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The Royal Archcathedral Basilica of Saints Stanislaus and Wenceslaus on the Wawel Hill, also known as the Wawel Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic church.  900 years old, it is the Polish national sanctuary and traditionally has served as coronation site of the Polish monarchs as well as the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Kraków.  Karol Wojtyla, who in 1978 became Pope John Paul II, was ordained to the priesthood there in 1946 and was ordained Kraków's auxiliary bishop in 1958. Both of these pre-pontificate events were depicted in the first half of the 2005 U.S. TV miniseries, Pope John Paul II in which Cary Elwes played the younger Wojtyla.
Wawel CathedralWawel Cathedra in Krakow

The beauty of the Basilica’s interior  is overwhealming.  It holds beautifully decorated coffins, made in silver and marble, of many Polish kings and national heroes.  A silver coffin created between 1669-1671 holds the remains of  of national patron - saint St. Stanislaus (Stanisław).
The current, Gothic cathedral, is the third edifice on this site: the first was constructed and destroyed in the 11’th century; the second one, constructed in the 12th century, was destroyed by a fire in 1305. The construction of the current one begun in the 14th century.



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