Wawel: Kraków's Royal Castle Complex

11 Oct 2017

The Castle

Wawel’s prominence as a centre of political power predates the building of the first Cathedral on the site in 1000AD. Evidence shows that Wawel Hill was being used as a fortified castle before Poland’s first ruler, Mieszko I (circa 962-992) chose Wawel as one of his official residences. The first Polish king crowned in Wawel Cathedral was the teenage Władysław the Short (1306-1333) on January 20, 1319, beginning a tradition that would see a further 35 royal rulers crowned there up until the 17th century. All of these rulers used the Castle as a residence, and all of them added their own architectural details to the building. The moving of the capital to Warsaw in 1596 and Poland’s subsequent decline and partitioning saw the Royal Castle fall into a state of disrepair. The occupying Austrians used it as a military hospital and even went so far as to demolish several buildings including a number of churches on the site. The 20th century saw the Castle change hands on a number of occasions, with the huge ongoing renovation works that continue to this day being halted for a number of reasons, most famously when the Castle was used as the headquarters of the Nazi Governor General, Hans Frank, during the German occupation of WWII. Today’s Castle complex is a beguiling muddle of styles including Medieval, Romanesque, Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque. The inner courtyard with its delightful colonnades is a true architectural masterpiece, and the treasures contained within do much to contribute to Kraków’s rightful status as a truly world-class city.

Associated Venues


Connect via social media
Leave a comment using your email This e-mail address is not valid
Please enter your name*

Please share your location

Enter your message*
Avner Eliyahu Romm
Here are two video clips of filming, during different seasons of the year, of the Wawel Hill, the Castle, the Dragon Den and surrounding places. It contains a compressed soundtrack of "Dracula''s Rebirth-to the Sleeping Beauty: Please watch, enjoy, comment and share. Thank you.
Magic place - worth to see :)

Beautiful place and great site :) #krakowinyourpocket
Over a year ago
Abdelhafid Dib
Krakow, it is a masing city needed to be visited!
City Essentials

Download our new City Essentials app

download 4.5