Wawel Castle Krakow

December 25, 2013 by  

Wawel Castle Krakow, Wawel is a fortified architectural complex erected over many centuries atop a limestone outcrop on the left bank of the Vistula river in Kraków, Poland, at an altitude of 228 metres above the sea level.

The complex consists of many buildings and fortifications; the largest and best known of these are Royal Castle and Wawel Cathedral which is the Basilica of St StanisÅ‚aw and St WacÅ‚aw). Some of the Wawel’s oldest stone buildings, such as the Rotunda of the Virgin Mary can be dated to 970AD. There are also wooden parts of the complex which date to about the 9th century. The castle itself has been described as “one of the most fascinating of all European castles.”

The Wawel is a place of great significance to the Polish people: it first became a political power centre at the end of the first millennium AD and in the 9th century, the principal fortified castrum of the Vistulans tribe (Polish: WiÅ›lanie). The first historical ruler Mieszko I of Poland (c.965-992) of the Piast dynasty and his successors: Boleslaw I the Brave (Polish: BolesÅ‚aw I Chrobry; 992-1025) and Mieszko II (1025-1034) chose Wawel to be one of their residences. At the same time Wawel became one of the principal Polish centres of Christianity. The first early Romanesque buildings were erected there including a stone cathedral serving the bishopric of Kraków in the year 1000. From the reign of Casimir the Restorer (1034-1058) Wawel became the leading political and administrative centre for the Polish State.

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