Wawel Royal Castle – The National Art Collection
Original collections are also presented in the Oriental Art exhibition. It features, among other things, numerous trophies and artefacts from the Vienna campaign, including Turkish military banners and large tents. Additionally, you may visit the Lost Wawel archaeological exhibition. Its main attraction is the pre-Romanesque Rotunda of Mary Mother of Jesus (also known as Rotunda of St. Felix and Adauctus) from the 10th century.An interesting way out of the Wawel hill is the passage through the Dragon’s Den, a natural cave created in calcareous rocks, in which, according to the legend, lived the Wawel dragon. The exit from the cavern leads to the Vistula embankment, right next to the statue of the legendary dragon.
The Wawel royal residence with the cathedral of St. Stanislaus BM and St. Wenceslaus M is a treasury of Polish culture and a magnificent monument of art and architecture. It was the most important seat of the monarchs and the place where the coronations and funerals of Polish rulers took place. Presently the castle is open to visitors as one of the most important museums in Poland. Inside you can visit the sumptuous interiors of the State Rooms. The most splendid rooms, featuring antique furniture, are decorated with precious paintings and famous tapestry. In the Senator’s Hall the “Wawel heads” look at visitors from the ceiling coffer. The Royal Private Apartments are ornamented with wall paintings and Gothic Renaissance portals and furnished with pieces from the Renaissance period. Among the Gothic elements of the structure, particularly worth attention is the charming tower known as the Hen’s Leg. The Crown Treasury and Armoury houses an interesting exposition of weapons and jewellery. Among the exhibits are the trophies from the 1683 Vienna campaign and a collection of honourable badges of John III Sobieski. The most precious artefact is the Szczerbiec coronation sword used in crowning ceremonies of the Polish kings.