Wawel Royal Castle on Wawel Hill in Kraków, Poland

Mieszko I was ruler of the Polans from 960 until 992. During his reign over territories that would later become Poland, he selected a 15-acre limestone outcrop along the Vistula river to build his residence. For nearly 600 years, the elevated site evolved into a large, fortified complex including Wawel Cathedral and Wawel Royal Castle. Wawel Hill was the location for subsequent Polish kings and the center of political power until the capital was moved to Warsaw in 1569. Wawel Royal Castle is an architectural history book of Poland. Each section has a fascinating story. This is the eastern approach. The structures seen above the massive curtainwall are, left to right: Jordan Tower, Danish Tower, Hen’s Foot and Sigismund Vasa’s Tower. They represent nearly 250 years of additions to the castle from the reign of Władysław II Jagiełło (1377 – 1434) through Sigismund III Vasa (1587 – 1632).

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Wawel Royal Castle, Wawel 5, 31-001 Kraków, Poland

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