HOME PAGE

EUROPEAN CASTLES

GALLERY

MAPS

GUESTBOOK

BIBLIOGRAPHY

CONTACT ME
BARANÓW SANDOMIERSKI

BARCIANY

BARDO ŚLĄSKIE

BĄKOWA GÓRA

BESIEKIERY

BĘDZIN

BIERUTÓW

BIESTRZYKÓW

BOBOLICE

BOBROWNIKI

BODZENTYN

BOLESTRASZYCE

BOLKÓW

BORYSŁAWICE ZAMKOWE

BROCHÓW

BRODNICA

BRZEG

BUKOWIEC

BYDLIN

BYSTRZYCA KŁODZKA

CHĘCINY

CHOJNICA

CHOJNIK

CIECHANÓW

CIESZÓW

CIESZYN

CZARNY BÓR

CZERNA

CZERNINA

CZERSK

CZĘSTOCHOWA

CZOCHA

CZORSZTYN

DĄBROWA

DĄBRÓWNO

DRZEWICA

DZIAŁDOWO

DZIERZGOŃ

FREDROPOL (KORMANICE)

GDAŃSK

GIŻYCKO

GLIWICE

GŁOGÓW

GNIEW

GNIEWOSZÓW Z.SZCZERBA

GOLUB-DOBRZYŃ

GOŁAŃCZ

GOLCZEWO

GOŁUCHÓW

GOŚCISZÓW

GÓRA

GRODZIEC

GRÓDEK

GRUDZIĄDZ

GRZĘDY

GRZMIĄCA z.ROGOWIEC

INOWŁÓDZ

JANOWICE WIELKIE z.BOLCZÓW

JANOWIEC

JAWOR

JEZIORO GÓRECKIE

KAMIENIEC ZĄBKOWICKI

KAMIENNA GÓRA

KARPNIKI

KAZIMIERZ DOLNY

KĘTRZYN

KĘTRZYN - KOŚCIÓŁ

KIELCE

KLICZKÓW

KŁODZKO

KOŁO

KONARY

KONIN-GOSŁAWICE

KORZKIEW

KOWALEWO POMORSKIE

KOŹMIN WLKP.

KÓRNIK

KRAKÓW

KRAPKOWICE

KRAPKOWICE - OTMĘT

KRASICZYN

KRĘPCEWO

KRUSZWICA

KRZYŻNA GÓRA

KRZYŻTOPÓR

KSIĄŻ WIELKI

KUROZWĘKI

KWIDZYN

LEGNICA

LIDZBARK WARMIŃSKI

LIPA

LUBIN

LUTOMIERSK

ŁAGÓW

ŁĘCZYCA

ŁOWICZ

MAJKOWICE

MALBORK

MAŁA NIESZAWKA

MIĘDZYLESIE

MIĘDZYRZECZ

MIRÓW

MOKRSKO

MOSZNA

MSTÓW

MUSZYNA

MYŚLENICE

NAMYSŁÓW

NIEDZICA

NIDZICA

NIEMCZA

NIEMODLIN

NIEPOŁOMICE

NOWY SĄCZ

NOWY WIŚNICZ

ODRZYKOŃ

OGRODZIENIEC (PODZAMCZE)

OJCÓW

OLEŚNICA

OLSZTYN (JURA)

OLSZTYN (WARMIA)

OLSZTYNEK

OŁAWA

OŁDRZYCHOWICE KŁODZKIE

OPOCZNO

OPOLE GÓRKA

OPOLE OSTRÓWEK

OPORÓW

OSSOLIN

OSTRĘŻNIK

OSTRÓDA

OSTRÓW LEDNICKI

OTMUCHÓW

PABIANICE

PANKÓW

PASTUCHÓW

PIESKOWA SKAŁA

PIOTRKÓW TRYBUNALSKI

PIOTRKÓW-BYKI

PIOTROWICE ŚWIDNICKIE

PŁAKOWICE

PŁOCK

PŁONINA

PŁOTY

PODZAMCZE z.OGRODZIENIEC

PODZAMCZE PIEKOSZOWSKIE

POKRZYWNO

POŁCZYN-ZDRÓJ

POZNAŃ

PRABUTY

PROCHOWICE

PROSZÓWKA z.GRYF

PRZEMYŚL

PRZEWODZISZOWICE

PSZCZYNA

PYZDRY

RABSZTYN

RACIĄŻEK

RADŁÓWKA

RADOM

RADZIKI DUŻE

RADZYŃ CHEŁMIŃSKI

RAJSKO

RAKOWICE WIELKIE

RATNO DOLNE

RAWA MAZOWIECKA

RESKO

ROGÓW OPOLSKI

ROŻNÓW ZAMEK DOLNY

ROŻNÓW ZAMEK GÓRNY

RYBNICA

RYBNICA LEŚNA

RYCZÓW

RYDZYNA

RYTWIANY

RZĄSINY

SANDOMIERZ

SANOK

SIEDLĘCIN

SIEDLISKO

SIERADZ

SIERAKÓW

SIEWIERZ

SMOLEŃ

SOBKÓW

SOBOTA

SOCHACZEW

SOSNOWIEC

SREBRNA GÓRA

STARA KAMIENICA

STARE DRAWSKO

STARY SĄCZ

STRZELCE OPOLSKIE

SULEJÓW

SZAMOTUŁY

SZCZECIN

SZTUM

SZUBIN

SZYDŁÓW

SZYMBARK

ŚCINAWKA GÓRNA

ŚWIDWIN

ŚWIEBODZIN

ŚWIECIE n.WISŁĄ

ŚWIECIE k.LEŚNEJ

ŚWINY

TORUŃ

TORUŃ z.DYBÓW

TUCZNO

TYNIEC

UDÓRZ

UJAZD k.TOMASZOWA

UJAZD KRZYŻTOPÓR

UNIEJÓW

URAZ

WAŁBRZYCH z.KSIĄŻ

WAŁBRZYCH z.STARY KSIĄŻ

WAŁBRZYCH z.NOWY DWÓR

WARSZAWA z.KRÓLEWSKI

WARSZAWA z.UJAZDOWSKI

WĄBRZEŹNO

WENECJA

WĘGIERKA

WĘGORZEWO

WIELICZKA

WIELKA WIEŚ

WIERZBNA

WITKÓW

WLEŃ

WOJNOWICE

WOJSŁAWICE

WROCŁAW

WROCŁAW LEŚNICA

WYSZYNA

ZAGÓRZ

ZAGÓRZE ŚLĄSKIE

ZAŁUŻ

ZĄBKOWICE ŚLĄSKIE

ZBĄSZYŃ

ZŁOTORIA k.TORUNIA

ŹRÓDŁA

ŻAGAŃ

ŻARY

ŻELAZNO

ŻMIGRÓD


IMG BORDER=1 style=

VIEW FROM THE EAST, IN THE FOREGROUND, STATUES OF ARTEMIS AND APOLLO
AND ONE OF THE LIONS GUARDING THE ENTRANCE TO THE HONORARY COURTYARD



ccording to one of the many popular le­gends re­fer­ring to the hi­sto­ry of the ca­stle Ksiaz in Lo­wer Si­le­sia, the first strong­hold in this pla­ce was built in the midd­le of the 10th cen­tu­ry by a knight na­med Fun­ken­stein. When he was still a young boy, he was sup­po­sed to gi­ve the Du­ke of Sa­xo­ny, He­nry the Bird­man, a sack of co­al dug in the fo­rest, which ple­ased the ru­ler so much that as a re­ward he ga­ve him a no­ble dig­ni­ty with a nick­na­me De­rje­ni­ge, die fun­kel­nden Ste­ine bringt. He al­so or­de­red him to re­turn to Lo­wer Si­le­sia, find a va­lu­able pla­ce and build a ca­stle in its vi­ci­ni­ty in or­der to guard the black tre­asu­re. The first hi­sto­ri­cal­ly do­cu­men­ted tra­ce of Fürst­en­berg for­tress in­di­ca­tes that a­round 1290 it was built or ex­pan­ded by Bo­le­slaw Ro­gat­ka's son, the Du­ke Bol­ko I (+1301). The Go­thic buil­ding was e­re­cted on a ro­cky head­land on the si­te of a wood­en ca­stle de­stro­yed in 1263 by the Czech king Pře­mysl II Ot­to­kar (+1278). Ini­tial­ly, it ser­ved as a bor­der watch­to­wer, pro­tec­ting the tra­de rou­te le­ading from Pra­gue to the Si­le­sian lands. Its po­li­ti­cal and mi­li­ta­ry im­por­tan­ce in­cre­ased at the end of the 13th cen­tu­ry, when Bol­ko mo­ved his court he­re from Lwó­wek Sla­ski and from then on, un­til 1392, the ca­stle was one of the two most im­por­tant cen­tres of du­cal po­wer in the re­gion.


EASTERN ELEVATION OF THE CASTLE FROM THE TIME BEFORE SECOND GREAT RECONSTRUCTION, POSTCARD FROM BEGINNING OF THE XX CENTURY



The oldest mention of the castle hill and cas­trum Für­sten­stein it da­tes back to 1168. In 1209, the na­me Vor­stin­burg ap­pe­ars in do­cu­ments, fol­lo­wed by Für­sten­berg (1337), Fur­stin­berg (1346) and Für­stin­steyn (1367), which e­vol­ved o­ver ti­me in­to Für­sten­steyn and Für­sten­stain (1515). In the ni­ne­teenth and first half of the twen­tieth cen­tu­ry, the ol­der na­me Für­sten­stein was u­sed, whi­le in Po­land, the cas­tle was al­ter­na­te­ly de­scri­bed as Ksia­ze­ca Ska­la or Ksia­ze­cy Glaz. After the Se­cond World War, this pla­ce was ini­tial­ly cal­led Ksia­zno and Ksie­zno, and sin­ce 1947 the cur­rent na­me Ksiaz has been of­fi­cial­ly in­tro­du­ced.



