The webside provides descriptions of 84 castles and fortified buildings. Latest update: 21.05.2023
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.
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.
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
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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