The Wawel Cathedral is located on the Wawel Hill in Krakow, Poland. This is a Roman Catholic church, as well as the Cathedral of the Krakow Archdiocese.
The building of the cathedral was erected three times. First, it was destroyed in the 11th century. Fire destroyed the second in the 12th century. The third and current construction began in the 14th century.
From the very beginning, people associated the Wawel Cathedral with the ringing of bells. Now there are two bell towers with nine bells. In the tower of Sigismund you will find 5 large bells with the most famous bell of Sigismund. In the Silver Bell Tower, you will find four smaller bells.
There is also a third tower. People know it as the Clock Tower. It is the home of a clockwork mechanism as well as two gongs. The gongs strike the clock and the quarter of an hour.
The interior of the Wawel Cathedral includes a nave with aisles, transepts with aisles, a choir with two aisles, and an apse with movable and radiating chapels.
In the apse, you will see the main altar. Bishop Peter Gembitsky founded it in 1650. The creator of the altar was Giovani Battista Gisleni. Later, in the 17th century, Marcin Blechowski painted the altar with the Crucified Christ.
If you are looking at the main altar, you should also look above it. High black marble canopy. It is supported by four pillars. Under the canopy stands the silver coffin of the national patron of the arts Stanislav Shchepanovsky. This is the second coffin. The Swedes stole the previous one in 1655.
Inside the cathedral, you will also find the Sigismund Chapel, royal chapels and crypts, and the crypt of national poets.
Sigismund Chapel is one of the most famous architectural monuments in Krakow. It is often said to be the purest example of Renaissance architecture outside of Italy. The chapel is square with a golden dome. Inside it are the tombs of Sigismund I the Old (founder), as well as his children – King Sigismund II Augustus and Anna Jagiellon.
Since the 14th century, the Wawel Cathedral was not only the place of coronation of Polish kings, but also the main burial place of Polish monarchs. For this reason, there are several burial chapels and crypts here. The crypts are located under the cathedral. They contain the graves of Polish kings, national heroes, as well as generals and revolutionaries. For example, there are the tombs of Jan III Sobieski, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, Vladislav Sikorski and Jozef Pilsudski.
There is also the crypt of national poets, where the graves of Adam Mickiewicz and Juliusz Slowacki are located.
Attractions of the Wawel Cathedral
While visiting the Wawel Cathedral, you can see:
- Inside the Wawel Cathedral with many chapels
- Wawel Cathedral Museum
- Sigismund Belfry
- Silver Bell Tower
- Clock tower
Opening hours of the Wawel Cathedral
Cathedral opening hours:
- April – October
Monday to Saturday: 9.00 – 17.00
Sunday: 12.30 – 17.00
- November – March
Monday to Saturday: 9.00 – 16.00
Sunday: 12.30 – 16.00
The Cathedral Museum is open at the same time, except on Sundays. The museum is CLOSED on Sundays.
You can buy your ticket at the same time, but the counters close half an hour before the Cathedral.
Tickets for the Wawel Cathedral
As with many cathedrals and churches in Poland, the entrance to the Wawel Cathedral in Krakow is free. If you want to see the bell of Sigismund, the royal tombs, and tickets for the cathedral museum:
- Individual tourists
Regular ticket: PLN 14
Discount ticket: PLN 8
- Group (more than 10 people with a certified guide)
Regular ticket: PLN 12 per person
Discount ticket: PLN 7 per person
There is also an audio guide option for Wawel Cathedral with Sigismund’s Bell Tower, which takes 40 minutes, the Royal Tombs (10 minutes), and the Cathedral Museum (20 minutes).
- Regular ticket: PLN 9
- Discount ticket: PLN 6
- Group: PLN 4 per person
Tours of the Wawel Cathedral
If you are in Krakow, Poland and want to visit the Wawel Cathedral, you should choose one of our amazing tours! Not only will you have an amazing guide, but also skip-the-line tickets! Don’t waste precious time on long lines!
You have different tours to choose from: check out the tours .
Krakow: Wawel Cathedral Guided Tour
Choose this tour if you only want to focus on the Wawel Cathedral. If you want to go inside the Cathedral, you will need a guide with a special license. Don’t worry, all our guides have it. For this reason, you will easily go inside.
Your guide will tell you about Wawel as well as Polish kings. He will also answer all your questions.
This is a 1.15 hour tour available from Tuesday through Saturday at 9:00 am. Choose the best day for you and join our amazing tour! The maximum number of people in a group is 15 people.
Krakow: Wawel Castle and Cathedral Private Guided Tour
If you want to see two of Krakow’s top attractions in one tour, this is the perfect option for you!
First, you will head to Wawel Castle. Usually people wait in line for several hours to find out that tickets are sold out. If you choose our tour, you will receive a skip-the-line ticket and avoid this situation.
Later, your guide will take you to the Wawel Cathedral. He will show you its beautiful interior and also tell you about the history of the place.
This is a 3-hour tour and is available from Tuesday to Saturday at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, and 2:00 pm. Choose the best day and time for you and join our tour! You can book your tour here !