The exhibition “Royal Gardens at Wawel” presents the only reconstructed Renaissance garden in Poland. This exhibition was opened to visitors in 2005.


Various historical sources indicate that as early as the 16th century there were royal gardens situated between the eastern wing of the Royal Castle and the defensive wall. The discovery by archaeologists in 2001 of the relics of the 16th-century Wawel garden spurred an initiative to do restoration work. The exhibition “Royal Gardens at Wawel”, opened to visitors in 2005, presents the reconstructed Renaissance gardens from the times of King Zymunt I (around 1540). 

At the start of the exhibition tour, visitors walk past some vineyards. Facing the southern façade of the palace, under the Jordanka Tower, they highlight the historic tradition of wine-growing at the Wawel. In this spot, we can observe elements of the trellis architecture. Besides grapevines, roses (including Damascus), honeysuckle and lavender are also grown.




Archaeological research conducted in 2001 led to the discovery of a system of brick paths, which were identified as part of a garden layout, probably from the 1640s. The preserved paths made it possible to recreate the former system of quarters with elevated boxes (there are kept plant collections). As Agata Zachariasz, author of numerous publications on Polish gardens, points out, the reconstructed Renaissance garden on the upper terrace of an area of approx. 250 m2 “is only part of [the former – JZ) a much larger royal garden that extended over the slope of the hill” (Agata Zachariasz- “Zielony Krakow “2019). 

On the upper terrace there are quarters with elevated boxes and quarters with ornamental floral and herbal flowerbeds. The plants grown here (boxwood, lavender, basil, rosemary, mallow, daisy, madder) evoke the atmosphere of ancient, old gardens. The French rose (known already before 1310) can also be found here




The design of the gardens on the lower terrace is not a reconstruction of the old layout, but a creation of a garden that includes a set of forms characteristic for the gardens from the 16th and early 17th centuries. We find here gazebo with a pointed roof and the orchard surrounded by a wooden trellis fence. 

Ceramic pots can be seen in many places in the Wawel Gardens. It is a characteristic element of Italian and Renaissance gardens.