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Friday, 20 April 2018

Collegium Maius: Kawiarnia u Pecherza

Dearest sweethearts,

If ever you find yourself on the cobblestoned paths of Old Town Krakow it would be a pitty not to visit also Collegium Maius - one of the oldest buildings of the Jagiellonian University. Collegium Maius sits on the former Jewish District - that was moved to Kazimierz due to a huge fire. Now Collegium Maius is quite off the beaten track and many tourists don't know about it, even though it is in the Old Town and just a stone throw away from the Main Market Square. Drag yourself there and enjoy some quiet time at the Cafe shop that is in it's basement: Kawiarnia "U Pecherza". 
The coffee shop "U Pecherza" (btw #DidYouKnow that Pecherza in Polish language means bladder?) is located in the basement of the oldest part of the building Collegium Maius. There are 2 sets of stairs and no elevator - hence it is not quite children friendly nor for people with disabilities. But you can sit on one of the tables upstairs and ask the person whom joins you to go down and grab a drink - that's what we did ;) Please also bare in mind that the place is setup as self-service so you need to get to the counter and get your own food and drinks. The third minus I could spot was the fact that you can pay only cash, so make sure you have some before you order ;)
From the early morning to dusk, the coffee house offers 4 well appointed halls of almost 200 square meters. They seem lovely for big gatherings with friends, especially during summertime when the basement would keep things rather chill. The coffee shop also looks like an ideal place for group and individual classes. The athmosphere is cosy and you can't hear the hustle and bustle of the city, even though you are in the Old Town. There is good coffee and very good looking chocolate (hot!). They offer also sandwiches and fresh juices. And as an extra attraction, they do offer 30% off for students and researchers.
Checking more details (in Polish, of course), on the Collegium Maius site, they also state that they can organise receptions for work purposes, training conferences, integration parties and so on. They provide catering services, waiter service, room decoration and even music. "U Pecherza" team can offer each customer an individual offer tailored to your needs. 
If one would check the rating in TripAdvisor for Kawiarnia "U Pecherza" it would see it rating at 4.5 stars (out of 5) and designated as #929 of 1373 restaurants in Krakow. I would definitely not name it Restaurant, it is most certainly a coffee shop - a pit stop place where you can grab a cold soft drink and relax, while admiring the inner quarters of the Collegium Maius. I did not stay down, in the basement, as I always prefer seeing a patch of sky (plus I have a thing for red brick buildings). 
Kawiarnia "U Pecherza" is a takeout kind of place, with outdoor seating (wooden tables and chairs on ground level), buffet, options of wine and beer but also soft drinks (lemonade and fresh juices). It is open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm & Saturday from 9 am - Sunday from 10 am till 5 pm. The name of the coffee shop actually comes from the original title of the building: Dom Szczepana Pecherza. It was changed after the decree on 26th July 1400, when Wladyslaw Jagiello transferred the building to the property of the university.
Nowdays you can enjoy at the coffee shop homemade desserts, nutritious sandwiches and fine teas. It's popular amongst students who spend time between classes there or tourists that just want to have a break. The Kawiarnia is an integral part of the Museum - there are also temporary exhibitions (for example pictures hanging on the walls, as you can see in the photos above).

Location: ul. Jagiellonska 15, Krakow 31-010
The prices:
- Natural juices, bottled (glass bottle), locally produced, diverse sortiments - 5 zloty per bottle 
- Coca Cola, bottled (glass bottle) - 8 zloty per bottle
- Home-made cakes - 8-10 zloty per piece
Yours very much truly,
The Twisted Red Ladybug That Loves Krakow