IMG BORDER=1 style=

VIEW FROM THE SOUTH FROM THE VIEWPOINT ON THE ROCK GIANT TOMB


n the initiative of Bolko I and his son Ber­nard Swid­ni­cki (+1326), the ca­stle was in­cor­po­ra­ted in­to the de­fen­si­ve sys­tem of the du­chy's bor­ders, which in­clu­ded the strong­holds in Ci­sy, Czar­ny Bór, Za­gó­rze, Ryb­ni­ca, Wlen, Cho­cia­nów and Ka­mien­na Gó­ra. To so­me ex­tent, it was ex­pan­ded by foun­der's grand­son, Bol­ko II the Lit­tle, but the sca­le of the­se trans­for­ma­tions is dif­fi­cult to e­sti­ma­te. After the child­less death of Bol­ko II in 1368, the e­sta­te ca­me un­der the reign of King Char­les IV of Lu­xem­bourg (+1378), with the con­di­tion, that the wi­dow of Du­ke Ag­nes had the pro­per­ty at his dis­po­sal for li­fe. When she died in 1392, Ksiaz be­ca­me the pro­per­ty of the Czech King Wen­ce­slas IV of Lu­xem­bourg (+1419), who e­sta­bli­shed a sta­ro­sty he­re and han­ded it o­ver to the Si­le­sian knights in fief. This de­me­sne was bought from the ro­yal hands in 1401 by the sta­rost Jan of Cho­těmíc (+ after 1442). He was fol­lo­wed by his son Jan the Youn­ger (+1447), and then the el­dest of Jan's dau­ghters, who mar­ried Her­man Czet­tritz (+1454). This knight du­ring the Hus­si­te wars was in­vol­ved in a rob­be­ry, for which he was ex­com­mu­ni­ca­ted by the Bi­shop of Wro­claw. After his death, Ksiaz was ta­ken o­ver by his son Hans Czet­tritz, and in 1463, pro­ba­bly by for­ce, by King Jiří z Kun­štá­tu a Po­dě­brad (+1471), who pla­ced he­re one of his com­man­ders Bir­ka von Nas­si­del. He soon sold or ple­dged the ca­stle to bro­thers Ni­cklas and Hans von Schel­len­dorf, who in 1475 and 1477 suc­ces­sful­ly com­man­ded its de­fen­se in the war with Hun­ga­rian King Mat­thias Cor­vi­nus and his sup­por­ters from Wro­claw. The Hun­ga­rian ar­my con­que­red Ksiaz on­ly in 1482 and captured Hans von Schellendorf. As a result of these events, the castle was partially destroyed by the forces of Silesian townspeople. Georg von Stein (+1497), the com­man­der of the ro­yal troops, was ap­poin­ted the Ksiaz sta­rost, who gre­atly con­tri­bu­ted to chan­ging the cha­rac­ter of the ca­stle and its de­co­ra­tion. As a re­sult of the works car­ried out he­re in the years 1483-90, the sou­thern wing, hen­ce­forth known in ho­nour of the ru­ler as the Mat­thias' Wing, was cre­ated.



The 14th-century castle of the du­kes of Swid­ni­ca was a sto­ne buil­ding si­tu­ated di­re­ctly on so­lid rock, con­sis­ting of two re­si­den­tial wings and a main to­wer in the up­per part, and two se­mi-cy­lin­dri­cal to­wers in the north-east­ern se­ction of the walls, the for­ti­fi­ca­tions with ram­parts and a moat sur­roun­ding the who­le a­rea. From the ol­dest pe­riod of its e­xis­ten­ce co­mes the sou­thern part of the pre­sent buil­ding with the so-cal­led Long Hou­se, whe­re the bar­rel vaults ha­ve been pre­ser­ved, as well as the Go­thic main to­wer, no­wa­days a­bout se­ven­teen me­ters hi­gher than the o­ri­gi­nal height.




THE CASTLE IN A DRAWING FROM THE TURN OF THE 17TH AND 18TH CENTURY


n years 1482-84 and 1490-91 the sta­rost of the ca­stle was Frie­drich von Ho­berg from Do­bro­cin. After Mat­thias Cor­vi­nus' death in 1491, the esta­te be­ca­me the pro­per­ty of Czech king Wla­dy­slaw Ja­giel­lon­czyk (+1516), on who­se be­half it was ma­na­ged by Hans Vol­ger. In 1497 the strong­hold and its sur­roun­dings went in­to pri­va­te ow­ner­ship of Chan­cel­lor Jo­hann von Schel­len­berg (+1508), which cost him 600,000 Pra­gue gro­schen. Jo­hann's son and heir, Ge­org von Schel­len­berg (+1526) in 1503 ga­ve the sur­roun­ding land to Pe­ter von Haug­witz, in re­turn re­cei­ving Glub­czy­ce. Fi­ve ye­ars la­ter it was in­he­ri­ted by Jo­hann von Haug­witz, and be­cau­se he was not in­te­re­sted in the ca­stle, he sold it in Ju­ne 1509 to Kon­rad I von Ho­berg from Roz­to­ka (+1520) al­so for 600,000 Pra­gue gro­schen. Sin­ce then, for over 430 ye­ars, Ksiaz has been the head­quar­ters of one of the ri­chest and most in­flu­en­tial Si­le­sian and la­ter Ger­man fa­mi­lies. Kon­rad's son, Chris­toph von Ho­berg (+1535), trans­for­med the Ksiaz e­sta­te in­to a he­re­di­ta­ry lien, en­lar­ging it by se­ve­ral sur­roun­ding vil­la­ges and ca­stle Gro­dno in Za­gó­rze Sla­skie. It was al­so on his ini­tia­ti­ve that the first ma­jor mo­der­ni­za­tion and re­con­stru­ction of ca­stle was car­ried out, con­ti­nu­ed by ano­ther ow­ner, Kon­rad II von Ho­berg (+1565). After Kon­rad III von Ho­berg paid off his fief debts of 72 thou­sand tha­lers in 1605, Ksiaz be­ca­me of­fi­cial­ly a free he­re­di­ta­ry pro­per­ty of the fa­mi­ly. The first de­tai­led de­scri­ption of the ca­stle, pre­pa­red by the im­pe­rial in­ven­to­ry com­mis­sion, co­mes from that pe­riod. We le­arn from it that the up­per ca­stle con­sis­ted of a squ­are to­wer, built up with an octa­go­nal se­ction with two clocks, to which a two-win­ged pa­la­ce with a lar­ge guest room and a bed­room was ad­ja­cent. The bai­ley, sur­roun­ded by ram­parts and a moat, hou­sed farm buil­dings: sta­bles, a bre­we­ry, a for­ge, a coop­er's hou­se and two baths. In sou­thern part, near the walls, the­re was a round to­wer, whe­re the pri­son was lo­ca­ted.



IMAGES OF KSIAZ FROM BEFORE 1730, VIEW FROM THE SOUTH



VON HOCHBERG

The noble family came to Silesia from Meissen at the end of the 13th century, first men­tio­ned - as von Ho­berg - in Si­le­sian do­cu­ments of 1290. In the 15th cen­tu­ry it was di­vi­ded in­to a no­ble li­ne from Do­bro­cin near Dzier­zo­niów, a ba­ron's li­ne from Bu­czek (ex­tinct), a count's li­ne from Ksiaz near Wal­brzych and a li­ne from Roz­to­ka near Ja­wor. From the count's li­ne, a du­cal li­ne from Ksiaz and Pszczy­na was for­med, who­se full na­me is Fürst von Pless, Reich­sgraf von Hoch­berg, Frei­herr Für­sten­stein. Al­most all the de­scen­dants of the Hoch­bergs sin­ce the 17th cen­tu­ry had been na­med by Hans Hein­rich, so they we­re num­be­red in or­der of birth, not reign. Hans Hein­rich XI (1833-1907), a po­li­ti­cal a­cti­vist, so­cial a­cti­vist and great phi­lan­thro­pist, is com­mon­ly re­gar­ded as the most out­stan­ding fi­gu­re in this fa­mi­ly.



THE KSIAZ CASTLE - VIEW FROM THE EAST, F.B. WEHRNER SCENOGRAPHIA URBIUM SILESIAE 1738


VIEW FROM THE SOUTH, F.B. WEHRNER TOPOGRAPHIA SEU COMPENDIUM SILESIAE 1744-68


uring the Thirty Years' War (1618-48) the ca­stle was re­pe­ate­dly con­que­red, plun­de­red and de­va­sta­ted by the Sa­xon, Swe­dish and Im­pe­rial ar­mies. For so­me ti­me it ser­ved as the head­quar­ters of Czech-Au­strian Ge­ne­ral Al­brecht von Wal­len­stein (+1634). After the Tre­aty of West­pha­lia was sig­ned, Hans Hein­rich I von Hoch­berg (+1671) and his wi­fe He­le­ne von Gel­lhorn (+1661) re­tur­ned from So­ko­low­sko and de­mo­li­shed ru­ined for­ti­fi­ca­tions, esta­bli­shing gar­den ter­ra­ces in French sty­le in their pla­ce. They al­so re­pai­red and sli­ghtly re­con­stru­cted de­stro­yed ca­stle and u­ti­li­ty rooms. Hans Hein­rich I con­tri­bu­ted si­gni­fi­can­tly to the ad­van­ce­ment of the von Hoch­berg fa­mi­ly, ob­tai­ning for it in 1650 the ti­tle of Ba­ron, and in 1666 - he­re­di­ta­ry Count. In March 1683 the fa­mi­ly was ap­poin­ted counts of the Ger­man Reich, and the first ow­ner of Ksiaz who could de­mon­stra­te such high so­cial sta­tus was Hans Hein­rich II (+1698). Du­ring his reign, the in­ter­ior and fa­ca­de of the ca­stle we­re ba­ro­quei­sed, ac­com­pa­nied by the con­ne­ction of the south wing with the to­wer and its ex­ten­sion by one sto­rey. In 1705, the ca­stle was gi­ven to Er­nest Ma­xi­mi­lian (+1742), and in the years 1718-34 it was trans­for­med in­to an im­pres­si­ve a­ris­to­cra­tic re­si­den­ce wor­thy of the von Hoch­berg ti­tles. To this pur­po­se he hi­red Fe­lix An­ton Ham­mer­schmidt, un­der the di­re­ction of whom a group of out­stan­ding ar­tists and crafts­men with the scul­ptor Fe­lix Schef­fer, the sto­ne­ma­son Jan Szwibs, the stuc­coer Ra­mel­li and the mar­ble-ma­ker Igna­cy Pro­vi­so­re e­re­cted and then ma­gni­fi­cen­tly e­quip­ped the fi­ve-sto­rey building in the sou­thern part of the ca­stle and the four-sto­rey buil­ding in the east­ern part. In the ri­sa­lit of the east­ern wing, the cen­tral pla­ce was ta­ken by a re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ve room cal­led Ma­xi­mi­lian's Hall, co­ve­red with a mir­ror vault, equip­ped with gil­ded de­co­ra­tions and ex­qui­si­te mar­ble fi­re­pla­ces. The ca­stle al­so re­cei­ved o­ther be­au­ti­ful­ly de­co­ra­ted rooms: Con­rad's Room, the Whi­te, Green, Chi­ne­se and Ba­ro­que Sa­lons, as well as the e­le­gant Ga­mes Room and re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ve hall with mar­ble stairs. The first ma­jor re­con­stru­ction of the ca­stle was ac­com­pa­nied by the de­mar­ca­tion of the Court­yard of Ho­nour and a dri­ve­way a­xis with a ga­te buil­ding, a se­quen­ce of out­hou­ses and a brid­ge flan­ked by scul­ptu­res of lions hol­ding coat of arms, as well as sto­ne lan­terns and al­le­go­ri­cal fi­gu­res. A sum­mer pa­vil­ion was built on the To­pol Hill, which was a­da­pted to the fa­mi­ly mau­so­le­um in the 19th cen­tu­ry.


