The exhibition consists of two parts presenting a wide range of regional topics. The first presents the history of Krosno, its origins and dynamic development in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, when it was called Parva Cracovia ("Little Cracow"). Gathered there are more than 350 exhibits which had been recovered thanks to archaeological research carried out in the town, mainly in the market square. Among them there are many unique, highly valuable historical artefacts, products of local crafts and imports from the territory of Bohemia and Germany. These demonstrate the importance of trade for the development of the town. Another group of exhibits that stand out are photocopies of royal documents relating to Krosno, old views of the town and photographs of unknown stone buildings exposed during excavation works: the Gothic tower and Renaissance town hall, as well as elements of the wooden urban infrastructure (sewers, water pipes, merchant stalls). In this part of the exhibition you can also see a life-size reconstructions of a medieval stall, a wooden well transformed into a public convenience, a part of wooden waterworks and a fragment of the tower wall. Magnificent specimens of Gothic carvings are unquestionably a highlight of the exhibition.
On the first floor there is an exhibition of the modern history of the region. There are many paintings dating back to the period of Romanticism. The exhibition focuses on the towns of Krosno and Iwonicz Zdrój and Rymanów Zdrój. It also incorporates landscapes, old pictures, postcards and other exhibits documenting the life of the autonomous province of Galicia and the Second Polish Republic. An original Pleyel grand piano also deserves attention. In another part of the exhibition there are items connected with the Polish struggle for independence (Napoleonic times, 1848 Revolution, 1863 Uprising and the battles of 1914-1921, including the defence of Lvov and the Polish-Soviet War), such as cold steel and firearms, photographs and patriotic jewellery.
The part which relates to the Second World War emphasizes the Polish-German war of September 1939 with numerous military exhibits, and displays on the clandestine Home Army, Polish victims of German persecution, and the post-war anti-communist underground resistance.
Both in the hall dedicated to the struggles for Polish independence as well as the Second World War, a special treat for the fans of military displays is a collection of firearms (both pistols and guns). In addition to the rich collection of the weapons from all over the world, examples of Polish technical inventions are presented, such as the VIS 35 pistol.
In the last part of the presentation, elements of the contemporary history of Krosno are shown on prints, and photographs. The display emphasizes facts from socio-political and cultural life, and highlights the important events from the Solidarity period (1980-1981), the beginning of independence (1989-1990), and the visit of Pope John Paul II to Krosno (1997).
Kierownik Działu Historycznego