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When Wawel Castle was a royal residence, the halls of the first floor were home to the king, where he lived with his family among courtiers.
The heyday of Wawel Castle was the 16th century, the “golden age” of Polish culture when it was transformed into a magnificent Renaissance residence. At the time, the chambers of the first floor were designed to serve as the private quarters of the monarch, his immediate family, and the royal court. This is also where the apartments earmarked for guests were situated. This part of the palace has retained Renaissance ceilings, and also colourful painted friezes on the walls of two rooms. The Gothic-Renaissance portals are original too. The furnishing dates back to the Renaissance, and especially striking are the tapestries of landscapes with animals, as well as grotesques, from the collection of King Sigismund Augustus (Zygmunt August). These magnificent tapestries, made to order in Brussels for the Polish monarch in the latter half of the 16th century, are the most precious and only elements of the Wawel collection to have been preserved from the original decor. On display in two halls are several dozen paintings by Italian artists from the 14th to the 17th centuries. The north-eastern corner of the castle is where the Hen’s Foot, a charming tower that is a relic of the Middle Ages, stands. Between the two world wars, this section of the palace housed the private apartment of the President of the Republic of Poland, as recalled by the reconstructed presidential bedroom.
Tickets: normal PLN 25, concessions PLN 15