VIEW OF THE CASTLE, ETCHING BY G.D. BERGER FROM 1796


F.G. ENDLER'S LITHOGRAPHY FROM 1808


fter Ernest Maximilian's death, Ksiaz be­ca­me the pro­per­ty of his ne­phew Hans Hein­rich IV (+1758), and then his son Hans Hein­rich V (+1782), who, by way of a ro­yal act of 1772, was gran­ted the sta­tus of ma­jo­ra­te for the Ksiaz e­sta­tes. It in­tro­du­ced a ban on the di­vi­sion of the pro­per­ty con­si­sting of 4 towns and 34 vil­la­ges, as well as the pri­vi­le­ge of in­he­ri­ting it al­ways by the ol­dest ma­le heir. His suc­ces­sor, Hans Hein­rich VI (+1833) cno­ti­nu­ed the chan­ges star­ted by his pre­de­ces­sors, which, ac­cor­ding to the then pre­vai­ling trend in Eu­ro­pe, now took on a ro­man­tic cha­rac­ter. On the hill on the o­ther si­de of Pel­czy­ca, he built the ar­ti­fi­cial ruins of a Go­thic ca­stle, whe­re an inn with a gal­le­ry ex­hi­bi­ting fa­mi­ly me­mo­ra­bi­lia was ar­ran­ged, and on se­le­cted days, most of­ten ac­com­pa­ny­ing the vi­sits of the most im­por­tant gu­ests, knights' tour­na­ments we­re or­ga­ni­zed. The first such e­vent took pla­ce in 1800 on the oc­ca­sion of vi­sit of King Frie­drich Wil­helm III and his wi­fe Lu­isa of Prus­sia. Thanks to mar­ria­ge of Hein­rich VI to An­na Emi­lie von An­halt Ko­then-Pless (+1830), the Hoch­bergs' e­sta­te was en­lar­ged by Du­chy of Pszczy­na, and they soon be­gan to wri­te them­sel­ves Du­kes of Hoch­berg von Pless. Whi­le the son of Hein­rich VI and An­na, Hans Hein­rich X (+1855) led to the trans­for­ma­tion of the Du­cal Ma­jo­ra­te in­to fre­ie Stan­des­herr­sa­chaft Fur­sten­stein - a free sta­te - in 1840, he al­so took an a­cti­ve part in po­li­ti­cal li­fe of the sta­te, per­for­ming a­mong o­thers the fun­ction of Pre­si­dent of the Prus­sian Hou­se of Lords and Mar­shal of the Si­le­sian Par­lia­ment, his wi­fe Ida von Ste­chow-Kot­zen (+1843) was re­mem­be­red a­bo­ve all for the lar­ge-sca­le cha­ri­ty act­ions car­ried out to im­pro­ve the so­cial con­di­tions of the pe­ople li­ving in their pro­per­ties. In her ho­nour, the Ida-Sti­fung Foun­da­tion was set up in the 1850s with the aim of cha­ri­ty work.


KSIAZ AND OLD KSIAZ ON A LITHOGRAPH OF E.V. KNIPPEL FROM AROUND 1850


CASTLE FROM THE SIDE OF THE TERRACES, LITHOGRAPHY OF C.T. MATTIS FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE 19TH CENTURY


fter Heinrich X's death, Hans Hein­rich XI (+1907), Pre­si­dent of the Ho­use of Lords, a ca­val­ry ge­ne­ral a la suite and a great hun­ter of the Em­pi­re, con­si­de­red to be the most out­stan­ding fi­gu­re in the his­t­ory of the von Hoch­berg fa­mi­ly, be­ca­me the new ow­ner of Ksiaz. Mar­ried twi­ce, first to Ma­rie von Kleist (1883) and la­ter to Ma­thil­de Ur­su­la zu Do­hna-Schlo­bit­ten auf Kan­then (+1943), he spent most of his li­fe pur­su­ing three gre­at pas­sions: po­li­tics, hun­ting and cha­ri­ty. As a gre­at hun­ter, he pla­yed an im­por­tant ro­le in the de­ve­lop­ment of hun­ting sig­nals, he po­pu­la­ri­zed the use of the hun­ting horn, and led to the col­le­ction and pu­bli­ca­tion of all known hun­ting sig­nals. Much mo­re u­se­ful than vain and cru­el hun­ting was the cha­ri­ta­ble a­cti­vi­ty of the prin­ce, on the ini­tia­ti­ve of which schools and e­ve­ning cour­ses we­re o­pe­ned for the em­plo­yees of the prin­ce's mi­nes and their chil­dren, cheap kin­der­gar­tens we­re set up, fu­ne­ral, ho­spi­tal, re­ti­re­ment and pen­sion funds we­re sup­por­ted, li­bra­ries we­re fun­ded. At a cost of 300 000 marks, se­ve­ral small ri­vers flo­wing in the Wal­brzych a­rea ha­ve al­so been chan­nel­led, which has con­tri­bu­ted sig­ni­fi­can­tly to im­pro­ving sa­ni­ta­ry con­di­tions in the re­gion. It is al­so worth no­ting that sin­ce 1900, eve­ry em­plo­yee who has been in the du­ke's ser­vi­ce for at le­ast 25 ye­ars has re­cei­ved a sil­ver watch at a spe­cial ce­re­mo­ny with a de­di­ca­tion: For 25 ye­ars of faith­ful ser­vi­ce, Prince von Pless. The re­ci­pient could de­ci­de whe­ther he wants to re­cei­ve the gift or its e­qui­va­lent in cash. Thanks to fa­mi­ly and ma­ri­tal con­nec­tions and the fa­vou­ra­ble e­co­no­mic si­tu­ation in the se­cond half of the 19th cen­tu­ry, the von Hoch­bergs a­chie­ved the sta­tus of giant Ger­man fi­nan­ciers, ran­king third in Ger­ma­ny in terms of we­alth and se­venth in Eu­ro­pe. In Wal­brzych on­ly, over 9 thou­sand pe­ople wor­ked for their needs and li­ve­li­hoods! The ve­ry high so­cial po­si­tion of the ow­ners and their per­so­nal con­ne­ctions with most in­flu­en­tial pe­ople on the Eu­ro­pe­an con­ti­nent re­sul­ted in a freq­uent pre­sen­ce in Ksiaz of the a­ri­sto­cra­cy e­li­te, crow­ned he­ads and gre­at po­li­ti­cians. Among them we­re the Ger­man em­pe­rors Wil­helm I and Wil­helm II, Tsar Ni­ko­lai I with his wi­fe Ale­xan­dra Fe­do­ro­vna, Empe­ror Franz Jo­seph, suc­ces­sor to the Aus­trian thro­ne Char­les I Hab­sburg, the fu­tu­re Pre­si­dent of the Uni­ted Sta­tes of Ame­ri­ca John Quin­cy Adams, Win­ston Chur­chill, the gre­at Rus­sian prin­ces Bo­ris Ro­ma­nov and Mik­hail Ro­ma­nov, the exo­tic Ma­ha­ra­ja Cooh-Be­har sir Nri­pen­dra Na­ra­yan Bhup with his son and a who­le se­ries of les­ser-ran­king kings and prin­ces from all o­ver Eu­ro­pe.


THE RUINS OF OLD KSIAZ AND CASTLE KSIAZ ON A LITHOGRAPH FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE 19TH CENTURY


CASTLE SEEN FROM FERDINANDEN PLATZ, LITHOGRAPH BY E. LUTKE FROM AROUND 1850



The magnificent architecture and the picturesque lo­ca­tion of the re­si­den­ce was ad­mi­red not on­ly by the gu­ests of the von Hoch­berg fa­mi­ly, but al­so by the ne­ar­by spas' pa­tients from all o­ver Eu­ro­pe. Among tho­se who admi­red the charm of the ca­stle gar­den was the French jour­na­list Emi­le Char­bois, who in the Fi­ga­ro ma­ga­zi­ne cal­led Ksiaz the Lo­wer Si­le­sian Ver­sail­les. A si­mi­lar to­ne was ex­pres­sed by Prin­cess Iza­be­la Czar­to­ry­ska, who tra­ve­led through Si­le­sia in the sum­mer of 1816. In her o­pi­nion, Ksiaz pre­sents one of the most be­au­ti­ful views. The ca­stle, al­though ve­ry old, is set­tled by its ow­ner ; the­re­fo­re, the in­te­rest in its an­ti­qui­ty is ac­com­pa­nied by the ple­asu­re of see­ing the in­ter­ior in­ha­bi­ted by an ex­tre­me­ly ho­spi­ta­ble fa­mi­ly. Not eve­ry­one, ho­we­ver, sha­red this a­dmi­ra­tion. The ne­phew of the Po­lish king Sta­ni­slaw Po­nia­tow­ski wro­te ske­pti­cal­ly a­bout Ksiaz, ac­cor­ding to whom the ca­stle of Graf von Hoch­berg has not­hing worth see­ing; it is sur­roun­ded on two si­des by a deep ro­cky and wild ra­vi­ne, who­se banks are co­ve­red with trees, but not be­au­ti­ful, a small brook go­es down, a few small gar­dens clo­se to the pa­la­ce, but this lo­ca­tion is not the most be­au­ti­ful.



THE CASTLE SEEN FROM THE VALLEY OF THE RIVER PELCZNICA ON A BEAUTIFUL LITHOGRAPHY OF H. SCHMIDT FROM 2ND HALF OF THE 19TH CENTURY


he year 1891 brought the most fa­mous mar­ria­ge in the his­to­ry of the ca­stle. The heir of the e­sta­te - 30-ye­ar-old Hans Hein­rich XV Graf von Hoch­berg (+1938) mar­ried 18-year-old Ma­ry The­re­se Oli­via Cor­nwal­lis West from the De­la­warr fa­mi­ly, cal­led Dai­sy. Their wed­ding, held on De­cem­ber 8th at St. Mar­ga­ret's Church in West­min­ster, be­ca­me Lon­don's main so­cial e­vent, and the young cou­ple we­re bles­sed by Queen Vi­cto­ria her­self. Soon after re­tur­ning from their ho­ney­moon in Pa­ris, Hein­rich and Dai­sy went to Pszyczy­na, which ho­we­ver did not li­ke the young du­chess, and from the­re, in Ju­ly of the fol­lo­wing ye­ar, they ca­me to Ksiaz. Un­li­ke the Ba­ro­que re­si­den­ce in Pszczy­na, the von Hoch­berg fa­mi­ly seat and its sur­roun­dings de­li­ghted Dai­sy, which she ex­pres­sed in her dia­ries: The Ksiaz Ca­stle is be­au­ti­ful­ly si­tu­ated: it crowns a pi­ne co­ve­red rock at an al­ti­tu­de of o­ver 200 feet to the south-west and north and do­mi­na­tes a vast coun­try­si­de with fo­rests, la­kes and wi­de stre­tches of plains that fa­de in com­pa­ri­son with the dis­tant Si­le­sian moun­tains. Ma­ny of the old rooms, in one part of the ho­use, are a­ctu­al­ly si­tu­ated in the rock and to re­ach this part of the ca­stle, you ha­ve to cross a sto­ne bri­dge that con­nects the ri­ver flo­wing far down be­low the bot­tom of a deep gor­ge. All ro­ads to the ca­stle, gra­du­al­ly ri­sing and ap­pro­aching from e­ve­ry di­rec­tion, are a con­stan­tly clo­sing pro­spect of a de­li­ghtful mi­ra­cle. The ca­stle is lo­ca­ted ne­ar the wes­tern bor­der of Si­le­sia, whe­re it meets what was the old Czech bor­der in a pi­ctu­re­sque moun­tai­nous land cal­led in Ger­ma­ny as Su­de­ten­ge­bir­ge [...].



