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CASTLES IN POLAND

The webside provides descriptions of 94 castles and fortified buildings. Latest update: 29.12.2023



O

ld castles. Pearls of the Middle Ages. Witnesses of the past, ro­man­tic and full of mys­ter­ies, have been at­tract­ing hu­man eye­sight and arous­ing emo­tions for a long time. Re­gard­less of whether they were ris­ing on hills or occu­py­ing low­land mead­ows among muds or riv­er flood­plains, they in­vari­ably in­flu­enced hu­man imag­i­na­tion. Some were in­tro­duced to the ir­ra­tional world, so dif­fer­ent from the ev­ery­day and or­der­ly lives of or­di­nary peo­ple. For oth­ers, it brought to mind mem­o­ries of the splen­dour of the col­lapsed walls and cas­tle build­ings, which used to be ei­ther pow­er­ful roy­al fort­ress­es or the seats of ex­cel­lent knight­ly fam­i­lies.


T

oday, these buildings are a material legacy of architecture, a proof of the rich­ness of the past, a rea­son for great pride. Of­ten ru­ined, aban­doned, func­tion­al­ly use­less, they now play the role of un­ques­tion­able dis­tin­guish­ing fea­tures of the cul­tur­al land­scape, an­chors of mem­o­ry strength­en­ing the feel­ing of lo­cal, re­gion­al and na­tion­al iden­ti­ty. Some of these won­der­ful me­men­toes of the past have been tak­en care of by the Pol­ish State or its cit­i­zens, some of them be­came a des­ti­na­tion for thou­sands and a sym­bol with­out which it would be dif­fi­cult to imag­ine the his­tor­i­cal im­age of our coun­try. Oth­ers were less for­tu­nate. De­prived of care, shame­ful­ly hid­den among the green­ery of old parks and gar­dens, they are standing de­stroyed and for­got­ten, jeal­ous­ly guard­ing se­crets that few of us have ev­er known.

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29.12.2023 ... castle in Ryczów

According to common opinion, the cas­tle in Ry­czów was erec­ted by King Ca­si­mir the Great, as one of the el­e­ments in the chain of roy­al watch­tow­ers guard­ing the south­west­ern bor­der of the Pol­ish king­dom. This is be­cause this small strong­hold per­fect­ly fills a gap be­tween cas­tles a few kilo­me­ters apart: Ogro­dzie­niec in Pod­zam­cze, the rock cas­tle in Smo­leń... more




25.12.2023 ... monastery in Mstów

Ac­cord­ing to pop­u­lar tra­di­tion, the mo­na­ste­ry in the small vil­lage of Mstów was found­ed by the bish­op of Cra­cow, Iwo Odro­wąż, who set­tled here monks tak­en from the Wro­cław ab­bey of the Blessed Vir­gin Ma­ry. His premise was to cre­ate a strong Chris­tian cul­tur­al cen­ter in the area aimed at rais­ing Chris­tian aware­ness among the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion... more




5.11.2023 ... castle in Będzin

As ear­ly as the 9th cen­tu­ry, there was some kind of Slav­ic bor­der stronghold on the site of to­day's Cas­tle Moun­tain, prob­a­bly func­tion­ing as a cus­toms cham­ber and seat of lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion. In the 13th cen­tu­ry, duke Bo­le­sław the Tall erect­ed a stone cylin­dri­cal keep on its grounds, which be­came the be­gin­ning of a me­dieval fort­ress... more




28.10.2023 ... castle in Smoleń

The es­tab­lish­ment of the cas­tle in Smo­leń should be linked to the foun­da­tion of San­do­mierz voi­vode Ot­to of Pil­cza coat of arms To­pór or his fa­ther Jan. The old­est doc­u­ment known to us about it dates from 1396, but the ear­li­er ex­is­tence of the strong­hold may be sug­gest­ed by a 1368 ref­er­ence to the chapel of the Bles­sed Vir­gin Ma­ry in Pi­li­ca... more




15.09.2023 ... castle in Połczyn-Zdrój

To­ward the end of the 13th cen­tu­ry, Pomera­ni­an Duke Bo­gu­sław IV erect­ed a cas­tle in or­der to strength­en bor­ders of the duchy against at­tacks from Bran­den­burg. Be­fore that, a wood­en strong­hold, sur­round­ed by an earth­en ram­part and pal­isade, had func­tioned here. And al­though the fact of its ex­is­tence is in­dis­putable, no re­mains have sur­vived to this day... more




