Wawel – Cathedral – Chapels and royal tombs

Wawel – Cathedral – Chapels and royal tombs

The chapels surrounding the Wawel Cathedral with a wreath were built from the 14th century on. at the behest of the kings, bishops and magnates. They were rebuilt over the centuries, the newer ones were built in the place of the older ones. The owners changed, applicable styles and names. Chapels, which were to perform a function similar to mausoleums, played a much more important role – have become a living book of Polish history. They also preserved the characteristic features of the epochs from Gothic to Classicism, giving examples of ornamental fashions, reflecting the character of bygone times in the lines and carvings. These monuments reflect the development of architecture, sculptures, painting and stucco work, they also allow us to learn about the ancestors' attitude to death and their ideas about eternal life.

According to the legend, in the time of St.. Stanislaus, a dispute arose between the church and secular authorities over certain earthly goods, which belonged to the late Piotrowin. St. Stanislaus, in confirmation of the Church's reason, resurrected Piotrowin, which, having confirmed before the assembled, that he gave his goods to the Church, he was put back in the tomb.

Royal tombs

Not all princes, Polish kings and queens rest at Wawel, and the tombs of several ancient rulers once buried here (for example, Kazimierz the Righteous, Leszek Biały or Bolesław Kędzierzawy) never found. The beginning of the Wawel necropolis was initiated by Władysław Łokietek, who died in 1333 r. and since then, almost all the rulers ended their last journey at Wawel – or in shallower graves under the church floor (to the times of Sigismund the Old), or in the crypts.

List of chapels in the Wawel Cathedral
1. Świętokrzyska chapel
2. Potocki chapel
3. Szafraniec chapel
4. the Vasa chapel
5. Sigismund's Chapel
6. Chapel of Bishop Konarski
7. kaplica bpa Zadzisa
8. Jan Olbracht's chapel
9. Chapel of Bishop Grot
10. Chapel of Bishop Tomicki
11. St. Mary's Chapel (Batory)
12. Chapel of Bishop Gamrat
13. cathedral treasury
14. sacristy
15. the chapel of Bishop Zebrzydowski
16. Skotnicki chapel
17. Lipski Chapel
18. Bishop Maciejowski's chapel
19. Czartoryski chapel
20. chapel of St. Trinity

It is best to start the overview of chapels and tombs from the left aisle, that is, from the place closest to the front door.

Holy Trinity Chapel, also known as the chapel of Queen Sophia (Album Sonki), which extends the left aisle, that is, north, it shimmers with juicy colors like lanterna magica, especially when sunlight penetrates through the warm stained glass windows. Founded by the fourth wife of Jagiełło - Queen Zofia Holszańska, was erected in the years 1431-1432, but frequent reconstructions blurred its late gothic character. Inside, the tendencies prevailing in the art of Young Poland were clearly visible – the walls and vaults are covered with expressive polychrome by Włodzimierz Tetmajer, made in 1904 r., depicting the figures of famous Poles. The antique-style monument next to the entrance is an image of Napoleonic colonel Włodzimierz Potocki. A graceful counterpoint to the Mars monument is the bas-relief depicting Konstancja née Poniatowska Tyszkiewiczowa.

The next Czartoryski chapel (Of the Lord's Passion), znajdująca się w przyziemiu Wieży Zegarowej, it is the gateway to the royal tombs. Uwadze spieszących w otchłanie krypt uchodzi często dość nisko usytuowana płyta epitafijna z płaskorzeźbą o całkowicie gładkiej twarzy, probably stroked or worn with the backs of those praying.

When you sit for a while before entering, you can watch genre scenes showing the cathedral "from the inside": babcie ze szczotkami i wiadrami myjące posadzkę lub starszawych panów dzierżących z odcieniem pietyzmu i dumy służbowe krótkofalówki.

Being near the graves of celebrities, having more to say than others in their time, these, whose policies are referenced in our reality, it is contact with history, completely different than admiring the plowed field near Grunwald. Here, in one place, lie the bones of heroes praised in legends and these, who like the Jagiellonians, they were the creators of the greatness of Poland. During visiting hours, it is always crowded and noisy here, and that the room is low, darkish and not very voluminous, you have to be patient.