SOUTH AND SOUTHEASTERN VIEW OF THE CASTLE ON POSTCARDS FROM THE TURN OF THE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURY



DAISY

Maria Theresa Olivia Cornwallis-West, called by her clo­sest re­la­ti­ves Dai­sy, was born in 1873 in Rut­hin Ca­stle in Wales, to a not ve­ry weal­thy fa­mi­ly, but with an ex­cel­lent back­ground. Eng­lish queens ca­me from her an­ces­tors and her bro­ther was the step­fat­her of Win­ston Chur­chill. Dai­sy in­he­ri­ted a charm from her mo­ther Ma­ry Ade­la­ide Fitz­pat­rick, cal­led Pat­sy, that ma­de ma­ny rich men from all o­ver Eu­ro­pe ha­ve sought her hand. No won­der - she me­asu­red on­ly 50 cen­ti­me­tres at her waist, which must ha­ve ma­de an im­pres­sion. Dai­sy met e­le­ven ye­ars ol­der Hans Hein­rich XV at one of Lon­don's balls and al­though he did not im­press her at first, as a re­sult of the ef­forts of her clo­sest fa­mi­ly, she fi­nal­ly ac­cep­ted his pro­po­sal, which was un­doub­ted­ly in­flu­en­ced by the pro­mi­ses of a fa­bu­lous li­fe wait­ing for her after the wed­ding.

In the early years of the mar­ria­ge, Hein­rich and Dai­sy's li­fe was flaw­less - sa­tis­fied Hein­rich ful­fil­led all his wi­fe's de­si­res, al­lo­wing to spend mo­ney on en­ter­tai­ning tra­vels, ex­clu­si­ve out­fits and lu­xu­rious je­wels. The idyll did not last long, ho­we­ver, and as the three sons grew up, the cou­ple's mu­tu­al in­dif­fe­ren­ce grew. Dai­sy couldn't get u­sed to the strict Prus­sian court e­ti­quet­te. She bit­ter­ly clai­med that in Ger­ma­ny e­ven flo­wers must grow and bloom ac­cor­ding to a fi­xed pat­tern. She ha­ted the nu­me­rous ser­vi­ce in sty­lish li­bra­ries, court clerks in ser­vant po­ses, a few do­zen ta­ble ser­vants and e­ter­nal pre­sen­ce of foot­men on du­ty day and night, stan­ding at the door of her bed­room, re­ady for e­ve­ry nod: It is not e­ven pos­si­ble to walk on the grass to stay out of sight of the ser­vants. Going for a walk you al­ways ha­ve to pass by a mu­ske­teer, and the ter­ra­ces are hard and cold, and be­si­des, you can see con­stant­ly old men and wo­men do­ing so­me­thing. Be­si­des fo­rests, in Ger­ma­ny e­ve­ry tree grows to so­me stan­dard - ma­ples, li­lacs, ca­mo­mi­le, eve­ry­thing. Right at the end of win­ter, when the­se poor lit­tle plants think that no­bo­dy ca­res a­bout them, the seed­lings be­gin. All young sprouts, young twigs are cut. They ha­ve to grow, li­ve and bloom ac­cor­ding to a cer­tain ru­le.

Daisy could not deal with people po­si­tio­ned much lo­wer in the so­cial hie­rar­chy, and her trips we­re u­su­al­ly ac­com­pa­nied by a court la­dy, a se­cre­ta­ry, a cour­ier, and se­ve­ral ser­vants. De­spi­te ma­ny pro­hi­bi­tions and res­tric­tions, Ma­ria The­re­sa main­tai­ned con­tacts with the ar­tis­tic world far from the a­ri­sto­cra­tic sa­lons, cor­res­pon­ding to the wri­ter Ber­nard Shaw and the con­tro­ver­sial, bi­se­xu­al Os­car Wil­de. The duch­ess's em­pa­the­tic cha­rac­ter re­sul­ted in her cha­ri­ta­ble a­cti­vi­ty, the be­ne­fi­cia­ries of which we­re not on­ly the em­plo­yees of the du­cal plants and re­si­dents of Wal­brzych, but al­so Ger­man sol­diers, whom she took ca­re of as a vo­lun­teer du­ring the First World War.

Bad times for Daisy, her family and fi­nan­cial si­tu­ation ca­me with the out­break of World War I. Sus­pe­cted of spy­ing on En­gland, in­ti­ma­te re­la­tions with Em­pe­ror Wil­helm II and le­ading to sui­ci­dal death of Prin­ce Adolf von Mec­klen­burg-Stren­litz, she also had to fa­ce the break­down of her mar­ria­ge and ear­ly death of one of her sons. After the di­vor­ce with Hans Hein­rich XV, she set­tled down on Ksiaz, and after the cas­tle was ta­ken o­ver by the Na­zis in 1940, she mo­ved to a park vil­la in Wal­brzych, whe­re she spent the last ye­ars of her li­fe strug­gling with lo­ne­li­ness and ser­ious il­lness. She died of a stro­ke on 29 June 1943, the day after her 70th birt­hday. She was bur­ied in her fa­mi­ly tomb, but just be­fo­re the end of war, for fe­ar of be­ing pro­fa­ned by So­viet sold­iers or loot­ers, the cof­fin was bur­ied in an un­iden­ti­fied pla­ce so­me­whe­re in cas­tle park.





FRONT PART OF THE CASTLE FROM BEFORE THE SECOND MAJOR RECONSTRUCTION, FIRST DECADE OF THE 20TH CENTURY


n September 1906 in Silesia, great ma­no­eu­vres of the Ger­man ar­my took pla­ce, in which a­part from the chief mi­li­ta­ry au­tho­ri­ties, Wil­helm II and in­vi­ted guests took part. At that ti­me the Em­pe­ror vi­si­ted se­ve­ral lan­ded e­sta­tes, among them Ksiaz, whe­re he was ac­com­pa­nied by his sis­ter Zo­fia von Ho­hen­zol­lern - the in­co­ming queen of Greece, the heir to the thro­ne of Ro­ma­nia Ma­rie Ale­xan­dra Vic­to­ria von Sach­sen-Co­burg, the pre­si­dent of Si­le­sia Ro­bert von Zed­litz-Trut­zschler and ma­ny high-ran­king mi­li­ta­ry com­man­ders from En­gland and Ger­ma­ny. Being in clo­se re­la­tions with the von Hoch­bergs, Wil­helm vi­si­ted their head­quar­ters in Wal­brzych se­ve­ral ti­mes, whe­re he al­ways brought a big re­ti­nue with him, which did not mat­ter, be­cau­se Ksiaz had the si­ze of a town. In fact, he had his own court, a mi­li­ta­ry pri­son and a ci­vil ad­mi­ni­stra­tion. The Em­pe­ror and his court­iers al­ways got the who­le wing for them­sel­ves. The­re was al­so a mi­nis­ter or so­me­one el­se who could vi­sit fre­quen­tly. […] I, of cour­se, gree­ted the Em­pe­ror at the door, the in­vi­ted com­pa­ny ga­the­red in the hal­lway in two rows: wo­men on one si­de and men on the other, as in the Bi­ble, sheep and go­ats. The Em­pe­ror gree­ted e­ve­ry­one gra­te­ful­ly or rou­ghly, de­pen­ding on who it was, and went straight to his rooms. He ate brea­kfast in his room and on­ly went down­stairs for lunch and din­ner. [...] I ha­ted the­se me­als. The eti­quet­te du­ring the Em­pe­ror's vi­sit was ex­tre­me­ly ti­re­so­me. After death of Hans Hein­rich XI in Au­gust 1907, Ksiaz hos­ted a pom­pous and pa­ra­de fu­ne­ral ce­re­mo­ny, the cour­se and cha­ra­cter of which Dai­sy al­so des­cri­bed in her dia­ries: Be­hind the cof­fin we wal­ked in an or­der­ly for­ma­tion, four in li­ne. It was be­au­ti­ful­ly or­ga­ni­zed, a li­ne of mi­ners in ga­la u­ni­forms stood a­long the who­le al­ley, and fo­re­sters fol­lo­wed the cof­fin. They al­so lif­ted it up to the he­arse and brought it to the crypt, and we fol­lo­wed them: Ma­thil­de with Hans, heir to the thro­ne, and Aunt An­na Reuss. Then Lu­lu with Un­cle Bol­ko and me with Prin­ce Schle­swig-Hol­stein. At the end of the ce­re­mo­ny, a no­stal­gic hun­ting sig­nal soun­ded - Hun­ting's o­ver - with a bro­ken me­lo­dy at the end and it was the most touch­ing mo­ment. Va­ter li­ked hun­ting so much.


IN THE CASTLE KITCHEN


THE HOCHBERG'S COACHMAN ON THE ROAD FROM THE CASTLE STALLION STUD



At the beginning of the 20th cen­tu­ry the du­cal fa­mi­ly of Hoch­berg von Pless grew to the rank of one of the rich­est in Eu­ro­pe, and in Ger­ma­ny on­ly the im­pe­rial fa­mi­ly of von Ho­hen­zol­lern and the du­cal fa­mi­ly of von Ho­hen­lo­he we­re mo­re weal­thy. Va­lu­ated at 64 mil­lion marks, the pro­per­ty of Hans Hein­rich XV in Lo­wer Si­le­sia at the ti­me in­clu­ded a ma­jo­ra­te of 16 lan­ded e­sta­tes with a to­tal a­rea of 13 000 he­cta­res, three hard co­al mi­nes, as well as two plants pro­du­cing ben­zol and am­mo­nia, a co­ke plant and a lar­ge con­stru­ction com­pa­ny. An e­ven lar­ger e­sta­te, esti­ma­ted at 95 mil­lion marks, was lo­ca­ted in Up­per Si­le­sia, par­tly wi­thin the bor­ders of the Po­lish sta­te. It con­sis­ted of 42,000 he­cta­res of ma­nors and fo­rest dis­tricts, ni­ne co­al mi­nes, two po­wer plants, a ce­ment plant, four brick­yards, two saw­mills, three dis­til­le­ries, two quar­ries, a tan­ne­ry and two bre­we­ries. The Von Hoch­berg fa­mi­ly ow­ned two lar­ge pa­la­ces in Pszczy­na and Ksiaz, the re­sort of Szcza­wno-Zdrój, the re­si­den­ces in Ber­lin, Wro­claw, Mu­nich and Lon­don, whe­re young Hans Hein­rich XV re­si­ded du­ring his di­plo­ma­tic mis­sion.



