The Wawel Hill is the most important monument of Polish history, culture and national identity.
The beginnings of the residence of Polish rulers on the Wawel Hill go back to the middle of the 11th century. In the 14th century the castle was expanded into a vast Gothic residence. The castle was then rebuilt in a Renaissance style at the beginning of the 16th century.
The Wawel Cathedral, located at the Castle served as coronation site of the Polish kings as well as their burial place. One of its chapels, the Sigismund Chapel roofed with a golden dome, is one of the most eminent examples of the Rennaissance style in Krakow.
After moving the capital to Warsaw in the 17th century, Polish monarchs rarely visited the castle, and after Poland lots its independence in 1796 the castle was overtaken by the Austrian army which contributed greatly to the deterioration of the castle. After Poland regained its independence the Wawel Castle was announced to be the representative building of the Polish state and the it became a national museum.
Permanent exhibitions in the Wawel Royal Castle
Royal Private Apartments
CrownTreasury and Armoury
Oriental Art Exhibition
The Lost Wawel Exhibition
The Sigismund Bell
Wawel Hill – Opening hours 6 a.m – 5 p.m.
Extensive information about ticket, free admission, temporary closures, guided tours, etc
Address: Wawel 5, 31 – 001 Krakow
Contact: (+48) 12 422 51 55