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Old 27th August 2017, 01:45 AM   #1
silberschatzimsee's Avatar
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Default wawel castle armoury and krakow national museum

To cut it short, i cant really recommend the wawel castle.

Things that kind of killed it for me.

1! counter for hundreds of visitors. so having to wait for some hours is considered normal
Limited access, they only grant 500 visitors or so per day in to the amoury.
Besides of the nice canons not really much to see there. Just basic stuff which leads to next big minus point.
Picture takeing strictly not allowed, not even without flash!
So studying the weapons at home is not wanted maybe in order to prevent people realizing that there mostly only average stuff inside

On my first day after i saw the queue, i decided to come early in the morning on the second day after i realising there is only one counter to handle the masses. Still had to wait like for an hour on the next day. So after obstacle was cleared i was happy to make some pics......
Bad then the bad suprise. Inside there were like 8 attendants rushing through the few rooms with a single task only in order to prevent people taking pictures. Maybe it was just me but the athmospere was rather unpleasent.
Yeah i mean their house and their rules but then haveing a lot of the weaponary exposed to daylight didnt make much sense to me.

Anyway i found this picture of the canons in the internet

and now to krakow national museum.
What a difference

2 counters therefor hardly no waiting time(eventhough Leonardos "Lady with an Ermine" attracted a lot of visitors) see below for a photograph.
picture takeing of their exhibits was endorsed and induced

I estimate the exhibition size as big as the wallace colection. Maybe not so fine weaponory as in London but more interactive for the visitors. They also have some interesting very guns on display. like there was a 9 barreld gun, hand mortars ect.
There a also a few computer stations to play around with and replica amoury to try on like on that bloke below.

I can 100% recommend a visit there.
If one views Wawel castle armoury from outside nothing really was missed.

Last edited by silberschatzimsee : 27th August 2017 at 01:57 AM.
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Old 27th August 2017, 01:52 AM   #2
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Maybe somebody else from this forum was already in krakow and could defuse my bad review of the wawel castle above since of my maybe biased views.
But i really didnt want to spend more than 10 minutes in that amoury and i estimate without rushing trough it everything can be seen im 15 minutes. Not worth waiting hours in the queue.
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Old 1st September 2017, 02:54 AM   #3
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Thanks for sharing the pics. I visited the collections a couple times in the 1990s and never had a problem with access. But perhaps because the volume of visitors wasn't as great as it is today. Also I was accompanied by people I know who are connected with Krakóws museum community so they didn't mind my taking photos in any of the museums in the city.

But undoubtedly the displays have improved since then. There was certainly no interactive exhibit when I was there. A shame, I would have loved to model a Pig-Faced Bascinet on top of my bald head! You certainly can't do that with the one in the Wallace Collection, haha.
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Old 20th September 2017, 07:17 PM   #4
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Hello Silber,

I went to Krakow on holidays last year and visited parts of the castle. I found it was part Disneyland, part historical site. The Disneyland impression comes from the way they manage the myriad tourists who flock to the castle each day.

As I remember, there were two places to buy tickets (this was during the month of August), each had a big screen showing the number of tickets remaining per part of the castle. You could see the number of available places going down at an alarming rate. All in all, a big surprise as to the mass of tourists, but a clear and well organized way to deal with it.

I can imagine locals avoid the holiday period to visit !

The armory was full of wonderful objects (I cannot judge quality at a glance but I took special notice of some very nice smallswords. It also included a few very, very, ornate ceremonial swords and a huge number of two-handed swords along with crossbows, cannon, etc .)

I was, like you, frustrated by the ban on photos, especially as they propose a beautiful book on the pole arms in their collection, but nothing on swords !! Why not allow photos without flash and contend with people who cannot understand simple rules ?

I must say I was interested enough that I would have stayed longer in the armory, but had to follow the rest of the family

Sorry about the layman quality of this post, but I haven't reached the level of expertise of people on this forum yet. Just my humble opinion on the subject. For all I know, most pieces could have been fake, but I doubt it

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Old 21st September 2017, 10:32 PM   #5
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@philip yes like mentioned i also really liked the attempt to involve the visitors more into the exhibition. Other museums/curators could learn from that part. In 2 weeks i will be there again for scientific reason and to look at leonardos masterpiece again.

Hhaha yes i noticed that countdown board also on my first attempt to enter the amoury. I arrived there at arround 11, saw the remaining numbers, the large queue and turned around. I am also a novice collector but have visited already several armouries. Therefor i think i can judge and say the collection is average at best. The collextion here in Vienna is far more superior and there is no fuzz about takeing pictures. A very unpleasent place that wawel castle. Cant recommend
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