Wawel Hill and Castle

To the south of the Old Town is Wawel, a fortified hill containing a cathedral, a castle and museums. There is evidence that humans lived here over 50,000 years ago.

Wawel Cathedral

The 14th century cathedral dominates the area and contains some beautiful murals. There are also crypts and a bell tower to explore. The Zygmunt Bell weighs over 10 tonnes. Views of Krakow from the bell tower are spectacular.

Wawel Castle

Ravaged by fires and demolished and subsequently rebuilt in the 18th Century onwards, the castle is now UNESCO listed. You can visit the State Rooms and Private Apartments but the highlights for me were the Royal Crypts and Crown Treasury and Armoury.

The crypt contains the remains of former Kings of Poland and their families. The poet Mickiewicz, who has a memorial statue in the Old Town, and the president Lech Kaczynski, who died in a plane crash, are also interned here.

The armoury was impressive and included a magnificent suit of armour adorned with large angel wings.

Do not miss the statue of the legendry Smok, a fire breathing dragon that spews forth flames from his mouth. He is to be found on the side of the hill near the river.

Smok the Dragon, photo from Wikipedia.

Quick Links:

Krakow Homepage

Stare Miasto



Eating and Drinking

Wielicza Salt Mine