Wawel Hill [4]

Zamek Wawel, Kraków

From the side of the external courtyard, the Cathedral is surrounded by a low wall with three major decorated gates. The first of them, closest to the Vasa Gate, leads to the main entrance to the Cathedral, the second one – situated on the corner – to the entrance to the crypts under the Silver Bells Tower, and the third – to the side entrance to the Cathedral between the Vasa and the Sigismund chapels.

Visitors to the castle rode along the wall to reach the gate building, which today is decorated with a Renaissance portal leading to the hall and to the interior courtyard of Wawel Castle, which owes its Renaissance form to the remodelling in the first half of the 16th century. The arcaded courtyard is surrounded with galleries, and enclosed with wings of the castle from all sides. The southern wall is just a masking curtain, as the lay of the land did not allow buildings to be erected here. The light, slender columns carry the arches of the arcades on the ground and first floors, while the columns of the second floor are decidedly longer, and support the wooden construction of the roof. The captivating lightness of the arcaded castle courtyard is the work of Italian artists (mostly Francesco Fiorentino). In the past, the galleries provided communication between the chambers, which were later connected en suite for practical reasons.

The architecture of both the castle and Sigismund Chapel became the exemplar for numerous magnates' and noblemen's stately homes. To the right of the gate leading from the external to the internal courtyard is a building put up during the second world war for the Nazi governor Frank. Today, it houses the administration of the Royal Castle in Wawel.


Wawel Hill [4] (mp3)

Date: 2013-06-17 Show ticket
News author: Weronika Dulowska
News Publisher: Portal główny EN
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