Zygmunt Bell - Dzwon
Zygmunta in Krakow's Wawel Cathedral
Remember the famous Big Ben's chime? In
Krakow you can see, and actually even touch, an
equal of the London bell of the Houses of
Parliament. Huge Zygmunt (Sigismund) bell, Dzwon Zygmunta in
nearly 9 feet across too. At the same time
Krakow’s Big Sig is a third heavier, weighing
18 metric tons. It is also some 350 years older
than its English counterpart, having been cast in
Krakow in 1520.
The giant which ranks among the
world's largest bells is one of the many attractions of the Wawel Cathedral (Katedra
in Krakow. It's decorated with reliefs
of St. Stanislav and St. Sigismund as well as the
arms of Poland and Lithuania. It was donated to
the Wawel Cathedral by Sigismund I the Old, King
of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, when Krakow was the
Polish capital. "Big Sig"
still is where it was hung in 1521, i.e. at the
top of a 14th-century tower turned into the
Cathedral's belfry near the Wawel Royal Castle.
beautifully deep toll of
the huge Sigismund Bell is heard far away on
important Church holidays and at the historic moments for the
nation. And it
needs the strength of ten men to ring the giant
bell every Christmas, New Year Day or Easter
the Zygmunt Bell and the Wawel Cathedral
Flocks of visitors buy tickets, queue up
at the belfry entrance in the Cathedral and climb several flights of stairs
of the Wieza Zygmuntowska tower in order to see the famous
Zygmunt and, usually, touch its 660-pound
clapper. They say the wish then whispered is to
materialize soon. Also the view of Krakow from the belfry seems
Tickets for the Wawel Cathedral including Zygmunt's Bell and
are sold at the box office situated in the building opposite
the main entrance to the cathedral.
Ten bells of the Wawel
The Wieza Zygmuntowska belfry's four other bells are
somewhat smaller and even older as they date from years 1455 to
1514. The Wawel Cathedral
has also a second belfry, called the Tower of
Silver Bells (Wieza Srebrnych Dzwonow), with five bells as well.
layout of the Wawel Cathedral
Wawel Hill in Krakow, the mecca of every
Pole and a must for foreign tourists, is a
microcosm of Polish history and culture.
Poland's impressive national shrine
shelters plenty of superb church art.
Wawel Royal Castle
Home to three dynasties of Poland's
monarchs. Its stately halls and exquisite
chambers are filled with priceless art, best
period furniture and rare ancient objects. The
collection of the 16th-century monumental Flemish
tapestries is matchless.
The pearl of Renaissance
architecture and art. Every inch of its ideally
proportioned stone walls and dome is covered with
Poland's medieval rulers are buried
under their sarcophagi in the Cathedral's nave.
Visitors can also see crypts with the tombs of
the Renaissance and later monarchs
650-year-old, 13-foot-tall remarkable
sculpture of the Savior provided guidance to
Queen-Saint Jadwiga in the 14th century and has
heard prayers of the faithful ever since.
Other Krakow Curios:
Leonardo da Vinci
greatest medieval sculpture
Regular ticket price
to the WAWEL CATHEDRAL
(plus the Zygmunt Bell and the Royal Tombs)
is a equivalent of about 2.5 euro
Monday-Saturday open to tourists
9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
On Sundays and Holidays open to
tourists 12.30 p.m. to 4.00 p.m.
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
The following are
permanent exhibitions of the Wawel Royal Castle:
(State Rooms) - historical
interiors, tapestry collection of
Sigismund II Augustus, royal
portraits, Italian Renaissance
furniture, Italian and Dutch
painting of the 14th to 17th
Royal Private Apartments - rooms where
the Polish royalty lived, period furniture and
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
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
Dragon's Den - big
cave said to be the
fiery monster's hideout.
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