I loved that my hotel was just across the street from Wawel Castle. It is a beautiful building in the day time and at night. For centuries Wawel Castle was residence of the Polish Kings and the symbol of Polish statehood; the Castle is now one of the country’s premier art museums. There is a lot of information about the castle on their website: Wawel Castle Website
I wish that I had studied up on Wawel Castle before I came. I didn’t realize that you could see so much here–rooms, exhibits, and museums. You do not have to pay to get on the castle grounds, but you do have to pay to go inside different parts of the castle. It is nice that you can pick and choose rather than pay one lump sum for the whole complex. I had packed so much in to my first day that it was nice to just sit and enjoy the beautiful exterior and grounds of the castle. The castle souvenir shop was really nice; it was housed in the old hospital/conference center. There were a lot of fun things to look at and quite a few good books.
The Wawel Dragon is situated Southwest of the castle along the river. The dragon is in front of one of the limestone caves scattered on the hill. The Polish Myth behind the dragon is that the dragon, Smok Wawelski, was a mystical beast which supposedly terrorized the local community, eating their sheep and local virgins, before being killed by a Polish prince who founded the city of Kraków and built his palace above the slain dragon’s lair. The metal sclupture was designed by Bronislaw Chromy in 1970. The dragon spits fire about every 5 minutes or so.