Often recognized as the symbol of Poland’s statehood, Wawel Royal Castle was built on Wawel Hill located in central Kraków, and it was the seat of Poland’s rulers since the 11th century.
The castle was rebuilt after a fire in 1499 and has had several extensions. The complex we see now consists of a number of structures from different periods situated around the Italian-styled main courtyard, including elements of the Gothic, Renaissance, Rococo and Romanesque. It’s now a museum containing five separate sections, where visitors can admire valuable paintings, sixteenth-century Italian furniture, beautiful tapestries, dazzling jewelry, oriental arts, armory and other significant historic objects, such as the Szczerbiec coronation sword.
The Wawel Cathedral adjoining to the Royal Castle has witnessed many coronations, royal weddings and funerals. Almost all of the Polish kings were crowned in Wawel Castle. The Cathedral is flanked by various chapels, Sigismund Chapel is among the most surprising which has been hailed by many art historians as “the most beautiful example of Tuscan renaissance north of the Alps”. At the top of its Tower, there is the most famous Polish bell – the massive Sigismund’s Bell. The Wawel Cathedral has been standing for nearly 1,000 years, is one of the most important sacred buildings in Poland.
Wawel Royal Castle Complex is the most historically and culturally significant site in Poland and was one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the world. Do not miss this place next time you visit Krakow.
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?Wawel Royal Castle in Kraków