Wawel Royal Castle
The Wawel Royal Castle, for centuries the seat of Polish kings, is a national cultural institution, a museum of an historic residence, which conceals treasures of Polish history and culture.
In the royal chambers, the most valuable furnishings, preserved from the original decor, are the 16th-century tapestries. The Crown Treasury and Armory host the oldest coronation sword of Polish kings, their associated gems and jewels, and a collection of ancient weapons. The Oriental Art exhibition presents trophies and memorabilia associated with the relief of Vienna in 1683. The Lost Wawel route includes Wawel's oldest building: The Rotunda of the Virgin Mary, probably founded in the 10th century. Today, Wawel's chambers hosted the most valuable painting in Polish collections – The Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci from the collection of the Princes Czartoryski Foundation.
Wawel Cathedral of Sts. Stanisław and Wacław is the most important monument in Poland – the cathedral, expanded over the centuries with architectural details, furnishings and memorabilia hosts the millennial history of the Polish state. Since 1320, all but two Polish kings were crowned here. It is also the necropolis of monarchs (with the famous Pearl of the Renaissance – the Sigismund Chapel), the burial place of worship national poets and Polish patron saint, St. Stanislaus. In the tower of Wawel Cathedral, in 1521, the famous Sigismund Bell was hung, whose sound has since heralded the most important events in the country.