Each month, I showcase a beautiful castle from somewhere around the world. I hope you enjoy this page, and that it inspires you to find your own home and make it your castle.
Wawel Castle has a long history dating back to the Middle Ages, with the construction of an impressive Gothic Royal residence. But, it really came of age during the Italian Renaissance in the early 16th century, when a new palace was constructed to replace the old residence.
It has gone through many additions and restorations throughout the centuries, and after Poland lost its independence in 1795, it was occupied by Russian, Prussian, and Austrian troops until 1911, when the last of the foreign troops left.
In 1918 Poland regained its independence, and restoration of the existing cathedral and castle was begun, which lasted several decades. During this time, the castle was the official residence of the Head of State, and a museum of historic interiors.
During WWII, the castle was occupied by the Nazis, but not before the Polish people were able to remove the most valuable objects from the cathedral and castle, and send them to Canada. The objects were returned as late as 1959-1961.
Today, Wawel Castle is now one of Poland's most important art museums, and is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of the Historic Center of Krakow.