Considered as the most important building in Poland, Wawel Cathedral in Krakow contains much that is original, although many glorious additions have been made over the centuries.
The interior of Wawel Cathedral more than makes up for its visual shortcomings thanks to the sheer amount of history packed inside. At its centre is the imposing tomb of the former Bishop of Kraków, St. Stanisław (1030-1079), a suitably grand monument dedicated to the controversial cleric after whom the Cathedral is dedicated.
The Royal Crypts offer a cold and atmospheric diversion as the final resting place of kings and statesmen – most recently former president Lech Kaczyński – while at the top of a gruelling wooden series of staircases is the vast, 11 tonne Sigismund Bell - so loud it can supposedly be heard 50km away.
The Royal Archcathedral Basilica of Saints Stanislaus and Wenceslaus on the Wawel Hill (Polish: Krolewska Bazylika Archikatedralna ss. Stanislawa i Waclawa na Wawelu), also known as the Wawel Cathedral (Polish: Katedra Wawelska), is a Roman Catholic church located on Wawel Hill in Krakow, Poland. More than 900 years old, it is the Polish national sanctuary and traditionally has served as coronation site of the Polish monarchs as well as the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Krakow. Karol Wojtyla, who in 1978 became Pope John Paul II, the day after his ordination to the priesthood, offered his first Mass as a priest in the Crypt of the Cathedral on 2 November 1946, and was ordained Krakow's auxiliary bishop in the Cathedral on 28 September 1958.The current, Gothic cathedral, is the third edifice on this site: the first was constructed and destroyed in the 11th century; the second one, constructed in the 12th century, was destroyed by a fire in 1305. The construction of the current one began in the 14th century on the orders of bishop Nanker.