Wawel Castle in Krakow
Explore the impressive Wawel Castle and find out more about the history of Poland at this 16th century museum. With five collections to choose from including the Crown Treasury, State Rooms, the Royal Private Apartments, Lost Wawel and the Exhibition of Oriental Art, there’s plenty to see at this cultural treasure near Krakow Old Town.
Rebuilt in 1499 after the original building was burned down, Wawel Castle is a unique blend of Italian, Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture. Sitting at the top of a hill, there’s great views from the castle across the city, so don’t forget your camera as you take pictures of the building and the panorama beyond.
As you tour the museum, you’ll discover more about the castle’s turbulent history. Once the home of Polish kings, the castle was later used as a military hospital and Nazi headquarters during World War Two. Wawel is now a symbol of Polish independence and national pride, making it a must-see for both tourists and locals alike.
If you’re pressed for time, buy a ticket for just one or two exhibitions on your visit to the castle. Home to the Polish crown jewels, Wawel also has beautiful gardens and an impressive courtyard, so you’ll be spoiled for choice as you explore the grounds and buildings.
With its beautiful interior and an equally interesting history, Wawel Cathedral is also worth a visit. As you walk through the building, you’ll see 18 chapels and the burial sites of royals through the ages. The cathedral’s the resting place of Former President Lech Kaczyński and his wife Maria, who were killed in a plane crash in 2010.