About Us

The Wawel Royal Castle and the Wawel Hill constitute the most historically and culturally important site in Poland. For centuries the residence of kings and the symbol of Polish statehood, the castle is now one of the country’s premier art museums. Established in 1930, the museum encompasses ten curatorial departments responsible for collections of paintings, including an important collection of Italian Renaissance paintings; works on paper; sculpture; textiles, among them the Sigismund II Augustus tapestry collection; goldsmith’s work; arms and armor; ceramics, with significant holdings of Meissen porcelain; and period furniture. The museum’s holdings in Asian and Middle-Eastern art include the largest collection of Ottoman tents in Europe. For conservation reasons the tents are not on permanent display. The collections of the Wawel Royal Castle are presented in several permanent exhibitions that evoke the historic appearance of the royal residence in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.

Instead of paying a flat admission fee, visitors can pick and choose the exhibitions they would like to see. From spring to mid-autumn, visitors can also descend into the Dragon’s Den, climb to the top of the Sandomierska Tower, and take a guided outdoor tour to learn about Wawel’s architecture and gardens. The museum mounts special temporary exhibitions and displays.

The Wawel Royal Castle also hosts a lively program of events including symphonic and chamber music concerts and performances of opera and courtly dance.


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The Lanckoroński Collection: Virtual Visit

10 Dec. 2019

In 1994, Karolina Lanckorońska donated part of her family collection to Wawel Royal Castle. The gift included Italian Renaissance paintings, drawings by the Polish artist Jacek Malczewski, and her father’s archives. The collection her father, Karol Lanckoroński had amassed at the family home in Vienna was largely scattered during World War II. But the core of the collection survived. Until it reemerged in 1994, it had been considered lost or destroyed. The surviving collection includes just over half of all of the Italian pictures dating from the 1300s through the 1600s that Karol Lanckoroński had displayed in his Viennese palace. This was the most significant gift the Castle had received in its post-war history, in terms of both the number and quality of the works of art. With the Lanckoroński donation, Wawel Royal Castle holds one of the largest collections of early Italian painting, second only to the Princes Czartoryski collection.The Virtual Visit winds its way through all of the rooms of the Castle in which paintings from the Lanckoroński collection are exhibited. The program makes it possible to get “up close and personal” with all of the eighty seven paintings, which can be viewed at high magnification.