3.09.2023 ... castle in Ćmielów

Due to the lack of com­plex ar­chae­o­log­i­cal re­search, the date of cas­tle erec­tion can not be clear­ly de­ter­mined. From me­dieval doc­u­ments we on­ly know that in 1388 broth­ers Mar­cin and Mi­ko­łaj of Do­li­wa coat of arms sold the vil­lage of Sczmy­elow with cas­trum to Gnie­wosz of Da­le­wi­ce, a cham­ber­lain of Cra­cow. The year 1415 is the date... more




5.08.2023 ... fortalice in Bolestraszyce

The first, wood­en manor house in Bo­le­stra­szy­ce was built at the turn of the 15th / 16th cen­turies by Ste­fan Świę­to­pełk of Lis coat of arms. It was sit­u­at­ed on the edge of an es­carp­ment ris­ing o­ver sur­round­ing fields and for­ti­fied with earth ram­parts and a pal­isade. This build­ing is be­lieved to have been de­stroyed by Ta­tars in 1502, and then... more




23.07.2023 ... castle in Świecie

The brick cas­tle was prob­a­bly built by Duke Ber­nard of Świd­ni­ca-Ja­wor or his younger broth­er Hen­ry I. The old­est pre­served doc­u­ments con­cern­ing the strong­hold date back to 1329, when it, then called cas­trum Swe­ta, served as one of the el­e­ments of the de­fence sys­tem pro­tect­ing the south-west­ern bor­der­lands of Si­le­sia against Czech in­va­sions... more




24.06.2023 ... castle in Stare Drawsko

Sup­pos­ed­ly, as ear­ly as the 7th cen­tu­ry, a set­tle­ment, pos­si­bly be­long­ing to the Slav­ic tribe of Thaf­ne­zi, al­ready ex­ist­ed at this site. It was a low­land cas­tle, er­ect­ed be­tween Draw­sko and Żerd­no lakes, with a 6-8 me­ter high and 12 me­ter wide wood­en-earth ram­part and per­haps a wood­en pal­isade. In ad­di­tion, from the south and north a moat pro­tect­ed it... more




31.05.2023 ... mansion in Byki

In 1416, the vil­lage of By­ki belonged to Woj­ciech Ja­xa-By­kow­ski and Mi­ko­łaj Ja­xa-By­kow­ski of Gryf coat of arms, who pre­sum­ably lived in some wood­en manor. A brick mansion was prob­a­bly erect­ed at the turn of the 16th and 17th cen­turies by Jan Sta­ni­sław By­kow­ski, al­though there is an as­sump­tion that a small res­i­den­tial tow­er... more




21.05.2023 ... monastery in Sulejów

In the sec­ond half of the 12th cen­tu­ry, prince Ca­si­mir II the Just found­ed the abbey, en­dow­ing it with more than a dozen vil­lages, among them Si­iow, as well as an­nu­al­ly 13 'bał­wans' of salt, im­port­ed from Rus­sia, du­ty free, 14th 'bałwan' from Cra­cow, and 9 beavers. The prin­ce­ly foun­da­tion was sup­port­ed by the arch­bish­op of Gnie­zno Piotr Ła­będź... more




27.04.2023 ... castle in Łęczyca

The oldest de­fen­sive con­struc­tion in the area was a burgh known as Lan­ci­cia or Lant­si­za, lo­cat­ed with­in the bound­aries of to­day's vil­lage of Tum. It pre­sum­ably served as the seat of a cas­tel­lany, and in 1138-44 Sa­lo­me von Berg, wid­ow of duke Bo­le­sław the Wry­mouth, resid­ed here. The de­vel­op­ment of this set­tle­ment was slowed down in 1241... more




16.04.2023 ... castle in Pyzdry

Pre­sum­ably, at the be­gin­ning of the 13th cen­tu­ry, on the es­carp­ment near the War­ta river, there was a for­ti­fied town, a lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tive cen­ter and a cus­toms cham­ber. In 1253 ca­strum and the neigh­bor­ing set­tle­ment came un­der the rule of Bo­le­sław the Pi­ous. Af­ter his death, his nephew Prze­mysł II took o­ver the rule of Greater Poland... more




5.04.2023 ... castle Książ (Fürsten­berg)

The Fürsten­berg strong­hold is be­lieved to have been erect­ed around 1290 by Prince Bol­ko of Świd­ni­ca-Ja­wor to pro­tect the trade route lead­ing from Prague to Si­le­sia. It may have been built on the site of an old­er set­tle­ment, de­stroyed in the 1260s by King Ota­kar II. The po­lit­i­cal and mil­i­tary sig­nif­i­cance of the cas­tle in­creased at the end of the 13th cen­tu­ry... more




