Krakow

Kraków Sightseeing

Wawel Castle (Zamek Królewski)

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, 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. While almost all exhibits require a ticket, there is no charge to stroll and admire the castle grounds and courtyards.

  Show on map

Social Links

Website

Price/Additional Info

Admission free for castle grounds; tickets required for various interior exhibits.

Events at this venue

Wednesday Jun 27 2018Grand Pas Ballet

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*
01.05.2018
Agar

The tours are very interesting and the guides are very good. The souvenirs stores, at least some of them, have better prices than the stores closer to the Main Market. It is better to arrive the earliest which is 9 am so you have time to explore as much as possible as it is difficult to still get tickets after 2 pm. I was fortunate to be able to take the tour to the Open Gardens and Architecture which is a seasonal tour and very nice.
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