The Krzysztofory Palace is one of the most beautiful and impressive palaces in Krakow. Its name originates from St. Krzysztof, patron saint of the middle age tenement, which was there originally. During the 14th century, the tenement belonged to the Spycymir family, and in the 15th century it became property of the very influential merchant family - Morsztynowie.
The building that became the palace was built in the 17th century as a result of gothic tenements merger located on the corner of Main Market Square and the present Szczepańska Street. The actual construction commenced in the 2nd quarter of the 17th century by the order of the crown court marshal Adam Kozanowski.
The first main renovation of the palace was done by the architect Jakub Solari in 1682-1684, who was employed by the then building owner Wawrzniec Jan Wodzicki. From this period of 17th century renovation come the beautiful arcade loggias. It consists of five arches supported on double Tuscan columns with Palladian configuration.
On the 1st floor of the palace premises we can observe rooms of various size and configuration. Inside we can admire well preserved and admirable scagliolas of virtuoso sculptor and stucco artist Baltazar Fontana from the turn of the 17th and the 18th century.
Fontan Room is one of the most representative places in Museum. Its name is a tribute to the name of famous Italian sculpturer and stucco-artist Baltazar Fontana. The room is filled with portraits of Cracow's intelligentsia as well as the masterwork of the artist-ceiling stucco Strącenie Faetona (The fall of Pheaton), reference to mythology.
In 1773 the palace was purchased by Krakow's Bishop Kajetan Sołtyk. At the end of 18th century, the building became property of Jacek Kluszewski - a senior officer of the Brzeg district and co-founder of Krakow Theater. Throughout its history, many prominent figures were guests of the palace. The list includes King Jan Kazimierz Waza, Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki and Stanisław August Poniatowski (in 1809).
During the Krakow Uprising in February of 1846, "Pod Krzysztofory" palace building housed members of the National Government led by Jan Tyssowski. During the revolutionary period of 1848, palace served as meeting place for the Civic Committee and later for the National Committee in Krakow.
In 1914, the building was used as a recruitment office for Polish Legions and the office of Chief National Committee. In 1965 jurisdiction over the palace was transferred to the Museum of History in Kraków.