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The Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow 

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    Wawel Royal Castle, early 19th century

Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow  

People lived on the Wawel Hill at least as early as fifty thousand years ago, in the Paleolithic Age. In the Neolithic and the Bronze Age, i.e. some three thousand years ago, the settlement was apparently bustling with trade, with assorted crafts and with farming. It was at the turn of the past millennium when the rulers of Poland took up their residence here. During the early 16th century King Sigismund I the Old (1506-1548) brought in the best native and foreign artists (Italian architects and sculptors, German decorators, etc.) to create the splendid Renaissance palace-cum-castle which survived, little changed, till now. It proved to be a paragon of stately residence in Central and Eastern Europe and served widely as a model throughout the region. Its magnificent arcaded courtyard of great dimensions and immaculate proportions formed the ideal setting for tournaments and various court events. They were watched by royalty, courtiers and guests from the galleries which otherwise served as the main communications between rooms. The Wawel Royal Castle has its “piano nobile” – i.e. the state apartments – on the top, third floor rather than the second like Italian palaces. The castle’s second floor contained private apartments of the royal family, whereas the court officials worked and lived downstairs. Visitors can see many exquisite interiors of the Royal Castle complete with beautiful period furniture and world-class objects of art. Some exhibits prove absolutely unique by any standards.

Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da VinciNote: Temporary exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting, Lady with an Ermine, takes place on the upper floor of the western wing of the Krakow Royal Castle from mid May of 2012. To see the picture visitors need a separate ticket which costs ten zloties (PLN).

Wawel Hill
Wawel Hill in Krakow, the mecca of every Pole and a must for foreign tourists, is a microcosm of Polish history and culture.

Wawel Cathedral
Poland's impressive national shrine shelters plenty of superb church art.

Arrases
The matchless collection of 16th-century monumental Flemish tapestries.

Audience Hall
The Royal Castle's throne chamber has the most singular decor.

Crown Treasury and Armory
The Crown Treasury shows Polish royal memorabilia, jewels and other precious items. The adjacent Armory displays 15th to 18th-century arms
.

Dragon's Den
Huge natural cavity inside the Wawel Hill is the legendary home of a legendary monster.



Wawel chakra
 

 In November visitors a granted free admission to all exhibitions at the Krakow Royal Castle.

State Rooms / Royal Chambers

April 1st through October 31st

November 2nd through March 31st

tickets normal 18 zloty, reduced 11 zloties. 
No day of free admittance.

tickets normal 16 zloty, reduced 9 zloty. 
Free admittance on Sundays.

day

from

till

day

from

till

Sunday

10 a.m.

5 p.m.

Sunday

10 a.m.

4 p.m.

Monday

closed

Monday

closed

Tuesday

9:30 a.m.

5 p.m.

Tuesday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Wednesday

9:30 a.m.

5 p.m.

Wednesday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Thursday

9:30 a.m.

5 p.m.

Thursday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Friday

9:30 a.m.

5 p.m.

Friday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Saturday

10 a.m.

5 p.m.

Saturday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Royal Private Apartments

Only guided tours are admitted in groups of ten persons or less. 
English-speaking guides available at noon, the Polish tours at 1:10 p.m. and 2:20 p.m. Otherwise by appointment. 

April 1 through October 31

November 2 through March 31

tickets normal 25 zloty, reduced 19 zloty.
No day of free admittance. 

tickets normal 21 zloty, reduced 16 zloty. 
No day of free admittance.

day

from

till

day

from

till

Sunday

10 a.m.

5 p.m.

Sunday

closed

Monday

closed

Monday

closed

Tuesday

9:30 a.m.

5 p.m.

Tuesday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Wednesday

9:30 a.m.

5 p.m.

Wednesday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Thursday

9:30 a.m.

5 p.m.

Thursday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Friday

9:30 a.m.

5 p.m.

Friday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Saturday

10 a.m.

5 p.m.

