State Rooms

Wawel 5

Today:

9:30-16:00
open

The chambers of the second floor of Wawel Royal Castle were a worthy backdrop for the most important state events and court ceremonies.

Wawel Castle acquired its greatest splendour in the 16th century, the “golden age” of Polish culture, when it was transformed into a magnificent Renaissance residence. Slightly later, after the fire that consumed the northern wing in 1595, some chambers were renovated in the baroque style that was just coming into fashion. The second floor hosted the piano nobile chambers, where various official ceremonies were organised. This is where Polish monarchs entertained delegations, received envoys and audiences, and held court. The Audience Hall, where  parliamentary sessions were held, was also known as the Hall Under the Heads, as the reconstructed caissons of the coffered ceiling still contain, albeit only 30, sculpted human heads from 1540. They say one of them once addressed King Sigismund Augustus (Zygmunt August) and asked him to judge justly; and another correctly prophesied that having captured Wawel, the Prussian king would fall off his throne here… Besides important state assemblies, including the Coronation Sejms (i.e. parliamentary sessions), and sessions of the Senate, the Senators’ Hall, being the largest in the entire castle, also hosted grand receptions, balls, and court ceremonies and spectacles, as well as royal weddings. The chamber is adorned with monumental tapestries presenting the biblical Flood, woven in Brussels in the second half of the 16th century. The magnificent tapestries made to order for King Sigismund Augustus comprise the most precious part of the Wawel collection, indeed the only part preserved from the original decor of the castle. Besides biblical themes we find here landscapes with animals, grotesques, and coats of arms of Poland and Lithuania. The atmosphere of bygone Wawel interiors, today significantly reconstructed, is further evoked by the Italian furniture from the 16th and 17th centuries arranged here among the paintings by Italian, Dutch, Flemish, and German masters, and portraits of kings of Poland and their families.

Tickets: normal PLN 16-18, concessions  PLN 9-11, admission free on Sunday (XI-III)

closed: 2016 July 27th and 1 January, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, 1, 11 November, 24, 25 December

Opening times:
02 January - 31 March
Mon closed, Tue-Fri 9:30-16:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-16:00
01 April - 31 October
Mon closed, Tue-Fri 9:30-17:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-17:00
02 November - 31 December
Mon closed, Tue-Fri 9:30-16:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-16:00
Wawel 5
12 422 51 55
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