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Wawel Castle Kraków, Poland

Wawel Castle Kraków, Poland


 Haunted Location

Ghostwatch Europe
Views: 2,649
Report by: Wanderer
"The ghost of kings are believed to haunt the castle to this day."
Report ID: 269

Wawel Castle Kraków, Poland

Wawel Royal Castle is in Krakow, is said to be haunted by many royal spirits and their court jester, eerie music can sometimes be heard echoing from the castle vaults.

The legendary Wawel Castle Dragon lived in a cave under the Wawel Hill on which the Royal Castle was built. According to legend, the Dragon oppressed Cracow inhabitants by capturing and devouring beautiful Cracovian girls. The city was saved by a young and clever shoemaker who stuffed a sheep skin with sulphur. The Dragon, thinking that the skin was a tasty morsel, devoured it and then, suffering from incredible thirst, kept drinking water from the nearby Vistula River, which caused the Dragon to explode!

A monument to the giant dragon is still visible in front of the entrance to the cave located at Wawel Hill.

King Kazimir claims that when he was a child, he went into one of the tunnels and found a glowing stone that contained magical energy that protects Krakow from invasion and harm. King Sigismund's court jester was named Stancysk, and is believed to haunt the castle. Whenever Poland is in danger, Stancyzk’s spirit is seen along the battlements of Wawel Castle.

According to one local legend, all of Poland’s deceased kings gather on December 24th every year in an underground chamber in Wawel Hill.

The Gothic Wawel Castle in Kraków in Poland was built at the behest of Casimir III the Great, who reigned from 1333 to 1370, and consists of a number of structures situated around the central courtyard.

In the 14th century it was rebuilt by Jogaila and Jadwiga of Poland. Many people have lived on Wawel Hill the site of the Castle as early as fifty thousand years ago, in the Paleolithic Age. The settlement was apparently bustling with trade, assorted crafts and local farming. When more people began to settle on the Wawel Hill and when trade became more efficient, the rulers of Poland took up their residence at the Hill as well.

During the early 16th century King Sigismund I the Old (Zygmunt I in Polish) and his wife brought in the best native and foreign artists including Italian architects, sculptors, and German decorators, to refurbish the castle into a splendid Renaissance palace. It soon became a paragon of stately residence in Central and Eastern Europe and served widely as a model throughout the region.

In the fire of 1595, the northeast part of the castle burned down. King Sigismund III Vasa rebuilt it, although of his efforts only the Senator Stairs and the fireplace in the Bird Room remain today. In 1609 King Sigismund moved the capital to Warsaw, and tough times for Wawel began. Both the castle and other buildings were neglected despite the concerns of local governors. The Swedish invasions of 1655–1657 and 1702 contributed to the further deterioration of the castle.

The Hill was occupied by the Prussian Army in 1794. Royal Insignia were stolen and never retrieved (apart from the Szczerbiec). After the Third Partition of Poland (1795) Wawel, as an important defensive point, was modernised by Austrians with defensive walls.The interior of the castle was changed and some of the buildings pulled down. In the second part of the 19th century the Austrians redesigned the defensive walls making them a part of a stronghold. However, in 1905 the emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria gave an order for Austrian troops to leave Wawel. Restoration works began, with the discovery of the Rotunda of Virgin Mary as well as other relics of the past. The renovations of the Wawel Hill were financed by public subscriptions.

After World War I, the authorities of the newly independent Polish Second Republic decided that Wawel Castle was to become a representative building of the Polish state and would be used by the Governor and later by the President himself. In 1921 the Polish Parliament passed a resolution which gave Wawel official status as the residence of the President of Poland. Following the ravages of World War II, by the decree of the State National Council, Wawel Castle became a national museum.

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