- KRAKOW -

Castle and Cathedral

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Map of the Castle and Cathedral site.

View of the Castle and Cathedral from the Vistula River.



The Cathedral as seen from F.Staszwskiego in the Old Quarter (left).

The Castle from the Old Quarter below Wawel Hill (below).




Cathedral (left) as seen from the path ascending Wawel Hill from the Old Quarter to the entrance to the complex (pictured below).


The Tadeusz Kosciuszko Monument in Krakow is one of the best known bronze monuments in Poland. It was the work of artists Leonard Marconi, professor of Lviv University born in Warsaw, and his son in law, sculptor Antoni Popiel.

The original statue was cast in 1900 soon after Marconi's death. The Austrian government during the time of imperial partitions of Poland refused to issue the permit for its placement. It was erected no less than twenty years later in 1920-24 once the Polish state re-established its independence following World War I.

The statue was destroyed by the Germans in 1940 during the Nazi occupation of Poland. Its current replica, erected in 1960, is a gift to the City of Krakow from the people of Dresden, Germany. Its duplicate was also erected in Detroit, Michigan in 1978 as a gift from the people of Krakow in celebration of the United States Bicentennial.

In Kosciuszko's times, the Polish state had been twice partitioned by its neighbours,Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Prussia, by early 1793. In 1794, Kosciuszko initiated an insurrection in the Kraokw's Main Square which, in spite of his victorious Battle of Racawice against numerically superior Russian army, resulted in a tragic third and final partition of Poland. Krakow became part of the Austrian province of Galicia for over a century.

Prior to leading the 1794 uprising, Kosciuszko had fought in the American Revolutionary War as a Colonel in the Continental Army. In 1783, in recognition of his service, he had been promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and granted citizenship of the United States.

Tadeusz Kosciuszko died in Switzerland on October 15, 1817. His body was first buried in a crypt of a Jesuit church in Solothurn, from where he was moved a year later to the St Leonard's Crypt in the Wawel Cathedral.




The entrance to the cathedral and its exterior are shown in the pictures above and below. Entitled the Royal Archcathedral Basilica of Saints Stanislaus and Wenceslaus and also known as the Wawel Cathedral the building is a Roman Catholic church more than 900 years old.

it is the Polish national sanctuary and traditionally has served as coronation site of the Polish monarchs as well as the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Krakow. Karol Wojtyla, who in 1978 became Pope John Paul II, was ordained to the priesthood here on All Saints Day (November 1) 1946.

The current, Gothic cathedral, is the third edifice on this site. The first was constructed and destroyed in the 11th century and the second one, constructed in the 12th century, was destroyed by a fire in 1305. The construction of the current cathedral began in the 14th century on the orders of bishop Nanker.


In the pictures above and to the left part of the castle is shown on the right. This Gothic castle was built at the behest of Casimir III the Great, who reigned from 1333 to 1370, and consists of a number of structures situated around the central courtyard.

In the 14th century it was rebuilt by Jogaila and Jadwiga. Their reign saw the addition of the tower called the Hen's Foot (Kurza Stopka) and the Danish Tower. Other structures were developed on the hill during that time to serve as quarters for the numerous clergy, royal clerks and craftsmen. Defensive walls and towers were erected in the same period.

The earliest evidence of wooden structures, however, dates back to the ninth century, with the earliest stone buildings dating back to the tenth and eleventh century.

From this period originated the remains of such buildings as the Rotunda of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Church of St. George - subsequently rebuilt, Church of St. Michael, a twenty-four pillar room - possibly the ducal mansion, a keep with a residential tower, and, possibly, a ducal granary or tomb.

Some of these may be seen in the pictures below which include those of a large exterior model of the site.










Views of the courtyard walls and exterior walls and towers of the castle and cathedral complex are shown to the left and below.

The bottom picture demostrates the immediate proximity of the complex to the Vistula river.







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