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Wawel Royal Castle is an architectural marvel located in Krakow, Poland. The fortress stands prominently on Wawel Hill, an area that’s been inhabited for thousands of years. (Seriously, it’s believed that mammoth hunters lived on the hill 50,000 years ago.) During the Renaissance, King Sigismund I “The Old” commissioned the finest artists around to decorate Wawel Castle as his royal palace. Today, the Castle, and the hill, are must-see attractions for anyone visiting Krakow.
Visiting Wawel Castle
General admission tickets to the castle, which include entrance into most rooms and exhibits, cost 15 zloty (about $7.50). But, visit the castle on a Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (from April 1 to October 31) or on a Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (from November 1 to March 31), and your entrance is free.
What free admission allows you to see:
The Lost Wawel: This exhibit, which is permanent and first opened in 1975, showcases the archaeological findings at the base of Wawel Castle. Pass through old Renaissance kitchens and a temple for the Virgin Mary, and check out what remains of Gothic-era defense walls and fortifications.
State Rooms: You’re free to traipse through the royal apartments, an impressive collection of rooms that could occupy your entire day. The visit includes many rooms: the suite for the Governors of Krakow with its original Renaissance wooden ceilings, the ornate “Envoy Stairs” leading up to the “Envoys’ Room” (and another well-crafted ceiling), the Governor’s parlor, the royal chapel, and the Senator’s Hall. (And, that’s just the first floor!)
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