A few words about the eldest neighbour of Plac na Groblach Square

07.04.2016

There is a number of factors to take into consideration when looking for an apartment, e.g. location and neighbours. For those of you who think about making Plac na Groblach 19 your home we present some facts about a very special neighbour of the tenement building we are renovating. Let us introduce you to the best neighbour you could have… the Wawel Hill and Wawel Royal Castle!

History of the Wawel Royal Castle

The history of the Wawel Royal Castle is very long and colourful. A detailed account is a material for a whole book, which is why we present the history of this monument to Poland’s history in a telegraphic description. Since the Early Middle Ages the Wawel Hill served as a seat of both lay and church authorities of Poland. In 1000, at the very beginning of its history, when Cracow obtained the status of a bishopric, the construction of the first cathedral began on the Hill. At a later time the buildings became a seat of Polish rulers from the Piast and Jagiellonian dynastiesThe Royal Castle on the Wawel Hill had its heyday at the time of the rule of the Jagiellonian dynasty. During the reign of Alexander Jagiellon, Sigismund I and Sigismund II Augustus the Gothic castle turned into one of the most splendid royal mansions in Europe.

Between the 14th and 16th centuries the Wawel Royal Castle, just like Cracow itself, was a centre of development of arts and humanities. The castle lost its splendour when the capital, and seat of Polish rulers, was moved to Warsaw (Wawel formally ceased to be a royal seat in 1606). After the relocation of royal court to Warsaw, the Wawel Royal Castle remained one of the most important royal mansions – this is where coronations and funerals of Polish rulers were held.

When Poland had lost independence, the castle was taken over by the army of invaders. A former royal mansion was plundered and turned into barracks for Austrian troops. Only in 1901 did Poles regain Wawel, when the rulers of Galicia bought it from Franz Joseph I. The damage inflicted by the Austrians required years of repair work aimed at renovating the seat of Polish kings. The revitalisation concluded as late as in 1985. In 1920 the castle was proclaimed an edifice of the Republic of Poland. 10 years later the Wawel Castle became a museum. Interestingly, during the interwar period President Ignacy Mościcki resided in the castle.

Although the Wawel Castle had already been destroyed multiple times (e.g. during the Swedish Deluge) and gutted by several fires, the 20th century proved a bit kinder. The castle managed to escape the destructive effects of German bombing raids during World War II, and a large portion of Jagiellonian tapestries and historical objects were removed from the castle and hidden from invaders. More about the history of the Wawel Royal Castle during World War II is available HERE.

Wawel Castle today

At present the Wawel Royal Castle has a surface of 7040 m2. There are 71 exhibition rooms with collections of paintings, prints, sculptures, textiles, militaria, chinaware, furniture and gold articles. The visitors may admire the famous tapestries of Sigismund Augustus and Italian paintings from the Lanckorona collection which dates back to the Renaissance. The Cracow’s Castle also has the largest in Europe collection of tents. Normally the Royal Castle has eight permanent exhibitions open to visitors:

a. State Rooms

b. Royal Private Apartments

c. Crown Treasury 

d. Armoury 

e. Oriental Art 

f. Hen’s Foot Tower 

g. Royal Gardens


Aside from permanent exhibitions there are some temporary displays. More information about temporary exhibitions is available on the official website of the Wawel Royal Castle (website).

The visitors will also have a chance to see the beautiful Renaissance and Baroque halls and chambers and listen to frequent symphony, chamber concerts and operas that are held in the castle.

Apartments in Plac na Groblach 19 with Wawel in the background

The tenement building at 19, Plac na Groblach Square, is a property adjacent to the Wawel Royal Castle. The windows and terraces on the uppermost storeys will offer a view over the towers of the castle. The tenement building stands just a few steps away from Wawel, and after a three-minute walk you will find yourself at the foot of the Wawel Hill. If you want to see the apartments with the Wawel Hill in the background click HERE. Unique pictures of the surroundings of Plac na Groblach Square taken by a photographer are also available in Location tab.