Romanesque Wawel

Originally, the Wawel Hill was rocky, higher than now, because at the foot the ground has risen considerably. The Vistula River surrounded them on almost all sides, from the side of ul. Straszewski's swamp was seething, called Żabikruk, and in the place of Stradom there were swamps and oxbow lakes. The hill was full of caves – one of them is the Dragon Pit, and in the middle ran a gorge ("Wawwel"), which perhaps gave the name to the whole. Wawel has been inhabited since time immemorial and each generation destroyed something on it, was building, worked. Because the soil layer is very thin in places (after 30 cm can be hit on a solid scale), erecting something new, as a rule, the previous structure was almost completely destroyed. Finding the interwoven relics of different eras and styles, archaeologists face an insoluble puzzle, and historians struggle with difficulties, by identifying found debris, since the period up to the 12th century. hardly any written sources are documented.

Romanesque Wawel

The central center of the Vistula state was located on the Wawel Hill, seat of the "mighty prince", which at the end of the 9th century. „urągał chrześcijanom”. The remains of a huge embankment surrounding the entire hill come from these times. It was destroyed in the second half of the 10th century. by the army of the Czechs or the Piast team.

The oldest buildings are the so-called. square building, first church B., rotunda near the bastion of Władysław IV, rotunda at the Sandomierz Tower, a church next to the Thief's Tower and relics in the vaults of the cathedral and under the foundations of the church of St.. Michael. Sandstone in the form of slabs was used for their construction, plastered. The use of plaster in place of mortar was a phenomenon in contemporary Europe. The stone that was the building material was brought from Kurdwanów (12 km from the city), and the plaster from Swoszowice (18 km). At the time of their discovery, these buildings were dated to the mid-10th century. (950 r.), so the times before the beginning of the Polish state. In years 70. is "rejuvenated", they are now being given their rightful place in history. For example. church B dates back to 950 r. a rotundę NMP and 960 r.

After the unofficial abdication of Bolesław the Bold, the construction of a new cathedral began. The "Herman's" cathedral was erected by 60 lat (1085 -1142). Its walls are the backbone of today's cathedral. In the first period, about 1118 r., only the crypt of St.. Leonard, and the remains of Bishop Maurus were laid under the floor. Raw and simple, it resembles the crypt of St.. Gereona, however, it does not match that level of sculptural decorations. During the time of Krzywousty, the walls of the cathedral were raised, and four towers were added at the corners. One of them, Silver Bells Tower, has survived to our times. The cathedral was consecrated during the convention of district princes in 1142 r.

Run from 1911 r. excavations at Wawel have revealed the remains of at least eight archaic pre-Romanesque objects (?-X w.) and as many romanesque (X-XII c.). This makes Wawel the largest center of pre-Romanesque and Romanesque architecture in Poland, and in Central Europe only the capital of Great Moravia can compete with Wawel – Velehrad-Mikulczice.

The first Romanesque building erected according to European building techniques is the so-called Chrobrowska cathedral. that is the church of St.. Gereona (ok. 1020-1040). For its construction, limestone cubes and lime were used in a natural way, obtained on site from the burning of these rocks and sand from the Vistula. This building is well known and dated, however, it is not known, what name should be assigned to it. Some people call her the first, others the second Wawel Cathedral, still others the abbey church of the Archbishop. Aaron (1040 r.). This is where the famous chakra is located, if such a thing exists. Disputes, was it the first cathedral, or the remains of the first cathedral, rather hidden under today's presbytery, will not be settled soon. It can be stated, that a magnificent basilica with a beautiful sculptural decoration stood in this place (preserved in fragments), on the plan of the Latin cross, with an open crypt under the presbytery, supported by eight carved columns (Gereona crypt), with galleries for the choir at the ends of the transept. Built under the Brave or Casimir the Restorer – was perhaps the most representative building in Poland of that time. Name her (st. Gereona) It appears in only one document and may be the result of a rewrite of the document (z „Georgiis” – George). This church was closed for the private use of the ruler as a palace chapel.

During the rebuilding of the castle by Casimir the Great, it was built into the ground floor “Queen's House” and was entrusted to the care of St.. Mary of the Egyptians, and during the renaissance reconstruction it was turned into chambers. Szyszko-Bohusz unveiled the remains of the cathedral, and in years 70. they were made available to visitors. It is now closed again, which further fuels interest in the chakra.