Wawel Cathedral

Overview

The Wawel Cathedral, over the centuries it was the royal coronation church and the resting place of outstanding Poles

Discover the Wawel Cathedral, a historically significant and visually stunning site with centuries of royal and cultural heritage. As a royal coronation church and the resting place of notable Polish figures, it houses extraordinary wall paintings, priceless works of art, rich museum collections, and the renowned Sigismund Bell, named after its founder, King Sigismund I the Old.

The Krakow Cathedral's construction began around 1000, but its present form as a three-nave Gothic basilica dates back to the 14th century. Its central altar houses the relics of St. Stanisław, the bishop and patron saint of Poland. Interestingly, the entrance displays whale, rhino, and mammoth bones, believed to protect the temple from evil spirits.

Among the nineteen chapels surrounding the cathedral, the gilded Sigismund's Chapel stands out as Poland's most remarkable Renaissance work, known as the "pearl of the Renaissance north of the Alps". Also worth visiting are the Świętokrzyska Chapel, with King Kazimierz Jagiellończyk's marble tombstone carved by Wit Stwosz, and the Baroque-style Vasa Chapel.

The crypts beneath the Wawel Cathedral hold the tombs of Polish kings, national heroes, generals, and revolutionaries, including Tadeusz Kościuszko, Józef Piłsudski, Juliusz Słowacki, and Adam Mickiewicz.

Externally, the Cathedral features three towers overlooking Wawel Hill. The Clock Tower boasts a Baroque dome designed by Kacper Bażanka, while the Silver Bells Tower contains bells with a silver admixture. The iconic Sigismund's Tower houses the "Zygmunt" bell, which rings on holidays, church ceremonies, and significant national events. Legend has it that anyone who enters the tower and touches the bell's heart will always return to Krakow.

Contact

Wawel 3
31-001 Kraków
www.katedra-wawelska.pl
12 429 95 16

Location

FAQ

Wawel Cathedral is open daily, but the opening hours may vary depending on the day of the week and season. Check the Cathedral's official website for up-to-date information.

 Admission to Wawel Cathedral has a fee, but ticket prices may vary depending on which parts you wish to visit. Check the Cathedral's official website for detailed information on ticket prices

Yes, Wawel Cathedral offers guided tours, where a guide will show you around the monument and tell you about its history. Advance reservations are recommended, especially during the tourist season.

Wawel Cathedral is partially adapted for people with disabilities. Wheelchair users have access to some parts of the Cathedral, but some areas may be difficult to reach. Contact the Cathedral for more information on this subject.

Wawel Cathedral is the burial site of Polish kings and an important place of religious worship. Notable features include the Sigismund Tower with the Sigismund Bell, the royal crypt, chapels, and the magnificent architecture and artwork inside.

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