REPRESENTATIVE ROOMS IN THE CASTLE, PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY


CASTLE BUTLERS IN THE MAXIMILIAN HALL, IN THE MIDDLE PART PERSONAL SERVICE OF HANS HEINRICH XV


n the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the pos­ses­sion of the ca­stle by the von Hoch­berg fa­mi­ly, on 11 Ju­ne 1909, the main ce­re­mo­ny took pla­ce in Ksiaz, which was at­ten­ded by the sta­rosts and re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ves of Si­le­sian pro­vin­ce au­tho­ri­ties. Em­plo­yees from com­pa­nies be­lon­ging to the du­kes von Pless and ci­vil ser­vants of the du­kes' e­sta­tes al­so ce­le­bra­ted, but they we­re not in­vi­ted to the sa­lons, but to an inn and hun­ting hou­se pre­pa­red e­spe­cial­ly for this pur­po­­se. On the day be­fo­re the cul­mi­na­ting point of the ce­le­bra­tion a so­lemn con­cert was gi­ven in Ksiaz, and in the e­ve­ning ca­stle was il­lu­mi­na­ted with thou­sands of fi­re­works: After a la­te lunch at half ni­ne o'clock the who­le pla­ce was lit up, and Ben­gal fi­res we­re bur­ning on the Al­te Burg and Rie­sen­grab. Then 800 mi­ners wal­ked, car­ry­ing tor­ches, and as they mar­ched li­ke sol­diers, it was a be­au­ti­ful view. At that ti­me, con­stru­ction work on the ca­stle was al­re­ady un­der­way, star­ted the pre­vious ye­ar on the ini­tia­ti­ve of Hans Hein­rich XV as part of the so-cal­led se­cond ma­jor re­con­stru­ction. As a re­sult, the fi­gu­re of the ca­stle grew with the nor­thern wing and the mo­nu­men­tal wes­tern wing, de­sig­ned in the neo-Re­nais­san­ce sty­le and flan­ked by two cy­lin­dri­cal to­wers: the sou­thern one cal­led the Geor­ge To­wer and the nor­thern Whi­te To­wer. The Go­thic to­wer was crow­ned with a sphe­ri­cal hel­met with a lan­tern, which ma­de it 47 me­ters high. The old ca­stle ter­ra­ces ha­ve been re­con­stru­cted and new o­nes ha­ve been e­sta­bli­shed with small ar­chi­te­ctu­re in the form of be­au­ti­ful hi­sto­ri­cal foun­tains, open­work ar­bours and car­ved rai­lings. The apart­ments we­re al­so re­de­sig­ned, as well as the im­me­dia­te sur­roun­dings of the re­si­den­ce, whe­re new ga­ra­ges and hou­ses with flats for ser­vants we­re built. In the nor­thern part of the ca­stle the­re was a hu­ge cham­ber with an area of 300 squa­re me­ters; the­re was al­so a ci­ne­ma hall and a the­atre sta­ge, cre­ated as a re­sult of trans­for­ma­tion of the for­mer ca­stle cha­pel. The lar­ge-sca­le con­stru­ction work re­qui­red new ro­ads and a ca­ble car for the tran­sport of he­avy buil­ding ma­te­rials, and the to­tal cost of this work a­moun­ted o­ver 8 mil­lion marks, which ex­cee­ded the plan­ned bud­get 10 ti­mes. Hans Hein­rich XV's de­ci­sion to ex­pand the ca­stle met with cri­ti­cism from his wi­fe, who be­lie­ved it was an un­ne­ces­sa­ry and too ex­pen­si­ve in­vest­ment: My hus­band ca­me up with the cra­zy idea of en­lar­ging and par­tial­ly re­buil­ding the Ksiaz ca­stle. [...] When the work star­ted, Hans was told that e­ven if a hun­dred pe­ople we­re wor­king all the ti­me, it wouldn't be fi­ni­shed soo­ner than in 6-7 ye­ars. In Au­gust 1914 the re­con­stru­ction was al­most com­ple­ted. It was a mill­sto­ne a­round my hus­band's neck sin­ce it star­ted. I ne­ver li­ked this idea and I had a bad fee­ling a­bout it.



KSIAZ CASTLE DURING THE SECOND MAJOR RECONSTRUCTION, PHOTOGRAPHS FROM 1913-16



SONS OF HANS HEINRICH XV AND DAISY

Hans Heinrich XVII, called by his closest relatives Han­sel, was the old­est son of Dai­sy and Hans Hein­rich XV. He was born in 1900 in Ber­lin, after ma­ny ye­ars of ef­forts to ha­ve a child, when the Duch­ess was al­re­ady 27 ye­ars old. He was be­ing pre­pa­red for his fa­ther's suc­ces­sor, the head of the fa­mi­ly, so great em­pha­sis was pla­ced on his ca­re­ful up­brin­ging and best e­du­ca­tion. Hans knew se­ve­ral lan­gu­ages; he spo­ke Eng­lish with his mo­ther, spo­ke Ger­man and Po­lish with his fa­ther, and he of­ten spo­ke French with his te­acher. At the age of 16, he joi­ned his fa­ther's re­gi­ment to ta­ke part in the fights on the fronts of World War I, du­ring which he was a­war­ded the Iron Cross of First Class. La­ter he stu­died in Ber­lin, whe­re he re­cei­ved his do­cto­rate in law. In 1924, he mar­ried Maria Katherine von Berckheim, a Bavarian aristocrat who was four years older than him, and then settled in Pszczyna, whe­re he gai­ned ex­per­ien­ce in ma­na­ging the von Hoch­berg e­sta­te un­der the su­per­vi­sion of his fa­ther. Du­ring the Third Si­le­sian Up­ri­sing he com­man­ded a group of vo­lun­teers, fight­ing a­gainst Po­lish in­sur­gents at St. An­na's Moun­tain. In 1938 he went to Eng­land, whe­re after the out­break of the war he was in­ter­ned and kept by the au­tho­ri­ties as a re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ve of the e­ne­my sta­te. He was on­ly re­le­ased three ye­ars la­ter, after the in­ter­ven­tion of his un­cle Win­ston Chur­chill, and e­ven joi­ned the Bri­tish ar­my, whe­re he ser­ved as a lieu­te­nant. Du­ring one of the raids on Lon­don he lost all his pro­per­ty and sin­ce then, as a re­si­dent of Bri­ghton, he has led a re­la­ti­ve­ly mo­dest li­fe as Mr. Hen­ry Pless, work­ing in the wood and con­stru­ction in­du­stries. In 1952 he di­vor­ced to mar­ry Ma­ry Eli­za­beth Min­chin six ye­ars la­ter. This mar­ria­ge al­so end­ed with a di­vor­ce. Hans Hein­rich XVII did not main­tain re­la­tions with his bro­ther Ale­xan­der, whom he ac­cu­sed of de­pri­ving him of his right­ful pro­per­ty. He died child­less in 1984.





The second oldest son of the princely couple, Alexan­der Frie­drich, known as Le­xel, was born in 1905 in Lon­don. At the age of 18, he ac­cep­ted Po­lish ci­ti­zen­ship (which he re­sig­ned from after World War II), and in 1936 he set­tled in Po­land as Ale­ksan­der Pszczy­nski. In Se­ptem­ber 1939 he emi­gra­ted to Fran­ce and then to Eng­land, ta­king his wi­do­wed sis­ter-in-law Klo­til­da and her child­ren with him. The­re he join­ed Pol­ish ar­my, whe­re he fought as a lieu­te­nant at Mon­te Cas­si­no, among others, and had pre­viou­sly ser­ved for so­me ti­me as the per­so­nal guard of Ge­ne­ral Wla­dy­slaw Si­kor­ski. After the war, he set­tled in Pol­len­sa on Ma­jor­ca, whe­re un­der the na­me of Hoch­berg, he esta­bli­shed a lan­ded e­sta­te re­mi­ni­scent of Ksiaz. After de­ath of his bro­ther Hans Hein­rich in Ja­nu­ary 1984, he be­ca­me the ti­tu­lar prin­ce of Pszczy­na and died a few weeks la­ter. Ale­xan­der ne­ver got mar­ried. He was gay.





Born in 1910 in Berlin, Bolko Konrad von Hochberg was the third and young­est son of Dai­sy and Hans Hein­rich XV. He was al­so cha­ra­cte­ri­zed by the weak­est health of the three; he was of­ten ill and spent most of his li­fe in Ksiaz. At the end of the 1920s he had an af­fair with his fa­ther's se­cond wi­fe, twel­ve ye­ars ol­der than him, the Spa­nish a­ri­sto­crat Klo­til­da Sil­via y Gon­za­les de Can­da­mo, with whom he had two il­le­gi­ti­ma­te child­ren: Be­a­tri­ce and Kon­rad. This re­la­tion­ship was a hu­ge mo­ral scan­dal, le­ading to the di­vor­ce of Klo­til­da and Hans Hein­rich XV, and then to the wed­ding of the Spa­nish wo­man with Bol­ko, to which he was for­ced by his hu­mi­lia­ted fa­ther. Al­re­ady a­fter the wed­ding, Hed­wig cal­led Gio­ia and the cur­rent prin­ce Bol­ko VI Hoch­berg von Pless we­re born. In April 1936 the young Count was ar­res­ted in Gli­wi­ce by Ge­sta­po. He was soon re­le­ased, pro­ba­bly thanks to his fa­ther's in­ter­ven­tion to Jo­achim von Rib­ben­trop him­self, but two months la­ter he died in un­ex­plai­ned cir­cum­stan­ces. He was pro­ba­bly not tor­tu­red in pri­son, but de­pri­ved of ac­cess to me­di­ci­nes, which could ha­ve been a di­rect cau­se of death.




In February 1893, Daisy's firstborn daughter was born. Ho­we­ver, she died two weeks la­ter, not ha­ving been bap­ti­zed.




