Hours and Tickets

free admission - pick up free pass from the ticket windows, ticket window open till 12:15 pm

29 Jun. - 31 Dec.

Monday

9:30 am - 1:00 pm

last visitor entry 12:30 pm

all other days - closed

Permanent exhibition

Wawel Recovered

“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
Permanent exhibition

Wawel Recovered

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.
Permanent exhibition

Wawel Recovered

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.
Permanent exhibition

Wawel Recovered

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Permanent exhibition

Wawel Recovered

Following the loss of independence, Wawel remained a powerful symbol of statehood for the Poles. It was the site of the coronations of Poland’s kings and their final resting place. The extent of Wawel’s significance was reflected in the fine arts, as well as objects of daily use and souvenirs (these even included trinket boxes in the form of the royal tombs!).

Multimedia program: “Wawel in 19th-century Poetry and Postcards”
Permanent exhibition

Wawel Recovered

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Permanent exhibition

Wawel Recovered

The exhibition shows the transformation of the magnificent castle into a citadel manned by the Austrian army. The once-splendid royal residence itself was heavily damaged when it was converted into barracks.

Diplomatic efforts to wrest the castle from the army took over 50 years (1860–1911), but ended in success. On view are documents, publications, and photographs from this period. The people who made it possible are also highlighted.
Permanent exhibition

Wawel Recovered

Multimedia: “Wawel: The Citadel”, The Tomasz Pryliński Portfolios – an interactive program with touchscreen allows visitors to explore the architectural drawings and documentation created in 1882 by architect Tomasz Pryliński (1847–1895).
Permanent exhibition

Wawel Recovered

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Permanent exhibition

Wawel Recovered

Once recovered from the Austrians, Wawel Royal Castle stirred the emotions and fired the imaginations of prominent artists. The exhibition explores two prime examples – Stanisław Wyspiański’s (1869–1907) “Acropolis,” a sweeping vision for the redevelopment of Wawel Hill and Wacław Szymanowski’s (1859–1930) monumental sculpture “Procession to Wawel.”

Multimedia program: a virtual tour of the never-realized “Acropolis” designed by artist Stanisław Wyspiański and architect Władysław Ekielski
Permanent exhibition

Wawel Recovered

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Szymanowski’s model for his colossal figural group „Procession to Wawel” is shown in front an image of the Arcaded Courtyard, illustrating how it would have looked had it been made and installed to close off the western end of the courtyard.
Permanent exhibition

Wawel Recovered

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The restoration of Wawel was a top priority for the re-emergent Polish state. As the castle slowly regained its former grandeur it was adapted to function as both a museum and a residence of the President of the Republic of Poland. The restoration encompassed indoor and outdoor conservation and building works.
Permanent exhibition

Wawel Recovered

Two leading Polish architects presided over the works as Directors of the Office for the Restoration of Wawel Royal Castle: Zygmunt Hendel (from 1905 through 1912) and Adolf Szyszko-Bohusz (from 1916 through 1939). Their designs and the various avenues they explored are presented in the exhibition.
The effects of their work can be appreciated on Wawel Hill to this very day.
Permanent exhibition

Wawel Recovered

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Interactive Multimedia Programs: “Four Designs for the Redevelopment of Wawel Hill by Adolf Szyszko-Bohusz” allows visitors to view and compare various designs created by the eminent modernist architect.
“History of the Wawel Bricks” tells the story of a nation-wide fundraising campaign. Search the database of commemorative plaques to see if your ancestors donated!
Permanent exhibition

Wawel Recovered

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The exhibition also covers the costly and labor-intensive process of restoring the chambers of the castle.
Most of the Renaissance chambers were decorated with coffered ceilings with gilded rosettes. However, the coffered ceiling of the Envoys’ Hall, had once held a set of 16th-century set of 193 wooden sculptures called the “Wawel Heads” of which only 30 survive. During the restoration, prominent sculptor Xawery Dunikowski (1875–1964) was commissioned to complete the missing heads.

Multimedia program: the story of the Dunikowski commission, 360o views of the sculptures, the contemporary Cracovians who posed for the artist, and selected exhibitions
Permanent exhibition

Wawel Recovered

In the Baroque rooms, compartmented ceilings were installed. They were filled paintings by contemporary artists including Felicjan Szczęsny-Kowarski (1890–1948) and Zygmunt Waliszewski (1897–1936).

Multimedia program: view every detail of the ceiling paintings in high-resolution digital images; the program includes the history of the commission.
Permanent exhibition

Wawel Recovered

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In spite of the best efforts of all involved, the restoration of Wawel Castle was not yet completed when World War II broke out.

A summary of the most important conservation projects undertaken after the war provides a coda to the exhibition. The most recent (late 20th–early 21st century) are presented in the film “An Aerial View of Wawel.”
Permanent exhibition

Wawel Recovered

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