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Sigismund Chapel of the Krakow Cathedral 

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gold-plated dome of Krakow's Sigismund chapel

The Marvel of the Renaissance Architecture in Krakow 

The gold-plated dome of the Sigismund Chapel crowns the best example of Renaissance art and architecture with no match without Italy and few equals within. 

Bartolomeo Berrecci of Florence built the chapel for King Sigismund I the Old as a mausoleum for him and his family in the years 1519 to 1533. Every inch of its stone walls and dome is covered with superbly sculptured, fine floral arabesques, grotesque creatures and mythological scenes. The white of walls heightens the deep red of marble statues of St. Peter, St. Paul. St. Wenceslas, St. Florian, St. John the Baptist, and St. Sigismund. The last statue compares with the best Italian sculptures of the period. Medallion busts of the Evangelists and King David and King Solomon above the six saints are also of red marble. Opposite to the entrance there is the king's stall with the 1574 tombstone of Queen Anna Jagiello by Santi Gucci. On the left one can see magnificent silver altarpiece with scenes from the Virgin Mary's life wrought by Europe's then top masters in Nuremberg in 1531-38. Its moveable wings are covered outside with beautifully painted scenes from the Passion. The altarpiece faces a sepulchral monument to King Sigismund I the Old (above) and his son King Sigismund II Augustus (beneath). Notably the sculpture of the former is excellent. 

The bronze entrance grille made in Hans Vischer's famous Nuremberg workshop in 1530-32 is an outstanding object of art itself.

inside Krakow's Sigismund chapel

Regular ticket price to the WAWEL CATHEDRAL
(plus the
Zygmunt Bell and the Royal Tombs as well as the Cathedral Museum)
is twelve zlotys
Monday-Saturday open to tourists 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 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 11.

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.
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. 

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

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. 

Cathedral Museum

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.

Royal Tombs
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.

Great Bell
Giant Zygmunt bell is a third heavier and 350 years older than its famed London cousin, the Big Ben.

Black Christ's Crucifix
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:
Prettiest Leonardo da Vinci
World's greatest medieval sculpture
Window of awe
Subterranean wonder world
Giant bell
Miraculous images
8-foot golden crown
Signal trump
Nativity beauties
Krakow mummies
Ice-age rhino
God of Slavs
Kmita's chasuble

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