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  • Ksiaz Wielki.jpg
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Polish Castles

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Malopolska has many fortifications, castles and Palaces dotted around the many hillsides. An approximate count of these buildings, including all ruins would bring us to around 35. However, many of these are just ruins and not open for sightseeing. We have on this page tried to pick out the most important, both historically and architecturally, to give you a guide to the most relevant buildings. This has left us with a list of 16 sites, that are all listed with a short description here and with a more details description on the individual pages for each site. Including the location, opening hours and ticket prices when available.

The Royal Wawel Castle in Krakow

The Royal Wawel Castle in Krakow’s old town is a beautiful monument and due to its location built on a limestone hill, it is visible from afar and helps the average tourist find their way. The Royal Wawel Castle boasts a majestic and rich museum collection. The Royal Wawel Castle represents essentially two historic groups of buildings: The Royal Palace and The Basilica of St.Wacława and St. Stanislaus.

Sightseeing of the Royal Wawel Castle and the Basilica is mainly offered on four set routes: Royal State Rooms, Royal Private Apartments, Crown Treasury and Armory, and the Wawel Cathedral and Royal Tombs. In addition, when visiting the Royal Wawel Castle you should also take the time to visit the "Royal Gardens," the Dragon's Lair and climb the tower of the cathedral where you will be able to admire the giant Bell “Zygmunt” and the beautiful view of the surrounding area... Read more

Brief History of the Niedzica Castle.

This castle is located on the former banks of the Dunajec River. The Niedzica castle is considered to be one of the most beautifully situated castles in the area. It stands proudly on a steep cliff at a height of 556m above sea level. The castle boasts spectacular views of the dam and the reservoir Czorsztynski, together with the adjacent near the castle in Czorsztyn. The Niedzica Castle was built in the early... Read more

Brief History of the Czorsztyn Castle

The oldest part of the castle, which has been confirmed by excavation, came from the second half of the thirteenth century. Casimir the Great was the builder of the perimeter walls, then in the fifteenth century the governor of Czorsztyn - John Baranowski constructed the tower above the lower gate, that still today towers over the castle offering splendid views of the lake, Niedzica, as well as the northern banks... Read more

Brief History of the Książ Wielki Castle.

The Castle in Ksiaz was the private initiative of Piotr Myszkowski, who served as bishop of Krakow at the time. The castle residence was built in the late sixteenth century, under the watchful eye of Santi Gucci, who was the royal architect at that time. After the death of the initiator of the castle in Ksiaz, the residence remained in hands of the Myszkowski family, and construction was continued during the following years. The Myszkowski family was already in possession of the castle in Mirow, despite its defensive qualities... Read more

Breif History of the castle in Dobczycach

The Castle in Dobczyce is counted among the so-called Royal castles in Małopolska. The castle was built on a hill  at the foot of the river Raba. The position of the castle in Dobczyce became even more picturesque, due to the establishment of the Dobczyce Lake at the foot of the hill, which serves as a reservoir supplying drinking water for Krakow. The origins of the castle date back to the middle of the fourteenth century... Read more

Brief History of the castle in Korzkwi

The Castle in Korzkiew was originally a knight's fortress, which dates back to the fourteenth century. In the middle of, the fourteenth century, namely in year 1352, "Jan of Syrkomli" purchased the Korzkiew hill where the castle is today, in the village of Korzkwi and built the towers of a residential/ defense structure. After the death of the original owner of the building, it was passed into the hands of successive families, such as Ługowskich Zbrojowskich, Jordan, Wesslów and Wodzicki. consecutive owners of the castle gradually expanded it. However, by the end of the nineteenth century, the castle fell into ruin... Read more

Brief History of the castle in Lipowiec -Babice.

Lipowiec castle is preserved in the form of protected ruins, which are open to the public for viewing. The origins of the castle in Lipowiec, which for centuries belonged to the bishopric of Krakow, go back to the thirteenth century. Then on a high hill named Lipowiec, the construction of a small fortress was undertaken. It was to act as protection and provide safety for the many buildings on the trade route from Cracow to Silesia. The bishop of Krakow Jan Prandota acquired the Lipowiec stronghold in the year of 1243. Another important bishop, who became the owner of the building was Jan Muskat. Until the end of the eighteenth century, the castle and the surrounding... Read more

Brief History of the Castle in Niepołomice.

The Niepołomice Castle was built in the Gothic style by King Casimir the Great in the first half of the Fourteenth century, quickly becoming a royal residence castle, often referred to as "the second Wawel Castle." The castle in Niepołomice was visited by many of the Polish Kings and heads of state. The kings frequently used it as a meeting place for the heads of state and other important gatherings such as the state Court. Above all Niepołomice was famous for the hunting in the nearby forest Niepołomicka. The subsequent work of Casimir was continued by kings Wladyslaw II Jagiello, Sigismund I the Old and... Read more

Brief History of the Ojców Castle

Ojców Castle was built by King Kazimierz the Great, as one of many in the Eagles' Nests Trail. Like the castle in Pieskowej Skale, the castle in Ojców was a well-fortified stronghold, which was to provide security for the trade route. The origins of the castle date back to Ojców of the second half of the fourteenth century. Legend has it that it was called Ojcow from the polish word for father, with which Kazimierz the great commemorate his father - Ladislaus the Short. During the reign of Wladyslaw Jagiello, the castle was leased successively to the families Szafraniec, Boners, and Myszkowski.... Read more

Brief History of the Castle in Pieskowa Skała.