KSIAZ ON COLOURED POSTCARDS FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY, BELOW WE CAN SEE A 'TEMPORARY STATE' OF THE CASTLE
WITH A NEO-RENAISSANCE WEST WING ADDED, BUT STILL WITHOUT A DOME ON THE MAIN TOWER


he collapse of the world economy cau­sed by the pro­lon­ged war, as a con­se­quen­ce of its ge­o­po­li­ti­cal chan­ges in Cen­tral Eu­ro­pe, but al­so the lu­xu­rious li­fe­sty­le of Hans XV and his fa­mi­ly we­re the cau­se of the fall of e­co­no­mic po­wer of the von Hoch­berg fa­mi­ly, who­se first symp­toms ap­pe­ared in the ear­ly 1920s. An im­por­tant caesura in the his­to­ry of the ca­stle was the bre­ak-up of the mar­ria­ge be­tween Hans and Dai­sy, for­mal­ly con­fir­med by the di­vor­ce in 1922 and the Du­ke's e­mi­gra­tion to Fran­ce. In or­der to im­pro­ve fi­nan­ces, Dai­sy ma­de the ca­stle ac­ces­si­ble to ge­ne­ral pu­blic, which has met with gre­at in­te­rest from the pe­ople, as evi­den­ced by the num­ber of 80,000 vi­si­tors per ye­ar. Dee­pe­ned by glo­bal cri­sis, the loss of mar­kets for coal and steel has in­cre­a­sed the e­co­no­mic pro­blems of the von Hoch­bergs and in­ten­si­fied their tax o­bli­ga­tions, as re­sult of which in 1936 the Po­lish sta­te took o­ver their fo­rests and farm­lands. Pszczy­na's debts worth al­most 8 mil­lion marks we­re on­ly wi­ped out by the trans­fer of Ksiaz ca­stle to Si­le­sian pro­vin­ce au­tho­ri­ties, which for­mal­ly took pla­ce in No­vem­ber 1944, al­re­ady after Dai­sy's de­ath. Ho­we­ver, the Du­chess was for­ced to mo­ve out of the ca­stle al­re­ady in 1940, when it was oc­cu­pied by the ho­sti­le Na­zi au­tho­ri­ties. The re­ason for the Na­zis' aver­sion was not on­ly the En­glish o­ri­gin of Dai­sy, but al­so the de­ci­sions of her two sons, who took part in the war figh­ting in the Po­lish and En­glish ar­med for­ces. After the con­fis­ca­tion of the pro­per­ty, the Wro­claw Sta­te Rail­ways Di­re­cto­ra­te first ma­na­ged the ca­stle, and la­ter the col­le­ctions of the Ro­yal Prus­sian Li­bra­ry from Ber­lin we­re sto­red the­re. In 1943, Todt's pa­ra­mi­li­ta­ry or­ga­ni­za­tion en­te­red Ksiaz and soon be­gan to a­dapt its in­ter­iors for the mi­li­ta­ry pur­po­ses, pro­ba­bly one of Adolf Hit­ler's quar­ters. Be­fo­re the rich li­bra­ry col­le­ctions, works of art, fur­ni­tu­re and o­ther va­lu­able ob­jects we­re ta­ken a­way from he­re, and then the works car­ried out with the use of pri­so­ners from Gross-Ro­sen con­cen­tra­tion camp. This work is now cal­led the third re­con­stru­ction of the ca­stle. As a re­sult, most of de­co­ra­tion e­le­ments we­re de­stro­yed, gi­ving the in­ter­iors an as­ce­tic, bar­racks-li­ke cha­ra­cter. A 40-me­tre deep e­le­va­tor shaft was dug in the ho­no­ra­ry court­yard, and tun­nels and an un­der­ground bun­ker we­re dril­led un­der the ca­stle, the plan­ned use of which re­mains a mat­ter of dis­cus­sion and spe­cu­la­tion un­til to­day.



KSIAZ IN THE 1930S, IN THE PHOTO BELOW A RARE VIEW OF THE WESTERN PART OF THE CASTLE



RIESE

In 1943, by order of the NSDAP gauleiter Karl Han­ke, the ca­stle and a­dja­cent a­re­as we­re sur­rou­nded by de­nse bar­bed-wi­re fen­ces, a cor­don of guards and a con­spi­ra­cy of si­len­ce. About a thou­sand wor­kers from pa­ra­mi­li­ta­ry or­ga­ni­za­tion Todt we­re brought to its in­ter­iors to start the re­con­stru­ction of the strong­hold in­to new Reich Of­fi­ce. Soon, the num­ber of pe­ople em­plo­yed in­cre­ased to three thou­sand, and all pre­pa­ra­to­ry work was plan­ned un­til 1950. The ac­tion was car­ried out as part of Rie­se ope­ra­tion, and the com­plex in Ksiaz was gi­ven the co­de na­me Bra­bant 1. Per­haps Hit­ler's head­quar­ters was to be e­sta­bli­shed he­re, pro­tec­ting him not on­ly from bom­ber raids, but al­so from nu­cle­ar we­apons. For this pur­po­se, a net­work of cor­ri­dors was car­ved in the hu­ge rock on which the ca­stle stands, which by the end of the war had re­a­ched a length of al­most 900 met­res and a depth of up to 50 met­res. Se­ve­ral rooms cros­sing at right ang­les ha­ve al­so been hol­lo­wed out, cor­ri­dors to the cel­lars ha­ve been led from the cen­tral trans­port shaft 15 met­res be­low ground le­vel and con­nec­ted to Ba­ro­que part of the buil­ding via e­le­va­tors. In the Ho­no­ra­ry Court­yard, near re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ve en­tran­ce to the ca­stle, a shaft with an ele­va­tor for car trans­port was ca­rved in the rock. It was al­so plan­ned to build a rail­way li­ne to Ksiaz, which ac­cor­ding to so­me, at le­ast part­ial­ly, was re­a­li­sed. I'll quo­te he­re the words of one of the ca­stle's re­se­ar­chers, Mr. T. Slo­wi­kow­ski: The en­tran­ce to the tun­nel e­xis­ted ne­ar Lu­bie­chów. From my re­se­arch it ap­pe­ars that the­re we­re two en­tran­ce tun­nels to the un­der­ground. The first track le­ading to the so-cal­led up­per tun­nel, about 2100 met­res long, en­ded in Ksiaz un­der­ground sta­tion, frag­ments of which still e­xist to­day. The li­ne ran from the di­rec­tion of Swie­bo­dzi­ce from le­vel of 325 me­ters, i.e. just 50 me­ters be­low the le­vel of ca­stle court­yard. The­re was al­so a se­cond tun­nel, which ran from di­re­ction of Wal­brzych, fal­ling from the le­vel of 375 to 350 me­ters.

According to different theories, the news about the Führer's quar­ters or­ga­ni­zed he­re was just a pul­ling the wool o­ver, and in fact, Ksiaz was to ser­ve as a com­mand point of sec­ret un­der­ground fa­cto­ries and a re­se­arch cen­tre on mo­dern we­a­pons. The Gau­lei­ter of East Prus­sia, Erich Koch, men­tio­ned in his re­cords that Hit­ler in the pre­sen­ce of Go­ering bo­as­ted of his ex­per­ien­ces with a new ty­pe of ba­cte­rio­lo­gi­cal we­apon. Füh­rer al­le­ge­dly as­su­red him that soon a Ger­man would be "bred" im­mu­ne to de­ad­ly ba­cte­ria - al­ways a heal­thy, true su­per­hu­man (!). Go­eb­bels and Him­mler, on the ot­her hand, we­re sup­po­sed to dis­cuss a­bout ki­lo­me­tres of mul­ti-sto­rey dun­ge­ons, whe­re re­se­arch on ba­cte­rio­lo­gi­cal and e­le­ctro­nic high-fre­quen­cy we­apons will be car­ried out. They in­ten­ded to cau­se e­pi­de­mics de­ci­ma­ting not on­ly e­ne­my sold­iers, but al­so ci­vil­ians, and at the sa­me ti­me to cre­ate vac­ci­nes that would pro­tect Ger­mans from the re­sul­ting di­se­ases.

Before the ar­ri­val of So­viet troops the un­der­ground cor­ri­dors we­re mi­ned. As ear­ly as 1947, so­me sec­tions of tun­nels we­re o­pen to the pub­lic, but soon af­ter­wards the en­tran­ce a­re­as we­re bur­ied. To­day, they cau­se gre­at ex­ci­te­ment. So­me tre­a­su­re hun­ters be­lie­ve that the cor­ri­dors run­ning un­der the ca­stle hi­de bank de­po­sits, works of art or je­wel­le­ry rob­bed by the Na­zis in Si­le­sia, and per­haps e­ven the Am­ber Cham­ber, which has been sear­ched for de­ca­des, is lo­ca­ted he­re. Al­though such spe­cu­la­tion would be un­re­a­li­stic, the fact is that still in the vi­ci­ni­ty of the en­tran­ces lo­ca­ted at the bot­tom of the ca­stle rock, one can meet du­bious pe­ople who ra­ther ha­ve not­hing to do with tour­ism.




BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF THE CASTLE IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE 1930S (HIGHER) AND 1950S,
IN THE POST-WAR PHOTOGRAPHY YOU CAN SEE A HUGE HOLE DUG BY THE NAZIS IN THE HONORARY COURTYARD


odt's organization left the castle in a hur­ry in the spring of 1945, not ha­ving com­ple­ted works, who­se sca­le ap­pe­ared to be much gre­ater than o­ri­gi­nal­ly plan­ned. On­ly a day after the e­va­cu­a­tion of the Ger­mans the So­viet troops en­te­red Ksiaz: Around 3 p.m. the So­viet for­ces en­te­red, ap­pro­aching from Pełcz­ni­ca si­de. It was in­fan­try! We didn't see any tank. The­re are still wit­nes­ses who can te­sti­fy. We stood be­fo­re a group of ar­med So­viet sol­diers. A young of­fi­cer, sup­po­se­dly a lieu­te­nant, spo­ke to us in Ger­man. Whe­reas at Hor­se Stud, Ort­sgrup­pen­lei­ter na­med An­der­sek, out of fe­ar of the Rus­sians, shot his wi­fe, three of his lit­tle child­ren and him­self. The So­viets oc­cu­pied the ca­stle un­til Au­gust 1946, du­ring which ti­me they took deep in­to the USSR the pre­cious col­le­ction of the ca­stle li­bra­ry, which con­si­sted of a­bout 64,000 vo­lu­mes. Their pre­sen­ce had a fa­tal im­pact not on­ly on the ca­stle's book col­le­ction, but al­so on the con­di­tion of the in­ter­iors of the for­mer von Hoch­berg re­si­den­ce and its im­me­dia­te sur­roun­dings. This buil­ding, li­ke most of the re­si­den­ces in East Prus­sia and Lo­wer Si­le­sia, was tre­ated by the Rus­sians as an e­le­ment of class and na­tio­na­li­ty ho­sti­le, which is not wor­thy of res­pect. The vic­tim of such per­ce­ption was al­so Al­te Burg, bur­ned by So­viet sold­iers on May 19, 1945. In sum­mer of 1946 the ca­stle was ta­ken o­ver by Co­al In­du­stry Di­re­cto­ra­te in Wal­brzych, which set up its guards at the main en­tran­ce. In pra­cti­ce, ho­we­ver, any­one could en­ter it. It was u­sed by loo­ters, who took e­ve­ry­thing of va­lue out of he­re. The first, al­though still ve­ry li­mi­ted, pro­te­ction a­cti­vi­ties in the ca­stle we­re car­ried out in 1956 on the ini­tia­ti­ve of the Pro­vin­cial Mo­nu­ment Con­ser­va­tor. Two ye­ars la­ter, Ksiaz was re­gi­ste­red as a mo­nu­ment, and in 1960 the de­mi­ning of un­der­ground cor­ri­dors and their pe­ne­tra­tion be­gan. Star­ting from 1965, for the next few de­ca­des com­pre­hen­si­ve re­no­va­tion works we­re car­ried out he­re, thanks to which the walls and raf­ter fra­ming we­re se­cu­red, floors, doors and win­dows we­re re­sto­red, and most of the in­ter­iors re­gai­ned de­co­ra­ti­ve de­sign, al­though not al­ways com­pa­ti­ble with the o­ri­gi­nal one. In De­cem­ber 2014, a fi­re bro­ke out in the east­ern part of the ca­stle, a­bo­ve Ma­xi­mi­lian's Hall, cau­sed by em­plo­yees car­ry­ing out re­no­va­tion works on the roof. The da­ma­ge re­sul­ting from the fi­re was com­ple­te­ly re­mo­ved in spring 2015.