25.02.2023 ... castle in Uniejów

First time, the name of Vil­la Unie­ie­vo was written in doc­u­ments in 1136, in a bull is­sued by Pope In­no­cent II. It is pos­si­ble that a wood­en man­sion al­ready func­tioned then, but a first men­tion of it dates on­ly from 1242. O­ver time Unie­jów de­vel­oped in­to an im­por­tant cen­ter of church ad­min­is­tra­tion and a place for hold­ing coun­cils... more




12.02.2023 ... castle in Czchów

We are not sure of ei­ther the founder of the cas­tle or the date when it was built. How­ev­er, we can sur­mise that the first brick for­ti­fi­ca­tions were erect­ed here by Vá­clav II, prince of Cra­cow since 1291 and king of Pol­and since 1300. The choice of this ruler as an in­vestor is in­di­cat­ed, among oth­er things, by the sil­ver coin of Vá­clav found in cas­tle cel­lars... more




29.01.2023 ... Rajsko castle

The his­to­ry of Raj­sko is so mys­te­ri­ous that to this day ex­perts ar­gue whether a me­dieval cas­tle even ex­ist­ed at the site. Ac­cord­ing to some opin­ions, what we see now is just a 19th-cen­tu­ry im­i­ta­tion of a re­al strong­hold; ac­cord­ing to oth­ers, on the con­trary, a watch­tow­er op­er­at­ed here, be­ing a link in a chain of prince­ly bor­der cas­tles. In our fur­ther nar­ra­tive... more




22.01.2023 ... castle in Wleń

Wleń is one of the old­est cas­tles in the ter­ri­to­ry of con­tem­po­rary Poland, al­though its ori­gins are a mys­tery to us. Ac­cord­ing to some his­to­ri­ans, it was erect­ed by one of the princes, Bo­le­sław the Tall or Miesz­ko I the Tan­gle­foot, who came to the area ac­com­pa­nied by im­pe­ri­al troops to re­gain the hered­i­tary ter­ri­to­ries lost by their fa­ther, La­dis­laus the Ex­ile... more




7.01.2023 ... church in Brochów

A first, still wood­en church in Bro­chów was prob­a­bly found­ed at the turn of the 11th and 12th cen­turies. In 1331, the wood­en tem­ple was re­placed by a brick one, which, ac­cord­ing to leg­end, a knight An­dre­as von Din­heim built, who resid­ed in the vil­lage as a pris­on­er of war af­ter bat­tle of Płow­ce, and then fell in love with a daugh­ter of Do­brzyń castel­lan named Sów­ka... more




23.12.2022 ... castle in Otmęt

Gen­er­al opin­ion is that the brick cas­tle in Ot­męt was built by one of rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the von Stral fam­i­ly, which owned the vil­lage be­tween 1316 and 1514. On the oth­er hand, the old­est ar­ti­fact found in the ru­ins, which is a frag­ment of a tile with the date 1516, may in­di­cate its slight­ly lat­er met­ric. It could al­so be that the new­er cas­tle was built on the site... more




18.12.2022 ... castle in Płoty

The old­est for­ti­fied set­tle­ment in Pło­ty was a 13th-cen­tu­ry bor­ough erect­ed in the north­ern part of the pre­sent town, in a bend of the Re­da Riv­er. Ac­cord­ing to his­to­ri­ans, a trade set­tle­ment de­vel­oped near it, which is why the area was lat­er called the old town. In all prob­a­bil­i­ty, how­ev­er, it should be as­sumed that this strong­hold ei­ther func­tioned... more




25.11.2022 ... castle in Żmigród

The old­est sur­viv­ing his­tor­i­cal ref­er­ence to Zu­ni­grod set­tle­ment comes from a bull is­sued by Pope Hadri­an IV for the Bish­opric of Wro­cław in 1155, but there is no in­for­ma­tion in it on the cas­tle. It was first men­tioned at the end of the 13th cen­tu­ry, when a cer­tain Geb­hard owned or leased it. The wood­en cas­tle may have been erect­ed... more




13.11.2022 ... castle in Bydlin

Due to the lack of pri­ma­ry sources, we aren't able to de­ter­mine be­yond a rea­son­able doubt who erect­ed the cas­tle in By­dlin and when it took place. The old­est doc­u­ment we know of, that men­tions cas­trum in By­dlin, dates back to 1398. Its own­ers at the time were Peł­ka and Nie­mie­rza, heirs of Nie­mie­rza of Goł­cza, who is wide­ly be­lieved to be the founder... more




