The list includes 58 castles and fortified buildings. Latest update: 26.05.2022
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 inaccessible 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.
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. More
he publishing market, rich in castle literature and numerous websites and publications, prove the great interest in this type of topics. It seems obvious. Castles and their ruins have ceased to be the domain of historians or groups of enthusiasts. Today, they occupy an exposed places on maps and in guidebooks, becoming destination of increasing numbers of tourists rediscovering the charms of beautiful Polish landscapes.
reparing the content I try to meet your expectations. However, I am not going to copy the ideas already existing - breaking with general scheme treating the subject in an encyclopaedic way and requiring the reader to be meritoriously prepared, I want to combine the care for the preservation of historical truth with functionality important for understanding by a wide audience, so that the content published here can meet the expectations of the reader at different ages, regardless of his knowledge and education.
can assure You that You will not find here mindlessly copied books. I use literature, of course. Without it this website would never have been created, but I try to enrich the content of many publications with information acquired from experience. Apart from historical facts and dates, short biographies and basics of architecture, I decided to present the current situation of the castles, their legal status, possibilities of visiting them, legends and additional attractions or lack thereof, as well as a brief description of how to reach them. I have visited at least once each of the castles described on this website, which should guarantee satisfactory level of reliability, although of course no one is infallible. If you come across a mistake or misrepresentation, I ask for understanding - I also have the right to make a mistake.
inally, I would like to make it clear that all descriptions on this website are subjective. I am not a historian and I do not intend to pretend to be an authority. The purpose of this publication is to interest You in the subject matter, encourage You to visit the polish castles and - a little bit - to satisfy my ego. I sincerely invite you to reading. Less
26.05.2022 ... monastery of the Poor Clares
The town of Stary Sącz, founded in 1257 by the duchess Kinga of Cracow and Sandomierz, in the second half of the 13th century was the most important administrative center in the entire region. Kinga received these lands from her husband Bolesław V as a marriage dowry, and when he died in 1279, she gave up her princely rule and moved to Stary Sącz... more
14.05.2022 ... castle in Oporów
A document from 1363 mentions Bogusław of Oporów of Sulima coat of arms, canon of Gniezno and archdeacon, the owner of a wooden manor that had probably been erected in the first half of the 14th century by his father, Stefan of Oporów. When Bogusław died, Oporów estate was given to his nephew Mikołaj, chamberlain and later voivode of Łęczyca... more
10.04.2022 ... Mirów palace in Książ Wielki
The palace in Książ Wielki was built by the bishop of Cracow and the owner of the town, Piotr Myszkowski, coat of arms Jastrzębiec, a close friend of the famous Polish Renaissance poet Jan Kochanowski. Construction works were carried out in 1582-95 under the supervision of the royal architect Santi Gucci, author of the reconstruction of castles in Pińczów... more
24.03.2022 ... Sarny palace in Ścinawka Górna
In the Middle Ages, in the part of the village called Ober-Steine there was a small castle, probably a residential tower. It is possible that the relics of this Gothic stronghold are hidden in the cellars of the later palace and in the ground floor of the gate building, although no research has ever been done here to confirm this assumption. The first known manor house... more
13.03.2022 ... castle Ogrodzieniec
It is probable that during the reign of prince Bolesław Krzywousty there was a wooden castle called Wilcza Szczęka (Wolf’s Jaw). It possiby could have some military importance on the border between Lesser Poland and Silesia and was probably destroyed by the Tatars during their invasion of Poland in 1241. The term Ogrodzieniec comes from this period... more
17.02.2022 ... castle in Rybnica
Not much is known about the origins and functioning of the castle in the Middle Ages. The prevailing opinion among historians is that the construction of the brick stronghold may have been commissioned in the 1360s by Emperor Charles IV of Luxemburg, who was to pay a short visit here in 1365. The village was then owned or leased by Nicolas von Reybnicz... more
5.02.2022 ... castle in Chęciny
The oldest background information about the castle in Chęciny comes from a document issued in 1306 by Sandomierz Duke Władysław Łokietek, in which he promises to give the bishop of Cracow castrum Chancin together with the surrounding villages. Taking into account the content of this statement and the date of its issuance, it can be assumed that... more
7.01.2022 ... castle in Międzyrzecz
The oldest and most important stronghold on the western borderlands of Poland was probably erected in the 9th century. The fortress of Mesirici is mentioned for the first time in the chronicle of the Bishop of Merseburg, Thietmar, who described the expedition of the Emperor Heinrich II der Heilige going to war with polish duke Bolesław Chrobry... more
