The exhibition encompasses the largest and most magnificent rooms in the former royal residence. Perhaps the most intriguing is the Deputies’ Hall (also known as the Envoys’ Hall) with its remarkable coffered ceiling decorated with woodcarvings of human heads. Visitors tour Renaissance and Baroque rooms ending with the castle’s largest room, the Senators’ Hall, where the senate met with the king and where grand balls were held. Objects on view include the renowned tapestry collection of King Sigismund II Augustus, royal portraits, Italian and Dutch Old Master paintings, and Italian Renaissance furniture.
Envoys Hall (also called the Deputies Hall or Heads Hall), 2nd floor, State Rooms
exhibition. Photo A. Stankiewicz.
Senators Hall, 2nd floor, State Rooms exhibition. Photo A. Stankiewicz.
Royal Private Apartments
These rooms were once reserved for the personal use of monarchs and their families, courtiers, and guests. Several are decorated with Renaissance furnishings and notable
Italian paintings from the Lanckoroński Collection. Three retain their original Renais-
sance larch wood ceilings, while two also boast original colorful painted friezes. Two rooms in the north wing of the castle are dedicated to exhibiting objects from the Saxon Wettin dynasty, including a collection of Meissen porcelain and silver table settings; two more are furnished in the Neoclassical style.
Bed Chamber, 1st floor, Royal Private Apartments exhibition. Photo A. Stankiewicz.
Column Hall, 1st floor, Royal Private Apartments exhibition. Photo A. Stankiewicz.
Crown Treasury and Armoury
The exhibition occupies the Gothic and Renaissance rooms that once housed the Polish coronation insignia and the jewels of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Today, they house priceless objects from the original Crown Treasury, such as the Szczerbiec coronation sword, heirlooms of Polish monarchs that have survived wars and pillages, and splendid gold and silver objects created by Western European and Polish goldsmiths. Diverse weapons, armor, and parade saddles and horse trappings from the Middle Ages to the 18th century are on view in the Armoury.
Arms and Armour, Crown Treasury and Armoury exhibition. Photo A. Stankiewicz.
Six galleries present carpets, banners and wall hangings, Persian and Turkish arms, and Japanese and Chinese ceramics. The exhibition centers on a group of trophies taken in battle and other objects associated with King John III Sobieski and the Relief of Vienna in 1683.
Oriental Art exhibition. Photo A. Stankiewicz.
The Lost Wawel
The exhibition weaves through the remains of the early 10th-century Rotunda of SS. Felix and Adauctus (also called the Rotunda of the Blessed Virgin Mary), 16th-century royal kitchens, 17th-century royal stables, and 18th-century coach house. Numerous objects unearthed in archaeological digs are on display. Architectural developments are presented on illustrated panels, a model of the 18th-century Wawel, and a virtual reconstruction of buildings from the early-Romanesque and Romanesque periods. Renaissance stone sculptures and stonework are presented in the Lapidarium.
Lapidarium, Lost Wawel exhibition. Photo D. Błażewski.