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The National Art Collection at Wawel Castle

The National Art Collection at Wawel Castle

Wawel 5

Wawel hill is open to visitors every day from 6:00 to dusk.

Current information on the hours of the exhibition is available at the ticket offices (Tourism Centre and the Wawel Coat of Arms Gate) and at

All of the museums exhibits are closed on: Jan 1, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, Nov 1 and 11, and Dec 24,25 and 31.
The Royal Castle at Wawel Hill is a museum and the historical residential palace of Polish Kings. By early Middle Ages Wawel Hill was a centre of secular and ecclesiastical power. Since the mid-eleventh century it was home to the rulers of Poland and the cathedral, which was the centre of the bishopric, created in the year 1000. Wawel blossomed under the reigns of the last kings from the Piast and the Jagiellonian dynasties. In the first half of the sixteenth century the castle was remodelled into a Renaissance palace with an arcaded courtyard. For over 60 years the castle museum has documented the history and cultural riches of Poland’s past. It has five permanent exhibitions. The "State Rooms” which recreate the appearance of the interiors of the royal residence in the sixteenth and seventeenth century occupy two great rooms – the Poselski Room (with its distinctive sculpted figures in the ceiling) and the Senatorski Room. Their furnishings include the famed collection of Flemish tapestries of King Zygmunt August, paintings by Italian and Dutch masters of the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries and Renaissance Italian furniture. The “Royal Private Apartments” with their Renaissance furnishings once served as the home of monarchs, their families, the courts, and royal guests. Deserving of particular notice are the Italian paintings from the Lanckoroński collection, as well as the rooms containing items from a Saxon dynasty, the Wettins, including Miśnia porcelain, and silver tableware, and the rooms furnished in the Classicist style. Gothic and Renaissance interiors in the northwest corner of the castle are occupied by the exhibit entitled "The Crown Treasury and Armoury" where, since the fourteenth century, the Polish coronation insignia and jewels of the Republic are kept. Objects on display here were rescued from the original treasury including the coronation sword, known as the Szczerbiec, mementoes of Polish monarchs, works of goldsmith from western Europe and Poland, and various weapons and armour from the Middle Ages to the eighteenth century. The "Oriental Art“ exhibition displays rugs (including a masterpiece of Persian textile arts, known as the Krakow-Paris carpet, dating from the sixteenth century), banners and tapestries from Turkey and Persia, as well as Japanese and Chinese porcelain. The most valuable portion of the collection are the trophies and mementoes associated with Jan III Sobieski and the breaking of the siege of Vienna in 1683. One attraction for tourists visiting the museum is a meeting with the curiosity of Wawel Hill — the cave lair of the Dragon of Wawel (formed 12 million years ago) on the western side of the castle, which is the subject of the folk tale of the origin of the city and its legendary founder, Prince Krak.

The museum conducts a broad array of educational activities. It organises "Museum Lectures" for youths and adults and the event series, "Wawel encounters with history and art."
  • Program regionalny
  • województwo maloposkie
  • Unia Europejska
The following Project is cofinanced by the European Union under the Małopolska Regional Operational Programme for the years 2007 – 2013