Once you climb up Wawel Hill, you may realise how enormous a castle you have just approached. Meeting your guide there will assure you that no precious exhibit of Wawel will be overlooked, as well as that no story behind it will be left unknown to you. Throughout the last 8 centuries, the castle has been subject to numerous changes and improvements by finest European architects, sculptors and painters. The marvellous outcome of this collaborative effort was signed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites, together with the Old Town and Kazimierz districts of Krakow.
The ancient settlements on Wawel Hill
, southern Poland) started transforming themselves into a durable castle-like structure at the beginning of 14th century. Since then, the complex has been expanded up to the area of 7,048 square meters, providing current visitors with 71 exhibition rooms made accessible to visitors. A standard tour of Wawel Castle
will consume between 2,5 and 3 hours of your time. You will start the sightseeing at the 16th century central courtyar
d with its structure composed of famous light arcades
. The State Rooms
exhibition is an obligatory part of the tour, encompassing a set of impressive interiors serving various Polish monarchs and authorities throughout centuries. Lavishly decorated envoy's rooms, senator's or audience halls, with their shiny parquet floors, beautifully carved wooden ceilings and chandeliers of gold will give testimony to the power once accumulated at the castle. The exhibition of Royal Private Apartments
will exemplify the hospitality and luxury kings' guests could enjoy during their stay at Wawel, partly representing the elegant Classicistic style.
At the Crown Treasury and Armoury
, you will come across such important artefacts as priceless Szczerbiec (Polish coronation sword)
and sets of valuable jewellery or vessels collected at the court. Impressive trophies from military campaigns, ceremonial banners, suits of shiny armours, sabres, rifles and cannons is what you will see displayed within the same exhibition. Complementary and theme-related exhibits placed at the royal castle will unfold their beauty to you after you decide to take an extended tour with the Oriental Art Exhibition
As you are guided through the chambers of Wawel, you will come across enormous tapestries, towers with dungeons or panoramic observation points (Sandomierska Tower or "Hen's Leg"
) and art galleries, with one of the most famous works of art displayed there you should not miss: "Lady with an Ermine" by Leonardo da Vinci
. Visiting the Cathedral of Romanesque to Baroque styles will enable you to marvel at its gilded altar and beautifully ornamented tombs of Polish kings
, made of marble and silver. Inside the adjoined Sigismund Tower
, there awaits you the 13-tonnes Sigismund Bell
that only tolls on most significant Polish holidays.
While magnificent Wawel also houses such noteworthy exhibitions as the one of the Lost Wawel
or another one covering the Wawel Architecture and Gardens
, with the standard tour taken you will finish your visit by sightseeing the city's panorama from the level of Wawel fortifications and descending to the legendary Dragon's Den
– a limestone cave-like formation at the foot of the hill.
If you are interested in visiting magical Wawel during your stay in Krakow, we are here to provide you with the top-quality assistance you deserve.
You can check UNESCO Listed places around Krakow here.