Saturday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Crown Treasury and Armory

April 1 through October 31

November 2 through March 31

tickets normal 18 zloty, reduced 11 zlotys. 
Free admittance on Mondays.

tickets normal 16 zlotys, reduced 9 zlotys. 
No day of free admittance.

day

from

till

day

from

till

Sunday

10 a.m.

5 p.m.

Sunday

closed

Monday

9:30 a.m.

1 p.m.

Monday

closed

Tuesday

9:30 a.m.

5 p.m.

Tuesday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Wednesday

9:30 a.m.

5 p.m.

Wednesday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Thursday

9:30 a.m.

5 p.m.

Thursday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Friday

9:30 a.m.

5 p.m.

Friday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Saturday

10 a.m.

5 p.m.

Saturday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Oriental Art

April 1 through October 31

November 2 through March 31

tickets normal 8 zloty, reduced 5 zloty. 

No day of free admittance.

tickets normal 7 zloty, reduced 4 zloty. 

No day of free admittance.

day

from

till

day

from

till

Sunday

10 a.m.

5 p.m.

Sunday

closed

Monday

closed

Monday

closed

Tuesday

9:30 a.m.

5 p.m.

Tuesday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Wednesday

9:30 a.m.

5 p.m.

Wednesday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Thursday

9:30 a.m.

5 p.m.

Thursday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Friday

9:30 a.m.

5 p.m.

Friday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Saturday

10 a.m.

5 p.m.

Saturday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m. 

The Lost Wawel

April 1 through October 31 November 2 through March 31

tickets normal 8 zloty, reduced 5 zloty. 
Free admittance on Mondays.

tickets normal 7 zloty, reduced 4 zloty. 
Free admittance on Sundays.

day

from

till

day

from

till

Sunday

10 a.m.

5 p.m.

Sunday

10 a.m.

4 p.m.

Monday

9:30 a.m.

1 p.m.

Monday

closed

Tuesday

9:30 a.m.

5 p.m.

Tuesday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Wednesday

9:30 a.m.

5 p.m.

Wednesday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Thursday

9:30 a.m.

5 p.m.

Thursday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Friday

9:30 a.m.

5 p.m.

Friday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.

Saturday

10 a.m.

5 p.m.

Saturday

9:30 a.m.

4 p.m.


DRAGON'S DEN

tickets 3 zlotys.

every day

10 a.m.

6 p.m.

closed from the end of October till the March 31.

 

The following are permanent exhibitions on the Wawel Hill:
Royal Chambers - historical interiors, tapestry collection of Sigismund II Augustus, royal portraits, Italian Renaissance furniture, Italian and Dutch painting of the 14th to 17th century. 
Royal Private Apartments - rooms where the Polish royalty lived, period furniture and art.  
Crown Treasury and Armory
- regalia, jewelry, precious weapons, armors and caparisons; Polish and West European.
Oriental Art - Turkish tents and banners, Turkish and Persian weapons and carpets, Chinese and Japanese ceramics.
The Lost Wawel - archaeological and architectural reserve of the early 11th-century church of St. St. Felix and Adauctus' with surroundings; objects excavated by archeologists on the Wawel Hill; ornate stove tiles of the 16th and 17th century. Plus multimedia presentation of the Wawel Hill's history.
Dragon's Den - big cave said to be the fiery monster's hideout.

Visitors can also see various temporary exhibitions. 


The Wawel Hill is accessible to visitors daily since April through September from 6.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. and since October through March from 6.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. The Royal Castle's arcaded courtyard is off limits half an hour before the closing time. Exhibitions in the Royal Castle are closed on Christmas, New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, November 1 and November 11.

Note: There is a daily limit on the number of visitors to each Wawel exhibition. 

Admission terms and fees might be subject to changes. For inquiries and booking please contact the Tourist Service Office (BOT), Wawel 5, 31-001 Kraków, Poland, tel.: (+48 12) 4225155 ext. 291, tel./fax: (+48 12) 4221697

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