Wawel Royal Castle • Cracow Local Tours

Wawel Royal Castle tour

Wawel Royal Castle

Cracow Local Tours

The Wawel Royal Castle is a Renaissance royal residence, located on the Wawel Hill, near the bend of the Vistula River. It is a two-story building of a Renaissance, Baroque and classicist style. There is a courtyard with arcaded galleries, an entrance gate and five residential towers. Over the centuries, the castle has been repeatedly expanded and renovated. Numerous fires, plundering and marches of foreign troops caused that the building was repeatedly rebuilt in new architectural styles.

In the 14th century, the castle was expanded by King Władysław Łokietek, and his son Casimir the Great created an impressive gothic residence. Under the rule of Władysław Jagiełło, the castle was enlarged by a Gothic pavilion called In the Danish tower and in this state, the building survived until the fire in 1499. Around 1504, King Aleksander Jagiellończyk proceeded to the reconstruction of the gothic residence, giving it a renaissance shape. From 1507, the brother's work was continued by Zygmunt I called Stary. It was in his time that the famous cloisters were created. The castle rooms and chambers gained splendor after Zygmunt August purchased splendid Flemish tapestries.

Among the many monuments, in the collection of the museum you can see a collection of previously mentioned tapestries from the 16th century, portraits of kings and a collection of Renaissance Italian furniture, 30 famous Wawel heads. In the Treasury, goldsmiths, ivory and amber products are exhibited, as well as Szczerbiec - the coronation sword of Polish kings, the sword of King Zygmunt the Old, armor, sabers, maces and cannons.

The main exhibition of castle interiors includes several ground floor rooms, and above all, representative rooms on the second floor of the palace. In the three chambers on the ground floor, constituting the apartment of Krakow's governors, the Renaissance wooden ceilings have been preserved.

Wawel Hill also has the Wawel Cathedral - the place of coronation of the kings of Poland and rest of their remains. Buried there are the kings from Władysław I the Elbow-high to August II the Strong, members of royal families and great leaders: Józef Poniatowski, Tadeusz Kościuszko, Józef Piłsudski, Władysław Sikorski, the bards of the nation: Adam Mickiewicz, Juliusz Słowacki, as well as the Cracow bishops from Saint. Stanisława, and also President Lech Kaczyński with his wife Maria.

Practical info

  • Please bear in mind that your voucher cannot be exchanged for a ticket at the ticket booth

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