lookingup-sigismund-towerhttps://www.emporis.com/images/show/126722-Medium-lookingup-sigismund-tower.jpghttps://www.emporis.com/images/show/126722-Large-lookingup-sigismund-tower.jpgJohn W. Cahillexterior-view-from-the-southhttps://www.emporis.com/images/show/392928-Medium-exterior-view-from-the-south.jpghttps://www.emporis.com/images/show/392928-Large-exterior-view-from-the-south.jpgPawel Texterior-view-from-the-southwesthttps://www.emporis.com/images/show/392931-Medium-exterior-view-from-the-southwest.jpghttps://www.emporis.com/images/show/392931-Large-exterior-view-from-the-southwest.jpgPawel T
One of its numerous chapels - the Sigismund Chapel - is considered the most outstanding achievement of Renaissance architecture and sculpture both in Poland as well as the whole of northern Europe.
The crypts of the Cathedral contain the tombs of Polish kings and their families, along with those of great poets and national heroes. Also among them are the relics of St. Stanislaw, the patron saint of Cracow and Poland.
It was originally constructed in the early 11th century by King Boleslaw the Brave after Cracow was made a bishopric. The Cathedral was rebuilt in 1142 and 1364. Although some Romanesque elements were retained, this rebuilding determined the building's overall Gothic impact. Another renovation in 1712 brought it into its current form.
The Wawel Cathedral was once the coronation church of the kings of Poland. Pope John Paul II was archbishop here before becoming Pope.
The Cathedral Treasury includes a large collection of ecclesiastical art.
Five bells are housed in the belfry. Among them is the 11-ton "Zygmunt" bell, one of the largest in Europe.
Considered the most important single building in Poland, Wawel's extraordinary cathedral contains much that is original, although many glorious additions have been made over the centuries.
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