Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site junkie, visiting the Wawel Royal Castle was pure joy for me. The castle complex is part of The Historic Centre of Krakow, which was designated as a UNESCO site in 1978, and is one of the first 10 sites ever listed. I always get a thrill when visiting prestigious and significant locations while I travel. I suppose that I am one of the world’s biggest travel nerds!
The castle was constructed in the 13th and 14th centuries in behest of King Casimir III the Great. There are multiple structures inside the complex that represents almost every European architectural style, including medieval, renaissance, and baroque. Wawael Castle is the largest in Poland, with Wawel Hill being the most significant historically and culturally in the country.
In addition to the historical importance of the castle, it also one of Poland’s premier art museums. The art collection is impressive, and includes ten curatorial departments that maintain many significant artworks and historical pieces This includes arms and armour, periodical furniture, ceramics, important Italian Renaissance works of art, as well as the largest collection of Ottoman tents in all of Europe.
Outside the Wawel Cathedral Museum is a life-sized statue of “Pope” Saint John Paul II, who was a former citizen of Krakow. The Cathedral Museum was initiated by the Pope back in 1978, who had special ties with the cathedral once writing “Here strikes the heart of Poland and my heart is striking here too”.
There are many parts to the Wawel Royal Castle complex, and it did take me several hours to visit. I did not take a tour but visited on my own, which is doable especially if you do research on the castle prior.
As with any tourist attraction, I always suggest purchasing your tickets online because as you know, I do not like standing in ticket ques. I had purchased my Wawel Castle ticket well before my trip, and I highly recommend you to do the same.
Enjoy your visit!
For ticket, hours and information, please visit – Wawel Royal Castle Official
To travel is to live…– Hans Christian Anderson
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