Naturalists' House

Znak DP MAG  e
25/26 Mariacka st, Gdańsk 80-833

The Naturalists’ House (Dom Przyrodników) is currently undergoing renovation and a major overhaul of its exhibitions. It remains closed until further notice. zamknięty do odwołania.


Dom Przyrodników i Brama Mariacka od strony Motławy. Na zdjęciu napis: REMONT.

When was it built?

This townhouse was probably built to a design by Antoni van Obberghen during 1597–1599 on the commission of a merchant named Hans Köpe. Originally it served as both a residential property and a warehouse. The side of the building overlooking the River Motława was embellished with a multistorey oriel (a part of the building that projects beyond its façade) topped by a double gable, something rarely noted in Gdańsk.

An exceptional building

The Naturalists’ House has a distinctive 30-metre-high façade, but its most striking feature is the slender, 36-metre high staircase tower nestled in the corner between the building’s north elevation and St Mary’s Gate (Brama Mariacka). The tower is crowned by a beautiful Mannerist cupola. The building’s architectural highlights do not stop there. Alongside the main entrance on ul. Mariacka is a characteristic raised terrace decorated with carved stone panels. The carvings depict female figures personifying various branches of science: Astronomy, Geography, Medicine and Natural Science.

A location fit for a museum headquarters

The headquarters of Gdańsk Archaeological Museum is at ul. Mariacka 25/26. It occupies one of the largest and most representative townhouses in Gdańsk, known as the Naturalists’ House.

Why is it called the Naturalists’ House?

The building was given its name after becoming the seat of the Gdańsk Natural Science Society in 1846. The Society was founded in 1743 by the distinguished scholar Daniel Gralath, later mayor of Gdańsk. In its new townhouse home the Society set up meeting and study rooms, a small museum and a library with some 20,000 books. The interiors were decorated with portraits of eminent scientists, among them Nicholas Copernicus, Mathias Nathanael Wolff and Daniel Gralath, and a bust of Johannes Hevelius which was a gift from the last king of Poland, Stanisław August Poniatowski. In 1866 an astronomical observatory was installed in the tower, and the decorative cupola was replaced for some time by a rotating dome.

The Naturalists’ House is converted into a museum

The building was badly damaged during the Second World War – the only parts of it that survived were its front elevation and tower. It was rebuilt during 1956–1961 to a design by Kazimierz Macur, in a form similar to the original, but adapted to meet the needs of the newly established Archaeological Museum.

What will we find inside the building today?

Today the first three floors of the Naturalists’ House and the annexe adjoining it contain permanent exhibitions mostly devoted to the prehistory of Pomerania. The next three floors and the adjacent St Mary’s Gate are occupied by museum offices and research facilities.

Wystawy stałe

  • „Pradzieje Pomorza Gdańskiego” – wystawa prezentuje najdawniejsze dzieje Pomorza Gdańskiego i jest najważniejszą stałą ekspozycją Muzeum. Przybliża odrębny i specyficzny charakter miejscowych społeczeństw pradziejowych.
  • „Z bursztynem przez tysiąclecia” – wystawa podzielona jest na dwie części. Pierwsza część dotyczy występowania bursztynu w przyrodzie – poruszane są w niej zagadnienia pochodzenia bursztynu, jego złóż, identyfikacji i odmian. Druga część poświęcona jest bursztynowi w kulturze – eksponowane są w niej zabytki bursztynowe oraz przedmioty związane z bursztynnictwem rozwijającym się na ziemiach polskich.
  • „Schorzenia ludności prahistorycznej na ziemiach polskich” – celem tej wystawy jest przybliżenie odbiorcy problematyki związanej ze stanem zdrowia naszych przodków. Pokazane na wystawie eksponaty przedstawiają różne odmiany i zmiany chorobowe od neolitu po czasy średniowiecza.
  • „1000 lat Gdańska w świetle wykopalisk” – wystawa pokazuje 1000-letnią historię Gdańska na podstawie wykopalisk.
  • „Tajemnice Doliny Nilu. Sudan. Archeologia i Etnografia” – to wystawa prezentująca nam wyniki wieloletnich badań archeologicznych prowadzonych w dolinie Nilu – Sudanie, a tym samym wprowadzająca nas w egzotyczny, pełen tajemnic świat pradawnej Nubii.

Zobacz wszystkie wystawy: DLA ZWIEDZAJĄCYCH > Wystawy

Old Prussian stone babas

Standing at the foot of the Naturalists’ House, on the Długie Pobrzeże waterfront, are a number of anthropomorphic figures carved in stone. Known as babas, they are characteristic early medieval sculptures found in areas that were inhabited by the Old Prussians. Where does the name ‘baba’ come from? And what do the individual stones symbolise? You can find out more at:

Other branches:

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