28.11.2021 ... castle in Ratno Dolne
Probably, already in the first half of the 14th century, there was a knight's castle in Ratno, which was supposedly built by the representatives of the Silesian family de Mussin (Mosch). This small, possibly still wooden stronghold became in 1388 the property of Kłodzko burgraves belonging to the von Pannwitz, the representatives of an ancient Sorbian family... more
18.11.2021 ... castle in Radzyń Chełmiński
In the early Middle Ages, on the trade route leading from Grudziądz to Golub a small wooden castle in the vicinity of the present-day Radzyń existed, who was probably inhabited by pagan Prussians from the Pomezanian tribe. In the 12th century, the village of Rasin functioned in this place, and next to it the castle belonging to the Mazovian voivode Krystyn... more
13.11.2021 ... fortalice in Sobków
Older names of the village, now called Sobków, were Nida, Nida Frykaczka and Nida Ryterska. The first mention of a knight's residence here dates back to the first half of the 16th century and refers to a stone manor house, owned by Rafał Ryterski, that was destroyed by fire. In 1563 Stanisław Sobek of Sułów, coat of arms Brochwicz... more
3.11.2021 ... castle in Prochowice
Historians usually believe that the founder of the castle in Prochowice was Iko von Parchwitz, palatinus of Legnica and companion of Duke Bolesław Rogatka. Some of them, however, doubt the existence of a brick castle in the 13th century, pointing to the initiative of Stephan von Parchwitz - grandson of the mentioned Iko, who in 1305-42 controlled the town... more
23.10.2021 ... castle in Poznań
In the first centuries of our state, the town of Poznań developed on the right bank of the Warta River, close to the fortified seat of the prince, formed in the 10th century in the north-western part of the cathedral island. The oldest wooden castle was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt, and it probably ended in the second half of the 13th century... more
9.10.2021 ... castle Sobień
The origins of the castle remain unknown. According to a common opinion (mainly propagated by older books), the founder of the fortress might have been Kazimierz Wielki, but neither Jan of Czarnków, who lived in those times, nor Jan Długosz, who lived in the times of the first Jagiellons, mention it among the investments made by this king... more
29.09.2021 ... castle in Ossolin
It is likely that already in the 14th century a brick castle existed in this place, which was built by an unknown representative of Toporczyk knightly family. Perhaps the founder of the stronghold was castellan of Wiślica Jan Topór called Owca, according to the tradition a protoplast of the great Ossoliński family, who was killed during the fights with his neighbors... more
14.09.2021 ... castle in Sosnowiec
The oldest preserved mention of settlement Siedlecz dates back to 1361. It mentions a donation of the local knight's grange by Abraham of Goszyce and his son Marek, coat of arms Gryf, to Sandomierz province governor Otto of Pilcza, coat of arms Topór (in return, Abraham received the village Witanowice near Oświęcim). The document also states that...more
22.08.2021 ... Benedictine abbey in Tyniec
According to tradition, the Benedictine Abbey in Tyniec near Cracow was founded in 1044 by Kazimierz Odnowiciel, son of the Polish king Mieszko II and Princess Richeza of Lorraine. This date is given by the Polish medieval chronicler Jan Długosz, but we do not know where he took his knowledge from, hence the dispute among historians...more
22.07.2021 ... romantic castle on Góreckie Lake
This small neo-gothic palace on an island in the middle of a picturesque lake was founded and probably personally designed by Tytus Działyński, the owner of Kórnik and Konarzewo. Romantic building was a gift from Tytus to his sister Klaudyna Działyńska and her husband Bernard Potocki on the occasion of their wedding...more
14.07.2021 ... castle in Wieliczka
The castle and the town are strongly connected with rock salt exploration carried out in this region of Małopolska. The first traces of this activity can be found in the 13th century mine shaft located within the medieval castle courtyard. According to tradition, the founder of the castle was Duke of Cracow, Henryk IV Probus, who, soon after...more
29.06.2021 ... Bolczów castle
The origins of the village of Janowice, to which the Bolczów castle, hidden in the deep forest, is administratively subordinate, probably date back to the 13th century, although the first mention of it dates back to 1334 and concerns the then inhabitant (mayor?) Franciszek von Ywanewitz. In the mid-14th century, this settlement, together with Miedzianka...more
20.06.2021 ... Krzyżtopór castle in Ujazd
When we admire the picturesque ruins of Krzyżtopór Castle, it is hard to believe that this magnificent building, which was the largest residence in Europe before the creation of Versailles, functioned in its full glory for only eleven years! It was the magnum opus of the Sandomierz chamberlain Krzysztof Ossoliński, coat of arms Topór...more
1.06.2021 ... monastery in Zagórz
The Monastery of Discalced Carmelites in Zagórz was founded by the Voivode of Volhynia Jan Franciszek Stadnicki coat-of-arms Śreniawa, allegedly as a votive offering for the defense of Lesko against the Swedish army during their invasion of 1655-60. We do not know the foundation act, but based on historical records we can assume that...more
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