Chapter house and cathedral library, currently: Archdiocesan Museum, Wrocław
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Chapter house and cathedral library, currently: Archdiocesan Museum



The chapter house, today the seat of the Archdiocesan Museum, is a valuable example of Gothic architecture in Wrocław. The portal from 1527, in turn, is an early example of the incorporation of Renaissance sculpture into architecture in Wrocław.


The chapter house was first mentioned by written records in 1382: earlier, the chapter held meetings in the cathedral or in the Church of Saint Giles. Parts of the first building from the years 1380-1400 (peripheral walls and the vaulted southern hall on the ground floor) were used in the construction of the new building. During the works, which lasted from 1518 to 1527, a vault was constructed over the southern hall of the ground floor and upper storeys and a tower were added to the structure. The modifications, which gave the buildings a Renaissance character, were carried out on the initiative of Johann V Thurzó, Bishop of Wrocław. In the southern façade of the tower, there is an original portal, above which there is a panel with a shield with a coat of arms of the Wrocław bishopric and the date “1527”. In modern times, a canonical manor was added to the chapter house on the east side; in 1756, it underwent major modifications and was turned into the cathedral chapter office (current address: 16 Katedralny Square). In 1882, the northern hall on the ground floor was modernised. In 1896, according to designs by Joseph Ebers, a new building housing a library and a diocesan archive was built onto the chapter house on the north side (the buildings were connected at the first floor level). Moreover, adaptation works were carried out on the upper storeys of the chapter house so that it could function as a museum (the diocesan museum, founded by Cardinal Georg Kopp on 1 August 1898, was opened and dedicated on 29 October 1903). Currently, the chapter house, the building of the former cathedral chapter office at 16 Katedralny Square, and the library and diocesan archive building are used by the Wrocław Capitular Library, the Archdiocesan Archive, and the Archdiocesan Museum.


The chapter house and cathedral library building — located in Ostrów Tumski, to the north of the cathedral, on the north side of Katedralna Street — is a three-storeyed structure with a basement, covered with a hip roof. On the south side, the building is adjoined by a tower on a square floor plan, containing a staircase. On the ground floor, there are two halls with Gothic vaults: the southern one, with a cross-rib vault supported by a central pillar, and the northern one — initially serving as the chapter house, covered with an asymmetric stellar vault. The first floor is a single open space, covered with a cross-rib vault supported by two piers. In the south tower façade, there is a Renaissance, sandstone portal with a shield with a coat of arms of the Bishop of Wrocław and the date of its installation — “1527”.

The site is open to visitors. Information on the opening hours of the Archdiocesan Museum, the Archdiocesan Archive, and the Capitular Library is available at the museum website:

compiled by Bogna Oszczanowska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wroclaw, 20-08-2014


  • Broniewski T., Zlat M. (red.), Sztuka Wrocławia, Wrocław 1967.
  • Eysymontt R., Ilkosz J., Tomaszewicz A., Urbanik J. (red.), Leksykon architektury Wrocławia, Wrocław 2011, nr kat. 318, s. 427.
  • Harasimowicz J. (red.), Atlas architektury Wrocławia, t. 1: Budowle sakralne. Świeckie budowle publiczne, Wrocław 1997, nr kat. 122, s. 111.
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  • Urban W., Muzeum Archidiecezjalne we Wrocławiu oraz katalog jego zbiorów, Lublin 1973, s. 133-221.
  • Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Warszawa 2006, s. 968.

General information

  • Type: public building
  • Chronology: 1380 - 1400
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: pl. Katedralny 17, Wrocław
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district Wrocław, commune Wrocław
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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