Wawel Royal Castle & Wawel Hill (Krakow, Poland)
I finally made it down to Wawel Royal Castle, located on Wawel Hill, on my last morning in Krakow before I hopped on a train to head to Warsaw. I’d walked past it a few times – on my way to and from Schindler’s Factory, I think. I knew there was a spot where supposedly one of the 8 chakras was found. Being a yogi, I thought that was pretty cool.
the spot inside the courtyard where the chakra was found. people sit here and meditate regularly.
I didn’t take a guided tour, but I walked through some of the rooms of the castle (in the Royal Apartments – not that impressive, to be honest) and took a LOT of photos. It’s really, REALLY pretty. I heard one of the tour guides explain that the main square inside the buildings that make up the palace look Spanish because the wife of one of the first Polish kings (one of the Sigmund’s) was Spanish – neato.
Side note: Krakow was largely untouched by the Nazis during World War II because they planned on moving the capital (of their new Nazi state) back to Krakow once they won the war (ha-ha). And I also learned that the Nazis considered Krakow to be German because it’s utilized the law of a German city. #themoreyouknow
The folktale talks about a dragon that protects the city of Krakow and that dragon (well, you know, a statue of one) hangs out on the riverbank out of the castle grounds now. He breathes fire a couple times an hour, too. (Except on holidays.)
One of the mythical dragon’s teeth hangs in the entrance to Wawel Cathedral as well. I also paid to for entry to see DaVinci’s “Lady with a Ermine” because why not? And it was super tiny. Much smaller than I thought it would be. (Why I assumed anything about it’s size is beyond me.)
the dragon’s tooth (hanging on the left)
Wawel Royal Castle was named an UNESCO landmark in 1978 and it’s now home to one of Poland’s most renowned art collections. I was also walked through the Wawel Cathedral, which was pretty, but there was nothing truly remarkable about it. (To me, a church is a church.)
Even if you don’t have time to tour through the entirety of the buildings, I must insist that you at least go walk around the courtyard. It’s so, so pretty.