Top ten castles in Poland

Did you know that there are 419 castles in Poland? Most of them are ruins, but some were reconstructed and others somehow survived ages in unchanged condition. Let’s check together chosen top ten castles in Poland which are worth to visit. Keep in mind that they are also museums and guardians of local history. In summer one can expect festivals near the castles. Reconstruction groups are organizing events during weekend. Expect medieval tents around the hill, knight’s fight show, ladies embroidering beautiful dresses and archers presenting their bows. In the evening expect big battle for the castle. Are you ready for the show?

  1. Wawel Castle in Krakow– no surprises, royal city and former headquarters of the kings. It’s the biggest castle in Poland and also most important polish museum. Probably most famous and precious exhibit is Lady with an Ermine of Leonardo Da Vinci. There is also beautiful cathedral, where kings were buried. Under the hill one will find underground road to the dragon’s cave and Wawelski Dragon statue which breaths fire.
    Wawel Castle seen from Wisla's shore.
    Krakow is one of the most beautiful places in Poland. Wawel is obligatory place to visit.


  2.  The Teutonic Castle in Malbork. Although it was not built by Poles, it’s another polish pride. This well- kept building made from more than 4,5 mln bricks invites everyone for sightseeing. If you want to know who were Teutonic knights, where did they come from and what they were doing on polish lands- it’s a chance to discover it! Exhibitions are impressive, like the castle itself.
  3.  Moszna Castle in near Opole. This fairy-tale castle has been the residence of the Prussian Tiele-Winckler family. Legend says it belonged to Templars once. It’s surrounded by huge park. Another attractions are centuries-old stud of English horses and glass orangery with exotic plants. 
  4. Ogrodzieniec Castle in Podzamcze. It’s the biggest castle in Jura Krakowsko-Czestochowska on the Eagle’s Nests Trail. Ruins are built in the rocks, which made them difficult to conquer. It was built in the beginning of XIV century. One will find underground tavern and chambers. Cult series of polish Robin Hood- Janosik was partly recorded there.

    Ogrodzieniec Castle and knights
    During holidays you can participate in festivals around the castle in Ogrodzieniec. This medieval atmosphere… Unique!
  5. Castle Ksiaz in Walbrzych. This third biggest among castles in Poland is located in the Ksiazanski Landscape Park. It was built between 1288-1292 and despite the fire, it’s still kept in really good condition. Part of the castle is open to the public. There is also a hotel and a restaurant. It was one of Adolf Hitler’s quarters in 1941. Many famous people were residents of this place like Tsar Nicholas I Romanov or Winston Churchill. Have you heard about the Ksiazece brewery? Previously it belonged to this castle. Nowadays you will find beer Ksiaz in every shop. The production is based on old recipes found in Castle Ksiaz.
  6. Nidzica Castle. This XIV th century castle built on the order of Hungarian king was supposed to be border watchdog. After some time it became powerful defensive object, developed by Kokosz Berzevicz, hungarian nobleman. The view from the castle is amazing- Pieniny Mountains, Dunajec dam and Czorsztyn Castle. One of the most mysterious and interesting tidbits about the castle is one specific find. Just after World War II, the incipient kip – a type of information memo was finally found in the castle. It’s connected with the story of Sebastian Berzeviczy, descendant of the castle owners married native american noble women in South America. Their daughter was married son of the leader of the rebels against Spanish occupation and who sentenced himself and all his family to death. Sebastian and his family run to Europe, but Spanish invaders were able to kill his wife and daughter. His grandson, claimant to Inks throne was adopted by Benesz family to save him from killers. Sebastian hide the kip hoping, that it will be found in better times. And it was- two hundreds years later.

    Castle in Nidzica
    It’s the castle which hides old secrets and amazing stories of people living there. And those beautiful views…
  7. Czocha Castle was founded in the middle of the 13th century as an the initiative of the Czech king Wenceslas II as the defense fortress of the Czech Republic. It became polish property after marriage of polish prince Henryk I with Czech princess Agnieszka. This old building is surrounded by many legends. One of them is connected with white lady who haunts the castle. She helped Hussites to enter the castle. Her brother who was protecting the castle cursed her, and she will never have a peace, wandering around the castle. It’s been also movie plan for some polish productions like Wiedzmin- The Witcher.
  8. Krasiczyn Castle. It was built between XVI and XVIIth century by Stanislaw Krasicki in Renaissance-Mannerist style. It’s worth to see all those wall decorations that can be seen in almost every chamber. On those 7000 m2 one will see busts of Roman emperors, Polish rulers and saints. Visitors can admire the castle chapel and  the tombs. Daredevils can enter well-preserved underground dungeons and torture chamber.
  9. Pieskowa Skala Castle. Located only 40km from Krakow in Ojcowski National Park lays on the Eagle’s Nests Trail. Nowadays it’s a museum. The characteristic thing near the castle is Maczuga Herkulesa– Hercules’s mace. It is a very characteristic element of the landscape of the Pradnik Valley. Maczuga Herkulesa is a big piece of rock which shape reminds a mace. People say is’a guardian of the castle. Castle and a mace are two attractions of  Ojcowski National Park, which is perfect to walk around and relax in green spaces.
  10. Palace of Marianna Oranska in Kamieniec Zabkowicki. This one is interesting because unlike most of the castles it didn’t belong to prince, bishop or noble family. This XIX century manor belonged to emancipated divorced Dutch duchess- Marianna Oranska. Although it was very difficult for her in the times, when women had no rights he built her own manor. And it was not a little villa, but an object with an area of over 90 thousand square meters. After the war it was dilapidated and nobody cared to renovate it as something bourgeois and post-German.  Fortunately nowadays it looks impressive and it’s possible to walk around the 120 hectares park, which surrounds neo-gothic palace.
Castle in Kamieniec Zabkowicki
This impressive manor was built by Dutch princess. It’s effective and classy. Who wouldn’t like to live in a place like this?