A DEVASTATED CASTLE IN A 1950S PHOTO


IMG BORDER=1 style=

THE KSIAZ CASTLE TODAY (UNDERGOING RENOVATION OF THE SOUTHERN ELEVATION)



he Ksiaz palace and castle complex is one of the lar­gest in Po­land, in terms of cu­ba­tu­re, gi­ving way on­ly to the Teu­to­nic ca­stle Mal­bork and the Wa­wel Ro­yal Ca­stle. Si­tu­ated on a high roc­ky cliff, sur­roun­ded on three si­des by a deep, wood­ed ra­vi­ne, it do­mi­na­tes ma­je­sti­cal­ly o­ver the who­le a­rea gi­ving a tru­ly fai­ry­ta­le im­pres­sion. As a re­sult of the re­no­va­tion, which has been car­ried out for se­ve­ral de­ca­des and is still on­go­ing, the ca­stle, which was de­va­sta­ted in the 1940s, has lar­ge­ly re­gai­ned its shi­ne, al­lo­wing us to ima­gi­ne what it look­ed li­ke du­ring the per­iod of gre­atest splen­dour of the von Hoch­berg fa­mi­ly, when it was vi­si­ted by crow­ned he­ads and gre­at po­li­ti­cians. No­wa­days, they're ba­sed he­re: mu­se­um, con­fe­ren­ce cen­tre, res­tau­rant and ho­tel. As part of the tou­rist rou­te, re­con­struc­ted re­si­den­tial a­part­ments of for­mer ow­ners, ar­tis­tic ce­ra­mics and por­ce­lain from Wal­brzych fa­cto­ries are ex­hi­bi­ted, as well as ob­jects pre­sen­ted du­ring nu­me­rous tem­po­ra­ry ex­hi­bi­tions. For se­ve­ral ye­ars, we can al­so ad­mi­re 38 paint­ings re­la­ted to the his­to­ry of the ca­stle or pas­sions of its hosts, co­ming from the col­lec­tion of Hans Hein­rich XV. In to­tal, the ca­stle con­sists of a­bout 400 rooms with a to­tal ca­pa­ci­ty of 125 thou­sand cu­bic me­ters, of which on­ly a part up to the 4th floor is avai­la­ble to the pu­blic. A gre­at at­tra­ction is the view from main to­wer, from whe­re we can see the clo­sest sur­roun­dings of the re­si­den­ce with ba­ro­que bai­ley buil­dings and mul­ti-le­vel ca­stle ter­ra­ces, as well as the stal­lion stud lo­ca­ted in the east­ern part of the com­plex. Look­ing to the east we will find a hunch­bac­ked out­li­ne of Sle­za Moun­tain on the ho­ri­zon, and look­ing a lit­tle fur­ther south we will see the Owl Moun­tains.


IMG BORDER=1 style=

THE CASTLE BRIDGE WITH XVIII-CENTURY SCULPTURES OF LIONS HOLDING THE SHIELDS OF THE COAT OF ARMS


IMG BORDER=1 style=

MAIN ENTRANCE AXIS WITH A GATEWAY BUILDING AND A SEQUENCE OF OUTHOUSES


he most representative interior of the castle is the two-sto­rey Ma­xi­mi­lian Hall main­tai­ned in the Vien­ne­se Ba­ro­que sty­le, na­med after Er­nest Ma­xi­mi­lian von Hoch­berg, on who­se ini­tia­ti­ve the east­ern part of re­si­den­ce was built and fur­ni­shed be­tween 1718 and 1734. It is the on­ly room in the ca­stle that has been ac­cu­ra­te­ly re­con­stru­cted in re­la­tion to the de­co­ra­tions e­xis­ting be­fo­re World War II. It is sur­roun­ded by twel­ve stuc­co co­lumns, the he­ads of which con­tain a me­dal­lion with a re­lief sho­wing cu­pid with a cha­rac­te­ri­stic sce­ne­ry of each month of the ye­ar. The main de­co­ra­ti­ve mo­tif he­re are two sym­me­tri­cal­ly ar­ran­ged mar­ble fi­re­pla­ces de­co­ra­ted with va­ses, sculp­tu­res and my­tho­lo­gi­cal fi­gu­res, as well as mir­rors han­ging a­bo­ve them, dif­fu­sing light co­ming in­to the Hall from the east. The walls li­ned with ar­ti­fi­cial mar­ble are en­ri­ched with por­tal re­liefs pre­sen­ting my­tho­lo­gi­cal sce­nes, as well as three bal­co­nies han­ging in the west­ern part of the cham­ber, in­ten­ded for the or­che­stra. Cen­tral part of the cei­ling is oc­cu­pied by a Ba­ro­que pla­fond with a be­au­ti­ful pain­ting by An­to­ni Fe­lix Schef­fler re­fer­ring the­ma­ti­cal­ly to Greek my­tho­lo­gy. Its cha­rac­ters are Pe­ga­sus and Pal­las Athe­na, sur­roun­ded by ni­ne mu­ses - guard­ians of scie­nce and art, pre­sen­ted with their at­tri­bu­tes. Chan­de­liers han­ging in the Hall we­re car­ved from lin­den wood and then gil­ded, and its floor was ma­de of two-co­lou­red mar­ble. In the past, Ma­xi­mi­lian's Hall ser­ved to wel­co­me im­por­tant gu­ests: ari­sto­crats, po­li­ti­cians and ar­tists; of­fi­cial balls and ma­jor fa­mi­ly ce­le­bra­tions we­re held he­re.


IMG BORDER=1 style=

IMG BORDER=1 style=

MAXIMILIAN'S HALL, IN THE PICTURE ABOVE: BALCONIES FOR THE COURT ORCHESTRA OVER THE MAIN ENTRANCE TO THE HALL


o the north, the Maximilian Hall is ad­ja­cent to the Ro­co­co sty­le Green Salon. Its cei­ling is co­ve­red with fi­ne stuc­co, the main rib­bon of which is mir­ro­red in the par­quet. In the past, the Green room was de­co­ra­ted with por­traits of an­ce­stors and al­le­go­ri­cal paint­ings, no­wa­days the on­ly o­ri­gi­nal e­le­ment is a Ba­ro­que fi­re­pla­ce ma­de of red mar­ble. From the south, the Ma­xi­mi­lian Hall is ad­ja­cent to the Whi­te Sa­lon, for­mer­ly known as the Red from the red cur­tains li­ned on the walls, de­stro­yed at the end of World War II. Al­though the fur­ni­tu­re pre­sen­ted he­re was the pro­per­ty of Dai­sy von Pless, it do­es not re­pre­sent an au­then­tic de­co­ra­tion of the ca­stle, as it was brought to Ksiaz from Grand Ho­tel in Szcza­wno Zdrój, ow­ned by the von Hoch­bergs. He­ading west­wards, we en­ter the Chi­ne­se Sa­lon, who­se na­me co­mes from co­ve­ring walls show­ing the mo­tifs of birds and cher­ry blos­som trees of­ten found in Orien­tal art. In­si­de the cham­ber, the at­ten­tion is drawn to a red mar­ble Ba­ro­que fi­re­pla­ce and fur­ni­tu­re re­pre­sen­ting as ma­ny as three sty­les in art: clas­sic­ism, em­pi­re and neo-Ro­co­co. From Chi­ne­se Sa­lon we go to the Ga­mes Sa­lon, al­so known as the Mu­sic Salon, li­ned with wall fa­brics with mo­tifs of dan­cing and play­ing cha­rac­ters, which is e­quip­ped with fur­ni­tu­re ma­de with ti­me-con­su­ming tech­ni­qu­es of in­tar­sia and in­lay. From the west it is ad­ja­cent to the Ba­ro­que Sa­lon co­ve­red with an o­ri­gi­nal 18th cen­tu­ry pla­fond on my­tho­lo­gi­cal the­mes. Ye­ars ago, the walls of this room we­re de­co­ra­ted with por­traits of the von Hoch­berg fa­mi­ly, now they are co­ve­red with con­tem­po­ra­ry li­nen fa­bric. The his­to­ric fur­nish­ings, ho­we­ver, in­clu­de a ta­ble with a mar­ble top, a 19th cen­tu­ry chair with pe­tit point up­hol­ste­ry and an 18th cen­tu­ry oak tra­vel ca­se.


IMG  BORDER=1 style= IMG  BORDER=1 style=

IMG  BORDER=1 style= IMG  BORDER=1 style=

BAROQUE SUITES AT THE CASTLE, CLOCKWISE FROM THE TOP: GAME SALON, CHINESE SALON, GREEN SALON, BAROQUE SALON


e can visit the castle individually or with a gui­de ac­cor­ding to one of se­ve­ral the­ma­tic rou­tes. De­pen­ding on our pre­fe­ren­ce, it may in­clu­de pre­viou­sly men­tio­ned a­part­ments oc­cu­py­ing the Ba­ro­que part of re­si­den­ce, or may be as­so­cia­ted with other im­por­tant pe­riods in his­to­ry of Ksiaz, such as the me­die­val Black Court­yard, the Re­nais­san­ce Hun­ting Hall, the Knights' Cham­ber, Ball­room, Fi­re­pla­ce Room, Em­pe­ror's Rooms or Prin­cess Dai­sy's apart­ments. The rou­te, which in­clu­des is­sues re­la­ted to re­cent his­to­ry of the ca­stle, leads to the up­per sto­reys, whe­re, whi­le get­ting to know the rooms re­built by the Na­zis, lis­te­ning to the guides' sto­ries, we will touch the ti­mes of the Se­cond World War. An obli­ga­to­ry sup­ple­ment to this is­sue seems to be a trip in­to the cor­ri­dors car­ved in the rock, avai­la­ble wit­hin the Un­der­ground Tou­rist Rou­te. The re­si­den­ce is sur­roun­ded by thir­teen ter­ra­ces in dif­fe­rent the­ma­tic sty­les and aes­the­tics, whi­le east and south of the ca­stle the­re is a 125-he­cta­re park with a for­mer gar­den pa­vil­ion from 1734, trans­for­med in the 19th cen­tu­ry in­to the von Hoch­berg fa­mi­ly mau­so­le­um. The pic­tu­res­que park com­plex is cros­sed by two wal­king al­leys, along which stand old li­me trees and chest­nut trees. Tic­ket pri­ces (com­pa­red to ear­nings in Po­land) are ve­ry high.


