“Wawel arises and is reborn,
and with it arises to a new life
the immortal spirit of the whole nation,
for whom Wawel castle
never ceased to be a monument
of national renown and glory.”
Juliusz Leo, 1905
This interactive exhibition incorporates cutting-edge technology, traditional works of art, architectural models, and large-scale illuminated reproductions of archival photographs to tell the story of Wawel Hill from the end of the 18th century to the end of the 20th.
In the late 18th century the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth had been subject to a series of Partitions, whereby Prussia, Russia, and Austria carved up its territory amongst themselves, and finally, in 1795, wiped the country off the map. Wawel Hill (along with Cracow) was in the Austrian Partition until Poland reemerged as an independent state in 1918.
The exhibition focuses on the story of the struggle to recover Wawel Royal Castle from the Austrians and the enormous effort that went into its restoration.
Housed in the vaulted Gothic interiors of a group of connected medieval houses, it also offers a glimpse of the architecture and archaeological relics of an even earlier period.