The Castle on the Pieskowa Rock, like the  castle in Ojców is part of the Eagles' Nests Trail - the Eagles' Nest Trail is a chain of fortifications, protecting the trade route from Krakow to Silesia. The construction of this castle is attributed to Casimir the Great and has been dated to the beginning of the fourteenth century. The castle on the Pieskowa Rock is a typical defensive stronghold, situated on a limestone hill, which from three sides is surrounded by precipices, making it almost imposable to enter from these three sides. At the end of the fourteenth century the castle was given to Peter Szafrańcowi... Read more

Brief History of the Castle in Oświęcim

The roots of the Oświęcim castle date back to the ancient medieval times, when a stronghold in Oświęcim was built on a hilltop overlooking the River Sola. The first mention of this building is from the early twelfth century when it is referred to as a stronghold. Prince Casimir gained ownership over the stronghold, rebuilding it and strengthening it, transforming the stronghold into a castle. To this day, there are still preserved traces of the oldest defensive walls surrounding the castle hill. In the mid-thirteenth century, the castle was destroyed during the Tatar invasion, and then rebuilt by Prince Mischka II. At that time, the castle became a place of justice, being used as a place to performing death sentences of offenders... Read more

Brief History of the Castle in Sucha Beskidzka

The Castle in Sucha Beskidzka is, in fact, a renaissance chateau also known as "The Little Wawel" it was built between 1554-1580 by Kasper Suski, as a wood-stone fortified manor house. Later being expanded by Piotr Komorowski into a beautiful Renaissance palace. Additionally, in the early eighteenth century, Anna Wielopolska recommended the construction of two additional towers, which added gravity to the palace. During the reign of Branieckich, one of the largest library collections in Poland at that time was gathered in the castle. Unfortunately, during World War II, the castle museum collections were destroyed and plundered. After the war, the Castle became a High School. It now houses art galleries, a hotel, with a restaurant and the Municipal Culture Center.... Read more

Brief History of the Castle in Tyniec.

Tyniec Abbey is one of the oldest monasteries in Poland and is still in use today as a monastery as well as a resting place for members of the church in Krakow. The development of the abbey preliminary started here in the first half of the eleventh century. In 1044 Casimir the Restorer, founded the abbey on the site of a previous castle, sitting on a cliff, right on the banks of the Vistula river. In the second half of the eleventh century, the additional building of brick residential buildings along with a Romanesque basilica was conducted, which fragments of have survived to this very day. In 1260, during the Tartar invasion, the monastery was substantially damaged, despite its strategic location... Read more

Brief History of the Wieliczka Castle

The Establishment and development of the Castle in Wieliczka is closely associated with the development of the salt mines in Wieliczka, and the companies involved in the management of these. For many years, the castle served as the Salt mining head office for the Wieliczka and the Bochnia salt mines. In the thirteenth century, Prince Henry IV Probus built the original castle, which in the times of Casimir the Great was significantly expanded and strengthened. Then at the end of the fourteenth century, King Kazimierz the Great completely modernized  and rebuilt the castle. It is easy to understand why the kings invested  so much in the defense of the Salt mines... Read more

Brief History of the Castle in Wiśnicz Nowy

The Wiśnicz Castle was built in the second half of the fourteenth century by John Kmita, who held the Polish noble coat of arms Szreniawa. The castle originally had an irregular shape, four wings and three towers. Around the fortress, they erected an earth fortification with two gates. After the death of the original owner of the castle, it passed into the hands of the Lubomirski family. Stanislaw Lubomirski made reconstructions to the castle in the Baroque style, with bastion fortifications. Then the castle with four towers crowned Wiśnicki, there was also added a mortuary chapel and the crypt of Lubomirski. During the Swedish invasion, the castle surrendered without a fight to the invaders, mainly because of the absence of the commander of the army... Read more

Brief History of the palace in Zator

The first traces of the Palace in Zator date back to the fifteenth century. This is when it was originally built as a fortified castle. The castle in Zator was then used as the seat of the dukes of Zator. In the second half of the eighteenth century, it was purchased by the family Duniów and partially rebuilt. The next owners of the castle in Zator were the families: Poniatowski, Tyszkiewiczowie, Wąsowiczowie and Potocki. They later rebuilt the palace, giving it a romantic neo-Gothic style. In the times of the last war, it was unlawfully taken from the rightful owners. Later... Read more




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