January walk around Wawel Castle. Has the Snow Queen returned to the city?
It has been snowing in Krakow for the past two days, which makes me happy - I prefer it when it's white rather than grayish.
Yesterday I had a meeting with my son and took the opportunity to walk around Wawel Castle. The day was cloudy and rather sad, but the snow on the trees brightened it up a bit. There wasn't much snow on the streets in the city center (today is better), as the temperature was around zero.
I started in Planty, the park surrounding the Main Market and adjacent streets. It was created on the site of medieval defensive walls (almost entirely demolished in the 19th century).
We're approaching Wawel Hill. The castle is barely dusted with snow.
Despite the not-so-pleasant weather (it started to snow-wet later), there were quite a few tourists.
We enter the castle grounds through the coat of arms gate, built in 1921.
The main body of the castle dates back to the 16th century, but it underwent many changes in the 19th-20th century - primarily by historical turmoil. In a previous post, I wrote about the Krakow Fortress - Wawel was its first structure. The Austrians fortified the hill in the mid-19th century turning the castle into a giant citadel. The military use ended in 1911, and we regained the seat of polish kings. We started its reconstruction, then continued after World War II. The post-Austrian fortifications remained and today are an inseparable part of the complex.
Next to the gate, we can see a statue of Tadeusz Kosciuszko, erected in 1921. He is called the hero of two nations. He was a military engineer, a patriot, and an international fighter for freedom and equality. He fought in uprisings, trying to save Poland from partition (the end of the 18th century). He also took part in the American Revolutionary War. In recognition of his merits, he received, among other things, a high military rank, land, and a high salary in America. He used almost all the money to buy out his black slaves and educate them in 1798. He couldn't stand enslavement in any form.
Let's walk along the castle's outer walls and the top of the citadel's fortifications.
The Vistula River. The day was gray and foggy; only a bit of snow saved the situation.
We can see a fragment of the 19th-century fortifications with a tower housing a well. Today, it hides stairs leading to the dragon's pit - a cave located under the royal castle. Wawel Hill is a huge limestone rock.
As the legend says, once a great Wawel Dragon inhabited this cave. Down below, through the branches of the trees, you can see its sculpture, which breathes fire every three minutes. It's one of the most famous attractions of Krakow, especially among children :)
One last look at the Vistula River and I moved on - in this weather, it's better to stay active ;)
A Thieves' Tower
The outer courtyard - we can see the core of the castle complex with Wawel Cathedral and the buildings of the former royal kitchens.
Everything blooms here in spring and summer.
The buildings of the Royal Kitchens, on the left is the gate to the arcade courtyard.
The inner courtyard is a classic example of Renaissance architecture. This part of the castle was rebuilt in the first half of the 16th century.
At this point, I noticed I had lost my glove, which knocked me out of the rhythm. I went around my route once again and fortunately found the lost glove :) In the meantime, I got a little cold, so I've decided to finish my tour.
I'll bring you here again in the spring, when it will be a little warmer and greener!
Snowy greetings from Kraków ❄️💙❄️
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Fantastic pictures, I love the castles and the snow gives it a very special style.
Thank you very much @astinmin !❤️
My pleasure! Thanks for stopping by and comment 🌸
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Beautiful places, I would like to see with my own eyes...
I wish you that 🙂🌻
I'm glad that you've found your mitten...