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Cross of Black Christ in the Krakow Cathedral 

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  inside Krakow's cathedral

Famous Black Christ's Crucifix of Krakow 

The crucifix of Queen-Saint Jadwiga (Hedwig) was brought by the then fourteen-year-old daughter of Hungarian monarch to her new kingdom's capital in 1384. She daily spent hours praying before this remarkable Gothic sculpture of The Savior. And He allegedly spoke to her on several occasions. Ever since the crucifix in the Wawel Cathedral next to the Royal Castle has been attracting those at the crossroads. At the same time the Holy See declared that hearing Mass here could release one soul from the purgatory each time. 


The 13-foot-tall black Christ has formed the central part of a Baroque altarpiece by the vestry entrance in the eastern arm of the Wawel Cathedral’s ambulatory since 1745. In 1987 Queen Jadwiga was beatified and her relics transferred from the white marble sarcophagus opposite to the Sigismund Chapel to the altar of the Christ Crucified. Pope John Paul II canonized the angelic Krakow queen in 1997.

Saint Queen Jadwiga of Krakow

Jadwiga, Poland's queen-saint,
ruled 1384–1399

Learn more about Krakow's many sacred images

Other Krakow's Curios:
Prettiest Leonardo da Vinci
World's greatest medieval sculpture
Subterranean wonder world
Renaissance pearl
Giant bell
Kmita's Chasuble
8-foot golden crown
Signal trump
Nativity beauties
Krakow mummies
Ice-age rhino 
Slavic four-faced idol

Krakow in Poland

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

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.

Sigismund Chapel
The pearl of Renaissance architecture and art. Every inch of its ideally proportioned stone walls and dome is covered with fine sculptures.

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.


Seeing the Wawel cathedral

Regular ticket price to the WAWEL CATHEDRAL
(inclusive of admittance to the
Zygmunt Bell, the Royal Tombs, and the Cathedral Museum)
is 12 zloty (see info on Polish currency
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. 

Cathedral Museum, open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. except Sundays, shows world-class objects of church art.

Access to the Wawel Hill 

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 apart from the cathedral and the Cathedral Museum.
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.

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) 124225155 ext. 291, tel./fax: (+48) 124221697

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