left bank of the Vistula river
Lesser Poland Voivodeship,
Once the seat of the Polish monarchy, Wawel is a complex of many buildings and fortifications; the largest and best known of these are the Royal Castle and Wawel Cathedral. The history of Wawel is deeply intertwined with the history of Poland.
Map of the Area Around
Many kings of Poland lived lived at the royal residence, rebuilt between 1507 to 1536. The court had a small band of Italian artisans pioneering the Renaissance movement, at that time little known outside of Florence.
Wawel first became a political power center at the end of the first millennium A.D. During the reign of Casimir the Restorer (10341058), Wawel became the leading political and administrative centre for the Polish State.
The Wawel Hill has archaeological remains indicating settlement from the 4th century. Parts of the cathedral and other buildings date back to the 10th century.