4.11.2022 ... castle in Zbąszyń

It is like­ly that as ear­ly as the 10th cen­tu­ry there was a wood­en strong­hold Zbąsz, lo­cat­ed on a sandy is­land be­tween the Ob­ra Riv­er and Lake Błęd­no, which may have been the main ad­min­is­tra­tive cen­ter of the re­gion and may have served as a cus­toms on the trade route lead­ing from Poz­nań to Lu­sa­tia. The first his­tor­i­cal men­tion of the Zban­sin set­tle­ment... more




17.10.2022 ... castle in Grudziądz

The first Teu­ton­ic Knights ar­rived in the vicin­i­ty of pre­sent-day Gru­dziądz in 1243, af­ter a pa­pal legate took the land of Cheł­mo from Bish­op Chris­tian and gave it to the Or­der of the Teu­ton­ic Knights of Saint Mary's Hos­pi­tal in Je­ru­sa­lem. The do­na­tion al­so in­clud­ed a quon­dam cas­trum, that is a wood­en cas­tle, es­tab­lished much ear­li­er by Slavs... more




8.10.2022 ... castle Sokolec

It is not known on whose ini­tia­tive and when ex­act­ly So­ko­lec Cas­tle was built. Due to the fact that these lands be­longed to the Dukes of Wro­cław in the past, Duke Hen­ryk Bro­da­ty (the Beard­ed) or his son Hen­ryk II Po­boż­ny (the Pi­ous) are some­times iden­ti­fied as the al­leged founders of the rock strong­hold. How­ev­er, it seems more like­ly that the cas­tle... more




29.09.2022 ... castle in Prabuty

In 1236, Teu­ton­ic troops in­vad­ed and burned the Prus­sian vil­lage of Rez­i­ja, which oc­cu­pied a strate­gic po­si­tion on the isth­mus be­tween Lake Li­wie­niec and (no longer ex­ist­ing) Mill Pond. Soon af­ter, Teu­ton­ic Knights erect­ed a wood­en watch­tow­er called Re­sin­burg in the same place, but in 1243 it was in turn de­stroyed by Prus­sian squads... more




18.09.2022 ... castle in Koło

The old­est ex­ist­ing his­tor­i­cal ref­er­ence to a lo­ca­tion named Koło is found in the town char­ter is­sued in Ju­ly 1362 by King Ka­zi­mierz Wiel­ki. Pre­sum­ably, how­ev­er, the cas­tle at this place func­tioned much ear­li­er, per­haps dur­ing the reign of the King Wła­dy­sław Ło­kie­tek or even at the time of Czech King Vá­clav II, who ruled Greater Poland in years 1300-1305... more




11.09.2022 ... castle in Kamienna Góra

Sup­pos­ed­ly, al­ready in the sec­ond half of the 13th cen­tu­ry, a small strong­hold ex­ist­ed near the es­tu­ary of the Za­drna Riv­er to the Bóbr Riv­er. It was prob­a­bly a wood­en watch­tow­er erect­ed by one of the Si­le­sian princes to pro­tect the trade route lead­ing from Bo­he­mia to Si­le­sia. In 1419-36, the Hus­sites con­quered and burned the town of Ka­mien­na Gó­ra... more




3.09.2022 ... castle in Ostróda

We do not know the ex­act date when Ostró­da cas­tle was found­ed. Pre­sum­ably, the first for­ti­fied knight's manor func­tioned here al­ready be­fore 1270, play­ing a strate­gic role as a Teu­ton­ic bor­der watch­tow­er and a base for fur­ther con­quests of lands in­hab­it­ed by Prus­sian tribes. It was cer­tain­ly al­so an ad­min­is­tra­tive, eco­nom­ic and mil­i­tary cen­ter... more




13.08.2022 ... castle in Rabsztyn

Lack of any his­tor­i­cal records makes it im­pos­si­ble to de­ter­mine the ex­act date when Rab­sz­tyn cas­tle was built and who found­ed it. Ac­cord­ing to the most pop­u­lar the­o­ry, the strong­hold was erect­ed by a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the knight­ly fam­i­ly of To­por­czyk from Mo­ra­wi­ca. Al­ter­na­tive­ly, it is linked to the in­vest­ment ac­tiv­i­ty of Si­le­sian duke Hen­ry the Beard­ed... more



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