The Wawel Hill


On the Wawel Hill, rising at the bend of the Vistula, an amazing castle was built, which for hundreds of years was a symbol of the Polish statehood. Around the year 1000, the first church was erected in this place. The Wawel Cathedral that which we admire today is already the third temple that stand here. In the centre of the altar there are the relics of Saint Stanislaus.

For centuries, Polish kings were buried in this very place: Kazimierz Wielki, Władysław Łokietek, Władysław Warneńczyk, as well as Adam Mickiewicz and Juliusz Slovacki, the famous Polish poets. Here rests Józef Piłsudski. One of the most beautiful chapels of the Cathedral is a renaissance Sigismund Chapel (Kaplica Zygmuntowska) with a dome covered with gilded scales. The cathedral has plenty of underground corridors, among them the oldest, twelfth-century crypt of St. Leonard. Note the monumental Sigismund Tower (Wieża Zygmuntowska) that conceals the famous Sigismund Bell (Dzwon Zygmunta), which herald only the most important occasions and events.

The Royal Palace itself was rebuilt in the sixteenth century and became a Renaissance residence. Its unique arcaded courtyard is surrounded by galleries . The Royal Private Apartments present to visitors today the place where the famous Polish kings used to live. In the castle Armoury you can admire the wonderful knights’ armours and in the Treasury the crown jewels and the famous coronation sword – Szczerbiec.

At the foot of the Wawel Hill there is the Dragon's Den, shrouded in many legends about strange creatures that used to live in this place, defeated in the end in a very clever way by a brave young shoe-maker Szewczyk Dratewka.

Tuesday, 15th October 2019
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