Krakow

Wawel: Kraków's Royal Castle Complex

01 Apr 2018

The Cathedral

The scene of the crowning of almost every Polish king and queen throughout history, the current Wawel Cathedral is the third to be built on the site. The first cathedral was built of wood, probably around 1020, but certainly after the founding of the Bishopric of Kraków in 1000AD. Destroyed by fire it was replaced by a second cathedral that subsequently burnt down again. The current building was consecrated in 1364 and built on the orders of Poland’s first king to be crowned at Wawel, Władysław the Short (aka. Władysław the Elbow-high, 1306-1333), who was crowned among the charred rubble of its predecessor in 1319. Considered the most important single building in Poland, Wawel’s extraordinary Cathedral contains much that is original, although many glorious additions have been made over the centuries. Arguably not as stunning as that of its cousin St. Mary’s on the Rynek, the interior of Wawel Cathedral more than makes up for its visual shortcomings thanks to the sheer amount of history packed inside. At its centre is the imposing tomb of the former Bishop of Kraków, St. Stanisław (1030-1079), a suitably grand monument dedicated to the controversial cleric after whom the Cathedral is dedicated. Boasting 18 chapels, all of them about as ostentatious as you’re ever likely to see, of particular interest is the 15th-century Chapel of the Holy Cross, found to the right as you enter and featuring some wonderful Russian murals as well as Veit Stoss’ 1492 marble sarcophagus to Kazimierz IV. The Royal Crypts offer a cold and atmospheric diversion as the final resting place of kings and statesmen – most recently former president Lech Kaczyński – while at the top of a gruelling wooden series of staircases is the vast, 11 tonne Sigismund Bell - so loud it can supposedly be heard 50km away.

Associated Venues

Comments

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*
19.11.2017
Avner Eliyahu Romm
Czestochowa
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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joFaJ3gWbMk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqLJNXhlZeQ&t=3s Please watch, enjoy, comment and share. Thank you.
04.07.2017
Olga
Wrocław
Magic place - worth to see :)
Over a year ago
Patricia

Beautiful place and great site :) #krakowinyourpocket
Over a year ago
Abdelhafid Dib
Algeria
Krakow, it is a masing city needed to be visited!
Take your guide with you Download a pdf or order a printed issue Browse our collection of guides
Put our app in your pocket
Top
City Essentials

Download our new City Essentials app

download 4.5