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  • Friday, May 22, 2020 - Sunday, June 28, 2020

After two months of closure due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the first to reopen at Wawel Royal Castle is the Crown Treasury and Armoury with a magnificent special display of twenty-four masterpieces from the prematurely closed (because of lockdown) exhibition Treasures of the Piast Dynasty. The special display will be on view through June 28, 2020.

The exhibition Treasures of the Piast Dynasty, cut short by the coronavirus lockdown, was organized to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the coronation of King Ladislaus I the Short.  Ladislaus  was the first Polish ruler to be crowned at Wawel Cathedral. The event was of paramount importance for Poland, Cracow, and Wawel, as it concluded the reunification of the Kingdom of Poland following nearly two centuries of feudal fragmentation. The special display presents some of the most precious examples of goldsmiths’ work that were either commissioned by various members of the Piast dynasty or made during the period of Piast rule, and which are held in Polish collections. The special display is fittingly installed in the Casimir III the Great Hall, named after Ladislaus’s son and successor, an astute ruler known, among other achievements, for his great building projects.

The special display includes a group of objects once belonging to St Kunigunde (St Kinga) including a spoon with an agate or jasper bowl, a sardonyx cameo with the image of Roman empress Julia Domna, and  an amethyst and diamond ring, known as the engagement ring of St Kinga. Next to it, is presented a magnificent topaz ring from the tomb of an archbishop of Gniezno.

Several Romanesque liturgical vessels on loan from the Archdiocesan Museum in Gniezno, the National Museum in Warsaw, the Museum of Łęczyca, and the Collegiate Church of Kalisz. As part of the special display in the Crown Treasury, these splendid gold and silver objects are exhibited together with the oldest Polish gold cup (dating from the mid-11th century), which is on long-term loan from Tyniec Abbey.

Perhaps the most spectacular objects in the special display are a woman’s crown and brooch on loan from the National Museum in Wrocław. These spectacular jewels that may once belonged to Emperor Charles IV are part of a treasure hoard discovered near the town of Środa Śląska.

Crown Treasury and Armoury hours:

  • Monday 9:30 am - 1:00 pm
  • Tuesday-Sunday 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

admission: PLN 25 PLN, reduced PLN 15; free admission on Monday
sale: at the entrance to the exhibition

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