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Wawel Royal Castle - HOME

Wawel Royal Castle
State Art Collection

31-001 Kraków, Wawel 5

(+48 12) 422-51-55, 422-61-21

Tourist Information:
(+48 12) 422 51 55
ext. 219

Reservations and Guide Service:
(+48 12)
422 16 97

Press contact:
(+48 12) 422 51 55
ext. 380, 341

Court Banner

The Banner of the Archduke Maximilian's Silesian Armies

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The Banner was won on 24th January 1588 at the Battle of Byczyna, which was fought between the armies of Maximilian III Habsburg, pretender to the Polish throne, and Chancellor Jan Zamoyski, on the side of Sigismund III Vasa. It was personally won by the young Stanisław Żółkiewski, later to become Chancellor and Hetman (the Battle of Byczyna opened the way to the Polish throne for Sigismund III Vasa).

It was kept in the treasury of the Zamoyski Estates, most certainly in Zamość, and since the 1850s in Warsaw. It was sewn onto a net, probably towards the end of the 19th century, which seriously damaged the textile. It spent the war years hidden in the Czartoryski Museum, which allowed it to avoid the fate of the Zamoyski Estate collections which were burnt in 1944. It was transferred to the Wawel collections in 1959 and purchased in 1995.

The Banner is rectangular in shape, with two teeth, and is sewn from yellowish silk and painted on both sides. It shows a black eagle with a ribbon on its breast with the partially illegible inscription Wel[Her] In Gottes H[erres] and the date, 1587.
Silesia, 1587
silk, tempera
170 x 190 cm

Court Banner

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The Court Banner was created at the wedding and coronation of Sigismund II Augustus and his third wife, Catherine of Austria, which took place on 30th July 1553 in Kraków.
Poland 1553
silk, tempera, gold and silver
229 x 352 cm

Stanisław Barzi’s Funeral Banner

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This is the oldest funeral banner, one of around a dozen textiles of its type which have been preserved.
Kraków, 1571
silk, tempera, gold
313 x 163 cm

The Inscription Banner

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This was won on 12th September 1683 at the Battle of Vienna by the army of Marcin Zamoyski, a friend of King John III Sobieski.
Turkey, 2nd half of the 17th cent.
Silk, gold, silver
233 x 358 cm