Wawel 1000-2000 - exhibition

Wawel Royal Castle - 5th May - 30th July
Cathedral Museum - 5th May - 31st August
Archdiocesean Museum - 5th May - 30th October

Wawel is a symbol of the Polish past, a monument of the country’s former greatness and glory, the focal point of the national and state history. Research conducted here proved that already in the 9th and 10th centuries the hill was provided shelter for people, and that a thousand years ago it was topped with a fortified burg. The Wawel Hill has been the heart of the Polish statehood since its earliest days. On the other hand, after the year 1000, that is after the Congress of Gniezno, it was also the site of the cathedral - the crux of the Krakow See. During the reign of Casimirus the Restorer (1039 - 1058), deposited in Wawel Cathedral was the Spear of St Maurice, and later also the royal insignia. After the mortal remains of St Stanislaus were transferred to the Cathedral, it became a pilgrimage centre. From 1320 (coronation of Ladislaus the Short) to mid-18th century it was the coronation church of Polish kings who were later buried on the Hill. The 16th century was the period of Jagiellon reign and the period of the greatest bloom of Wawel (among objects worth a notice, dating back to those days are the beautiful tapestries). Transfer of the capital of Poland to Warsaw resulted in decline of the Castle. The condition of the castle deteriorated even further due to the Swedish Deluge (mid-17th century) and the Partitions of Poland (late 18th century) when the historic interiors were turned into army barracks (after 1846). Although the first efforts aimed at preservation and conservation of the castle had been made in the 19th century, the World War II brought about further serious damage. Regardless of all those predicaments, Wawel has always remained a special place and the receptacle of national remembrance in the Polish mind.

Wawel 1000 - 2000 is a comprehensive exhibition, presenting the history of artistic material culture of the Wawel Hill in its capacity of the royal and bishop seat, and the sacred art of the Krakow Diocese, whose millennium we will be commemorating in the year 2000. Among the exhibits displayed, there will be historic objects related to Wawel preserved in museums of Warsaw, London, Oxford, Florence, Nuremberg, Münich, Uppsala, Sankt Petersburg, Budapest, Stockholm, and Vienna.

Artistic Culture of the Medieval Court and Cathedral will present the cimelia of mediaeval book illumination, royal illuminated manuscripts dating back to the Jagiellon reign, Gothic panel painting, painted epitaphs, accoutrements of Queen Jadwiga’s, a collection of portraits of Jagiellon and Vasa kings, royal jewellery, and royal parade arms. A special place has been reserved for the presentation of the set of the trappings and trimmings of Sigismundus Chapel - golden items and fabrics founded by king Sigismundus the Old I, and Queens Bona Sforza and Anna Jagiellonka.

Wawel Lost is the effect of archaeological works conducted in the royal castle; the exhibition presents the most ancient history of the Hill.

The central place of the Krakow Cathedral - Bishops’ Royal, National exhibition is the spear of St Maurice - the symbol of the millennium of Polish state and Christianity; shown besides it will be the golden cross made of ducal coronets from the 12th century, and a number of rarely presented paraphernalia.

The history of art in the Krakow See will be presented at The Treasures of the Archdiocese of Krakow exhibition.


 

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Supported financially by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage

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