This collection of 360 tapestries was begun by Zygmunt I and continued by his son, Zygmunt August. The tapestries were commissioned for specific places on the walls of the Royal Castle on Wawel and, thus, were tailor-made to fit the exact dimensions of the area where they were to be hung. The themes of the tapestries range from biblical stories, animal and landscapes to mythical creatures, coats of arms and allegorical scenes.
Catherine the Great appropriated the tapestries for herself, having them transported to Russia. They were returned in 1921 but removed to Canada at the start of the Second World War. The tapestries were finally returned to Krakow in 1961.
They really are amazing pieces of art. Huge, intricate and finely detailed. The amount of work that must have gone into creating them is stunning. Examples of the tapestries can be seen in the State Rooms and Royal Apartments of the castle
Wawel Castle, Wawel Hill
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