Wawel


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Wawel

 

the name of a hill in Kraków, on the left bank of the Vistula south of the Old City.

Wawel Hill is famous for a complex of architectural landmarks dating from the tenth through 17th centuries: the Rotunda of the Virgin Mary (second half of the tenth century); the royal castle (13th to 17th centuries), with its arcaded inner courtyard (1502-16), Gothic hall, and interiors in Renaissance and Baroque styles (including the Ambassadors’ Hall, 1529-35, and the Under the Birds Hall, c. 1603); and the Gothic Cathedral Church (14th century), with the Romanesque crypt of St. Leonard (c. 1100), the Renaissance chapel of Sigismund I (1517-33), and many tombs from the 14th through 20th centuries (sculptors V. Stoss, J. Michalowicz, and others). Within the royal castle are the State Art Collections (a unique collection of Flemish and Polish tapestries, Western and Oriental weapons, paintings, and so on). The Cathedral Church located on Wawel Hill is the burial vault of Polish kings as well as of the most important leaders in the nation’s history.

REFERENCES

Mańkowski, T. Dzieje wnetrz wawelskich, 2nd ed. Warsaw, 1957.
Katalog zabytków sztuki w Polsce, vol. 4, part 1. Wawel [Kraków], 1965.
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