Zamek Ksiaz
ul. Piastów Slaskich 1, 58-306 Walbrzych
tel.: +48 74 66 43 834
e-mail: info(at)ksiaz.walbrzych.pl

Opening hours
Tickets and prices



IMG  BORDER=1 style= IMG  BORDER=1 style=

IMG  BORDER=1 style= IMG  BORDER=1 style=

FROM ABOVE CLOCKWISE: BLACK COURTYARD, HUNTING HALL, STAIRCASE IN THE WESTERN PART OF THE CASTLE, DUKE'S APARTMENTS



Ksiazanski Landscape Park was established in 1981 and is one of the ol­dest land­sca­pe parks in the Lo­wer Si­le­sia Pro­vin­ce. It oc­cu­pies an a­rea of o­ver 3100 ha - so it is the smal­lest of all parks in the pro­vin­ce. KLP is lo­ca­ted in the Cen­tral Su­de­tes: in the Wal­brzych Foot­hills and the Bol­kow­skie Foot­hills, along the Su­de­ten­land Fault, which se­pa­ra­tes the park a­rea from Swid­ni­ca Plain. It is con­ven­tio­nal­ly di­vi­ded in­to three dis­tricts: Do­bro­mier­ski in the north with the Do­bro­mier­ski re­ser­voir; Lu­bie­chow­ski in the south­east with the high­est peak - the Wi­tosz moun­tain (456 m) and a ge­o­lo­gical at­tra­ction - Dai­sy La­ke, and the cen­tral Ksiaz dis­trict with Ksiaz ca­stle.

From the geological point of view, the area is built main­ly of se­di­men­ta­ry rocks - con­glo­me­ra­tes and sand­sto­nes. Ri­vers ha­ve car­ved ro­cky and deep gor­ges with steep slo­pes re­a­ching 80 me­ters in height. The­re is a ty­pi­cal moun­tain­ous cli­ma­te he­re, mil­der than in high­er parts of ­de­tes. The who­le a­rea of the park lies in the catch­ment a­rea of By­strzy­ca Ri­ver, which is a tri­bu­ta­ry of Odra Ri­ver. The main wa­ter­cour­ses are Pel­czni­ca, for­ming a deep gor­ge in Ksiaz and Strze­gom­ka with Do­bro­mier­ski re­ser­voir and its right tri­bu­ta­ry - Czy­zyn­ka.

KLP includes mainly forests, which are the rem­nants of the for­mer beech fo­rest, as well as vast me­a­dows. Di­ver­se ha­bi­tat con­di­tions fa­vour the di­ver­si­ty of fau­na; ma­ny a­nimal spe­cies are pre­sent he­re. Among the lar­ger a­nimals, it is worth no­ting the an­ces­tor of do­mes­tic sheep, mou­flon, brought he­re in the 19th cen­tu­ry. Apart from the Ksiaz ca­stle and the ru­ins of Al­te Burg, the­re are al­so ru­ins of the me­die­val Ci­sy ca­stle wi­thin this area.



IMG  BORDER=1 style= IMG  BORDER=1 style=

IMG  BORDER=1 style= IMG  BORDER=1 style=

ON THE CASTLE TERRACES




siaz is located within the administrative bor­ders of Wal­brzych ci­ty, but much clo­ser is the town Swie­bo­dzi­ce, si­tu­a­ted 2 ki­lo­me­ters a­way. The com­plex is pre­pa­red to ac­com­mo­da­te a lar­ge num­ber of cars (paid car parks); the­re is al­so pub­lic trans­port li­ne 8 from Wal­brzych al­most to the ca­stle it­self. Pe­ople tra­vel­ling by train should get off at Swie­bo­dzi­ce rail­way sta­tion and then he­ad south-west on Ko­le­jo­wa Street un­til the end, then turn right in­to Swid­ni­cka Street and fi­nal­ly left in­to Wal­brzy­ska Street. At the e­xit of Wal­brzy­ska Street, a be­au­ti­ful ga­te with scul­ptu­res of lions is al­re­ady vi­si­ble, be­hind which Ksia­zan­ski Land­sca­pe Park be­gins. From he­re a mar­ked trail le­ads to the ca­stle. (cas­tles in Lower Silesia Voi­vo­de­ship)




1. M. Chorowska: Rezydencje sredniowieczne na Slasku, OFPWW 2003
2. K. Jankowski, K. Kulaga: Zamek Ksiaz, VIA NOVA 2001
3. L. Kajzer, J. Salm, S. Kolodziejski: Leksykon zamków w Polsce, Arkady 2001
4. J. Lamparska: Tajemnicze podziemia, ASIA Press 2000
5. R. M. Luczynski: Zamki i palace Dolnego Slaska, OWPW 1997
6. R. M. Luczyński: Zamki, dwory i palace w Sudetach, Wspólnota Akademicka 2008
7. M. Perzynski: Zamki, twierdze i palace Dolnego Slaska i Opolszczyzny, WDW 2006
8. M. Swieży: Zamki, twierdze, warownie, Foto Art 2002
9. A. Wagner: Murowane budowle obronne w Polsce X-XVIIw., Bellona 2019


IMG BORDER=1 style=

A PICTURESQUE VIEW OF THE CASTLE FROM THE VIEWPOINT ON THE ROCK GIANT TOMB


IMG BORDER=1 style=

IMG BORDER=1 style=

EXCELLENT MODEL OF THE KSIAZ CASTLE, THE PARK OF MINIATURES IN KOWARY


Castles nearby:
Walbrzych - ruins of Alte Burg, 1 km
Cieszów - ruins of Cisy castle from 13/14th century, 5 km
Wałbrzych - relics of Nowy Dwór castle from 14th century, 14 km
Czarny Bór - ruins of duke's castle from 14th century, 15 km
Świdnica - town fortifications from 15th century and relics of castle, 18 km
Grzędy - relics of Konradów castle from 14th century, 20 km



It is worth seeing also:


Situated within the boundaries of the castle and park com­plex, the Ksiaz Stal­lion Stud, foun­ded in the 19th cen­tu­ry on the si­te of the for­mer ma­nor farm, and un­til the 1930s ser­ved as ca­stle sta­bles, with an in­ven­to­ry of a­bout 80 car­ria­ge hor­ses and 30 draught hor­ses. In 1935 it was ta­ken o­ver by the Ger­man sta­te and after a tho­rough re­or­ga­ni­za­tion in 1939 it e­sta­bli­shed the Fur­sten­stein Stal­lion Stud, trans­fer­ring he­re breed­ing ma­te­rial from the li­qui­da­ted Lu­biaz Stal­lion Stud. After de­stru­ction of the World War II, ef­forts we­re ma­de to re­cre­ate the Si­le­sian stal­lions, and sin­ce 1997 the­re is al­so a stud for ma­res. Cur­ren­tly it be­longs to the Stal­lion Stud in Sie­ra­kow Wiel­ko­pol­ski, be­ing the on­ly breed­ing cen­ter of the Si­le­sian ra­ce in Po­land. The in­fra­stru­ctu­re of the Stud in­clu­des sta­bles e­re­cted from the Prus­sian wall in a clo­sed qua­dri­la­te­ral ar­ran­ge­ment imi­ta­ting a for­ti­fied bai­ley, a car­ria­ge hou­se and a larch wood co­ve­red ri­ding hall, one of the most be­au­ti­ful in Eu­ro­pe. Cur­ren­tly the­re are a­bout 100 stal­lions and 40 ma­res of the Si­le­sian breed, but al­so full Eng­lish, Wiel­ko­pol­ska, Ma­lo­pol­ska, Eng­lish-Ara­bian and cold-blood­ed. The fa­ci­li­ty is o­pen to vi­si­tors who can en­ter the sta­bles, vi­sit the ri­ding hall and the ex­hi­bi­tion of old car­ria­ges, as well as ta­ke ad­van­ta­ge of one of the ma­ny ri­ding op­tions in the sad­dle or car­ria­ge.


IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG




The Lubiechowska Palm House, 2 kilometres away from Ksiaz castle, was built in 1911-13 at the re­quest of Hans Hein­rich XV for Dai­sy at a cost of 7 mil­lion marks. The his­to­ric, me­tal-glass con­stru­ction pro­vi­des shel­ter for 250 spe­cies of plants co­ming from warm ge­ogra­phi­cal zo­nes, in­clu­ding bam­boo, ole­an­der, dra­ca­nea, arau­ca­ria, var­ious spe­cies of ca­ctu­ses and cit­rus bu­shes, as well as palms and vi­ne shrubs re­mem­be­ring the ti­mes of Dai­sy. Its in­ter­ior walls we­re co­ve­red with vol­ca­nic tuff from Et­na, which was brought he­re at the spe­cial re­quest of Hans Hein­rich in quan­ti­ties that fil­led se­ven rail­way wa­gons! A Ja­pa­ne­se gar­den, a ro­sa­rium and a fruit and ve­ge­ta­ble gar­den we­re al­so e­sta­bli­shed at the palm hou­se a­rea. The­re is al­so the on­ly per­ma­nent Bon­sai Ex­hi­bi­tion in Po­land. The buil­ding stands in Wal­brzych at 158 Wro­claw­ska Street.


IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG




The Old Mine Science and Art Centre is lo­ca­ted in the west­ern part of Wal­brzych, qui­te far from the Ksiaz ca­stle. Ne­ver­the­less, it is worth co­ming he­re. It is a mu­se­um fa­ci­li­ty e­sta­bli­shed in 2014 on the pre­mi­ses of the clo­sed hard coal mi­ne Jul­ia, lis­ted on the Eu­ro­pe­an Rou­te of In­dus­trial He­ri­ta­ge. The main at­tra­ction he­re is the Mu­se­um of In­dus­try and En­gi­nee­ring, which pro­vi­des ac­cess to so­me of the fa­ci­li­ties of the for­mer mi­ne, in­clu­ding the lift ma­chi­nes buil­ding, shaft to­wers, chain cloak­room, me­cha­ni­cal work­shops, as well as an un­der­ground tun­nel and ex­hi­bi­tions of mi­ning co­stu­mes and e­quip­ment. The Old Mi­ne al­so hou­ses the Gal­le­ry of Mo­dern Art and an open-air ex­hi­bi­tion of e­le­ments of his­to­ric mi­ning ma­chi­nes. The ad­dress: Wal­brzych, 29 Pio­tra Wy­so­ckie­go Street.


IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG

IMG





HOME PAGE

text: 2020
photographs: 2002, 2013, 2017, 2018
© by Jacek Bednarek