there is a mineral museum somewhere. This wasn’t it. I was a little chafed at both museums housing the large mediæval art collections were closed for restoration, and having no real aim in mind and liking all things geo and tectonic, decided to go in. The archæological museum as well was directly around the corner.

It’s a really small museum, more of an exhibition, a room about 60 square metres. What it doesn’t have in size, the Muzeum Geologiczne makes up for with an utter lack of wasting of time. There was a really nice guy on the desk who gave me a folder for english translations of everything … everything, but wow if every museum took attention to detail like this one did. Information overload? Yes! And! “The rocks. You can touch, also.” Excitement!

A clarification, it’s a museum of the geologic history of Kraków and neighbourhood predominately, with some general Poland and Carpathians thrown in as required. It starts with a nice geologic map of the area and NS and WE cross-sections. Then it throws a wall-sized map of all the impact craters and other stuff that’s slammed into Poland from above.

The main room is split into three areas: the left wall with covering several geologic periods from Precambrian to Holocene, the right covering plate tectonics in the region (with some tasty photos of limestone cliffs), and the centre display cases of wood, plant, and shell fossils from the various epochs. Plus a monstrous cubic block of salt.

It’s brief, consistent, and comprehensive for such a small exhibition. Each period has a stratigraphic log, text explaining the different processes at work and the resulting rocks, minerals, landforms, samples of minerals, rocks, ore, crystals, all in a glass case, and then a few bits to pick up and turn over. It sounds a little dry but for me it wasn’t. Probably because it wasn’t 3 hours of room after room of this. It’s obviously been assembled by knowledgeable and passionate geologists, who don’t dumb down the information, yet also present it carefully and attractively. And yes, nicely lit. Actually, it needed about half a room more, to give more room for information to the fossil display cases and the geologic maps.

I wasn’t sure what to blog; I photographed almost everything. So, a few samples and minerals because it’s been a while since pretty invaded supernaut. And that block of crystal salt? It’s about the size of a small person. (And some of the translations I did myself as the fossils weren’t translated in the folder.)

Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 1: Gogolin limestone, Muschelkalk, from Chrzanów-Olkusz area, Triassic
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 1: Gogolin limestone, Muschelkalk, from Chrzanów-Olkusz area, Triassic
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 2: Grojec clay with coal, Batonian, Callovian, Middle Jurassic
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 2: Grojec clay with coal, Batonian, Callovian, Middle Jurassic
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 3: Limestone. Oxfordian. Upper Jurassic
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 3: Limestone. Oxfordian. Upper Jurassic
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 4: Clay, paleogene deposits from karst pothole, Zabierzów, Tertiary
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 4: Clay, paleogene deposits from karst pothole, Zabierzów, Tertiary
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 5: Vadoids, Bielany, Tertiary
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 5: Vadoids, Bielany, Tertiary
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 6: Native sulphur, Tertiary evaporite horizon, Swoszowice, Tertiary
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 6: Native sulphur, Tertiary evaporite horizon, Swoszowice, Tertiary
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 7: Gypsum, Tertiary evaporite horizon, Swoszowice near Kraków, Tertiary
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 7: Gypsum, Tertiary evaporite horizon, Swoszowice near Kraków, Tertiary
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 8: Entherolitic Anhydrite, Tertiary evaporite horizon, Bochnia mine, Tertiary
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 8: Entherolitic Anhydrite, Tertiary evaporite horizon, Bochnia mine, Tertiary
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 9: Barite-bearing marl, Tertiary evaporite horizon, Swoszowice, Tertiary
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 9: Barite-bearing marl, Tertiary evaporite horizon, Swoszowice, Tertiary
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 10: Crystal salt, Wieliczha, Grota Kryształowa (detail)
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 10: Crystal salt, Wieliczha, Grota Kryształowa (detail)
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 11: Crystal salt, Wieliczha, Grota Kryształowa
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 11: Crystal salt, Wieliczha, Grota Kryształowa
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 12: Peat, vicinity of Kraków, Holocene, Quarternary
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 12: Peat, vicinity of Kraków, Holocene, Quarternary
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 13: Clay with coal flora. Kraków-Dąbie
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 13: Clay with coal flora. Kraków-Dąbie
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 14: Crinoid stems fragments. Poteriocrinus sp. Lower Carboniferous Tournaisian
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 14: Crinoid stems fragments. Poteriocrinus sp. Lower Carboniferous Tournaisian
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 15: Brachiopods, Lingula sp, Tenczynek. Upper Carboniferous
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 15: Brachiopods, Lingula sp, Tenczynek. Upper Carboniferous
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 16: Section through stalagmite. Dark laminæ associated with smoke from prehistoric people. Jaskinia Ciemna, Ojców
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 16: Section through stalagmite. Dark laminæ associated with smoke from prehistoric people. Jaskinia Ciemna, Ojców
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 17: Map fragment of Kraków geologic neighbourhood, Stanislawa Zaróęcynego, 1894
Muzeum Geologiczne ING PAN w Krakowie — 17: Map fragment of Kraków geologic neighbourhood, Stanislawa Zaróęcynego, 1894