The Wawel Royal Castle Museum’s history traces back to 1882 when Jan Matejko made a significant contribution by donating his renowned painting “Prussian Homage.”
This marked the inception of the museum, originally intended to be established within the royal residence. It’s important to note that this painting is currently held in the National Museum in Krakow, in the Gallery of 19th Century Painting in the Sukiennice.
The formation of the “Wawelian” collections commenced in 1905 during conservation efforts undertaken in the castle after the departure of Austrian troops. These conservation works marked the early stages of the museum’s development.
A pivotal role in shaping the museum’s destiny was undertaken by the Management of the Restoration of the Wawel Castle (later known as the Management of the Renovation of the Wawel Royal Castle).
This institution was established to oversee the conservation of the Wawel Castle following its acquisition from the Austro-Hungarian military authorities. This role persisted until the end of 1985.