Gallery of Medieval Art – Warsaw, Poland - Atlas Obscura

Gallery of Medieval Art

One of the world's largest collections of medieval religious art. 


The Gallery of Medieval Art in Warsaw’s National Museum is filled with religious art that was created hundreds of years ago. Incredibly, the centuries-old artifacts have survived two world wars and the brutal communist regime.

The collection is seen as one of the richest and most diverse in the world. These works were mostly intended for the illiterate Middle Ages populous as a way to convey the words of the Bible, and they do so brilliantly.

It features enormous hinged altarpieces, extremely detailed wooden sculptures, ornate pillars, shrines, paintings, and other liturgical paraphernalia. These works give visitors a broad look at the diversity and skill of the medieval artists who created them.

The works are arranged chronologically from the early 12th century until the early 16th, with a particular focus on works from between 1440 and 1520. This arrangement highlights both interregional as well as local trends. This allows you to see how the preferred type of art changed over time, such as an increased use of sculptures in place of paintings. Walk through the gallery, and you’ll soon notice how intricate paintings slowly give way to increasingly detailed statues.

Know Before You Go

The museum costs 20 zpl (roughly $5) for a regular ticket, with various discounts for groups and students. Its opening hours Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m; and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

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February 22, 2019

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